The Hardee’s Rattler 250 weekend was a notch in Chase Purdy’s super late model cap as the youngster started the event from the pole position as fast qualifier for the first time in his career. A slipping clutch foiled his chances at victory, however, forcing the No. 97 Bama Buggies Toyota to the pits before halfway.
Purdy and the David Gilliland Racing team unloaded in southern Alabama with a healthy amount of speed already present in Chase’s racecar. The team tweaked and adjusted to find extra hundredths as the weekend went on until qualifying rolled off on Saturday evening. One of the last cars to take time, Purdy knocked Jeff Choquette off the pole for his first career super late model fast time award and was poised to lead the field to green on Sunday afternoon.
“Getting my first career pole was pretty awesome on Saturday night,” said Purdy. “I knew we had a fast car for qualifying because we had speed when we mocked up in practice. It was also a big confidence booster for me going into the race.”
Once the 250-lap race started on Sunday, Chase settled into the top five and began to make laps with the end of the race in mind. But no sooner than the race started, Purdy’s race began to unravel with very little he or his crew could do about it.
“The clutch started to slip when we were running fourth about 25 laps into the race,” he explained. “It gave me no real signs anything was wrong, just started almost like a switch had been flipped. I couldn’t continue with it getting worse, so we had to come in early. But overall, we still had a good weekend. I now know I can run with and outrun the big names of the sport, and simply knowing I have that ability is a huge confidence booster.”
Ultimately, Chase was credited with a 22nd place finish on Sunday afternoon.
The next event for Chase Purdy is the Duels at Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Va., as part of the CARS Racing Tour schedule. The event is a lock-in race for the U.S. Nationals of Short Track Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway. If Chase averages the highest finish amongst super late model competitors between both “duels,” he will have a guaranteed spot into the Bristol event in May.
For more information on Chase Purdy, visit his website at ChasePurdyRacing.com and follow him on Twitter (@ChasePurdy12) and Instagram (@chase_purdy).