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Buddy Kofoid (67) battles Chance Crum for position. (Joe Shivak Photo)

Hangtown Notes: Kofoid’s Glory; Midway Stop Costs McIntosh

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — After leading 66 laps but settling for second in the 2021 Hangtown 100, Buddy Kofoid had no plans to be denied in 2022.

The 20-year-old racer has been dominant during this year‘s entire USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget campaign, but he elevated to another level over the three-day tilt at Placerville Speedway.

Every single time he hit the track in the Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports No. 67, Kofoid showed incredible speed. The end result was the Penngrove, Calif., native leading 95 circuits of the 100-lap finale on Saturday night to claim both the feature win and the Hangtown 100 points championship, totaling a healthy $32,000 payday.

“This is one of the biggest midget wins that I‘ve gotten, and of course 32 grand is pretty damn cool, too,” Kofoid said. “I can‘t thank Matt Wood (event promoter), Scott Russell (track promoter), USAC, and everyone that lets us come out to this track enough. Of course, seeing the hometown fans is really cool, and I hope all of you guys come by the trailer later.”

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Buddy Kofoid won Saturday’s Hangtown 100 at Placerville Speedway. (Paul Trevino photo)

The victory, his 12th of the season, kept Kofoid‘s recent hot streak alive as he closes in on his second straight series title. In his last six races, Kofoid hasn‘t missed the podium and owns a 2.17 average finish.

After Tanner Carrick claimed the opener and Kofoid topped night two, Kofoid‘s second win in as many nights also gave KKM a clean sweep of the Hangtown 100.

Open Red Costly For McIntosh

Kofoid‘s biggest threat came in the form of Cannon McIntosh.

The Bixby, Okla. driver showed he had the speed to contend with Kofoid throughout the weekend and continued to prove it as Saturday‘s feature got underway. Kofoid drove away early, but McIntosh steadily reeled him back in and traded the top spot a couple times, leading five laps shortly before a yellow came out that ended up being the mandatory break.

During the red, many teams made adjustments that proved to be beneficial while McIntosh‘s changes weren‘t as helpful. As a result, McIntosh slipped back as far as eighth in the final 40 laps before finishing seventh.

McIntosh voiced some displeasure regarding the feature format after the open red potentially cost him a shot at winning.

“It‘s definitely frustrating,” McIntosh admitted. “We were really good toward the end of the first stage there. I really wish they wouldn‘t split this race up like that. Let‘s just run 100 laps flat out. It‘s just frustrating. Everyone else got their cars better when I feel like we had the best car. You make it a split race, and you just take all of that away from my guys who work really hard and gave me the best car initially.”

Despite dropping down the running order during the race‘s final portion, McIntosh did hang on to second in the standings, capping a strong trio of nights for he and the Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports team.

“My guys did a really, really good job,” McIntosh said. “I did the best I could there early and just fell out of the rhythm towards the end of that race.”

Crum‘s Charge Through The Middle

When starting at the back of a race, the “go where they aren‘t” mentality is a common philosophy, and it‘s one Chance Crum deployed to perfection on Saturday night.

After winning the B-main, Crum lined up 21st for the feature. In turns three and four where all those ahead rolled the bottom and ripped the cushion, Crum found just enough grip through the slick in the middle groove to charge all the way up to second. The Snohomish, Wash., driver even challenged Kofoid for the lead for a few laps before holding on to the runner-up spot.

The result equaled the Rudeen Racing pilot‘s best career finish with the USAC National tour.

“I kind of stuck in the middle most of the race,” Crum explained. “Starting 21st, you‘ve got to go where they‘re not, and the car stuck really good in the slick. We knew we were going to set up for that to try and get through traffic and it worked. These guys gave me a great car.”

Grant‘s Late Run 

Early on in the race it appeared Justin Grant might go back-to-back and top another Hangtown 100 finale.

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Buddy Kofoid won Saturday’s Hangtown 100 at Placerville Speedway. (Paul Trevino photo)

This year‘s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion started 11th and had advanced into the top-five by lap 27. Another 15 laps later and he‘d climbed onto the podium.

After the open red on lap 60, Grant dropped a couple of spots, but with 10 laps to go he began a furious charge. The RMS Racing driver went from fifth to third on lap 92 and began reeling in Kofoid and Crum. Unfortunately for him, the checkered flag flew just as he approached their tail tanks. Had it been the Hangtown 102 or 103, Grant might‘ve been the one parking in victory lane.

“The middle got really good there for a while and I was too free,” Grant noted. “I got to racing guys around me, and we just kind of all raced our way to a slower pace. Buddy and Chance, who both did a great job, got away from us, and we just had a little too much ground to run off at the end there.”

Dyson Motorsport Teammates Finish Strong

A pair of former USAC Midget full-timers turned World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car drivers, Carson Macedo and Spencer Bayston, joined forces with Dyson Motorsport for the Hangtown 100, leading to a strong effort for both.

Macedo led the duo in Saturday‘s finale, wheeling from 14th to fourth, but it was Bayston who was a little more consistent throughout the three days. Bayston‘s sixth-place finish Saturday was enough to earn third in the points while Macedo completed the top ten.

“It‘s been a bit of an adjustment, obviously, with this year running my first full season in a winged sprint car and then coming back and getting to play around with what I used to do a lot more often,” Bayston said. “I feel like I‘ve been able to adapt fairly quickly with the comfort of the car.”

Top Local Performances

A few drivers embedded in the California sprint car scene made the hometown fans proud with some solid outings despite not racing midgets very often in 2022.

Tanner Carrick won Thursday‘s opener and finished out the weekend strong. The Lincoln, Calif., native held on for a top ten in the finale, good enough to finish out fourth in points.

Not far behind Carrick in the points was Shane Golobic aboard the Matt Wood Racing machine. Golobic actually finished a spot ahead of Carrick on Saturday but it wasn‘t enough to top him in the standings as Golobic completed the top-five in points.

He may not have been as close to the front as Carrick and Golobic, but Jake Andreotti had quite the weekend for someone with such limited experience. Entering the Hangtown 100, Andreotti owned a total of two feature starts with the USAC National Midgets. He managed to make the feature all three nights against the tough field of nearly 50 cars and finished out Saturday a respectable 16th in the feature rundown and 17th in points.

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