Chris Morris, 28, completes final preparations for an upcoming race in his garage in Taylor, Texas, on Oct. 13, 2022. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris watches as drivers pack the track before qualifying heats begin on Oct. 14, 2022 in Paige, Texas. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris makes adjustments to his car’s tires while preparing for a race. After his accident, he knew he still wanted to race something, but his parents would not let him get back on a bike. “I knew if I wanted to race it would have to be a lot safer, probably four wheels and a cage, so that’s what we started looking for,” he said. “I’m thankful everyday that I found it and can still pursue my love for racing.” Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris’ father, Nick, adjusts his son’s car after running some practice laps on Oct. 15, 2022, in Paige, Texas. Morris is installing a plate to prevent mud from building up inside the wheel as he drifts around the track. Without the plate, the car would become unbalanced and Morris would risk losing control. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Drivers and their crews watch as the track is “packed” at Cotton Bowl Speedway on Oct. 15, 2022, the second and final day of the race weekend. Knowing track conditions and moisture levels is incredibly important to the drivers, as it allows them to best adjust their cars for the conditions. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris and his fiancé, Brenda Kirby, speak before Morris heads out on the track for one of his qualifying heats on Oct. 15, 2022 in Paige, Texas. Morris and Kirby, who also races cars, met through racing, and plan to marry in October. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris drives towards the track entrance to participate in the track's national anthem ceremony before the day's races begin on Oct. 15, 2022, in Paige, Texas. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Pit crews, fans and families of drivers watch as the cars race by at Cotton Bowl Speedway on Oct. 14, 2022, in Paige, Texas. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris observes the track after a qualifying heat on Oct. 14, 2022, in Paige, Texas. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
The grandstands are packed at Cotton Bowl Speedway as attendees watch the final race of the season on Oct. 15, 2022 in Paige, Texas. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
The modified division's final begins at Cotton Bowl Speedway on Oct. 15, 2022. Morris’ car 94 leads the pack as he rounds the first corner. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris rides through the infield of Cotton Bowl Speedway on his "tank chair" following at intermission on Oct. 15, 2022 in Paige, Texas. He got this wheelchair specifically to handle the rough common at racetracks. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris sits on the podium in victory lane having gotten second in the modified class at "OctoberFAST" at Cotton Bowl Speedway on Oct. 15, 2022. The other drivers decided to sit, too, in a show of support. Morris held on to the championship title which is determined by a series of race victories. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Morris’ dog, Remy, sits in the “rig,” a camper that tows the car trailer, which Morris drives by using two rods with handles to work the pedals. Remy is a frequent companion to the races because he is the only one of his dogs calm enough to be near the track. Ry Olszewski/Reporting Texas
Photo Gallery by Ry Olszewski
Since he was 4, Chris Morris loved to race. He was a motocross competitor for 16 years, but in 2016, he broke his back while practicing for a race. Even though he now needs a wheelchair, he still wanted to race and was determined to find a way to do it.
“When racing’s been your whole life, you can’t get rid of it that easily, or at least I couldn’t,” Morris said. “I knew I wanted to race something.”
Now, six years later, Morris drives a stock car and has won tens of championships on dirt tracks around the country. He dominates the sport more commonly known as outlaw racing and is also the track champion of Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas.
Morris races a “modified,” a type of stock car with open front wheels and a regulated motor. He controls his car with a lever in one hand that operates the gas and brakes and the steering wheel in the other. His father, Nick, also a motocross rider, spends much of his time as part of Morris’ pit crew along with Morris’ fiancé, Brenda Kirby, herself a race car driver.
In October, Cotton Bowl Speedway hosted its last race of the season, OctoberFAST, where Morris raced successfully to protect his title. He is currently working in the garage planning for the next racing season.