Salisbury, NC -- Daison Pursley comes into this week’s TRD Micro Showdown at North Carolina’s Millbridge Speedway with a singular goal surrounding his thoughts.
He wants to win, and anything else won’t be good enough.
Pursley is one of a myriad of stars making their way to the sixth-mile dirt oval this week to compete in the biggest event for micro sprints that Millbridge has hosted in its decade-long tenure under co-promoters Ashly and Jeremy Burnett.
The 15-year-old launched his career in micro sprints at Port City Raceway in his home state of Oklahoma, and he’ll return to the discipline this week after a year spent predominately in POWRi national midget competition.
It’s a sort of homecoming that Pursley, from Locust Grove, Okla., is looking forward to.
“I’m back in my element,” Pursley joked. “My last micro race … I think it was about three months ago at Port City Raceway, and I didn’t really have a good finish, but I'm just excited to be out at Millbridge. I’ve really wanted to run here Milbridge a lot, but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to in an outlaw kart or anything like that. I really wished I could run here sooner.
“It’s fun to be back in the micro, though, so I think it will be super fun and I’m ready for that challenge.”
Pursley will do double duty this week, driving in both winged and non-winged competition for fellow Okie young gun Ryan Timms as he chases a combined $7,000 winner’s share over the two days of action.
It’s a definite shift from the midgets he’s grown used to piloting this season with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, but adapting back and shaking the rust off isn’t a worry in Pursley’s mind.
“The cars are just a little different,” said Pursley of the differences between the micro and the midget. “The micro is a smaller car at least; you just have to figure out the wheelbase stuff and all that. But overall they’re somewhat the same. You just have to run the cushion better in a micro compared to the midget. You don’t have enough power and all that down the straightaways.
“It took us a little while to figure everything out in the practice session that they put on for us Monday night, but I think we’ll be pretty good.”
Though he’d never taken laps at Millbridge before Monday night, Pursley quickly figured out many of the quirks that makes the sixth-mile track unique and was wheeling and dealing by the end of practice.
“Man, the place is real fun,” he grinned. “It’s pretty small for the micro stuff, but I think it’ll be really good (in the race). We’ll get it right up on the fence, and when it slicks off, I think we’ll be on it pretty good on the bottom and it’ll be a nice two-groove race track.”
Considering he finished fourth in POWRi National Midget League points, with four top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in 29 starts this season, Pursley is considered one of the favorites for the week – particularly when it comes to Wednesday night’s $5,000-to-win winged micro headliner.
That moniker is somewhat amplified considering he’s driven for the Toyota Racing Development flagship team all year long, meaning Pursley is batting for the event sponsor as well as himself.
He’s not focused on the pressure, though. The young standout just wants to enjoy the thrill of victory.
“It’s fun being back in the micros and I can’t think TRD enough for putting on the show. It’s just fun being back in micros again,” Pursley said. “I think I have to win, basically; everybody expects me to win. But I think I’ll just kind of throw that pressure behind me and try to get the job done.
“That’s all we can do, right? We’ll go out there, do our best and let the chips fall where they’re going to.”
Action for the TRD Micro Showdown continues Tuesday night with Hyper Racing Night, featuring a full program of non-winged micro action capped off by a $2,000-to-win, $200-to-start main event.
Beginner Box Stock and Box Stock outlaw karts will join the Tuesday night racing program as well.
For more information on Millbridge Speedway, visit www.millbridgespeedway.com.
Watch both nights of the TRD Micro Showdown on Speed51.com: speed51.com/trdmicroshowdown
-Millbridge Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Jacob Seelman