Cannon McIntosh was racing at his home track on Sunday night at Port City Raceway and the 17-year-old Bixby, Oklahoma-native certainly appeared to be right at home in leading all 30 laps from the pole position in winning the POWRI Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Turnpike Challenge finale.
The victory was McIntosh’s first in POWRi competition and his third overall national midget feature win. The triumph is the second in a row for Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) and Toyota after Buddy Kofoid was victorious on Saturday night at I-44 Riverside Speedway. It also marked the ninth for a Toyota-powered entry this season.
With Toyotas owning the top three starting positions, pole-sitter McIntosh would go straight to the lead, with Tanner Carrick moving into second, while Buddy Kofoid slipped from second to third. After nine laps, it was McIntosh, Carrick, Blake Edwards, Tyler Thomas, Kofoid and Kaylee Bryson running in the top six, but things would quickly get shaken up when Thomas and Edwards got together between turns one and two while battling for third, with Kofoid being left with no place to go and having to come to a stop on the race track. That would send each to the back of the field.
McIntosh continued to lead the field after the restart, but another caution came out on lap 12 with McIntosh, Carrick, Jake Neuman, Bryson and Tanner Thorson making up the top five.
On the green flag, McIntosh and Neuman began to pull away from the field. As the laps began to wind down, they would eventually begin to hit heavy lapped traffic before the yellow waved once more to set up a six-lap dash for the victory with McIntosh, Neuman, Carrick and Thorson in the top four.
On the restart, Carrick would use the top side to overtake Neuman for the second spot and began to close on McIntosh after the leader came up on a slowing car headed to the pits, but McIntosh recovered quickly and pulled back away from the field as the battle for second began to heat up behind him with Thorson able to pass Carrick between turns one and two on lap 26. Up front, though, it was all McIntosh as he went on to a comfortable victory, with Thorson finishing second and Carrick placing third to give Toyota two of the three podium finishers for the third consecutive night.
“It has been a long time coming,” said McIntosh of his first POWRi victory. “We got our first USAC win early last year, but never really had the car to win in POWRi until tonight. The bottom never felt like it slowed down too much for me and never felt like I needed to use the top, but we were prepared if we needed to. I could never have done this without the entire Keith Kunz Motorsports team and Toyota Racing Development. It’s really special to have been on the podium each of the last three nights here in my home-state.”
Joining McIntosh and Carrick in the top 10 among the Toyota contingent were KKM’s Bryson in seventh and Tucker-Boat Motorsports’ Andrew Layser in eighth.
Overall, Toyota-powered entries would capture wins in two of the three Turnpike Challenge events, while also securing six top-three podium finishes with McIntosh earning a first, second and a third over the three nights.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League is scheduled to be back in action with a pair of races at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Missouri, June 12-13.
Toyota POWRi Port City Results
Cannon McIntosh – 1st
Tanner Carrick – 3rd
Kaylee Bryson – 7th
Andrew Layser – 8th
Zach Daum – 11th
Ace McCarthy – 12th
Kevin Thomas Jr. – 13th
Buddy Kofoid – 15th
Tyler Thomas – 22nd
Toyota Racing PR