Cannon McIntosh took the lead on lap 64 and led the final 37 laps to win the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ USAC Nationals finale at Huset’s Speedway Sunday. The victory combined with a second place on Saturday and a fifth place showing on Friday to give McIntosh the USAC Nationals championship. Overall, McIntosh would walk away with a $22,000 payday, combining his $12,000 earnings for winning the feature, along with $10,000 for winning the title.
The victory is the second for McIntosh in the last four USAC events and the sixth overall national midget feature triumph of the season for the 19-year-old Bixby, Oklahoma native.
The evening began with McIntosh starting from the seventh position beside Buddy Kofoid, who started in eighth as the two highest point-getters with the top eight inverted for the start. Both of the Toyota development drivers moved up quickly with Kofoid moving into fourth and McIntosh one spot behind him.
With Justin Grant pacing the field early, the race would take on a much different landscape on lap nine when Kofoid got into the wall in turn one, flipping his Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota. Kofoid would be able to get out of the car under his own power and was able to walk to the infield care center for observation. His departure would end his shot at the title after winning both Friday and Saturday’s features.
Grant was able to lead laps nine through forty-three before Denney moved past him on lap 44, with McIntosh getting together with Grant one lap leader, ending Grant’s night. After the ensuing restart, McIntosh would close quickly and throw a slider under Denney in turn three to momentarily take the lead only to have Denney cross back over coming out of four. Over a five-lap span, the scenario would repeat with McIntosh taking the lead, but not quite able to hold it until finally pulling off the pass coming out of four on lap 64.
From that point on, McIntosh would run away from the field pulling out more than a four second lead before a caution came out with 10 laps remaining to bunch the field. Second-place Shane Golobic would try to keep it close but had no answer for McIntosh who took the victory by 0.85 seconds.
After taking Monday off, the USAC national midget series will be right back in action at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Okla., for “Tuesday Night Thunder” followed by a trip to Solomon Valley Raceway (Beloit, Kan.) on Wednesday and then a pair of races at Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Neb., on Friday and Saturday to close out seven races in nine days.
Cannon McIntosh, Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports: “Early in the race we weren’t that great. I was just maintaining early. I didn’t want to put myself in a spot to have something happen to us early and take us out of the fight. As the race went on, we made a lot of changes at the half-way point and I was able to do more of what I wanted to do. When I got to (Jacob) Denney, it was kind of hard because we were running different lines and he was able to come off a little quicker than me. I’m stoked right now after our finish here last season when we were four seconds up and shredded the right rear late in the race. I couldn’t do this without an amazing team behind me. Crescent Gear Wrench, Toyota, Mobil 1 and so many people that make it happen. We had a really good car and I’m super thankful to be here.”
Toyota-Powered Drivers USAC Huset’s Speedway Sunday Results
Cannon McIntosh – 1st
Brenham Crouch – 6th
Mitchel Moles – 7th
Chance Crum – 8th
Kaylee Bryson – 9th
Jade Avedisian – 12th
Bryant Wiedeman – 13th
Thomas Meseraull – 14th
Cade Lewis – 15th
Jace Park – 17th
Trey Gropp – 19th
Justin Grant – 21st
Taylor Reimer – 22nd
Blake Brannon – 23rd
Buddy Kofoid – 26th
Toyota Racing PR