Carson Macedo led the final 20 laps to earn his first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series victory in Tuesday night’s feature at Merced Speedway, with fellow Toyota driver Buddy Kofoid earning runner-up honors to clinch his second consecutive series championship.
Toyota-powered drivers have now won each of the first five events in the USAC Western Swing with Macedo becoming the ninth different Toyota-powered driver to win a USAC national event this season.
Pole-sitter Jake Andreotti would lead the first two laps before giving way to Chance Crum on lap three with Justin Grant eventually moving to the top on lap number five. Behind them, Macedo, who led the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in wins this season with 11 on the way to a third-place points finish, would move up from his sixth starting spot into third by lap eight.
Two laps later, Macedo would pass Crum and Andreotti for second place, then charge around Grant to take the lead on lap 11. Not all the excitement was taking place up front, though, as Kofoid, who clinched the series title in advancing to the A-Main, was quickly coming through the field from his 14th starting position. In ripping the high side, Kofoid would overtake both Crum and Andreotti on the same lap to take over third at the midway point of the 30-lap event.
Kofoid wasn’t done yet, as he would pass Grant for second on lap 21, but he remained two second behind.
Macedo would eventually open up a 2.494-second lead in the waning laps only to see it disappear due to a caution with two laps remaining. The restart would see Kofoid starting right on his tail in a green-white-checkered finish, but Macedo would prove to be up to the task with Kofoid finishing second, Andreotti finished third, but would later be disqualified for failing his post-race inspection, lifting Grant up to third, with Crum placing fourth.
Kofoid became the first driver to win back-to-back USAC National Midget championships since Bryan Clauson in 2010-2011. Kofoid also is the first Toyota to win two USAC titles.
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series returns to Merced Speedway Wednesday night before closing out the 2022 campaign with the 81st running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Carson Macedo, Dyson Motorsport/Complete Parts and Equipment Toyota: “I’ve won World of Outlaws races and all-star races, but I had never won a USAC National Midget race, and it was something I really wanted to cross off my bucket list. Sean Dyson came out with these beautiful race cars that Spencer Bayston and I have been able to drive and with the King Toyota combination. Sean’s my crew chief and he’s taken to the midgets pretty quick and he’s just doing an incredible job. I’m happy to get a win for this entire team and everyone that’s been a part of it. It’s a pretty cool experience. To win a midget race feels really good. I didn’t want to see that late caution come out. I looked up and saw that 67 (Kofoid) behind me and knew I had to get a good restart. I got a pretty good run off of four and into turn one and I knew it would be pretty tough for him to run me down. So, I’m happy to get this one and hoping to get another one by the end of this week.”
Buddy Kofoid, Keith Kunz Motorsports Mobil 1 Toyota: “I got to third really quick and felt extremely good. I was able to get by Justin and then I could see Carson and I was able to stay with him, but I didn’t know how much I had left and started to take rubber. It’s cool to be back on the podium. (On the championship) You know I’m so busy with racing in general and here in USAC, that it’s hard to think about it because you still have work to do. It’s cool to get to cap off another championship, but there’s still more work to do. Keith Kunz, Pete Willoughby, Jarrod Martin and everyone worked so hard all year to give me such a great car. It’s all them, I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive the car. I’ll probably breathe a little earlier these next couple of races and try to get some more wins. I owe it all to Keith, Pete, and everyone at Mobil and Toyota for everything they do for me. It’s been a special three years. I’m looking forward to finishing off these last two races strong.”