DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Chase Purdy has nabbed his second-consecutive NASCAR Rookie of the Year title, clinching the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Sunoco Rookie of the Year award.
The honor for the 17-year-old comes one year after receiving the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Josten’s National Rookie of the Year award.
“It’s pretty cool getting the title for the second year,” said Purdy, who hails from Meridian, Mississippi. “We’ve had a good year and while we haven’t won yet … we’re getting closer.”
Purdy leads Rev Racing’s Chase Purdy by 11 points (111-100) with one race remaining. Rookies are scored in relation to their finish with other rookies, with the Sunoco Rookie of the Race receiving 10 points, second getting nine and so on.
The NASCAR Next driver entered the season with the goal of earning the highly sought-after rookie title. Now that he’s accomplished it, he has a new goal.
“While we’ve had a good season, we still want our first victory, but we’ve been close,” Purdy said. “That’s what we’re looking for headed into Dover. Clinching the title had taken a little bit of pressure off, so hopefully we can get it done.”
Despite not getting to Victory Lane yet, the David Gilliland Racing driver has had quite the successful season. He sits third in the K&N Pro Series East championship standings on the strength of five top-fives and eight top-10s.
Purdy also earned four consecutive poles from June to July, becoming the third driver in series history to accomplish that feat. Andy Santerre (1996) and Martin Truex Jr. (2002) also topped qualifying in four-straight series events.
“I entered the season not really knowing what to expect,” said Purdy. “I had never raced a car this big before and I had to adapt. After the fourth or fifth race of season, I got the hang of it and started to feel comfortable. Some bad luck affected us and took us out of the running for the championship. But overall I had fun and learned a lot.”
Purdy’s rookie season comes to an end next weekend at Delaware’s Dover Int’l Speedway in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 125 presented by Carl Deputy & Son Builders.
CREDIT: NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications