Cannon McIntosh led only one lap in Friday’s USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship 30-lap feature at the Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex, but it was the only one that mattered as he narrowly passed Chris Windom as the two came to the checkered flag on the final lap in a thrilling Toyota one-two finish.
The victory is the third of the year for the 17-year-old McIntosh, who has now won feature events in USAC, POWRi and the Chili Bowl Nationals in 2020. He is the only driver to achieve that feat this year. Overall, Toyota-powered drivers have now won 25 national midget car features this year – nine coming in USAC between four different drivers.
For the night, four different Toyota drivers would combine to lead all 30 laps with Clinton Boyles leading the opening lap over Emerson Axsom and Tanner Carrick. Things would change on lap two as Carrick made a charge down low on the back straight to overtake Boyles, with Axsom dropping to third, followed by Windom, Thomas Meseraull, Tanner Thorson, Tyler Courtney and McIntosh rounding out the top eight.
As Carrick settled into the lead, Windom took over the second spot on lap four and then steadily began to close on Carrick. On lap eight, Windom made his move and appeared to have a shot at taking the lead before a yellow flag waved.
At that point, Carrick would lead Windom and McIntosh, who had moved into the top three on lap seven. The Petry Motorsports driver would maintain the top spot until lap 18 when Windom got a run on him heading into turn one and would pass him on the outside of turn two, with McIntosh taking over the second position a lap later.
From there on out, it appeared that Windom had smooth sailing to his fourth win of the season as the laps began to wind down. With two laps to go, Windom began to encounter heavy lapped traffic and after taking the white flag, he appeared to get bogged down heading down the back straight into turn three and that’s all that McIntosh needed. The Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) driver used the high side of the track through turns three and four to get a run on Windom who ran down low. Windom had the lead coming out of turn four, but McIntosh would slingshot past him coming to the finish line to win in a photo finish.
“I didn’t think I was going to catch him,” said the victorious Mcintosh. “He went low and we just got a great run at him on the high side. I can’t say enough about the whole Keith Kunz Motorsports team. It’s just a privilege to run with Keith and Toyota.”
Despite the win slipping away late, Windom continues to hold down the series point lead.
“The Tucker-Boat Motorsports boys gave me a car to win and I just protected too hard that last lap,” said Windom. “Give credit to Cannon, he made a great run on the high side. This makes me just want it even more and, hopefully, we can give the fans another great show like this tomorrow night. Thank you to NOS Energy Drink, Pristine Auction, Toyota and all our great partners.”
Courtney would finish third, with Thorson in fourth and the Toyota-powered Meseraull rounding out the top five. Three more Toyota drivers would capture top-10 finishes on the night as KKM’s Daison Pursley placed sixth, with Carrick coming home in ninth and Kaylee Bryson giving KKM three top-10 finishes on the night with a tenth-place showing.
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship returns to Sweet Springs Saturday night.
Toyota USAC Sweet Springs Friday Results
Cannon McIntosh – 1st
Chris Windom – 2nd
Thomas Meseraull – 5th
Daison Pursley – 6th
Tanner Carrick – 9th
Kaylee Bryson – 10th
Andrew Layser – 12th
Emerson Axsom – 13th
Ace McCarthy – 14th
Trey Marcham – 15th
Jesse Love – 17th
Chase Johnson – 20th
Clinton Boyles – 21st
Buddy Kofoid – 23rd
Toyota Racing PR