From Lonnie Wheatley
SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (January 23, 2021) – Michael “Buddy” Kofoid broke out the six-shooters for a second night in a row by storming to victory lane in Saturday night’s second leg of the Inaugural “Wild Wing Shootout” the 1/3-mile Arizona Speedway clay oval.
Kofoid countered a Cory Eliason bid for the lead midway through the 35-lapper before checking out on the field over the final half of the race to secure the $10,000-winnner’s share aboard the Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports AME Electric No. 19az.
Another lap would have proven costly for the Phoenix-based team, however.
“It’s a good thing that wasn’t a 40-lap race or even a 36-lap race, going down the backstretch I think she let go. It soaked oil everywhere, I just tried to limp it home,” Kofoid explained in victory lane. “I’m pretty speechless right now, it’s pretty cool to go back-to-back against all these guys.”
After winning Friday’s opener from the pole starting position, the 19-year-old from Penngrove, CA, gridded Saturday night’s main event inside the third row as Eliason and D.J. Netto led the way to the green flag.
Eliason raced into the early lead aboard the Rudeen Racing No. 26 with third-starter Giovanni Scelzi in tow as Kofoid made his way to third by the fourth lap. Reaching lapped traffic by the ninth lap, the trio closed up exiting turn two on the tenth lap with Kofoid emerging from a three-wide race down the backstretch to take command as Eliason slipped to third.
Eliason worked back around Scelzi to recapture second soon after a lap ten caution and put the pressure on Kofoid, sliding briefly into the lead in turns one and two on the 18th lap only to have Kofoid counter the move to recapture the lead.
“He got by and I decided I better move up the track some,” Kofoid explained. “I started running the lower middle part of the track and that seemed faster than right around the tires.”
It proved to be, as Kofoid stretched his lead over Eliason to a full straightaway by the time the checkered flag flew.
Carson Macedo battled past Scelzi on the 33rd lap to claim the third position aboard the Tarlton Motorsports No. 21 entry for the second night in a row with Scelzi and Rico Abreu rounding out the top five.
Dominic Scelzi was sixth with Aaron Reutzel, 17th-starter Corey Day, 21st-starter Mitchell Faccinto and Donny Schatz completing the top ten.
Eliason topped Saturday’s qualifying with a lap of 13.176 before Kofoid, Netto and D. Scelzi topped heat race action. Netto held down the fourth position past the midway point only to be forced pitside with mechanical issues less than ten laps shy of the checkered flag.
Bill Balog’s night came to an early end after a qualifying lap flip in turn two forced him to scratch from the rest of the evening.
“Wild Wing Shootout”
San Tan Valley, Ariz.
Saturday January 23, 2021
Qualifying: 1. 26-Cory Eliason, 13.176; 2. 83-Aaron Reutzel, 13.294; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 13.327; 4. 57-Rico Abreu, 13.327; 5. 88n-D.J. Netto, 13.411; 6. 69k-Lance Dewease, 13.429; 7. 19az-Buddy Kofoid, 13.460; 8. 18s-Jason Solwold, 13.477; 9. 41-Dominic Scelzi, 13.545; 10. 14-Tony Stewart, 13.557; 11. 33m-Mason Daniel, 13.622; 12. 21-Carson Macedo, 13.645; 13. 5T-Ryan Timms, 13.688; 14. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.699; 15. 18T-Tanner Holmes, 13.708; 16. 14d-Corey Day, 13.710; 17. 93-Kalib Henry, 13.753; 18. 42x-Tim Kaeding, 13.774; 19. 98-Sean Watts, 13.794; 20. 14T-Tim Estenson, 14.266; 21. 21b-A.J. Bender, 14.273; 22. 37-Mitchell Faccinto, 14.291; 23. 1-Robbie Price, 14.487; 24. 56-Sammy Swindell, 14.982; 25. 13-Bill Balog, NT, 26. 75-Brian Boswell, NT.
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 19az-Buddy Kofoid, 2. 14-Tony Stewart, 3. 57-Rico Abreu, 4. 26-Cory Eliason, 5. 5T-Ryan Timms, 6. 14d-Corey Day, 7. 37-Mitchell Faccinto, 8. 98-Sean Watts, 9. 13-Bill Balog (DNS).
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 88n-D.J. Netto, 2. 83-Aaron Reutzel, 3. 18s-Jason Solwold, 4. 15-Donny Schatz, 5. 33m-Mason Daniel, 6. 93-Kalib Henry, 7. 1-Robbie Price, 8. 75-Brian Boswell, 9. 14T-Tim Estenson (DNS).
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 41-Dominic Scelzi, 2. 21-Carson Macedo, 3. 42x-Tim Kaeding, 4. 69k-Lance Dewease, 5. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 6. 18T-Tanner Holmes, 7. 56-Sammy Swindell, 8. 21b-A.J. Bender.
“A” Main (35 Laps): 1. 19az-Buddy Kofoid (5), 2. 26-Cory Eliason (1), 3. 21-Carson Macedo (10), 4. 18-Giovanni Scelzi (3), 5. 57-Rico Abreu (7), 6. 41-Dominic Scelzi (4), 7. 83-Aaron Reutzel (6), 8. 14d-Corey Day (17), 9. 37-Mitchell Faccinto (21), 10. 15-Donny Schatz (13), 11. 42x-Tim Kaeding (12), 12. 93-Kalib Henry (18), 13. 14-Tony Stewart (9), 14. 56-Sammy Swindell (23), 15. 5T-Ryan Timms (15), 16. 98-Sean Watts (19), 17. 14T-Tim Estenson (25), 18. 18T-Tanner Holmes (16), 19. 1-Robbie Price (22), 20. 88n-D.J. Netto (2), 21. 33m-Mason Daniel (14), 22. 75-Brian Boswell (24), 23. 21b-A.J. Bender (20), 24. 18s-Jason Solwold (11), 25. 69k-Lance Dewease (8). DNS: 13-Bill Balog.