Jan 1, 2014
I had the privilege of seeing Jeff today in Panama City Beach ,Fl.
He and his family came in a restaurant we were at. Keep in Mind , I'm 69 years young and have not seen Jeff race in 25 yrs,but I new immediately it was him. I followed dirt racing all over the south ,Alabama , Georgia ,Tennessee ,Kentucky and I know there was never a better driver than Jeff. I worked as a track official in the 80's at Talladega Short Track. I knew a lot of the drivers, and trust me they did not want to see him show up.
The whole purpose of me emailing you is this--- I spoke to Jeff at the restaurant and I was just honest. I told him he was one of the best wheel man to ever drive a race car. To make a long story short ,he paid for our lunch. The waitress brought my credit card back, and said that guy paid for it. I told her on the way out (that
guy) was one of the best race car drivers in the country. She asked me for his name and wrote it down--I don't know the rest of the story. He didn't have to pay for our lunch, but he showed a lot of class , just like is driving. Thanks to you for being Jeff's friend and letting others know of his many accomplishments.
I just wanted to say that you have a really great web page. I have been a Purvis fan as long as I can remember. I started dirt track racing when I was 1 and I am 31 now. I first met Jeff at Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky and have loved him ever since. I have watched him race at many different tracks, including Eldora, and was fortunate enough to watch him win a couple of World 100's. Jeff has always been my favorite! I, still to this day, have a Purvis(Baker Racing Engine #15) sticker that is in the dash of my car. This sticker has been with me for years. I think of him daily. I hope all is well for him and his family. I have several stories that I could tell but this one stands out for me. My family and I (age 19) were in Daytona Beach vacationing and were visiting Daytona Speedway. We were taking the tour of the track and the tour guide announced that Jeff was there practicing that day. Since I knew that I was his BIGGEST FAN ever, I knew that if I had the chance to talk to him, he would remember me from Florence Speedway. So I offered the tour guide $100 to drop me off in the pit area so I could talk to Jeff. He declined. I tried higher increments of money and nothing worked. However, he did tell me that Jeff was scheduled to be going to lunch soon and I could wait by the gate outside. So I did. I missed him leaving for lunch so I talked my family into waiting for him to come back. They knew how much this meant to me. Bless their hearts....they did. When Jeff came back from lunch I was so excited to see him. I had my camera ready to take his picture. I waved at him and he had the driver of the Silver Nissan Altima stop. I was so nervous that I forgot to take a picture. I still kick myself to this day. I did get to talk to Jeff for a few minutes and it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. I will NEVER forget it. The worst part is (besides forgetting to take the picture) I am a redhead, who is allergic to the sun, was extremely burnt and covered in sun poisoning by the time he returned, so I ruined the remainder of my vacation, but it was well worth it.
I hold Jeff true and dear to my heart. He has always made time for his fans. I wish him a speedy recovery from his accident and I wish him and his family the very best. They deserve it. I would love to see him race on dirt again.
I know that at one point and time he had been in touch with Bob Pierce regarding racing dirt again. Is there any chance of that now? Please send my very best to him and thank you for your time.
One of my best memories of Jeff came @ Concord Motor Speedway, after it was paved. Jeff was bad fast at the Big 10 race and after a pit stop; Jeff hit the wall coming out of turn 2. The car climbs the wall and was perfectly balanced on the top (before the catch fence was there), his car rode the wall all the way down the back stretch wall around turn 3 and dropped off in the perfect spot for Jeff to drive right into the pits. After the pit stop Jeff came back out and ran great, I think he finished 3rd of 4th.
The other great memory of Jeff was @ Nashville, when He and Freddie Query were parked side by side. I got to talk with Jeff a lot during the slow times at the All American, Jeff has lots of great memories that he was happy to share.
Jeff Purvis will always have a fan in NC!!!!
Regards, Gene Lefler, Concord, NC email@example.com
I can remember being in the pits at Pakersburg, WV (1984) at the World Dirt Track Championship, along side Jack Boggs with Chubby Baird. I never saw a driver like Jeff do the things he could do with a late model. The first time I saw Jeff was at The Hall Of Fame 100, Atomic Speedway in 1984 with the Imperial Motors, Baker Racing engines, #15. He gave all the drivers fits including Donnie Moran, Buck Simmons, Ronnie Johnson, Freddie Smith..wow what a race. In 1985 up in Bristol at a big race (100 Lap) Jeff Purvis was going in and out of the pits trying different tires. He finally got the right tires. On lap 90 he passed Scott Bloomquist for the win. He is No.1 in my book, the best driver and I hope he is enjoying himself!
