Chase Purdy brought down the curtain in his campaign with HRE with a 19th-place result at Phoenix Raceway on Friday night. The driver of the No. 61 Ibaraki Toyopet Toyota Tundra TRD Pro closed out the season with a career-best 12 top-15 finishes and 16thplace finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings.
Purdy started from the inside of row 10 after posting the 19th-fastest lap in qualifying on Friday evening. From the drop of the green flag, the Meridian, Miss. driver slipped to 23rdposition while fighting a tight balance in the opening stage but rallied to run 17th at the end of the first segment on lap 45. Crew chief Matt Lucas and the No. 61 team installed track bar and air pressure adjustments along with four fresh tires and fuel under the stage caution to alleviate Purdy’s tight handling condition.
On lap 54, Purdy restarted 17th and advanced one position throughout the ensuing 38-lap green flag run. Purdy was scored in 16th at the end of the second segment on lap 90 after posting some of the fastest laps in the field in the waning laps of the stage. He once again visited pit road under the second stage caution for four tires and minor air pressure adjustments and restarted 16th on lap 99.
A pair of multi-truck accidents kicked off the final stage as Purdy narrowly avoided both without incident and was scored in 17th position when another yellow flag flew on lap 134. Most of the lead lap trucks pitted while the field was split into three varying tire strategies. However, a jack malfunction hindered Purdy’s four tire pit stop and relegated him to 18thfor the ensuing restart on lap 141. Another late yellow set up an overtime restart during which Purdy drove to a 19th-place finish.
Chase Purdy Quote:
“We had a lot of speed on the long run tonight with our Ibaraki Toyopet Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. We were mostly on the tight side tonight and I wasn’t able to get through traffic like we needed to on the restarts, but the truck really came alive the longer we ran. It wasn’t the result we wanted to have to finish the season, but I enjoyed working with all the guys at HRE and on this No. 61 team this year. All these guys put so much effort on our trucks and we made a lot of strides throughout this season.”