Flat Tire Deflates Purdy’s Top-15 Drive at Martinsville

Hattori Racing Enterprises Photo

Chase Purdy left Martinsville Speedway with a 29th-place result on Friday night after a top-15 run was cut short due to a flat tire with less than 30 laps remaining. The driver of the No. 61 BAMA Buggies Toyota Tundra TRD Pro finished Stage 1 inside the top-10 and was on-track to significantly outperform his previous track-best result at Martinsville. Purdy remains tied for 19th position in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points after five events.

The Meridian, Miss. driver began Friday night’s 200-lap affair from 17th position after rain washed out practice and qualifying. Purdy took full advantage of starting on the inside lane and instantly cracked the top-15. Under the event’s first caution on lap eight, Purdy radioed crew chief Matt Lucas that his Toyota Tundra TRD Pro had an overall positive balance but needed more traction on exit of Martinsville’s tight corners. Purdy managed to correlate a restart on the outside lane on lap 14 into forward progress and cracked the top 10 on a lap 46 restart. He held position inside the top 10 to collect two points in ninth position at the end of Stage 1 on lap 50.

Under the stage break, Purdy pitted for four tires, fuel, and adjustments, but restarted 23rdas 16 trucks elected to stay on track during the caution. Despite dealing with a tight balance mired in thick traffic, Purdy once again pushed forward into the top-15 by lap 86. He finished Stage 2 in 16th on lap 100 and hit pit road under the stage caution for another batch of four tires, fuel, and adjustments.

As two distinct pit strategies unfolded, Purdy restarted 21st on lap 109, and began marching forward for the third time of the evening. He rejoined the top-15 on a lap 163 restart but suffered a cut left rear tire due to contact with another truck on lap 172 and was forced to pit road. Purdy rejoined the field three laps down after pitting under green and took the checkered flag in 29th position.

Chase Purdy Quote:

“It’s frustrating to have a flat tire so close to the end and take away our chance at another solid finish. We had a pretty fast BAMA Buggies Toyota Tundra TRD Pro tonight but just fought track position all race. Track position was everything, and you had to work really hard to make ground outside the top 10 or 15. You have some real tight quarters on those late restarts, and we got hit and cut the left rear down pretty quick with about 30 to go. We were in position to put a good night together after getting some stage points, but we’ll go to Bristol next week and try to put the whole race together next week.”


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