KAUKAUNA, Wis. – Chase Purdy held off Dan Fredrickson and local favorite Brent Strelka to win the ARCA Midwest Tour’s Dixieland 250 presented by SCAG Power Equipment at Wisconsin Int’l Raceway near on Tuesday night.
Purdy not only won his first ARCA Midwest Tour race in his debut start, he also continued the streak of drivers making the Dixieland 250 their debut series win. He is the fourth driver in a row to accomplish the feat.
“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 entire race. The two swapped the lead back and forth numerous times throughout the 250-lap event, with Fredrickson leading a huge majority of the race.
The two were joined by Ty Majeski, the fast qualifier who started 12th after the invert and won the Interstate Batteries Pole Award worth $500, at the 50-lap mark when he took over the top spot from Fredrickson.
Six laps later, Majeski fell off the pace and retired from the race with mechanical problems. Fredrickson would take back the lead on the 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 well 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 finally got the advantage over Fredrickson on a restart and never gave up the lead again, driving away to what he called 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.”
Fredrickson, the veteran who has two ARCA Midwest Tour titles and sits 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.
Brent Strelka, a weekly competitor in the Fox River Racing Club’s Thursday night program at WIR, 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.
Purdy’s win is the first for Chris Wimmer as a chassis builder with Fury Chassis.
Chase Purdy, Dan Fredrickson, Brent Strelka, Andrew Morrissey, John DeAngelis, 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.