This past Saturday, the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour traveled to The Red Rose City, Lancaster South Carolina for the second time this season to hit "The Fastest Half Mile Dirt Track In The South," Lancaster Speedway.
Morgan Turpen, driver of the 10m, came to Lancaster fresh off a win from the previous night at Carolina Speedway and also one from the previous weekend at Dixie Speedway with hopes to make it 3 wins in a row.
Before the high-powered machines took on the high-banked half mile, I had the opportunity to catch up with Turpen for another interview!
TS: Last time we talked, you were telling me about teaching but you also mentioned something about being a resort manager, is that still something you have an interest in?
MT: Actually, right now it’s all teaching. I am going back to grad school starting August 22nd to actually get my masters of arts and teaching so that’s pretty much what I plan on doing right now, at the moment anyways.
TS: What is a track on the schedule that you always look forward to racing at, or a track you feel like you can always go to and count on a good finish?
MT: Oh man, that’s a tough one! Um, I would probably have to say Dixie Speedway down in Woodstock, Georgia. We seem to have pretty decent finishes there but lately it just seems like we have good finishes everywhere, except for here.
TS: Being a girl in a male dominated sport, explain what it feels like to be out front leading all the guys and even winning races, I know it has to be a good feeling!
MT: Oh my god, it’s a great feeling but now especially as I have gotten older I am more of a racer than a girl and especially with the guys I have been racing with they don’t view me as a girl racer, they view me as another racer out on the track. It’s nice to have that as a backup, but I just kind of expect it of myself that I am a racer.
TS: We all know dirt has been very good for you, but what are your thoughts on asphalt?
MT: Well I have won an asphalt sprint car championship and I have won races on asphalt in sprint cars but there is just not a lot of it around and I had a couple of things come around but I am not bringing money to the team so I lost them but its definitely the way you have to go nowadays to make it in racing so I am definitely not opposed to it, I know I can get it done because I have won asphalt races.
TS: How would you compare the physical shape and mental attitude that a race car driver must have to those of other sports such as golf, baseball, etc.?
MT: I think it’s all the same, having a good relationship with God, upper body strength and having the right mindset is what makes us athletes - it’s pretty much the same for any athlete I believe.
TS: Taken everything that you have learned so far about racing, what three things would you do differently if you had to start over?
MT: Oh man, if I had to start over I would probably go to late models for sure instead of doing the sprint car deal. I would try to get into super-late models and besides that I really wouldn’t change anything. I love what I do and I love the people I race with and I love the people I work with and I feel like I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.
TS: I know you mentioned teaching earlier, but I recently saw somewhere on Twitter that soon, you’re hanging up your helmet but hopefully be able to run part time.
MT: Yeah, I have a interview on Monday for a teaching job and that’s when I have to tell them that I need 4 days off right off the bat to finish this season out but me and Terry have had long, long talks on the road lately and I am definitely going to have a part time gig anyway we are still going to get to do 20 or 30 races just not 60 or 70 like we are doing now.
TS: How does Lancaster Speedway compare to some of the other tracks you go to? Is it more difficult?
MT: It’s just big, really one lane, not very racy. It’s just not very good for sprint cars, I would say it probably has some really good racing for other classes, I just don’t think it’s very safe for these cars to be out there. I just kind of always come here thinking let’s just finish, don’t tear the car up, and call it that.
TS: After winning the 30 lap feature at Carolina Speedway on Friday, how confident are you going into tonight’s race here at Lancaster?
MT: I would like to say that I feel confident, I just don’t here, I don’t like this racetrack, I don’t feel comfortable when I am here. I mean maybe that will change but I’m just kind of ready to get it over with and go home with my trophy from last night and know that we had a great weekend and get ready for next weekend!