Du Quoin, Ill. (March 8, 2020) – Tyler Thomas placed second, while USAC point leader Chris Windom finished third as Toyota-powered drivers captured two of the three podium finishes at the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ Shamrock Classic at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Illinois, Saturday.
Windom has now captured a first, second and third-place finish in the season’s first three events with Tucker-Boat Motorsports.
Heading into the 50-lap feature, it looked like another Toyota team, Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM), was on the way to a dominating night after Cannon McIntosh and Buddy Kofoid opened the night on the front row after each won their heat and qualifying races.
The two teenagers immediately went to the lead on the green flag, with the 17-year-old McIntosh taking the point, while the 18-year-old Kofoid fell in right behind his teammate as the two KKM drivers immediately began to pull away from the field, eventually catching up to lapped traffic by lap eight. Unfortunately, things took a drastic turn for the worse on lap 12 when McIntosh clipped the turn three inside berm, forcing him to check up and leaving Kofoid nowhere to go as he ran into the back of his teammate. McIntosh was able to continue, but Kofoid stalled and was forced to head to the tail end of the field.
McIntosh was able to bring the field back to green, but clipped the berm in turn one on the restart, forcing him to stop, which collected second-place Tyler Courtney. As the two leaders came to a stop, it was Windom who would emerge with the lead, followed by Jake Neuman in second, Cole Bodine in third and Toyota drivers Ace McCarthy and Tyler Thomas running fourth and fifth.
The fifth caution of the night would wave on lap 21 when Thomas and McCarthy made contact in turn two. Thomas was able to continue, but McCarthy would end up backwards and eventually resume the race from the back of the field.
Windom would pace the field back to the green and remain in the top spot, while Thomas moved up into second on lap 25 as the two Toyotas held down the top spots through lap 31. Behind them, Tanner Thorson was making his way through and would overtake Thomas on lap 32. He then closed on Windom, pulling side-by-side on lap 34 and then using a slider in turn four to take the top spot on lap 35.
Thomas, a three-time national winner in 2019, was able to move past Windom on lap 38, but would have nothing for Thorson over the final 12 laps. At the checkered flag, it was Thorson, Thomas and Windom finishing in the top three.
Behind them, Kofoid climbed back through the field to capture the seventh spot, one position ahead of Tanner Carrick, who started 21st on the way to an eighth-place showing. Daison Pursley was ninth and Trey Robb brought it home in tenth as Toyota-powered drivers captured six of the top-10 finishing positions.
Kevin Thomas Jr. finished 11th, McCarthy was 13th and McIntosh was scored in 15th in the event that awarded points only for entry.
The Toyota Midget car program now turns its focus to the kickoff of the 2020 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League with the four-race Turnpike Challenge in Oklahoma, March 26-29. The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series returns to action with a double-header at the Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas, April 10-11.
Toyota USAC Saturday A Main Results
- Tyler Thomas – 2nd
- Chris Windom – 3rd
- Buddy Kofoid – 7th
- Tanner Carrick – 8th
- Daison Pursley – 9th
- Trey Robb – 10th
- Kevin Thomas Jr. – 11th
- Ace McCarthy – 13th
- Cannon McIntosh – 15th
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