Emerson Axsom led all 30 laps on the way to winning his first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ feature event in Friday’s Kokomo Grand Prix at Kokomo Speedway. Cannon McIntosh placed second, while Chris Windom was third as Toyota drivers swept the top-three podium on the night.
Axsom’s victory comes just a week after the 16-year-old Franklin, Ind.-native, earned his first career national midget feature win in POWRi competition in Wheatland, Missouri. It’s the fourth triumph for a Toyota-powered driver in the season’s first five USAC events.
Axsom, driving for Petry Motorsports, started from the outside of the front row and immediately went to the lead and it was evident early on that he had the car to beat as he opened up a one-second advantage over Windom in the first four laps.
After an early yellow bunched the field on lap five, McIntosh would overtake Windom for second, but upfront Axsom picked up right where he left off, pulling out to a 1.5-second advantage by lap 10. He stretched it out to two seconds by lap 17.
As the laps began to wind down, McIntosh began to close on Axsom, getting within 0.8-seconds with eight laps to go, but that was as close as he would get. Axsom was able to stretch the lead back out to more than a second, going on to a 1.177-second victory.
Toyota drivers ended up sweeping the top six finishing positions as Justin Grant placed fourth, with Buddy Kofoid fifth and Daison Pursley in sixth. Kofoid continues to lead the USAC championship race through five races.
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series returns to the track for the second night of Kokomo Grand Prix competition on Saturday.
Toyota Driver Quotes:
Emerson Axsom, Petry Motorsports: “I’m shocked right now. The car drove great. My dad, Scott (Petry), everyone couldn’t have given me a better car. The past two weeks have been surreal. I got my first POWRi win last week and now this. I can’t wait for the rest of the season. I’m getting more and more comfortable every night. They fine tune it to my driving and it makes it easy on me.”
Cannon McIntosh, Dave Mac Motorsports: “We’ve been looking for this finish. Surprisingly, it’s our first top five finish in USAC this year It’s been a challenge, getting our stuff dialed in and trying not to mistakes and tonight we didn’t make any. Hats off to Emerson, he ran a phenomenal race. I was driving as hard as I could and he didn’t make any mistakes.”