TULSA, Okla. — Buddy Kofoid charged from 16th starting position to win Saturday nights’s opener of the Werco Manufacturing T-Town Midget Showdown presented by the Rayce Rudeen Foundation at Port City Raceway.
Kofoid earned $8,151 for his second USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget victory of the season aboard his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Mobil 1 – TRD – IWX/Bullet By Spike/Speedway Toyota.
Kofoid finished eighth and 11th in two races at the eighth-mile oval last season.
“I’m glad to be the first repeat USAC winner, but to also win at a track that bit us, or at least that we struggled at. It was our kryptonite, a little bit,” Kofoid explained. “Jarett (Martin), Grant (Penn) and Andrew (West) did a really good job with the car. We’ve found so much speed. This is the same car I ended last year with; it’s kind of old faithful, and it’s just going really good.”
Kofoid qualified three cars from the end of the line in the 48-car field, clocking in 13th fastest overall, but wound up 16thon the feature grid.
“When I saw that I started 16th, I thought, ‘oh this is going to be tough. Hopefully, we can get a top-10 out of this.’”
Kofoid didn’t spend much time getting himself acclimated to the back, climbing his way into the top-ten by lap four while Logan Seavey, a hard charger himself from 19th to second a year ago at Port City, led the way at the head of the field.
Trouble was in the cards for several in the early going with Tyler Thomas clipping a sideways Ryan Timms on the third lap while racing for eighth, which sent Thomas flipping in turn three. Thomas restarted from the tail, but retired from the race shortly thereafter, finishing 24th.
On the ensuing restart, defending series champion and 3rd place running Chris Windom spun in turn two, collecting Kevin Thomas Jr. in the skirmish. Both restarted from the back with Windom charging up to 12th and Thomas up to 10th.
Daison Pursley, a micro sprint winner just prior to the start of the midget feature, was on a mission early, climbing his way into second on the bottom when he clipped a turn four infield tire, nearly causing him to flip. Once he landed on all fours, it was apparent that his left-rear tire was flat, sending him to the work area before returning to finish 13th.
Ryan Timms, making his first career series start, became the newest challenger to the throne, sliding by Seavey briefly for the lead in turn three on lap eight. Justin Grant snuck under Timms for the position three laps later on the 11th circuit, sending Timms back to third with a surging Thomas Meseraull on the trail just behind in fourth.
On lap 13, disaster struck for Timms as Meseraull attempted a slide job under Timms entering turn three. The resulting meeting of wheels involved contact between the two, which sent Timms flipping hard toward the outside wall while Meseraull escaped with the position. Timms’ night was finished with a heavy amount of right front damage.
The surface was tricky with Seavey rolling the bottom in turns one and two and riding the cushion at the top in turns three and four, while Meseraull surpassed Grant and stayed tried and true to the high line – for the most part. Meseraull took his shot at Seavey for the lead with a slider in turn three but couldn’t make it stick as Seavey drove back underneath the 2018 series champ exiting turn four.
With Meseraull and Grant mired in a tussle for second, the duo of Cannon McIntosh and Buddy Kofoid barged into the top-five fray. McIntosh, who earlier had set the fastest qualifying time, and was now fourth in the order, ultimately saw the demise of his quality performance as he and 22nd running Brenham Crouch made contact while trying to squeeze to the bottom of turn one, sending McIntosh into a spin and stop.
With Kofoid now running second, and figurative blood in the water, he raced his way past Grant on the bottom in turn three one lap after the restart on the 29th circuit to snare the lead, while Meseraull too sped around Grant on lap 32 for the second spot.
“I was good on the top early when people didn’t really recognize that the top was good, especially in three and four,” Kofoid revealed. “I moved down at the right time on the bottom, and then found the bottom in three and four out front by myself, and I was able to use that to pick off some of the leaders, then I was able to move back to the top of three and four. At the end of the day, I could move around wherever I wanted.”
Kofoid prevailed in every battle on this night, closing out his victory with a 0.808 second margin of victory over the late-surging Brian Carber, who was making his first career USAC National Midget appearance.
Meseraull took third while Jason McDougal was fourth and Justin Grant rounded out the top five.
Carber turned in one of the most impressive USAC National Midget debuts in recent times with a runner-up finish in his Hayward Motorsports/B & H Contractors – Stanton Racing Engines – Byrd – FK/Spike/Stanton SR-11x.
“This place blew off and got really wide, and there’s a lot of guys that can rotate the top pretty well,” Carber said. “We had some difficulties throughout the race, but I started working the shocks and began to migrate to the bottom and just set it up for the bottom. I followed Buddy (Kofoid) in the beginning, and he knows how to race. This SR-11, it honks, and I’m pretty proud of the whole team and everyone that’s on this deal. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be here.”
To see full results, turn to the next page.