2021 Usac Imw Circle City Daison Pursley Emerson Axsom Battle Jacob Seelman Photo
Daison Pursley (71k) races Emerson Axsom during a heat race at Circle City Raceway. (Jacob Seelman photo)

IMW Diary: Back Into Traffic For Pursley At Circle City

Editor’s Note: Daison Pursley is a 16-year-old driver from Locust Grove, Okla., currently in his third season competing for Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports as part of the Toyota Racing Development pipeline. Sprint Car & Midget will be following Pursley’s performance throughout Indiana Midget Week as he wheels the No. 71k iBuyPower-sponsored Bullet-Toyota and chases the mini-series championship.

Below is his recap of the fifth night of Indiana Midget Week competition at Circle City Raceway.

INDIANAPOLIS – Just when we thought we had broken free of the back end of the top 10, that’s exactly where we ended up Wednesday night during round five of Indiana Midget Week!

It all goes back to qualifying. We know we need to time in a little better to start further forward in this USAC format, and we ended up right in the middle of the pack with a 16th-place qualifying effort after two days off.

The night started off a little rough for us in qualifying, with how it faded so quick, and unfortunately our pill draw put us dead last. That was really what hampered us there. And then we ended up not picking up the heat race win by a nose, which was huge in what hurt our starting position a lot.

Even as disappointing as running second by .018 seconds in the heat was, that just showed how racy this place is and for it to be the first midget race and have fun like that, it’s extremely cool. I hope we come back here later in the year and, hopefully, a lot next year.

I feel like, no matter what it is, whether it’s the (Tulsa, Okla.) Expo with micros or midgets or even micros outdoors for $10,000 to win, Emerson and I are always battling it out. We got a chance to do that in the heat race, and I thought it was cool we could come to the midget ranks with him and do the same thing.

So instead of starting between seventh and 10th, we had to line up 17th and come through traffic, and I think that was really what kept us from doing any better than we did in the closing laps.

It was funny when we got to the feature … because when I walked up to this place, I was thinking it would have a little bit of character to it, and there was definitely some character, but that never hurt anybody. Character is good in a race track. But it actually did require some micro skills, which I think may have helped me in a few spots in that feature.

We were just able to miss the holes a little bit in (turns) one and two, and it made for a cowboy-up kind of feature and, definitely, a good race for the fans.

At the end of the night, that was a cool feature to be a part of here at Circle City. It was the first midget race at the track, and for them to have the track that racy as late as they did was really cool.

We just need a little bit to go our way, and I feel like we’ll be knocking on the door. Just, when you start deep in the field and have to make your way through – which I’ve gotten good at – it slows you up getting to the front like everyone wants to be.

I don’t think it’s good to be coming through the field every night. I feel like you need to start up front to win these races, and we haven’t been doing that quite yet.

They’re here for me night in and night out, but thanks to Keith Kunz, Pete Willoughby, Jack Irving, Tyler Gibbs, and everyone from Toyota and TRD that works alongside Jarrett (Martin), Grant (Penn), Beau (Binder) and the whole crew at KKM to give us fast race cars each weekend.

Putnamville, Lincoln Park Speedway, is next up and it’s the odd ball track of the week. Even as I say that, though, it’s another really racy joint. I’ve always looked forward to going to Putnamville, even though I’ve only been there twice, but it’s always a good time and another racy, Indiana bullring for midgets.

Hope to see everyone at the track! – Daison


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