GREENVILLE, S.C. – official track release and photo by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman –
Chase Purdy continued his domination of NASCAR Whelen All American Series action at Greenville Pickens Speedway, running his season win total to five after a sweep of Saturday night’s Twin 75s for the track’s Division I Late Model Stock Cars.
With the Southeast Limited Late Model Series co-headlining BIG Four Night, a program featuring 315 laps of main event action was completed in just under four hours on a wild night under the lights.
Blair Addis (SELLM Pro Division), Anthony Miller (SELLM Daytona1 Challenger Division) and Buck Simmons (Pure Stocks) were also winners in their respective divisions during the historic half-mile’s 10th week of competition.
Two-time Martinsville 300 winner Tommy Lemons and rising star Landon Huffman led the field to the green flag from the front row of the first Late Model Stock Car Twin 75, and it was Huffman quickly edging out in front to lead the opening stages of the event as Lemons fell back to fourth behind Cody Haskins and Purdy.
Purdy would dispatch Haskins for second by the seventh round, and would methodically pace himself behind leader Huffman as the top three ran single-file to conserve their tires. Behind that battle, three-time season winner Trey Gibson was the man on the move, as he charged from seventh to fourth at the 13-lap benchmark.
Huffman’s first challenge for the lead came on the 18th circuit, when Purdy took a look down his inside entering turn one before falling back into line behind the No. 75 machine. From there, the field largely remained single-file through the halfway point of the event, at which Huffman led Purdy, Lemons, reigning track champion David Roberts and Gibson in the top five.
Following the crossed flags being displayed, Purdy turned up the wick. On seven of the next 11 laps, he gave a shot to the back bumper of Huffman’s Toyota before making the pass at lap 49 to assume the point for the first time in the opening race.
However, five laps later and before Purdy could open up a large advantage, the No. 112 of Gibson slowed dramatically down the backstretch and drew the first Whelen Engineering caution flag of the night with 21 circuits remaining.
Gibson would be unable to finish the first Twin 75 with his issues, but the scrap for the lead would be the story when the green flag waved again. Lemons would dispatch Huffman for the runner-up position with 19 laps remaining before setting his sights on the Meridian, Mississippi teenager for the lead as the laps clicked off of the scoreboard.
Despite Lemons’ best efforts, Purdy was able to edge away to a 0.747 second margin of victory in race one for the Late Model Stock Cars. Roberts, Huffman and Ryan Walker completed the top five.
Roberts then led the field off for the second Twin 75 from the pole, but he would only be out front for the first three circuits before Purdy made a mammoth move to the inside in turn one, grabbing the point quickly this time around in his pursuit of perfection.
The field went largely single-file through the first half of the race, and by the time 38 laps were on the board and the crossed flags came out, it was Purdy leading Lemons, Gibson – who made a quick rebound from his race one issues and had moved from 10th to third – Roberts and local favorite Dylan Hall, with the top five spread out over an eight-second margin.
The only change for position in the second half would come from Hall, who passed Roberts for fourth on lap 57, but up front it was all Purdy as he completed the clean sweep in the end for his track-leading fifth victory of the season.
Lemons finished a distant second, with Gibson, Hall and Roberts completing the top five in race two.
Meanwhile, for the red hot 16-year-old who stood in ‘Call Double Aught’ Bryan Ramey Victory Lane twice on the night, the sizzling performance both extended his lead in the track points standings and marked a potential turning point in his quest for control of the season-long title chase.
“We made a few changes between the first and second twins to help the balance a little bit, but we knew all along that the car would be at its best under the lights,” said Purdy, who led 99 of a possible 150 laps between the two events. “There’s a lot of confidence now after this performance tonight, though. I never pictured my career in this car kicking off quite like this. These guys on the Hawk McCall Motorsports team give me great equipment each time out and I’ve just been doing what they tell me. It’s paying off so far, so we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and see if we can’t rack up a few more of these in the next few months.”
Blair Addis and Anthony Miller were the stars of the Southeast Limited Late Model portion of the night. Addis led 73 of 100 laps in the premier Pro division and Miller wired the 50-lap Daytona1 Challenger division en route to their respective trips to the winner’s circle.
For both drivers, it was their first career series victory, and for more on the two races, click here.
Buck Simmons rolled to his fifth win of the season in the Pure Stock class, extending his track points lead in the process under the Saturday night lights.
The 15 lap main event rolled off with “The Flying Schoolteacher” Ashley Granata and A.J. Davis on the front row, but Super Stock regular Ken Guthrie made a smoking dive into turn one from the eighth starting position and jumbled up the whole middle of the pack on the start.
That caused a multi-car stack up in turn one that ended with Chris Meinders against the outside wall and several other cars sustaining damage, forcing a complete restart.
