Kofoid Wins Bakersfield; Moves To Top of USAC Standings

Buddy Kofoid took the lead from Emerson Axsom on lap 18 and went on to lead the final 13 laps to win the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ November Classic at Bakersfield Speedway Tuesday night. With the victory, Kofoid vaulted back past Chris Windom to take the series point lead by four points with just six races remaining in their see-saw battle for the USAC title.

The win is the fifth of the season for the Penngrove, Calif., native, but his first since winning at Gas City on June 11. Overall, Toyota-powered drivers have now won 24 times in 34 USAC events this season.

Axsom and Kofoid made up the front row and it was pole-sitter Axsom, who would take the lead on the opening lap with Kofoid right on his tail.

After trading the lead back and forth through the midway point of the race with Axsom leading each lap, Kofoid would finally take over the lead by running low through turn four and going underneath Axsom for the top spot on lap 18.

Kofoid would have to survive two late restarts to secure the victory. The first came on lap 25 where Kofoid got a great jump and opened up more than a second lead, but it would be short-lived after Jade Avedisian flipped on lap 29. 

That would set up one more chance for Axsom. Kofoid continued to lead on the green, but the lead was cut down to three-tenths of a second, but Axsom also was in a battle for the second spot and as he attempted to hold off Justin Grant, it gave Kofoid the breathing room he needed to drive off to his second consecutive Bakersfield win by 1.13-seconds. Axsom would finish second, with Grant in third and Cannon McIntosh rounded out the top five in fifth.

Toyota-powered drivers also claimed positions six through ten with Cory Eliason finishing sixth, followed by Windom in seventh, Bryant Wiedeman in eighth, Kevin Thomas Jr. placed ninth with Logan Seavey in the tenth spot.

USAC continues its Western Swing with three nights at the Placerville Speedway, Nov. 18-20, for the Hangtown 100, the richest three-day USAC Midget race in history with a total purse of $150,000 plus contingencies.


Buddy Kofoid, Keith Kunz Motorsports: “I was able to bide my time waiting for traffic and I feel I can always contend with people in traffic and I was able to do that. After that I was able to move back up to the top in one and two and just start running laps. This isn’t possible without Keith Kunz and Pete Willougby, as well as Mobil 1 and Toyota. Even more importantly, this one is for my good friend Daison (Pursley), I know he’s watching tonight. Hopefully, he’ll have a quick recovery and we’ll see him again soon.”