GRT Chassi 2004-- Keith Palmer firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you gene, for all the great news and up dates you give us on your web site on my racing hero Jeff ,
I have keep up with him ever since I went to the world one hundred in 1985 and his hood came lose while he was leading and they black flagged him ,he went into the pits and took it off and still finished second. I have a lot of his pictures and die cast care (dirt and payment) cars he has driven I wish him and you good luck on your racing. and maybe he will race in this area agine some time.
Richard McDonald, Washington, W.Va. email@example.com
My name is Karrie Reed. I am a huge Jeff Purvis fan. I have started watching him race in 1984 at the National 100 in Phenix City, AL. I had the pleasure on several occasions to meet him. He is truly a wonderful person, both on and off the track
I was wondering if you could possibly keep me informed as to if Jeff
plans on driving again. I really would love to see him in a car again
full time. But, I am also very realistic in knowing that if he is not
comfortable being there then he shouldn't be there. I would give
anything to see him drive a dirt late model again. I will never forget
watching him the first time in Phenix City. He was so smooth and so
solid as a driver. There were tons of cars there that weekend but I
picked him out very quickly as the one to watch. And he was. He went
on to win the race! And after that I was hooked. He was my driver.
Jeff also became the one my Mom & Dad rooted for too!
Will Jeff race dirt late models again? A lot of his fans would like to know. My favorite memory is when he raced late models at Jackson Fairgrounds Park, it was a blue #15, one night in particular, he kept breaking a ball joint, he was determined to race, he kept working on it and working on it, but unfortunately he did not finish. That night he showed the determination to be a dirt race track winner. Would love to see him run again in a late model. please update us on his racing career. e-mail/
In 76 I was in the Army at Fort Campbell and being a life long race nut, the first place I spotted a race car was Imperial Motors. So I started hanging around and made friends with their mechanic named Chuck, who lost his life in a car accident later that year. He taught me a lot in a very short time. Jeff sure could make that old chevelle named Isabelle fly.
Anyway after my Army days it was back to WVa. and eventually I moved to Owensboro Ky. where I work for Swedish Match
Hello My Name is Alvie Louks ..My father was Beak ...He Painted most all of Jeff's Lates and some of his first Arca and asphalt cars ..He started Painting Jeff's Cars I wanna say in 1981 but i am not for sure...I remeber the long nights and days as a young kid watching my father paint Jeff's cars in his shop in Clarksville Tenn...I do remember one time I think I was bout 8 or 9 one of his crew workers came up to me and handed me a paint brush ...lol I looked at him and said Eddie what are you thinking ...he said to me if your beaks boy you can paint now get busy...He had to be Nuts...but any how I can remember going to the races with my dad to watch Jeff run ... The one I can remember the most was in Eldora in 83 or 84 I can't remember the exact year but I can Recall watching Jeff win and my expression to my Father was I wanna be Jeff...How ever I don't race real cars I do how ever race online non stop ..I even made a exact replica of Jeff's late Model he won the World in
Used to help Phoenix racing part time in the mid 90's, I'd commute from Pensacola on weekends to work on the car, One time at the snowball derby, Jeff was leading, we're all on pins and needles at 1/2 way, Jeff comes on the radio and says " Did you see that?", Johnny Allen responds "see what?", Jeff says "that airplane just pulled up and went staight up into the clouds", Johnny was timing him each lap, that lap was a 17.32, I will never forget it. That was only a 1/10 or 2 off the pole qualifying speed. Jeff and I never talked much, don't know that I ever just had conversation with him, mainly just questions and answers I never wanted to sound stupid being new to the sport. But he had enough impact on my racing that I have run the #4 on all my cars ever since. From go-karts, mini sprints and now full size sprint car. Jeff was the best. Not sure if he knows how many times he had everybody just absolutely cracking up laughing in the pit area during a race.
