Cannon McIntosh took the lead from Emerson Axsom on lap 19 and never looked back in taking the victory on night two of the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Illinois SpeedWeek at Lincoln Speedway, with Bryant Wiedeman finishing second to make it a Toyota one-two finish on the night.
The victory is the first in POWRi for McIntosh this season after returning to his family-owned Dave Mac Motorsports team. Tonight’s national midget feature win is the 28th for a Toyota-powered driver in 2021.
Jake Neuman started from the pole and took the early lead followed by Axsom and Sam Johnson in the top three, but it wouldn’t take long before Buddy Kofoid would drive from the eighth starting position into the top four.
Neuman continued to pace the field through the first half of the race, but Kofoid was able to cut a two-second deficit down to .08 on lap 16 and then made a charge at Neuman for the lead on the following lap, going down low into turn one side-by-side before the two leaders made contact, with Neuman clipping the wall, ending his night.
Kofoid’s time upfront didn’t last long, though, as he and Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) teammate Daison Pursley would get together in turn four on the restart with Kofoid getting upside down and was forced to retire for the night, while Pursley would head to the pit area, but was able to return.
When the race eventually restarted, it was Petry Motorsports’ Axsom who would take the lead as he attempted to make it two in a row after winning on Wednesday night at Charleston Speedway, with McIntosh in second and KKM’s Wiedeman holding down the third spot.
Mastering the high side of the race track, McIntosh would overtake Axsom for the lead on lap 19. Once he was upfront, the Bixby, Oklahoma native started to pull away before a late yellow would bunch the field for a three-lap showdown. But it was all McIntosh on the restart as he drove off to the victory, while Wiedeman was able to hold off Karter Sarff in a battle for second. Axsom would finish fourth, while Dave Mac Motorsports rookie driver Taylor Reimer earned a career-best fifth-place finish.
Pursley would recover to finish seventh, followed by Cade Lewis in eighth and Gavin Boschele placed tenth to give Toyota seven of the top-10 finishers.
POWRi Illinois Speedweek hits the midway point of the week’s activities on Friday night at Jacksonville Speedway before closing out the five-race event at Macon Speedway on Saturday and Fayette County Speedway on Sunday.
Cannon McIntosh, Dave Mac Motorsports: I was just moving around trying to find the best line early. I started running down low and got all the way up to fifth on the bottom. Then I moved up top on the restart and was able to get past Axsom. I’m pretty ecstatic for this win. It’s all a team effort. We’ve had some little failures and now I’m glad to get this one out of the way. Thanks to Toyota and everyone on board with this team. We’re starting to figure it out and get back to winning on a national level.”
Bryant Wiedeman, Keith Kunz Motorsports: “I just knew I had to put myself in a decent spot to get through the field and that’s what we did. This car was pretty decent all night and I think we’re eventually going to get a win. Thanks to everyone on the KKM crew, all my sponsors and the Toyota engines.”