BROWNSBURG, Ind. – T.C. Morris drove his ’04 Pontiac GTO, named the Indian Outlaw, to the Stock Eliminator win at the NHRA U.S. Nationals over the Labor Day weekend. Morris, New Haven, Ky., collected his first national event victory after Pasadena, Tex. racer Jerry Emmons fouled in the final round. Morris outlasted the 128-car field with consistent reaction times — he averaged a .030 light across seven rounds — while staying close to his dial but never running under. Morris consistently took advantage of his opponent’s mistakes during eliminations.
Morris’s lucky round came in his first round matchup with 2018 Summit Racing Equipment Nationals winner, Todd Hoven. Hoven’s .010 light gave him a .021-second advantage but it wasn’t enough as he took .053 stripe to break out by just -.001-second. Morris was .031 at the tree and killed .02 at the stripe to post a 10.931 on his 10.90 dial to move into the second round.
In the second round, Morris found himself in the hole for the second round in a row after Jonathan Allegrucci took a .016 to .038 advantage at the start. After the great start, Allegrucci slowed down track allowing Morris to cruise to a .035 over 10.975 pass for the win.
In rounds three through five, Morris easily defeated Randy Eakins, Andrew Hill, and Brent Calvert when each of them cut .08 lights and ran .022 over their dials. Morris had no problems beating their .10-second packages as he posted .065, .028, and .047 packages respectively.
The round five win over Calvert sent Morris into the semifinal round on Monday at INDY. Morris’s opponent in the semi’s was Joey Shipp who looking for the INDY double as he was still alive in Super Gas as well as Stock. After Shipp posted a .049 reaction, there would be no double as Morris drove his GTO to a .027 light and a .011 over 10.981 pass to move into his first national event final round. Shipp broke out .020-second in his pursuit of Morris.
Waiting for Morris in the final was Texas Stock Eliminator veteran Jerry Emmons driving his Lucas Oil sponsored ’69 Camaro out of the Emmons Motorsports stable. Emmons made his way to the final on the strength of two breakout wins, two red-light wins, and an epic heads up B/SA duel in the semi’s.
Emmons first round opponent was the 16-second EF/S of Ron Seibenick. Luckily for Emmons, Seibenick missed at both ends of the track after posting a .107 light and running -.111 under his index. Emmons took the double-breakout win after running under by -.016-seconds.
Second round opponent Chris Stephenson drilled the tree with a near-perfect .001 light but took .062 at the stripe to run under by -.027-second. Emmons combined a .026 light with a .03 dump to post a .010 over 10.310 for the win.
Both Emmons and third round opponent Dan Lynch left with .02 lights but Emmons took the four-foot win after Lynch couldn’t run closer than .04 to his dial. Emmons benefitted from his opponents red-light starts in the fourth and fifth rounds when Katie Sepanek left with -.003 foul start in the fourth round and defending INDY champion Larry Gilley had mechanical problems posting a -.333 reaction in the fifth round.
In the semifinals, Emmons met Larry Hill for a heads-up, no breakout B/SA clash. Hill had the advantage on paper but it was Emmons who won on a holeshot when his 10.185 turned away the 10.175 by Hill by .016-seconds.
In the final, Emmons turned it red by -.033-second to hand the win to the Indian Outlaw, T.C. Morris. Morris posted another solid pass with a .034 light and a .011 over 10.971 on his parade lap. Morris was consistent on both ends of the track and took full advantage of his competitors mistakes to earn his first national event win at one of the toughest events of the year.
Congratulations T.C. on a well-earned victory!