Toyota-powered driver Cannon McIntosh turned in a dominating performance, starting from the pole and leading 40 of 50 laps on the way to winning the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ “Shamrock Classic” in DuQuoin, Illinois, Saturday night. It marks the first national midget win for the 16-year-old Bixby, Okla. native.
The win also is the first in USAC competition for Toyota this season and the manufacturer’s sixth national midget feature win of 2019, including Christopher Bell’s win at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
Early on, it didn’t look like it was going to be McIntosh’s night as he suffered a fire during hot laps that had his family-run team pondering whether they would even be able to continue. They went to work on the car and not only did he return in time for his heat and qualifying races, but he would go on to register the most passing points to earn the pole position in just his second-ever USAC event.
On the green flag, McIntosh quickly powered into the lead on lap one with fellow Toyota driver Logan Seavey sliding into third.
Seavey would move up to second and began to reel in McIntosh as the race neared the midway point. Seavey, the reigning USAC champion, would eventually go around the outside of McIntosh on lap 20 to take over the top spot with McIntosh holding onto second.
Seavey stayed up front until a caution on lap 29. At that point, the two Toyotas battled on the restart with McIntosh pulling off a slider to retake the lead in turn three. It was a lead he would never relinquish.
After a caution came out with nine laps remaining, McIntosh would have to hold off Zeb Wise on the restart, but as the laps began to wind down, he pulled out to a comfortable lead with the action heating up behind him.
Chad Boat was the driver on the move as he climbed from the 15th starting position into the top-five in the final 10 laps. He moved past Seavey for third with just three laps to go and then pulled off a last-lap pass of Wise for second as he followed McIntosh to the checkered flag to give Toyota-powered drivers a one-two finish on the night. It was the second consecutive podium finish for Boat.
“I’m speechless,” relayed a triumphant McIntosh. “There’s no words for this. We started off the day on fire – literally – and heck, I didn’t even know if we’d be able to get it back together to even attempt to start the race tonight, but every time we hit the track after that, we were right on the money. I didn’t think we’d ever start on the pole of this thing, and we just won it. It’s absolutely unreal.”
Zach Daum made it three Toyotas in the top-five with a fifth-place finish, while Seavey placed sixth and Tucker Klaasmeyer rounded out the top 10 in tenth. Toyota drivers also placed 11th through 14th with Holley Hollan Jesse Colwell, Tanner Carrick and Kevin Thomas Jr. Tyler Thomas was running in the top six before getting caught up in an incident, dropping him to 20th.
The Toyota national midget car program is back in action at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s season-opening four-race Turnpike Challenge in Oklahoma, March 21-24, while the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series resumes with a double-header at Kokomo Speedway in Kokomo, Indiana, April 5-6.
|Finish||Toyota Feature Results at Shamrock Classic|
|A Main – 1st||Cannon McIntosh|
|A Main – 2nd||Chad Boat|
|A Main – 4th||Zach Daum|
|A Main – 6th||Logan Seavey|
|A Main – 10th||Tucker Klaasmeyer|
|A Main – 11th||Holley Hollan|
|A Main – 12th||Jesse Colwell|
|A Main – 13th||Tanner Carrick|
|A Main – 14th||Kevin Thomas Jr.|
|A Main – 20th||Tyler Thomas|
|B Main – 5th||Zane Hendricks|
|B Main – 6th||C.J. Leary|
|B Main – 7th||Sterling Cling|
|B Main – 10th||Cole Bodine|
|B Main – 11th||Kaylee Bryson|
|C Main – 10th|
Toyota Racing PR