Demorestville, ON- You live your life in stages. You need to learn to crawl before you walk and walk before you can run. At the start of Brighton Speedway’s 2013 season, Wade Purchase decided it was time to follow in his father Mat’s footsteps and compete in the Pro Stock division at the local one/third-mile speedplant.
The 17 year-old from Demorestville, Ontario – who works a part-time job at McDonald’s in Picton, while attending 12th grade classes at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute – admits he didn’t know what to expect the first night he climbed into the driver’s seat and fastened his five point racing harness. His goal was to use his freshman campaign as a learning experience, gaining as much knowledge as possible.
“I’d been around the sport almost my entire life, but there’s a huge difference between watching and doing,” said the youngster. “Dad hadn’t raced since 2006 and while the cars haven’t changed much in appearance, what it takes to make them handle and go fast certainly has. That’s where the racing brotherhood helped put our program where it needed to be. There are a number of racers from the County and they’re always ready and willing to lend a hand.”
While his first few outings may have shown the racer’s inexperience, Purchase proved to be a quick study, learning how to pick a line where his #53 Metric chassis Monte Carlo by Purchase Racing performed its best and how to stay out of the way of the leaders when it was a little off the pace. Extra seat time and some coaching from the ‘Picton Posse’ helped him find his comfort zone and increase his confidence with each lap he turned.
“The more I raced, the more I learned and that knowledge allowed me to provide better feedback to the team on how the car felt and adjustments that could be made to make it better,” said Purchase. “Just seeing the things I was able to do as the season wore on made me a better driver and also gave the people I was racing with (or against) the assurance that I wasn’t likely to do something unpredictable that could end-up taking out half the field. With every show, I felt the car was faster and easier to drive.”
Before the 2013 season ended, Wade Purchase added the experience of a pair of qualifying event victories to his resume and when the points were tallied, the driver of the Independent Starter and Alternator/Corbash Auto Body/Paul Turner Auto Repair Pro Stock ride was sixth in the final rundown. With the first green flag of the next campaign less than six months away, the young driver is already setting some goals for his sophomore season.
“The new season will be here before you know it and our team is looking to get our ducks in a row,” joked Purchase. “The crew – my father Mat, my sister Stephanie, Chris Dorland, Jessy Doornbos and Kurtis Brewster – is working hard to make sure we’re ready. I’d like to add a main event checkered flag to my win total and maybe travel to some different shows at tracks like Merrittville and Brockville next year.”
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Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media
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