Monday, September 11, 2023

1983 - Purvis Sails to World 100 Title

Jeff Purvis and his father Clyde hoist trophies after winning the 13th annual World 10 at Eldora Speedway. – Wayne Kindness Collection

Rossburg, Ohio (September 11, 1983) – When Jeff Purvis makes a move on somebody, you know it.

On lap 86, the 23-year-old went past veteran Pat Patrick quicker than you could say, “The 13th Annual World 100.” That move made him $16,000 richer.

Over 150 late models timed from 18 states plus Australia on the high-banked half-mile dirt oval before another record-breaking crowd. Only four, Patrick and Purvis, along with track record holder Charlie Swartz (16.652) and fastest qualifier Jack Boggs (17.058) made the starting lineup via time.

The rest had to qualify through heat races. Chuck McWilliams, Ray Godsey, 1976 winner Charlie Hughes, Freddie Smith, Rodney Combs, and Gary Balough won their respective qualifying heat races.

In the last chance race, John Lawhorn, Billy Thomas, and even Jack Hewitt advanced to the main event.

The 100-lapper had it’s issues getting started with a plethora of yellows but once it did, Pat Patrick negotiated his Camaro into the lead. Purvis followed as did Swartz, Jack Boggs, Smith, and Russ Petro.

On lap 46, the wall claimed Swartz and tightened up the field. Tom Hearst moved up to the top-five but on lap 66 he lost his engine. Smith made a move and got within striking distance of Patrick and Purvis, but he too, smacked the wall. The Kings Mountain, N.C., driver would recover, however, and finish fourth.

On lap 86, Purvis made his move and with five laps left, had nothing but clear sailing and put his car into the winner’s circle.

Earl Baltes made the announcement afterwards that the 1984 winner would receive $17,000 to win, “The Most Prestigious Late Model Dirt Track Race in America.”

Results –

1. Jeff Purvis, Clarksville, Tenn.
2. Pat Patrick, Batavia, Ohio
3. Jack Boggs, Webbville, Ky.
4. Freddie Smith, Kings Mountain, N.C.
5. Donnie Moran, Dresden, Ohio
6. Russ Petro, Columbus, Ind.
7. Rodney Combs, Lost Creek, W.Va.
8. Roger Absher, Franklin, Ind.
9. John Mason, Millersburg, Ohio
10.Gary Balough, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
11.Noel Witcher Jr., Greenwood, Ind.
12.Kenny Brightbill, Sinking Springs, Penn.
13.Chuck McWilliams, Union, Ky.
14.John Yearsley, Urbana, Ill.
15.Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa

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