Toyota Dirt Driver Spotlight: Daison Pursley

Toyota Dirt Driver Spotlight

Daison Pursley

CB Industries/ – NOS Energy Drink – TRD/Spike/Speedway Toyota

Age: 19

Hometown: Locust Grove, Okla.

Daison Pursley will take the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series point lead into this week’s four-race Mid-America Midget Week. In his first season with Chad Boat and CB Industries, the Oklahoma native has already captured three wins and seven top-three podium finishes in the season’s first eight events. In addition to his midget racing success, the 19-year-old Pursley has also scored victories in both the USAC Silver Crown and Sprint Car national championships this season.

Q.  Daison, tell us about your great run to open the USAC Midget season with three wins and seven podium finishes in the first eight races this season.

DP: The midget season has been absolutely unbelievable. To win three times in the first eight races is really cool and the consistency has been awesome as well. I didn’t really expect that Chad and I would click that fast. It just goes to show the preparation, hard work and dedication the whole CB Industries team puts into their midgets to perform to the best of their abilities. As long as I do my job in driving them, I think everyone will work out.  We just need to keep our nose clean. I’m really looking forward to getting going again after this break.

Q. After finishing the Chili Bowl with the run of the day going from 20th to fifth on a track where passing was limited, did you expect to be able to come out this strong heading into the 2024 USAC schedule?

DP: The Chili Bowl run was really special being an Oklahoma kid. I think growing up there you just want to run well at the Chili Bowl. It’s every kid’s dream to race on Saturday night in the A Main in that building and that’s what we were able to do. We had a really strong run and Chad, the entire CBI team, and I have been clicking since then. 

Q. What did it feel like becoming the first driver to win in all three USAC National series in midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown this year?

DP: It’s very cool to win in all three premier USAC divisions. Just thinking of all the people that get a chance to do it. And then thinking of me growing up and when I first got into the midget series at the end of 2019 and just watching Chris Windom, Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant and all those guys jumping back in forth between the different disciplines in three classes – especially at a place like 4-Crown Nationals where all three series run during the weekend. It’s pretty special.

Q. While you’ve made headlines winning in all three national series, many don’t know that you’ve also won multiple races while running with the CB Industries team in micros. How much of a role did that play in becoming in sync with the team and what’s it been like working with CBI?

DP: I’ve run a lot of micro stuff in the past. When Chad and I first started talking about running in the midget, it was kind of a no-brainer for us not to just try stuff out in the micros. That’s my background and Chad has a big micro program and has a lot of young talented kids who have come through his program. So, it just made sense to start working with each other before heading into the USAC season.

Q. And to follow up, how difficult is it to climb into the different forms of cars and compete….and does it make you a better driver?

DP: I try not to really think about it. I feel like any time you jump from car-to-car and try to think too much about what car you’re in or what’s going to be the hardest thing, you start to second guess yourself almost. I just get in the race car and let it naturally happen. Just figure it out as you. You go into one corner and figure out what you need to do better for the next corner. 

Q. Did you ever imagine that at age 19, you would have won in all three USAC national series and already have 12 national midget wins despite having the accident in 2021 that left you sidelined for almost nine months?

DP: I definitely didn’t think I would be having the year I’ve had so far this year. I didn’t think that coming from last year, and even coming from the accident in 2021, that everything would come back this fast. I’d be lying to you if I told you I’d be swinging this hard to come out in 2024. I knew the cars I was associated with would be fast enough to win every time we hit the track, but I didn’t think we’d have this kind of start.

Q. So what are your goals for the remainder of the season?

DP: I definitely think the biggest thing is the midget championship which is something within reach and accomplishable. As long as I do my job and everything goes to plan with Chad and the CB Industries team, I think we will have a good shot at winning the championship. As far as sprint cars, the top four are separated by a little more than 100 points, so we just want to get some more wins and be consistent.

Q. What are your thoughts about the upcoming Mid-America Midget Week?

DP: I’m excited to get back to Oklahoma and Red Dirt Raceway where I got my first USAC national midget win. It starts off a big week with Mid-America Midget Week. It’s a cool, unique kind of week going through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. All of the tracks are really good racetracks for midgets, the perfect size for the best racing midgets can provide and definitely something you want to be watching on Flo.

Toyota Racing PR