By Kaleb Hart
Alger, WA – Michael “Buddy” Kofoid won the richest prize of his career, as the 16 year old from Penngrove, CA drove the Rutz Racing #8r to victory lane and a $10,000 pay day at the 29th Annual Bob’s Burgers and Brew Summer Nationals at Skagit Speedway.
Drama filled the A Main for the Summer Thunder Sprintcar Series presented by Here 2 Wire and Data Pro. Cam Smith held the early lead but appeared to be eclipsed by the second Rutz Racing entry piloted by Jared Peterson on the 5th circuit. Subsequent to Peterson making the pass, head flagger Kirby Hoyle was struck by an unidentified object, knocking him down while two cars spun in the second corner. With a split yellow system in place, speedway officials were not able to determine where the caution would have been called/come out on the field. The decision was made to go to the last completed lap for the lineup, which was lap four where Smith was still in front. Open red conditions ensued while Hoyle was tended to (he would return to the flagstand to finish the race) as the teams worked on their cars. On the ensuing restart, Smith rocketed back out to the lead with Peterson and Kofoid, from his third place original starting spot, in hot pursuit. Kofoid made an aggressive move on Peterson coming out of turn two on lap seven to take second and began working Smith for the lead as the pair entered traffic. On the seventeenth lap, Kofoid slid Smith for the lead coming out of turn two, then denied Smith’s crossover as the raced past the start finish line. Smith kept Kofoid close as the two continued to carve through slower cars on the very slick surface before his run ended on the 30th circuit. Smith had closed to the rear nerf of Kofoid on the 29th lap, but contact with Jason Reed on the front straight away as the pair came to 10 laps remaining sent Reed flipping and Smith to the infield with front end damage. Kofoid would restart with a pair of lapped cars between himself and last year’s Summer Nationals winner Jason Solwold and Garen Linder. As he got back to the throttle pedal, Buddy streaked away, never seeing a challenge from the Shaylen Raye Motorsports #18 or the Linder Racing #22 to score the biggest win of his young career. JJ Hickle advanced from ninth to fourth and Austen Wheatley came forward seven spots to finish fifth. Greg Hamilton was the Triple X Hard Charger, advancing from twenty first to thirteenth. Kelsey Carpenter was the fastest of the 35 time trial cars (the previous nights top four were locked in). Heat winners were Wheatley, Devin Borden, Eric Fisher and Trevor Cook.
Nick Evans returned to his winning ways this weekend at Skagit Speedway, winning both Friday and Saturday night with the Northwest Focus Midget Series. Garrett Thomas led the first eight laps of the Bardahl Summer Challenge Round Six sponsored by Whirlyball Seattle before Evans beat him to the inside of the first corner to take the top spot. From there, Evans survived a handful of restarts to take his second straight win, followed by Tristin Thomas and hard charging Jonathan Jorgenson, who came out of the B Main to take third. Heat winners were Garrett Thomas, Jayme Barnes, Alden Ostrom and Evans.
In an entertaining green to checkered affair with no stoppages, Max Sanford won the 2018 Tuner Nationals event. Sanford, a regular at Grays Harbor Raceway, led lap one but was passed by Cliff Ballenger, who held the top spot for laps two and three. Sanford rallied to jump back into the lead on lap four and went the rest of the way with Jon Gunderson on his heels. Despite Gunderson being right there, Sanford never lost the top spot again, scoring the win in only his second ever race at Skagit Speedway. Vance Hibbard nipped Gunderson at the line for second in one of the best Tuner mains in memory.
Summer Thunder Sprintcar Series
Fast Time – Kelsey Carpenter 11.977
Heat 1 – Austen Wheatley, Marc Dupperon, Kelsey Carpenter, Jared Peterson, Bud Ashe, Steve Reeves, Bailey Sucich, Brian Boswell, Garrett McClees
Heat 2 – Devin Borden, JJ Hickle, Jason Reed, Jake Wheeler, Cory Swatzina, Chris Schmelzle, Bill Rude, Steve James
Heat 3 – Eric Fisher, Reece Goetz, Chase Goetz, Logan Forler, Greg Hamilton, Ashleigh Johnson, Devin Barnes, Chris Ochs
Heat 4 – Trevor Cook, Luke Didiuk, Robbie Price, Colton Heath, Chance Crum, Michael Bollinger, Sean Johnson, Ryan Cully
B Main 1 – Greg Hamilton, Schmelzle, Ashe, A Johnson, Sucich, Barnes, Boswell, Ochs, McClees
B Main 2 – Chance Crum, Reeves, Bollinger, Cully, Rude, Swatzina, S Johnson, James
A Main – Buddy Kofoid, Solwold, Linder, Hickle, Wheatley, Forler, C Goetz, Heath, Peterson, Price, R Goetz, Fisher, Hamilton, Didiuk, Carpenter, Crum, Schmelzle, Dupperon, Borden, Reevs, Cook, Smith, Reed, Wheeler
Lap Leaders – Smith 1-16 Kofoid 17-40
Triple X Hard Charger – Greg Hamilton +8
Northwest Focus Midget Series
Heat 1 – Garrett Thomas, Shane Smith, Matt Loving, Nik Larson, Michael Vollbrecht, Jonathan Jorgenson, Chris Bullock, Brian Hayes
Heat 2 – Jayme Barnes, Hannah Lindquist, Eric Turner, Chris Greene, Renee Angel, Brian Aune, Ray Stebbins, Brenden White
Heat 3 – Alden Ostrom, Riley Vaillant, Tristin Thomas, Jesse Conway, Glenn Bittrolf, AJ Fugitt, Breanna Brostrom, Hailey Bower
Heat 4 – Nick Evans, Ross Rankine, Michael Hodel, Ashley Thompson, Sawyer Lind, Katie Jackson, Tim Smith
B Main – Sawyer Lind, Jorgenson, Thompson, Bittrolf, Angel, Fugitt, Brostrom, Jackson, Stebbins, Bullock, Bower, Hayes, T Smith, White, Aune
A Main – Nick Evans, T Thomas, Jorgenson, Rankine, G Thomas, Hodel, Larson, Lind, Vollbrecht, Vaillant, Loving, Greene, Conway, Barnes, Thompson, Bittrolf, Turner, Ostrom, Lindquist, S Smith
Lap Leaders – G Thomas 1-8 Evans 9-25
Outlaw Tuner Nationals
Heat 1 – Max Sanford, Brian Michelson, Brandon Jansen, Kyle Hanson, TJ Campbell, Matt Shaw, Cliff Ballenger
Heat 2 – Jon Gunderson, Vance Hibbard, Clint Meins, Rob Dozark, Mike Ploeg, Jack Desrosier
Main – Max Sanford, Hibbard, Gunderson, Ballenger, Michelson, Jansen, Shaw, Ploeg, Meins, Campbell, Dozark, Desrosier
Lap Leaders – Sanford 1 Ballenger 2-4 Sanford 4-20