Chase Purdy ran inside the top-10 for a significant portion of Thursday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) before sustaining severe damage on the race’s final restart which relegated him to a 30th-place finish. The driver of the No. 61 Gunma Toyopet Toyota Tundra TRD Pro remains 16th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings with three races remaining.
Purdy took the green flag from 24th position and began methodical progress in the opening stage. A tight condition from the center through the exit of BMS’ high banks posed a challenge for Purdy, yet he managed to run 16th at the end of Stage 1 on lap 55. Crew chief Matt Lucas elected to keep Purdy on track during the first stage caution to preserve track position.
The Meridian, Miss. driver restarted 12th on lap 66 and quickly vaulted himself to seventh position until the race’s second natural caution occurred on lap 85. Purdy once again kept his Gunma Toyopet Toyota Tundra TRD Pro on track which placed him in prime position to garner stage points on lap 110. Purdy was scored sixth after running consistent laps for the balance of the segment on lap 110 and made his first pit stop during the stage caution.
The HRE squad armed Purdy with four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment to correct his tight handling condition under the lap 111 caution period. He restarted 23rd on lap 122 after pitting and fought dense traffic for the remainder of the event. With 30 laps remaining, Purdy radioed the team that the balance had built tighter and lined up 24th for the race’s final restart on lap 189. It was then when Purdy experienced terminal trouble as he was turned sideways into Turn 1 on the restart. He suffered significant contact to the left side door and left front fender of his Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. He was forced to pit road under green flag conditions in the waning laps which relegated him to a 30th-place result.
Chase Purdy Quote:
“We had a pretty strong Gunma Toyopet Toyota Tundra TRD Pro tonight when we were able to get that track position in the second stage. We had a lot of pace in our truck when we weren’t back in traffic and that was good to see. I fought being tight most of the night, and when we got back in traffic, it just made it worse. We had a lot fresher tires on that last run, but it wasn’t quite enough to get back towards the front. We’ll regroup and try to put ourselves in a good position to contend at Talladega in a couple weeks.”