WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Daison Pursley saw an opportunity to best his Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate, Buddy Kofoid, on a late restart Friday night at Monarch Motor Speedway.
After finishing last year’s POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League campaign on a winning note, Pursley wanted to go back-to-back with a second-straight win during the season opener.
Unfortunately for the Locust Grove, Okla., native, that plan didn’t quite work out the way he hoped.
Pursley had to settle for a runner-up finish after a run a Kofoid on the final lap didn’t pan out for his IWX-sponsored No. 71k Bullet-Toyota. He was .448 seconds short of the win at the checkered flag.
The 16-year-old faded as far back as fifth after stumbling on a second-half restart, but rallied to gain back three of the spots he lost within the final 10 laps.
After leading the first seven circuits of the 30-lapper, Pursley was understandably disappointed to not seal the deal for team co-owners Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby.
“It was a really tough race. There were a lot of yellows, and the track changed quite a bit,” explained Pursley, who started third, after the race. “A good job to Buddy and everybody over there with the (No.) 67 team, though. He ran a great race. I think I just have to work on the driving a little bit, and maybe not make those mistakes that set me behind a bit in this race so that we can put ourselves in victory lane.
“We should have led the whole 30 laps there, but overall it was a good night,” Pursley added. “To fall out of the top five, and to come back and run second, that’s a positive effort for us. I definitely felt like we had the speed to contend for the win there in the last couple of laps, but it’s just part of running against these guys; you’re not always going to win every race. Buddy did a great job and I’m thankful Keith Kunz Motorsports and Toyota Racing gave me a great car. We’ll be back Saturday night for more.”
Pursley is entering his second full season with the Kunz stable and his third year overall as part of the Toyota Racing Development ladder system.
He’ll run the full USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series season for KKM, as well as selected POWRi events that fit into his calendar. Friday marked Pursley’s 15th top-five finish in 45 POWRi starts.
Pursley and Kofoid are part of a six-car fleet for Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports at Monarch. Their teammates include Kaylee Bryson, Cade Lewis, Brenham Crouch and Bryant Wiedeman.