McIntosh Edges Pursley as KKM Toyotas Run One-Two In POWRi At I-44 Riverside Speedway

Cannon McIntosh made a late charge and was able to pass Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) teammate Daison Pursley on lap 28 of 30 and go on to record the victory in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature at I-44 Riverside Speedway Friday night. 

McIntosh’s victory is his sixth national midget car feature win of 2020 and the 33rd for a Toyota-powered driver. 

Yet, for most of the night it was Pursley who looked like he would be headed to Victory Lane. Starting from the pole position, he immediately went to the lead, with Sam Johnson, Kaylee Bryson, Andrew Felker and Logan Seavey rounding out the top five. 

The top five maintained their positions through the first third of the race, but behind them McIntosh had climbed from the 14th starting position up to eighth by lap 10.

The 15-year-old Pursley held a comfortable lead as the race passed the mid-way point with McIntosh climbing up into the top five on lap 20, as Seavey ran in second, followed by Bryson and Johnson in third and fourth.

As the laps began to wind down, it appeared that Pursley was headed to his first national midget feature win as he led second-place Seavey by 1.2 seconds as he completed lap 23. Unfortunately for the Locust Grove, Oklahoma native, a caution came out to bunch the field as the field reverted back to lap 22. At that point, McIntosh had moved up to third behind Seavey.

On the restart, Pursley would begin to pull away and stretched out his lead to just under a second and appeared to be on the way to the victory as they completed lap 26 only to see another yellow flag wave and bunch the field once more, setting up a four-lap dash to the finish.

Pursley held the lead on the restart with McIntosh moving up to second with three laps remaining and begin to close to set up a showdown between teammates. The yellow flag wasn’t finished for the night, though, as it waved once more to force another restart with three laps remaining.  

On the green, McIntosh went low into one, throwing a slider thru one and two to overtake Pursley, but another yellow would force one more restart. On the following retart, McIntosh would repeat the move that had given him the lead on the previous start, sliding Pursley through one and two for the lead and went on to the victory, followed by Pursley, Johnson, KKM’s Buddy Kofoid and Seavey.

“I was just going to try to do the same thing that I had been doing,” said the 17-year-old McIntosh. “He went up top and I was able to get inside of him. I was able to get a lot of grip and carry some momentum. My car was awesome. We were really good in the feature. I have to thank everyone with this team and Toyota for their support.”

It was the fifth career runner-up finish for Pursley in POWRi competition.

“It was pretty good until the last couple of laps,” said a disappointed Pursley. “Cannon’s one of the top drivers in the nation, but it sucks not to win after being so close. I can’t thank Toyota and Keith Kunz enough or putting me in this car. We had it rolling for a while, but just couldn’t hold it at the end.”

Bryson eventually came home in sixth, Trey Marcham was eighth and Jesse Love placed ninth as Toyota drivers captured six of the top-10 finishing positions.

The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League will close out its 2020 campaign Saturday night when it returns to I-44 Riverside Speedway.