By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Chase Purdy will compete full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2021 for GMS Racing.
The Meridian, MS native joins the two-time Truck Series championship winning team after competing part-time for the organization in 2020. Purdy returned to NASCAR’s National stage in seven races for GMS in 2020. In those seven races, he earned his first career Truck Series top-10 finish at Kansas Speedway in the No. 24 BamaBuggies.com Chevrolet Silverado.
Purdy joins 2020 Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed, as well as both Tyler Ankrum and Zane Smith at GMS. The number for his truck, crew chief, and sponsor will be announced at a later date.
The 2021 season marks the first full-time season for Purdy since the 2018 ARCA Menards Series season with MDM Motorsports. In ARCA, Purdy finished fourth in the championship with 10 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. He earned a best finish of second, twice, at Toledo Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
“I am very excited to be back full-time racing again, especially with a strong organization like GMS Racing,” explained Purdy. “I am ready to get to work with this team and start preparing for 2021, and already counting down the days until we leave for Daytona.”
When Purdy joined GMS in 2020, he reunited with two of his 2018 MDM teammates, Creed and Smith. Creed won the 2018 ARCA championship while Smith finished runner-up.
In addition to his ARCA starts in 2018, Purdy also made his Truck Series debut. In two starts with MDM, he earned a best finish, 13th, at Phoenix Raceway. Purdy first jumped up to the national stage in ARCA in 2017. In three starts with Mason Mitchell Motorsports, he earned two top-10 finishes.
Although 2020 marked the first year that Ankrum and Purdy were teammates, the duo are connected by the No. 17 DGR-Crosley Racing field in ARCA Menards Series East competition. Purdy drove the No. 17 in 2017 and earned five top-five and eight top-10 finishes, as well as four pole positions. Ankrum took over the No. 17 as Purdy moved to MDM in 2018.
For both of those races, Jeff Stankiewicz served as the 21-year-old’s crew chief. Stankiewicz won the 2020 Truck Series championship as Creed’s crew chief. Stankiewicz also helped lead Creed to his 2018 ARCA championship.
“We are happy to have Chase (Purdy) back and this time for a full-season,” said Mike Beam, President of GMS Racing. “He will be a great addition to our powerhouse team for 2021. Sheldon, Zane and Tyler will be great mentors for him to learn off of. I can’t wait to see how he learns and grows as a driver this coming season.”
The NASCAR Next alumni will likely compete for Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2021, joining Hailie Deegan in the next rookie class.
Photo by NKP / NKP Photo