It was a long haul from Mooresville, North Carolina but the Dixieland 250 proved to be worth it for Mississippi native Chase Purdy.
Armed with the knowledge of Wisconsin veteran racer, now car builder Chris Wimmer leading his Anthony Campi Racing team, Chase Purdy held off Dan Fredrickson and local favorite Brent Strelka on Tuesday night to capture the ARCA Midwest Tour Tuesday nightery at Wisconsin International Raceway.
“If you asked me if I was going to win this race when I walked in the gate this morning, I probably would have looked at you like you were insane,” Purdy said in victory lane. “This right there shows you never give up, your time is coming, and you just have to wait for it. Man, I am glad this moment is here.”
Purdy and Fredrickson were the class of the field throughout the race.
The two would swap the lead back and forth numerous times throughout the 250-lap event with Fredrickson leading the most laps.
Moonlighting away from his part-time NASCAR Xfinity Series tour, four-time Midwest Tout champion and fastest qualifier Ty Majeski eventually joined the battle after starting 12th due to an invert. Majeski took the lead on Lap 50 but fell off the pace six laps later with a mechanical issue.
Fredrickson would take back the lead on the resulting restart driving past John DeAngelis off of turn two.
Fredrickson would continue to lead Purdy at the halfway mark with Johnny Sauter chasing down the top two and try to challenge for the lead. A lap later, Sauter would fall out of the race as he coasted his car to the pits.
The key for Fredrickson to keep Purdy behind him was to get the lead on the restarts.
With 32 laps to go, Purdy would get the advantage over Fredrickson on a restart and never give up the lead, driving away to what he calls the biggest victory, so far, in his young career.
“Right now, I am going to try to embrace this moment,” Purdy said when he was asked if he realized that he won the Dixieland 250. “It’s been a long time since I have been to victory lane, and I used to go a lot, and I kind of took advantage of when I win all the time, but this by far is the most meaningful win of my career and definitely the biggest. Just really fortunate for right now.”
For Fredrickson, the veteran driver who has two ARCA Midwest Tour titles and second on the all-time win list, was at a loss for words after a race he dominated all night.
“I got nothing,” Fredrickson calmly said.
For Brent Strelka, a weekly competitor in the Fox River Racing Club’s Thursday night program at WIR, he was pleased with his third-place finish.
“We knew we had a decent car, and we fell back early. We knew we had decent tires,” Strelka said after the race. “Before everyone took tires, we were moving back up and we knew we had a good car. Everyone chose to take tires and we stayed out with two other cars. On the restart, we stuck in there with the old tires. On the next caution, we got fresh tires and just made our way back up to third. Pretty excited about it.”
Andrew Morrissey finished fourth with DeAngelis finishing fifth.
Current, ARCA Midwest Tour point leader Austin Nason finished seventh, while Casey Johnson, who came in second in the points finished 16th after having mechanical problems late in the race.
Chase Purdy’s win is the first for Chris Wimmer as a chassis builder with Fury Chassis. Wimmer said after the race that this was his second chassis that he built, and this was the first race with it.
The ARCA Midwest Tour will be back in action on Saturday, August 18th at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, Wisconsin. Make your plans to join us for a 100-lap shootout on the high banks on that Saturday night.
The complete results can be found below.
- Chase Purdy
- Dan Fredrickson
- Brent Strelka
- Andrew Morrissey
- John DeAngelis Jr.
- Bobby Kendall
- Austin Nason
- Jonathan Eilen
- John Beale
- Chris Weinkauf
- Andy Monday
- Rich Bickle Jr.
- Sam Mayer
- Dalton Zehr
- Justin Mondeik
- Casey Johnson
- Kyle Calmes
- Billy Mohn
- Maxwell Schultz
- Johnny Sauter
- Paul Shafer Jr.
- Steve Apel
- Ty Majeski
- Nick Murgic
- Derek Kraus
- Chad Butz
- Jason Weinkauf
- Jeff Van Oudenhoven
- Matt Kocourek
- Dennis Prunty