OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (May 31, 2020) – Buddy Kofoid passed Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) teammate Cannon McIntosh on lap 21 and went on to win the POWRI Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Turnpike Challenge 30-lap feature at I-44 Riverside Speedway, Saturday night. McIntosh would finish third.
Kofoid’s victory is his first national midget triumph, coming just seven races into his first full season in midget car competition. The win is the second for Toyota in four POWRi events this season. Overall, seven different Toyota-powered drivers have combined to win eight national events this year.
Starting from the outside of the front row, McIntosh immediately went to the lead going into turn one, only to see pole-sitter Jake Neuman reclaim the lead heading to the flag stand. It wouldn’t last long, though, as McIntosh would quickly take the lead back with Thomas Meseraull moving up to second on lap two and then moving past Neuman on lap three.
The two lead cars quickly pulled away from the field with Meseraull making a run at McIntosh and passing him with a slide job through turn three and into turn four, only to have McIntosh pass him back coming to the stand. Meseraull stayed right with him going into turn one, but appeared to hit a rut, which sent him flipping through turn two, ending his night.
When the race restarted, it was McIntosh, Neuman, Tanner Carrick, Daison Pursley, Chris Andrews and Kofoid holding down the top six spots. Kofoid moved up to fifth and then passed both Carrick and Pursley going into turn three to climb into third. Kofoid then moved up to second with 20 laps to go, with Pursley on his tail as KKM Toyotas ran one-two-three. As the race hit the halfway point, McIntosh had pulled out a full straightaway lead, only to see a caution flag wave.
After the restart, Kofoid began to amount a charge on McIntosh and used a slider through three and four to take the lead momentarily on lap 18, only to see McIntosh fight back going into turn one and reclaim the lead. Behind them Seavey had moved past Pursley for third when another caution flag came out on lap 21 to set up a 10-lap shootout for the win.
It wouldn’t take long for Kofoid to make a run at his teammate on the restart, going low through turns three and four, he would edge McIntosh coming to the flag stand to take the lead. Two laps later, Seavey would move past McIntosh for second and would close on the leader. Kofoid would settle into the top spot, though, and begin to stretch out the lead while working through traffic on the way to the victory, with Seavey finishing second, McIntosh third and Pursley in fourth as KKM Toyota captured three of the top four positions.
“Cannon was good at the top of three and four, so I started to go low and was able to get a run on him,” said the 18-year-old Kofoid. “I’m just glad to get this first one off my back. I can’t thank Keith Kunz Motorsports, Toyota and Mobil One enough for believing in me. We’ve run well so far in USAC and then in POWRi, but it feels good to get this win.”
Three more Toyota-powered entries also earned top-10 finishes on the night as Petry Motorsports’ Carrick placed sixth, Dave Mac Motorsports driver Ace McCarthy charged from the last row up to eighth and Chris Windom finished tenth for Tucker-Boat Motorsports.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League wraps up its 2020 Turnpike Challenge at Port City Raceway in Tulsa on Sunday.
Toyota I-44 Riverside Speedway Saturday Results
- Buddy Kofoid – 1st
- Cannon McIntosh – 3rd
- Daison Pursley – 4th
- Tanner Carrick – 6th
- Ace McCarthy – 8th
- Chris Windom – 10th
- Kevin Thomas Jr. – 11th
- Emerson Axsom – 15th
- Zach Daum – 16th
- Kaylee Bryson – 17th
- Andrew Layser – 18th
- Thomas Meseraull – 23rd
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