20-year old Chase Murphy isn’t likely a name that everyone reading this already knew before clicking on this story but a flash of brilliance at the end of 2020 might have him on everyone’s radar for 2021.

Murphy is normally a regular at Ace Speedway, but he finished fourth in the Thanksgiving Classic at Caraway Speedway back at the end of November and while typically a fourth-place finish isn’t something anyone would write about, his run in that race and what led up to that is worthy of chatter.

Murphy’s weekend started off with the young driver, who is in just his second year of racing full-size stock cars, destroying his primary car in practice when the throttle hung on Friday. Fellow racer, Jason York was trying to help the Murphy team get their car back together for Sunday’s race but as it appeared that they wouldn’t be able to get it back together in time, York offered his own car for Murphy to race.

With a stout field of 24 Limited Late Models making up the field at Caraway Speedway, Murphy had his work cut out for him. He had never sat in this car and would only see the track for a short practice period before going racing for 60-laps.

Murphy timed in fourth during the practice session and appeared to have a car that could keep him in the hunt. For Murphy, it was the best chance he’s had in a quality car and in a field that could bolster his confidence. The young driver made the most of the opportunity and nearly capped it off with a podium finish but fell just one spot short after a great run.

Chase Murphy (77) races around Matt Gould (27) and Mitchell Wright (25) during the Thanksgiving Classic at Caraway Speedway on November 29, 2020. (Corey Latham Photo)

Murphy was excited to cap off a tough 2020 season with a great run and thought he might have even got third.

“The car was good over the long green flag runs,” Murphy stated.  “We didn’t have anything for the top two (Coy Beard and Heath Causey) but  I think we could have got third from (eventual third-place finisher Clint) King if we hadn’t had a right rear tire losing air the last few laps.”

Murphy was thankful for the chance to drive Jason York’s car after his practice mishap. Over the course of 2020, he had a lot of help from York and fellow Limited driver Dylan Ward.

“Jason York is a guy I grew up watching race and Dylan Ward is a driver I’ve always looked up to. It was a thrill to have such a good run in Jason’s car and do it in a race where Dylan competed.”

Murphy sights are now set on 2021 as his team works to prepare their ride for a championship run at Ace Speedway in Limited Late Models. Murphy also hopes to pick up some sponsorship help to make his way to other tracks to continue to learn in his third season behind the wheel.

Murphy’s performance at Caraway in November has served notice that he’s capable of running up front and he expects to do so going forward.

Photos by Corey Latham.