Belleville, IL. (3/26/22) Michael “Buddy” Kofoid notched his second straight Lucas Oil POWRi National & West Midget League feature victory at I-44 Riverside Speedway, leading every lap on the way to wrapping up the Ninth Annual Turnpike Challenge presented by Super Clean.
Checking in a stout field of twenty-two Lucas Oil POWRi National & West Midget League competitors for the final night of the season-opening weekend of racing would witness Chance Crum clock the quickest hot-lap time with an 11.325-second lap as Jade Avedisian, Michael Kofoid, and Cannon McIntosh each earned a heat race victory as Kofoid would notch the high-point award using a monstrous sixth-to-first passing-point heat race run.
Leading the field to the initial feature launch would see pole-sitting Buddy Kofoid shoot out to a commanding lead over the outside front-row starter Jade Avedisian. Seeing Kofoid racing in the lead, Avedisian and Cannon McIntosh would battle briefly for the runner-up positioning with McIntosh capturing the advantage as Bryant Weideman, Brenham Crouch, Kaylee Bryson, and Andrew Felker all attempted to battle intensely inside the top-five.
Surviving the onslaught of late-race restarting runs by a close contending Cannon, Kofoid would hold the lead for the entire thirty-lap feature event and capture his eighteenth career POWRi National Midget victory tying his with Tanner Thorson for seventh on the All-Time Victory list.
“Going into one I felt like I was relatively unchallenged, so on the restarts, I tried to keep doing the same things to build up enough of a gap down the back straight and doing that I knew I would be okay” stated a very happy Kofoid in victory lane. Adding, “This KKM team continues to give me a great midget night in and night out and I love coming here to I-44 Riverside Speedway.”
Closely racing behind the leader would find Cannon McIntosh earning the runner-up position and Bryant Weideman would make a late-race surge to place third. Brenham Crouch and Jade Avedisian would break out into a slider-fest by exchanging spots several times during the event with Crouch placing fourth, leaving Avedisian to round out the feature’s top-five finishers.
I-44 Riverside Speedway | Turnpike Challenge Night 3 | 3/26/22:
Hoosier Racing Tire Top Hot Lap Time: 26 – Chance Crum (11.325)
Advanced Racing Suspensions Heat Race 1 Winner: 84 – Jade Avedisian
MVT Services Heat Race 2 Winner: 67 – Michael Kofoid
Auto Meter Heat Race 3 Winner: 08 – Cannon McIntosh
Max Papis Innovations High Point Qualifier: 67 – Michael Kofoid
Toyota Racing Development Hard Charger: 83 – Dominic Gorden (+11)
Lucas Oil Feature Winner: 67 – Michael Kofoid
Lucas Oil A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 67-Michael Kofoid; 2. 08-Cannon McIntosh; 3. 01-Bryant Wiedeman; 4. 97-Brenham Crouch; 5. 84-Jade Avedisian; 6. 11A-Andrew Felker; 7. 87-Jace Park; 8. 71-Kaylee Bryson; 9. 83-Dominic Gorden; 10. 17-Tanner Berryhill; 11. 26-Chance Crum; 12. 25K-Taylor Reimer; 13. 71E-Mariah Ede; 14. 7U-Kyle Jones; 15. 40-Chase McDermand; 16. 21-Emilio Hoover; 17. 44-Branigan Roark; 18. 32-Trey Marcham; 19. 17B-Austin Barnhill; 20. 19U-Pierce Urbanosky; 21. 15-Corey Joyner; 22. 29K-Brian Harvey.
Advanced Racing Suspensions Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 84-Jade Avedisian; 2. 01-Bryant Wiedeman; 3. 87-Jace Park; 4. 44-Branigan Roark; 5. 25K-Taylor Reimer; 6. 17-Tanner Berryhill; 7. 21-Emilio Hoover; 8. 71E-Mariah Ede.
MVT Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 67-Michael Kofoid; 2. 97-Brenham Crouch; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker; 4. 32-Trey Marcham; 5. 19U-Pierce Urbanosky; 6. 15-Corey Joyner; 7. 29K-Brian Harvey.
Auto Meter Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 08-Cannon McIntosh; 2. 71-Kaylee Bryson; 3. 40-Chase McDermand; 4. 26-Chance Crum; 5. 17B-Austin Barnhill; 6. 7U-Kyle Jones; 7. 83-Dominic Gorden.
Up next for the Lucas Oil POWRi National Midget League will be a two-day trip to Farmers City Speedway on April 1-2 while running in support of the World of Outlaw Late Models Illini 100 and running in conjunction with the emerging Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series.
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Photo Credit: Danny Clum