From Lonnie Wheatley
SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (January 22, 2021) – Michael “Buddy” Kofoid kicked off Arizona Speedway’s Inaugural “Wild Wing Shootout” by racing to victory lane in Friday night’s 30-lap main event atop the 1/3-mile clay oval.
After gunning into the lead from the pole at the outset, the 19-year-old from Penngrove, CA, fought off a bid for the lead from ten-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Donny Schatz at the two-thirds mark and then took advantage of the race’s final caution with seven laps remaining to jump out front and command the final circuits aboard the Reinbold-Underwood AME Electric No. 19az for the $7,000 triumph.
“Rizzy and Connor and Andy, the whole crew, they gave me a hell of a car, not too bad for a non-wing team,” Kofoid commented in victory lane. “I figured the bottom would be the place to be once traffic strung out, I just put the wing back and worked the brake more, ran the bottom the best that I could. I didn’t know har ahead I was, I just tried not to let it slip away.”
Kofoid outdueled fellow front row starter Aaron Reutzel for the point on the opening lap and then weathered a pair of interruptions in the opening three circuits including a Sammy Swindell flip in turn two and then A.J. Bender frontstretch issues.
An extended green flag run gave Schatz a chance to battle past Reutzel on the 14th lap with Carson Macedo following suit a lap later.
With traffic in play, Schatz moved in and pulled alongside Kofoid in the race for the lead before a final caution flew with seven laps to go.
Kofoid took full advantage, stretching his lead to nearly two seconds over the final seven circuits.
“The whole race was intense, sometimes being the leader isn’t the place to be, especially when the track changes like that,” Kofoid explained. “I knew the bottom was the place to be. If someone was going to drive around me, they either had a hell of a run or I was doing something wrong.”
In his wake, Schatz and Macedo battled hammer and tong for the runner-up position with Schatz ultimately nipping Macedo at the line be a mere .003-seconds for runner-up honors.
“I thought we were going to have a shot there, we got to where we could rip through the middle and that’s what we need to do,” Schatz explained of the Ford-powered Carquest No. 15. “I just got myself way too tight at the end and couldn’t stay on the bottom.”
Macedo settled for the show position in the Tarlton Motorsports No. 21, explaining that, “We’ve been running some Midget stuff the last several weeks so it feel good to be back at home in a winged Sprint Car. We were close, I think we can make an adjustment or two and gain a couple of positions in the next couple of nights.”
Reigning All Star Circuit of Champions titlist and 2021 WoO Rookie of the Year contender Reutzel crossed the stripe four in the Roth Motorsports No. 83 with Pennsylvania Posse shoe Lance Dewease rounding out the top five in the Kreitz Motorsports No. 69k.
Rico Abreu was sixth, with Tony Stewart, Cory Eliason, Dominic Scelzi and Tim Kaeding completing the top ten.
Schatz kicked off the evening by setting a quick time of 12.793 seconds in qualifying with Macedo, Kofoid and D. Scelzi winning heat races before Kalib Henry topped the “B” Main.
Wild Winged Shootout
Queen Creek, Arizona
Friday January 22, 2021
Qualifying: 1. 15-Donny Schatz, 12.793; 2. 14-Tony Stewart, 12.805; 3. 83-Aaron Reutzel, 12.810; 4. 88n-D.J. Netto, 12.833; 5. 69k-Lance Dewease, 12.841; 6. 26-Cory Eliason, 12.876; 7. 21-Carson Macedo, 12.882; 8. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 12.901, 9. 41-Dominic Scelzi, 12.912; 10. 57-Rico Abreu, 12.918; 11. 19az-Buddy Kofoid, 12.953; 12. 98-Sean Watts, 12.949; 13. 33m-Mason Daniel, 13.002; 14. 5T-Ryan Timms, 13.058; 15. 42x-Tim Kaeding, 13.089; 16. 14d-Corey Day, 13.185; 17. 1-Robbie Price, 13.238; 18. 37-Mitchell Faccinto, 13.248; 19. 18s-Jason Solwold, 13.289; 20. 93-Kalib Henry, 13.301, 21. 18T-Tanner Holmes, 13.349; 22. 13-Bill Balog, 13.573; 23. 14T-Tim Estenson, 13.730; 24. 21b-A.J. Bender, 13.808; 25. 56-Sammy Swindell (NT – Failed to report to scales), 26. 75b-Brian Boswell.
Heat One (8 Laps – Top 6 Transfer): 1. 21-Carson Macedo, 2. 57-Rico Abreu, 3. 14d-Corey Day, 4. 15-Donny Schatz, 5. 88n-D.J. Netto, 6. 56-Sammy Swindell, 7. 33m-Mason Daniel, 8. 13-Bill Balog, 9. 18s-Jason Solwold.
Heat Two (8 Laps – Top 6 Transfer): 1. 19az-Buddy Kofoid, 2. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 3. 69k-Lance Dewease, 4. 14-Tony Stewart, 5. 5T-Ryan Timms, 6. 1-Robbie Price, 7. 93-Kalib Henry, 8. 14T-Tim Estenson, 9. 75b-Brian Boswell (DNS).
Heat Three (8 Laps – Top 6 Transfer): 1. 41-Dominic Scelzi, 2. 83-Aaron Reutzel, 3. 26-Cory Eliason, 4. 42x-Tim Kaeding, 5. 37-Mitchell Faccinto, 6. 98-Sean Watts, 7. 18T-Tanner Holmes, 8. 21b-A.J. Bender.
“B” Main (12 Laps – Top 6 Advance): 1. 93-Kalib Henry, 2. 14T-Tim Estenson, 3. 33m-Mason Daniel, 4. 18T-Tanner Holmes, 5. 13-Bill Balog, 6. 18s-Jason Solwold (DNF), 7. 21b-A.J. Bender (DNF), 8. 75b-Brian Boswell (DNS).
“A” Main (30 Laps): 1. 19az-Buddy Kofoid (1), 2. 15-Donny Schatz (5), 3. 21-Carson Macedo (4), 4. 83-Aaron Reutzel (2), 5. 69k-Lance Dewease (8), 6. 57-Rico Abreu (10), 7. 14-Tony Stewart (6), 8. 26-Cory Eliason (11), 9. 41-Dominic Scelzi (3), 10. 42x-Tim Kaeding (13), 11. 88n-D.J. Netto (7), 12. 14d-Corey Day (12), 13. 18-Giovanni Scelzi (9), 14. 37-Mitchell Faccinto (15), 15. 93-Kalib Henry (19), 16. 13-Bill Balog (23), 17. 5T-Ryan Timms (14), 18. 14T-Tim Estenson (20), 19. 33m-Mason Daniel (21), 20. 98-Sean Watts (16), 21. 18T-Tanner Holmes (22), 22. 1-Robbie Price (17), 23. 21b-A.J. Bender (24), 24. 56-Sammy Swindell (18).