Buddy Kofoid took the lead from teammate Cannon McIntosh on lap 29 of 40, then held off a late charge by Tyler Courtney to earn his first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship victory in the 40-lap feature at the Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex Saturday night. With McIntosh winning Friday’s feature, Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) Toyotas swept the weekend’s two events at Sweet Springs.
While the win was Kofoid’s first in USAC, he had previously captured six victories in POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League competition. Toyota-powered drivers have now won 26 national midget car features this year.
Courtney would dominate the early going, taking the lead from the outside of the front row on the opening lap, as Justin Grant, Clinton Boyles, McIntosh, Daison Pursley, Kofoid and Chris Windom fell in behind him.
By lap eight, Kofoid had moved into third and then took over second from Grant one lap later before a yellow would halt the action. After the restart, it was his McIntosh who became the driver on the move. After an early bobble dropped him back in the field, he would recover to move back into fourth and on lap 12, he would overtake both Kofoid and Grant to move into second.
The field was slowed with another yellow flag on lap 15 and McIntosh would make his move on the restart, closing on Courtney down the back straight before going inside on a slide job through turn three to take the lead with Courtney falling back to second, followed by Windom, Kofoid and Pursley.
McIntosh would settle into the lead, eventually pulling out to a two-second lead, with Kofoid running the top side through turn four to overtake Courtney for second before a caution would bunch the field once more on lap 28.
As the cars came back to green, Kofoid stayed right with McIntosh, using a slide job through turn three to take the lead. McIntosh would cross back over, but Kofoid was able to carry his momentum to push past McIntosh once again coming back to the flag stand.
The two teenagers would continue to battle for the lead as the laps began to wind down. McIntosh would make his move on lap 33, as he attempted to slide past Kofoid through turn three only to catch the curb in turn four, spinning him up to the top of the track, bringing out another yellow and effectively ending his chance to sweep the weekend as he was forced to go to the back of the field.
After the restart, Kofoid would pull away from the field, only to see one last caution flag wave that would set up a three-lap run to the checkers. Kofoid would maintain the lead on the restart as Courtney began to close on lap 39 and then attempt to slide for the lead in turn four on the final lap, but Kofoid would hold off the late run to take the win. Courtney came home in second, followed by point leader Windom in third, Tanner Carrick in fourth and Spencer Bayston finishing fifth.
“I don’t know what to say,” said an emotional Kofoid. “I had a tough night last night (flipping on the opening lap) and to come back and win tonight is pretty cool. I can’t thank Keith Kunz Motorsports, Toyota and Mobil 1 enough for giving me such great cars to drive. We’ve done really well in POWRi and to finally beat these guys in USAC is pretty humbling.”
Joining Kofoid, Windom and Carrick in the top 10 were fellow Toyota drivers Pursley in sixth, Hard Charger winner Andrew Layser who climbed from 19th to seventh, Boyles in eighth and Thomas Meseraull in ninth as Toyota captured seven of the top-10 finishing positions. In addition, KKM’s Kaylee Bryson earned the Fatheadz Fast Qualifier award. Bryson was running eighth before a mid-race incident.
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship is back in action on October 9 at Wayne County Speedway in Wayne, Ill.
Toyota USAC Sweet Springs Friday Results
Buddy Kofoid – 1st
Chris Windom – 3rd
Tanner Carrick – 4th
Daison Pursley – 6th
Andrew Layser – 7th
Clinton Boyles – 8th
Thomas Meseraull – 9th
Jesse Love – 11th
Cannon McIntosh – 12th
Trey Marcham – 13th
Chase Johnson – 14th
Emerson Axsom – 15th
Kaylee Bryson – 16th
Ace McCarthy – 22nd
Toyota USAC/POWRi PR