TULSA, Okla. – Sixteen-year-old Daison Pursley will make his debut at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports next month.
Pursley, who raced for KKM full time this season and finished sixth in USAC driver points, grabbed his first national midget victory during the POWRi season finale at Oklahoma’s I-44 Riverside Speedway on Oct. 17.
He was with KKM during this year’s Chili Bowl as a crew member, but Pursley is looking forward to tackling the event as a driver when the 35th edition hits the quarter-mile Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway from Jan. 11-16.
“Finally, it’s here and we’re going to race the Chili Bowl!” said Pursley. “I’ve waited two years to be able to race in this event and to be in a Keith Kunz Motorsports car for my first attempt is something I’ll be forever grateful for.”
Pursley made all 28 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series features that were held this season, and though he didn’t visit victory lane, the Locust Grove, Okla., native tallied four top-five and 14 top-10 finishes throughout the year.
In POWRi competition, Pursley earned 10 top fives and finished inside the top 10 in all 15 of his feature starts this year, ending up fifth in points despite missing five races.
The young gun told Sprint Car & Midget when reached by phone Thursday that his confidence is high, particularly due to his past Tulsa Shootout experience in micro sprints.
“We’ve raced in that building for years; just not specifically in a midget, and this year we get to change that,” Pursley said. “I’m super pumped and can’t thank Keith (Kunz) and Pete (Willoughby), along with everyone at Toyota, for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to come and race the biggest event in midget racing.
“It’s one thing to be in Tulsa working on Chili Bowl cars; it’s another thing entirely to be there racing one,” he added. “I think having raced the micro there will help me, because I know somewhat of what to expect with the race track, and it will come down to figuring out what the midget likes there and how we need to approach our preliminary night.
“If we can put ourselves in a good position going into Saturday, or even lock in, I really think we’ll have a shot to surprise some folks like Buddy (Kofoid, teammate) did last year.”
SPEED SPORT’s LIVE From the Chili Bowl coverage is supported by MyRacePass, KICKER, Curb Records and Swann Communications! To find out more about each of our partners and to check out all of SPEED SPORT’s Chili Bowl coverage, visit our Chili Bowl Index Page! DON’T MISS SPEED SPORT’S LIVE From the Chili Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. ET on MAVTV and watch the Chili Bowl finale LIVE Saturday, Jan. 16 at 8:30 p.m. on MAVTV!