NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Overview:
Event: Fr8 208, Race 3 of 23, 134 Laps – 30/30/75; 207.9 Miles
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile quad-oval)
Date/Broadcast: March 18, 2023, at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Chase Purdy will make his third start for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) behind the wheel of the No. 4 Bama Buggies Silverado in Saturday’s Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 23-year-old driver has posted an average finish of 12.5 across his first two starts this season, with a season-best eighth-place finish in the series last stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After just two races, Purdy sits 10th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings, 20 points behind defending series champion Zane Smith.
In his two prior Truck Series starts at Atlanta, Purdy has compiled an overall average finish of 19.0, achieving a track-best 14th-place finish in last year’s event. While he only has two starts in the Truck Series at Atlanta, Purdy won several races on the flat quarter-mile track located on the frontstretch known as the “Thunder Ring”, racing Bandoleros there from the ages of 12 to 14.
The Mississippi native is in his third full-time season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and first with KBM. He enters Friday night’s race having totaled six top-10 finishes and 18 laps led across his 54 career Truck Series starts. He posted a career-best sixth-place result in 2021 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Purdy finished 16th in the Truck Series standings in 2022 after competing in 22 of the 23 events. He posted two top-10 finishes and nine laps led, with a season-best finish of seventh coming at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October.
Purdy will be looking to etch his mark in the KBM historical archives this weekend at Atlanta as he looks to collect the organization’s 100th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory. KBM-owner driver Kyle Busch collected the KBM’s record-extending 99th-career victory with his dominant victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway leaving his organization one shy of the century mark. William Byron collected KBM’s record-breaking 51st Truck Series victory in July of 2016. Overall, 18 different drivers have won at least one race behind the wheel of a KBM truck, led by Busch’s 47. Four drivers rank second on the list with seven victories: Byron, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek. Four of KBM’s wins have come at Atlanta Motor Speedway, most recently with first-time winner Corey Heim in last year’s event.
Since becoming a full-time entry for KBM in 2015, the No. 4 truck has captured both of KBM’s driver championships and totaled 18 wins with five different drivers. The number has found victory lane for KBM in six of its seven seasons, excluding 2018. John Hunter Nemechek piloted the No. 4 to seven wins in his two seasons behind the wheel (2021 and 2022) before moving into a full-time ride in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for 2023.
Jimmy Villeneuve is atop the pit box for Purdy and the No. 4 Chevrolet team this season. Prior to being promoted to crew chief for the 2023 season, Villeneuve served as a Truck Chief at KBM since the 2017 season and in that role was a part of 18 wins, a driver’s championship with Christopher Bell in 2017 and the 2019 owner’s championship with the No. 51 team. Prior to joining KBM the New Hampshire native served as a truck chief at Athenian Motorsports in 2015 when the team won with John Wes Townley at Las Vegas. He was promoted to crew chief five races into the 2016 season. Friday night’s race will be Villeneuve’s first calling the shots for a race at Atlanta.
Bama Buggies, your one-stop shop for all the biggest names in powersports and utility vehicles, will be the primary sponsor on Purdy’s No. 4 Chevrolet Saturday and for the majority of the events on the 2023 schedule. They are Central Alabama’s powersports experts, serving as an authorized dealer of Polaris, Slingshot, and Seadoo.
Chase Purdy, Driver Q&A:
Chase Purdy | Atlanta Motor Speedway Preview
Talk about racing as a kid on the quarter-mile track at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“I have a lot of history at Atlanta – actually for a few years I spent probably every winter running the Winter Flurry deal and the Thursday Thunder on Thursday nights. Every Wednesday we would get there and practice all night and Thursday come back and race on the little quarter mile. So, lots of history there. I love Atlanta – I think its cool that it’s a totally different race track now. It used to be old, worn out and slick, and now it’s wide open and races like Talladega and Daytona. I’m really excited to get back there and see what happens.”
Does the speed your team had at Daytona increase your optimism for Atlanta?
“I’m really excited about how much speed we had at Daytona and Atlanta races like that now. I think if we can go there and have the same speed that we had at Daytona, then we definitely have a shot to win.”
Coming off a top-10 finish at Las Vega, does that help your confidence?
“We’ve shown a lot of speed at both the race tracks we’ve been to this year. I’ve got a really good group of guys here at KBM. There is no quit in them and they believe in me. I have a lot of confidence going into Atlanta and these next few races as well. Hopefully, we can keep up the momentum we have rolling right now.”
Chase Purdy Career Highlights:
Across 54 career Truck Series starts, has produced 18 laps led and six top-10 finishes. Posted career-best sixth-place result at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in 2021.
Finished 16th in Truck Series championship standings in 2022.
Finished fourth in the 2018 ARCA Menard’s Series championship standings after recording 84 laps led, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes.
Earned the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie of the year honors and finished fourth in the championship standings after posting four poles, 200 laps led, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes across 14 starts.
Won the prestigious Snowflake 100 Pro Late Model race at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., in Dec. of 2018.
Chase Purdy’s No. 4 Chevrolet Silverado RST:
KBM-38: The No. 4 Bama Buggies team will unload KBM-38 for Saturday’s race at Atlanta. “38 Special” has seven career victories, including one at Atlanta in 2017 with Christopher Bell. Its most recent victory came with John Hunter Nemechek at Texas Motors Speedway in June of 2021. KBM-38 raced three times last year with Nemechek, with a best result of fourth coming in June at Nashville Superspeedway.
KBM-38 Performance Profile:
KBM Notes of Interest:
KBM drivers have collected four wins, two poles, 743 laps led, 12 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.5 across 29 starts at Atlanta. Corey Heim edged out his KBM teammate Chandler Smith for the victory last year, KBM Owner-driver Kyle Busch has two wins (2019 and 2021), while Christopher Bell brought home the trophy in 2017.
KBM holds the Craftsman Truck Series records for most career wins (99) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway last year, Corey Heim became the 18th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
The No. 4 has 18 career victories at KBM and was the number for both of the organization’s driver championships.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!