On that green flag, Simmons charged from fifth on the grid all the way to the point, taking the lead away from Granata by the time the field got back to turn three and never looking back from there in a caution-free feature.
Granata held on for second, with Chris Meinders, Spencer Morgan and Davis rounding out the top five.
Maddox Pressley took home a special trophy as the winner of the Kids Power Wheels dash, held on the frontstretch during intermission on Saturday night.
Next Saturday night, the Month of May continues at the historic half-mile as the limited late models return for a 50-lap feature event with the renegades, pure stocks, super stocks and four cylinders also on the card.
Gates will open at 4pm with the first racing green flag scheduled for 7pm.
For all the latest updates from Greenville-Pickens Speedway, including start times and admission prices, visit the track website at www.greenvillepickens.com, ‘Like’ them on Facebook by searching Greenville-Pickens Speedway or follow them on Twitter @GP_Speedway.
RESULTS: BIG Four Night; Greenville Pickens Speedway; May 14, 2016
NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Cars, Race 1 Qualifying (first of two laps): 1. #27 – Tommy Lemons Jr., 20.747; 2. #75 – Landon Huffman, 20.913; 3. #2 – Cody Haskins, 20.924; 4. #41 – Chase Purdy, 20.943; 5. #18 – David Roberts, 20.949; 6. #4 – Dylan Hall, 21.040; 7. #112 – Trey Gibson, 21.085; 8. #57 – Justin Carroll, 21.091; 9. #82 – Will Burns, 21.094; 10. #29 – Ryan Walker, 21.153; 11. #82 – Dylan Martin, 21.170; 12. #21 – Emilee Riley, 21.377; 13. #35 – Tasha Kummer, 21.471; 14. #77 – Travis Byrd, NT (crash in T1 on warm-up lap).
NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Cars, Race 2 Qualifying (second of two laps): 1. #18 – David Roberts, 20.708; 2. #41 – Chase Purdy, 20.709; 3. #75 – Landon Huffman, 20.753; 4. #27 – Tommy Lemons Jr., 20.826; 5. #4 – Dylan Hall, 20.922; 6. #82 – Will Burns, 20.979; 7. #82 – Dylan Martin, 21.020; 8. #29 – Ryan Walker, 21.021; 9. #2 – Cody Haskins, 21.045; 10. #112 – Trey Gibson, 21.049; 11. #57 – Justin Carroll, 21.062; 12. #21 – Emilee Riley, 21.104; 13. #35 – Tasha Kummer, 21.263; 14. #77 – Travis Byrd, NT (crash on warm-up lap T1).
NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Cars, Race 1 (75 laps): 1. Chase Purdy, 2. Tommy Lemons Jr., 3. David Roberts, 4. Landon Huffman, 5. Ryan Walker, 6. Dylan Hall, 7. Will Burns, 8. Cody Haskins, 9. Dylan Martin, 10. Emilee Riley, 11. Justin Carroll, 12. Trey Gibson, 13. Tasha Kummer (DNF), 14. Omar Jurado (DNF).
Race One Lap Leaders: Huffman 1-48, Purdy 49-75.
NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Cars, Race 2 (75 laps): 1. Chase Purdy, 2. Tommy Lemons, 3. Trey Gobson, 4. Dylan Hall, 5. David Roberts, 6. Ryan Walker, Huffman, Haskins, Riley, Martin, Carroll, Burns, Kummer, Jurado.
Race Two Lap Leaders: Roberts 1-3, Purdy 4-75.
Southeast Limited Late Model Series Pro Division (100 laps): 1. Blair Addis, 2. Emilee Riley, 3. Mack Little III, 4. Luke Sorrow, 5. Anthony Alfredo, 6. Colby Howard, 7. Dan Moore, 8. Thad Moffitt, 9. Omar Jurado, 10. Anthony Miller, 11. Phillip Peters, 12. Kate Dallenbach, 13. Dylan Hall, 14. Dylan Martin (DNS).
Lap Leaders: Little 1, Riley 2-27, Addis 28-100.
Southeast Limited Late Model Series Daytona1 Challenger Division (50 laps): 1. Anthony Miller, 2. Thad Moffitt, 3. Mark Goin (DQ’d in post-race tech), 4. Phillip Peters, 5. Amber Lynn, 6. Dan Moore, 7. Matt Lockee, 8. Nick Thunder, 9. Everette McMahan, 10. Andrew Cordell.
Lap Leaders: Miller 1-50.
Pure Stocks (15 laps): 1. Buck Simmons, 2. Ashley Granata, 3. Chris Meinders, 4. Spencer Morgan, 5. A.J. Davis, 6. Brian Benton, 7. Dannon Esco, 8. Darrell Meinders, 9. Travis Barbare, 10. Ken Guthrie, 11. Charlie Meinders, 12. Freddy Hale.
CREDIT: Greenville Pickens Speedway