The 2016 season has been one of contrast for Late Model Stock driver Chase Purdy. The 16 year-old driver from Meridian, Mississippi has had a season for the ages at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) where he has dominated the year in the track’s Late Model division. It has been a different story on the road with the CARS Late Model Stock Tour as Purdy has not been able to challenge for a win so far.
This Saturday, June 25 Purdy is getting just the opportunity he has been waiting for as the CARS Tour rolls into Greenville-Pickens for their one and only appearance in 2016. Purdy has picked up seven victories in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition this season and currently leads the track division points over Dylan Hall by 44 points. It is a list of accomplishments that Purdy owes to his team and family.
“It’s really been a great year for me. I’ve learned so much from the success I’ve had and all the credit goes to my family, my parents, and grandparents have helped out too,” Purdy told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’m blessed to be in such a good car with the team I have. I just do what they tell me and try and learn from them.”
Despite the competition that rolls into South Carolina with the CARS Tour, Purdy believes that the work done by the team coupled with home track advantage will be enough to overcome the tough field and be able to challenge for the victory.
“With the success we’ve had this year, I think we should be able to. You never know, but we got a good piece, the team’s got a great car there so we should be able to carry it over.”
Purdy’s best finish in CARS competition this season was a seventh-place run at Orange County Speedway (NC), with Purdy having difficulty making the top ten. The biggest fault on the season has come before the racing even begins with the No. 41 starting in the back half of the field at each event.
“We need to work on our qualifying game. I feel like we’ve had some really good cars sometimes and then we go out and struggle in qualifying,” explained Purdy. “It’s such a big deal because of track position, the farther you qualify, the harder you have to work with your tires to get up there. Those other guys up front ride around and save, if you start in the back you use them up more than the guys that don’t have to work.”
Purdy hopes with a solid time trial run, the chance at victory will be within reach on Saturday. As for the remainder of the CARS season, he also believes that a strong performance at Greenville will be a shot in the arm for the team and could lead to more success elsewhere.
“I think it can help. That kind of positive momentum carries on to a lot of other positive things.”
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com