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NASCAR-BGN: Philip Morris Enters Busch Car at Rockingham

28 October 1998

WAYNESBORO, Va. - Late Model driver Philip Morris is ready to attack the NASCAR Busch Series, hoping his domination from the NASCAR Winston Racing Series, in which he notched 29 wins in 48 starts this season, will continue. Morris will field a car in Saturday's AC Delco 200 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, N.C.

Morris, 33, won 13 NASCAR Winston Racing Series feature events and compiled 17 top-five finishes in 20 starts at South Boston Speedway en route to second place in the track championship. A native of Ruckersville, Va., Morris earned the nation's second-highest competitive performance index.

Morris' credentials coming out of highly competitive South Boston Speedway exceed those of current Winston Cup stars Jeff Burton and Ward Burton in their final Late Model seasons. Jeff earned seven wins in 20 starts at South Boston in his final season in 1988, and Ward earned four wins in 23 starts in 1989. Elliott Sadler, currently sixth in NASCAR Busch Series points, won 13 races in 39 Winston Racing Series starts in 1995.

During a three-hour test session at North Carolina Motor Speedway on Oct. 21, Morris was impressive in the car he bought from Dale Earnhardt Inc. Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned second place at Darlington Sept. 5 in the same car.

"We ran some really fast times at Rockingham, and from the comparisons we've made with other teams we were one of the fastest at 24.60 seconds," said Morris, who earned a degree in Physics. "We also ran a lot of laps at 24.7 and 24.8. Now we have to go out there and turn some heads in practice and qualifying.

"Every race team below Winston Cup wonders if they can take it to the next level and we're about to find out. It's going to be a gut check. We've got the equipment and a great crew and now it's time to prove ourselves on the track."