Logan Seavey took the lead from Buddy Kofoid on lap 42 and led the final 57 laps on the way to winning the NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ 80th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix before a sell-out crowd at Ventura Raceway, Saturday night, with Kofoid finishing second in a one-two finish for Toyota.
Despite placing second, Kofoid would prove to be the big winner on the night as he clinched the 2021 USAC National Midget title simply by starting Saturday’s A Main. The Penngrove, Calif.-native became the eighth different Toyota driver in the last nine years to win the USAC national championship.
Fellow Toyota drivers Kaylee Bryson and Taylor Reimer made USAC history earlier in the night as the two qualified first and second, marking the first time two women started from the front row of an A Main feature. The two would maintain their positions at the green flag and would run one-two for the first 16 laps of the 98-lap feature.
Behind them, Seavey had climbed from the seventh starting position into third and then would pass Reimer for second on lap 17. Just one lap later, the 2018 USAC champion would overtake Bryson for the lead, with Kofoid following him into second. On lap 20, Kyle Larson would take over the third spot from Bryson.
Kofoid would close on Seavey and slide him on lap 25 but wasn’t able to hold the lead as they came back to the flag stand. He would eventually pull off the pass for the top spot on the ensuing lap, only to see childhood friend Seavey cone back to retake the lead on lap 27.
The two continued a fierce battle at the front as Kofoid would push past Seavey again on lap 33 and lead the next eight circuits until Seavey regained the point position on lap 42, with Kofoid dropping back to second, one spot ahead of Larson as they battled heavy traffic.
A number of late yellow flags would keep the field close, as well as keep the leaders out of lapped traffic. Kofoid stayed right on Seavey’s tail to the very end but wasn’t able to regain the lead. On the final circuit, Seavey would register the fastest lap of the race to pull away slightly, taking the checkered flag just 0.335 seconds ahead of Kofoid in a Toyota-one-two finish, Mitchell Moles would finish third, while Larson placed fourth.
While Kofoid wasn’t able to secure the victory, he closed out the season finishing in the top five in eight of the nine races during the USAC Western Swing, including two wins and six podium finishes to power him to the title.
Three more Toyota drivers secured top-eight finishes on the night as Bryson would finish fifth, followed by Justin Grant in sixth and Taylor Reimer in eighth.
Logan Seavey, Tom Malloy/Trench Shoring: “Most of this team is from here in California and this is the biggest race of the year for us. I knew early that the rubber was coming and was charging to the front. Buddy got past me, but we were able to move back past him in lapped traffic. Then I moved back low and was able to hold on to it. I wish we could have put on a little better race, but this is an awesome win for us.”