Kofoid Holds Off Pursley as KKM Sweeps Podium at POWRi Gold Crown Nationals

Buddy Kofoid held off a last-lap charge by Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) teammate Daison Pursley to win the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Gold Crown Midget Nationals at Tri-City Speedway Friday night. Cannon McIntosh finished third to give KKM Toyotas a podium sweep on the night.

Kofoid’s victory is his eighth national midget car victory in 2020, the most by any driver. It also marked the 29th national midget feature victory for a Toyota-powered driver this year. 

Starting from the pole position, Kofoid immediately went to the lead with Thomas Meseraull climbing from fourth into the second spot, followed by Zach Daum in third.

By lap two, Meseraull had closed on Kofoid and began a battle for the top spot, with Meseraull taking the lead in turn two, only to see Kofoid cross back over to retake the point position. The two Toyota drivers continued to battle for the lead before a red flag halted the action after Emilio Hoover got upside down on lap five.

Kofoid continued to lead on the restart, with Pursley climbing up to fourth by lap five and then up to third by lap eight. Behind them, McIntosh had charged from the 16th starting spot to fifth as the race crossed the mid-way point.

After a caution on lap 15, Kofoid used an exceptional start to pull away, while the 15-year-old Pursley dove down under Meseraull coming out of turn four to take the second spot with 10 laps to go as Meseraull slid back to third with McIntosh in fourth.

As the laps began to wind down, Kofoid would open up more than a second lead, while McIntosh would make his move past Meseraull to claim the third position with just two laps to go. At the same time, Kofoid bobbled as the top started to become slick and Pursley quickly closed.

On the final lap, Pursley would throw a slider between turns one and two, but Kofoid was able hold him off. Pursley wasn’t done yet, though, as he made one final run through three and four, but it wasn’t quite enough as Kofoid would win the race to the checkers. Pursley finished second, followed by McIntosh in third, Meseraull was fourth and Daum placed fifth.

“It was a fun race track,” said the 18-year-old Kofoid afterward. “My guys gave me a really good Mobil 1 Toyota. We slowed a little at the end, but were able to hold on. We’ve had a pretty good season so far and, hopefully, we can sweep the weekend. Thanks to all the fans who stuck it out tonight.”

Pursley earned his third runner-up finish of the season.

“It’s hard to run second, but Buddy’s one of the best drivers in midget racing,” said the Oklahoma native. “It was great to be part of a KKM sweep tonight. We came pretty close, but we really wanted that top spot. Hopefully, we can get it done tomorrow.”

Ace McCarthy climbed from 17th to finish sixth and was joined in the top-10 by Kaylee Bryson in eighth, Bryant Wiedeman in ninth and Jesse Love in tenth as Toyota drivers captured eight of the top-10 finishing positions.

The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League will be back at Tri-City Speedway for night two of the Gold Crown Midget Nationals on Saturday.