Terry Coddington, Pensacola Florida, firstname.lastname@example.org
Two years ago at Talladega I was privileged enough to meet Jeff when a mutual friend (Don Doby) arranged for myself and a friend to have pit and garage passes. I have been going to Dega for 10 years or better, it is an awesome race, but that Sunday in the pits/garage and walking along pit road before the race was the most awesome time I have ever had at a track. Watching those pit stops from the pit area is much much different than the stands or on TV. Those boys are fast. I remember watching one pit stop from the time the car came in and turning to my buddy for what seemed like just a second or two to say something and turning back around and the car was gone.
I do both Dega, Bristol, and Atlanta races every year and nothing so far has surpassed that experience. The only thing that could would be to drive one of those dang cars. I would sell my soul to the devil for that. HA HA. Hope to see you in a truck next year Jeff and good luck.
Mark Wray, Buena Vista, Georgia, email@example.com
Hey! I have a question for you about Jeff Purvis. I heard a rumor the other day that he may be running a dirt late model at east Alabama motor speedway this November at the national 100. do you know if there is any truth to this? I would love to see him in a dirt late model again. I met him when I was probably 7 or 8 years old at southern raceway in Milton, Fl. that was 14 or 15 yrs ago. I was a fan instantly! I watched him race at east Alabama several times at the national 100. if you don't mind e-mail me and let me know.
Jeremy Craig, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Jeff, this isn't a story. just a thanks and a hope all is well. my buddy Stink from Pittsville, Wi. wanted to say "hi" and was just thinking what you're up to. Hope all is well.
Joe M. Michalski, Oshkosh,Wi.---- email@example.com
Gene. I have been watching Jeff
Purvis race since the early 1980's. I remember when Jeff first raced at the
Jackson, Tennessee Fairgrounds dirt track. He was driving the blue late model
#15 and he immediately came in and started winning races. It was amazing to
see this young guy come in and beat some of the track favorites like Jerry
Inman, Don Hester and others. I was working for 76 fuel at the Busch race in
Memphis in 2001 and got to talk to Jeff about watching him at the Jackson
track. Jeff is truly a class act and it is not the same watching a season
start in Daytona without him behind the wheel. It was always cool watching
Jeff not only in the Busch cars, but also watching him run so well at Daytona
and Talladega in the #51. Get well soon Jeff and we miss seeing you on the
One of my favorite stories--Jeff talked me into buying a Mini-Cup on Friday and the first race was on Saturday. The folks from whom I bought the car asked how I wanted to set it up. I gave them my height and weight and said have it ready Saturday afternoon. Jeff and Margo went with me to the track. Another Clarksvillian, Ronnie Powers who raced Legends cars, was also there. My first time around the track in Shelbyville was really a scare. The left side wheels came off the ground every time I'd go into the corners. I came off the track and asked Jeff if he would drive the car to see if it was the car or me. Powers and I were standing at the fence watching Jeff go around the track. Powers turned to me and said " Gene, have you paid for that car yet?" I said "yes" that I had written a check. "Got get your check," Powers said. " Before Purvis wrecks your car." I looked up and Purvis was making the quarter mile track in a record time, but he was up on two wheels most of the way around. When Jeff got in, I ask if it was the car or me? He said.."well the car needs a little left-side weight, but other than that, all you need to do is go on the track, hold it to the floor board and turn left!"
I first saw Jeff at our local dirt track in 83. My story is really special to
me because I got to be apart of his crew for one race. In 1998 I was going to
school in Texas, Drove home for Christmas in 97 and stop by the shop in Lynn
haven. I met up with Johnny Allen. I called Johnny just be for the Texas race.
I was wanting to see if there was a way I could catch up with them. He said
that I could hang out with them at the track. One thing lead to another,
Before you know I was pushing the car, getting tires and so on. So come race
day I was asked to be apart of the pit crew (not over the wall). I got to do
the pit sign and run for gas. How about that here I was involved with the man
I have followed for 17+ years. Had to be one of those weekends I will not
forget. Jeff we hope you come back, but if not. always fan. Just like I am
about another driver. . . . Neil Bonnett . Best of luck!
Gene: Thank you for the great updates on Jeff. My husband & I have watched Jeff race since my son was less than a year old and he is 23 now. There are so many great stories to tell but this one sticks out as one of the best. McMinnville Speedway - 100 lap race with a break after 50 laps. The scorers or announcers somehow thought Jeff had gotten lapped. He hadn't gotten lapped, but he was in the back. When restarting I believe they tried to put him a lap down. Jeff wouldn't have it. He jumping over the pit fence and starting setting them right. He started last on lead lap and you know it: Jeff won the race!
