Cannon McIntosh, of Bixby, Okla., placed second and Muskogee’s Kaylee Bryson was third in leading Toyota at the POWRI Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Turnpike Challenge feature at I-44 Riverside Speedway, Friday night.
McIntosh, 17, and Bryson, 19, grew up racing against one another in Oklahoma, but Friday marked the first time that both finished on the podium at the same race since becoming teammates on Toyota’s lead development team, Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM).
Pole-sitter Logan Seavey would take the lead at the green flag, with Toyota drivers Thomas Meseraull, Buddy Kofoid and McIntosh falling in behind in positions two through four. Meseraull quickly began challenging Seavey for the top spot before an early yellow waved on lap eight.
On the restart, KKM's Kofoid was able to overtake Meseraull for second, while McIntosh would take over the third position on lap 12. Shortly afterward, Meseraull’s night would come to an early end with mechanical issues as Bryson moved into the top five at the midway point of the 30-lap feature.
Kofoid made a move for the lead on the restart, but Seavey was able to hold him off, while Bryson continued her move up through the field into the fourth spot with 14 laps to go and three laps later she would run the high side through turn two to take over third from McIntosh. Kofoid’s quest for the victory would come to an end when he suffered a flat right rear tire on lap 21, with Bryson taking over second and McIntosh in third.
On the restart, Bryson would challenge Seavey for the lead, pulling up next to him on the outside heading into turn three, but she couldn’t push past him with McIntosh diving to the inside as they came back to the starting line for second place. At that point, McIntosh would make a huge run at Seavey. Diving to the inside into turn one, he moved past Seavey, but wasn’t able to hold it coming out of turn two. McIntosh’s run wasn’t over yet, though, as he closed back on Seavey, again pulling up next to him coming out of turn two. Then with six laps to go, McIntosh made a huge run down the back straight to dive underneath Seavey heading into turn three and appeared to be set to take over the top spot heading into one, only to have a red flag come out, dropping him back to second.
Seavey and McIntosh would run nose to tail for much of the remaining six laps and that’s how they would finish, with Bryson finishing third in earning her first POWRi podium finish after running a partial season as a rookie a year ago.
Kevin Thomas Jr. and KKM’s 15-year-old Daison Pursley would finish sixth and seventh to give Toyota four of the top-seven finishers on the night.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League returns to I-44 Riverside Speedway Saturday for night three of the Turnpike Challenge before closing out at Port City Raceway in Tulsa on Sunday.