Monday, Nov 28

Kofoid Continues USAC West Coast Swing Dominance In Winning At Merced

Thursday, Nov 24 342

Buddy Kofoid continued his dominance of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ West Coast Swing in winning Wednesday’s feature at Merced Speedway. It’s Kofoid’s third win in six races, to go along with a second and two thirds. Spencer Bayston placed second to give Toyota-powered drivers a one-two finish on the night.

The win is Kofoid’s 13th in USAC competition this season, tying him for fourth all-time with Sleepy Tripp, who registered 13 wins in 1975. Overall, it’s Kofoid’s 16th national midget feature triumph in 2022, giving him 41 career victories.

For much of the 30-lap feature, it appeared that it would be 2017 USAC champion Bayston returning to Winner’s Circle as he took the lead on the opening lap and paced the first 25 laps by a comfortable margin. Behind him, Daniel Whitley and Jade Avedisian rounded out the top three.  

After falling back early, Kofoid would begin to charge up through the field in the final 10 laps, moving from fifth on lap 20 up to second by lap 23 as he trailed Bayston by 1.34 seconds, but was closing quickly. He cut the lead to 0.8 seconds on lap 24, then down to .288 seconds on lap 25 before eventually rocketing around the top as he edged Bayston for the lead coming to the scoring stand on lap 26. 

From that point on, it was all Kofoid as he took the checkered flag .576-seconds ahead of Bayston. Jason McDougal finished third, followed by Avedisian in fourth and Jacob Denney as Toyotas captured four the top-five finishing positions on the night.

Toyota-powered drivers have now won each of the first six events in the USAC Western Swing and will look to make it a clean sweep when the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series closes out its 2022 campaign with the 81st running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 26.

Quotes:

Buddy Kofoid, Keith Kunz Motorsports Mobil 1 Toyota: “I made a mistake in the first corner and went from third to sixth or seventh and I got up to the top side early and really wasn’t going anyone. I felt pretty good on the bottom and gained one or two spots. Then I had enough of following everyone, so I just decided to move back up and make it work. I knew if I could get it cleaned off, I’d be ok. Then I started running them down really fast and I picked one off, then picked a couple more off. Once I got up to second in open air I could see myself visually getting closer and I knew that’s where I needed to be. Luckily, I got by Spencer before the late red or Spencer probably would have moved up and it would have been a different story. I owe it all to Keith Kunz Motorsports, Mobil 1 and Toyota for giving me a great car. I’ll enjoy tonight and look back on our season and be proud of what we’ve done. Then I’ll look at what we did today and see if we can make it better for Ventura. The Turkey Night Grand Prix is one of the biggest midget races in the world. I’d love to put my name up on that stat sheet and, hopefully, we can put ourselves in position to do that.”

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