Jeff if you read these my son was also hurt seriously in a wreck in 1998. Not a race but with 2 cows. He is now blind. He had C-1, T-3, & T-4 breaks. Very blessed to still have him. Spent 3 months at Vanderbilt and Stallworth. Our whole family have kept you in our thoughts and prayers. Miss watching you race. Hang in there
Kathy Hice, firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Always sat near press box at Winchester TN Speedway. My husband helped the flagman for a few years.
Hi Gene: I'm Jeff from Illinois and I have a good story about Jeff Purvis. One year my father went on one of his first racing trips without me. I think I was either 8 or 9 but all my dad talked about when he came home was how this young kid they called the "Golden Boy" was flying around the 1/2 mile at Eldora. He just told me about how this young kid was blowing away the field, but got black flagged for some reason I don't remember, or had to leave the track. Well, he came back out on the tail of the field, and marched right back up through the field to finish 2nd. Just to here my father tell me the story with so much excitement made me an instant fan. So, for the next few years, I went every year to the World 100 to watch the "Golden Boy" win or come darn close anyways. After the race, I would run down to victory circle where he would be shaking hands. That was cool to an 8 year old like myself. Well, 18 years later I still follow his every move in the racing world and miss watching him every weekend. Thanks.
Jeff Berry, BerryJ300@aol.com
Gene: Just wanted to let you know I enjoy the heck out of your genewasher.com website. You keep us up to date with the mini-cup and informed on Jeff's progress Jeff dated my cousin in high school and I was fortunate to tag along with them in 1976 to one of Jeff's dirt track races. He ran so hard the front right side wheel literally burned off at the axle.
My cousin is Sally Parchman; her dad, my uncle, was Jesse Parchman, who worked at Elder-Conroy Hardware for as long as I can remember - Jeff, Sally, another cousin Carol Parchman, and myself were riding in Jeff's Chevy Blazer (the old full size type) to a dirt track in either northern Tennessee or southern Kentucky in the spring of 1976 - as we were driving on the interstate, a state trooper pulled along side and used his external speaker to tell Jeff to "back it down boy" - Jeff slowed down, and it was as if the trooper knew Jeff, and expected him to be speeding.
The track was very wet and muddy, so there were many vehicles on the track running clockwise to displace as much of the mud as possible - Jeff was running an old coupe type car that looked a little like a "legends" car. In his heat, Jeff was hauling a**, I mean he was flying - his front right wheel was actually glowing red until it finally disintegrated and Jeff DNF'd - I don't remember what the eventual outcome of Jeff's racing that night, but obviously he went on to bigger and better venues.
Tom Bell, high school buddy, email@example.com
Gene: I am a welder, and welded at I-70 when Jeff was driving the 15 car-NDRA. 2 years in a row he had me weld a bracket on the left side of the rear-end housing., these cracks were in almost same place, 1 year apart. For some reason when I got done Jeff and I was talking and he said, what would you do to win this race tonight? I said can you turn off your right front brake? He said I can turn of all 4 brakes! I said this track is the fastest when you diamond it, I then told him the spots of reference to turn. Then told him don't start the diamond until 10 laps from the end, or If a yellow shows up they will have a chance to catch you. He said OK. As usual Jeff was in front of I think a 50 lapper, with about 10-12 laps to go He started diamonding the track . absolutely PERFECT, In about 2-3 laps he picked up 1/4 track on the field, and in about the next few laps the whole field was diamonding the track all to little to late, as he went on to win hands down. Tell Jeff I said Hi He'll remember it we talked about it one day at St. Louis. Gene, thanks again, It would be good to see him in again, hopefully it will work out.
David Poff Premier Mech. Inc. KC.,Mo firstname.lastname@example.org
Gene: My favorite Jeff Purvis story happened when he was about 13 years old and one of my students at the Clarksville Academy. It was an all boy class and he was the best looking one in the class. He was always pushing things to the edge. One day, he cussed in class and I expelled him for three days. After he grew up to be a famous race car driver, I always regretted that I did that. By the way, he is still one of the best looking guys in Clarksville
Vicki Wyatt--Clarksville Realtor email@example.com