Chase Purdy turned in a season-best performance on Saturday afternoon that culminated in a seventh-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. The driver of the No. 61 Ole Miss Toyota Tundra TRD Pro put the Rebels out front of the field in Alabama on three occasions for six laps en-route to his second top-10 result of the season. Purdy led the charge for HRE as the organization placed both teams in the top-10 with Tyler Ankrum finishing 10th.
Purdy came from deep in the field after starting from the 26th position. He quickly joined the lead draft from the outset and ran towards the back of the main pack for the entirety of Stage 1. Purdy was scored 19th on lap 20 as the opening stage finished under the yellow flag. Crew chief Matt Lucas called Purdy to pit lane for a fuel only stop which allowed him to restart 14th on lap 27.
Stage 2 saw a rash of two cautions that severely slowed the pace with only three green flag laps being run. Purdy was scored 14th at the end of the stage on lap 40. During the ensuing caution period, Lucas kept the former Ole Miss student on track to inherit the race lead for the lap 46 restart. Purdy traded the point position at the front of the lead draft until lap 52 and was shuffled back to sixth on lap 54.
A green flag pit cycle began on lap 63 when Purdy hit pit lane for four tires and fuel, which was immediately followed by a caution flag on lap 64. During the caution, Purdy pitted to top off with fuel on lap 68 and restarted 30th on lap 69. He methodically drove into the top-15 by lap 89 and put himself in the mix for the final green-white-checkered restart. Despite contending with hot temperatures, Purdy restarted 15th on lap 94 and threaded his way through chaos on the final lap to cross the line in fifth. Upon review of the finish and moment of caution, Purdy was deemed to finish in the seventh position.
Chase Purdy Quote:
“All I know is everybody was wide open for that green-white-checkered. People were just going everywhere, crossing lanes. My spotter wanted me to stay on the bottom, which we thought would be a good idea. Just stay in line while everybody was moving around. We ended up going to the middle and it ended up working out for us. I don’t know where we restarted, I think it was 12th or 13th, something like that, and we took the checkers and they said fifth (officially scored seventh). I was like ‘I’ll take that’. Hats off to all my Hattori Racing guys. It was really cool to have Ole Miss on the truck. Hotty Toddy.”