GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. (July 12, 2020) – Ace McCarthy led all 30 laps in earning his second career victory and leading a Toyota one-two-three finish in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature at Valley Speedway, Saturday night.
McCarthy’s win is the first for Dave Mac Motorsports in POWRi competition and the seventh in a row for Toyota. It also marks Toyota’s 20th national midget feature triumph in 2020.
After securing the high point total in the heat races, McCarthy started from the pole position and won a three-way battle for the lead through the first two corners and quickly mastered the top side of the one-third mile dirt oval to take a comfortable lead.
The race would be marred by a number of early yellows, but on each restart McCarthy was more than up to the challenge and maintained the lead. Behind him, a three-car fight for positions two, three and four was waging between Ethan Mitchell, Zach Daum and 15-year-old Daison Pursley before Mitchell spun on lap eight to bring out another caution.
After the restart, Pursley assumed the second spot and he Daum would battle for the position for the next 14 laps before Daum would slide back slightly in the field. In turn, Friday’s POWRi winner Buddy Kofoid came charging up through the field and eventually would start to close on his Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate Pursley with a third teammate, Kaylee Bryson, moving up through the field quickly as she climbed up to fourth.
As they entered the final five laps, the top four remained intact before Bryson would encounter mechanical problems in lap 28 and yet another KKM driver, Cannon McIntosh, took over the fourth spot. Unfortunately for Bryson, after a career-best second-place finish on Friday, she would eventually be scored in 19th.
Upfront, Pursley began to eat away at McCarthy’s lead and was right on his tail on lap 29 to set himself up for one last challenge on the final lap. As McCarthy led down the back straight, Pursley would throw a huge slider into turn three and momentarily take over the lead, but McCarthy was able to drive back past him coming out of turn four for the victory, edging Pursley by approximately two car lengths. It marked the second consecutive night podium finish for Pursley after placing third on Friday night in Humboldt, Kansas. Kofoid would capture the third podium position on the night, while McIntosh placed fourth.
“Towards the end we started to get pretty tight,” said McCarthy, who also earned his first POWRi win at Valley Speedway last season. “Daison was putting some pressure on me late, but we were able to hold on. I can’t thank everyone at Dave Mac Motorsports enough for giving me a great car to drive tonight.”
Three more Toyota-powered drivers also earned top-10 finishes on the night as Emerson Axsom finished sixth, Daum was eighth and Jesse Love came home in tenth.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League returns to Valley Speedway to close out the weekend’s action on Sunday night.
Toyota POWRi Valley Speedway Saturday Results
- Ace McCarthy – 1st
- Daison Pursley – 2nd
- Buddy Kofoid – 3rd
- Cannon McIntosh – 4th
- Emerson Axsom – 6th
- Zach Daum – 8th
- Jesse Love – 10th
- Luke Howard – 14th
- Noah Gass – 16th
- Kaylee Bryson – 19th
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