Chase Purdy turned in a 14th-place result in his second appearance at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night. The driver of the No. 61 AISIN Toyota Tundra TRD Pro collected his 11th top-15 finish of the season, which extends a career high, and marked his fourth such finish in the past five events. After 17 starts and five events remaining, Purdy continues to maintain the fifth position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings.
The Meridian, Miss. driver posted the eighth-quickest time in qualifying on Saturday afternoon to earn his best starting position of the season. From the drop of the green flag, Purdy maintained his position inside the top 10 for the first 24 laps. As the opening 70-lap stage wore on under green flag conditions, Purdy began to battle a lack of rear grip on the entry and exit of Richmond’s abrasive corners. He stabilized in 13th position on lap 62 and held that position until the conclusion of Stage 1 on lap 70.
Crew chief Matt Lucas and the AISIN team outfitted Purdy with four fresh tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to aid his handling characteristics. Purdy restarted 15th on lap 81 and climbed back to the 13th position during the second 70-lap segment, all while maintaining leap lap status as the race leaders set a torrid pace. Purdy once again ran in 13th at the end of Stage 2 on lap 140.
Purdy once again pitted for four tires, fuel, and adjustments under the second stage caution and restarted 12th on lap 151. The 250-lap event took on another long green flag run, during which Purdy briefly lost a lap to the race leader on the 209th circuit. A fortuitous caution flew on lap 215 which allowed Purdy to earn the Lucky Dog award to rejoin the lead lap and bolt on his last set of fresh tires. The race restarted on lap 223 with Purdy in 14th position, and the 22-year old maintained that position over the final 28 laps to the checkered flag.
Chase Purdy Quote:
“We had a pretty decent AISIN Toyota Tundra TRD Pro tonight. We fought being tight in the middle and forward drive on exit for most of the night, which is pretty typical for Richmond. We made some big gains from the last short track race at IRP, and put up a good qualifying lap. We can definitely find some more and work on getting our long run speed a little better for the next time we come back. All these guys worked hard and it was great to have so many of the AISIN folks make the trip up here to support us.”