By Richie Murray
Sweet Springs, Missouri (September 7, 2022)………For Buddy Kofoid, Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex is where it all started. For Cannon McIntosh, it was the home of one of his finest driving performances.
Both have experienced some of their most spectacular and monumental moments behind the wheel in USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship competition at Sweet Springs.
Now, two of the most “en fuego” drivers of the 2022 season look to become the first repeat USAC Sweet Springs victors this Friday and Saturday night, September 9-10, during the John Hinck Championship Presented By Dahmer Powertrain.
Multiple lead changes and down to the wire photo finishes – that’s been the calling card for USAC racing at Sweet Springs since the series debuted at the 1/6-mile dirt oval in 2018.
This weekend, the field will be chasing $4,021-to-win in Friday’s 30-lap feature and $5,021-to-win during Saturday’s 40-lap main event. The extra 21 bucks represents the car number traditionally sported by the Hinck family’s TKH Motorsports midgets, micros and sprint cars normally driven by event promoter, Elite Racing Promotions’ Brady Bacon. TKH’s Terry and Kelly Hinck are the sons of the race’s namesake, John Hinck.
BUDDY & CANNON
Four previous appearances by the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship to Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex have resulted in events featuring multiple lead changes each year with no less than three drivers taking part in the top spot swap.
Two past Sweet Springs USAC Midget winners are on board for this weekend’s events: the two most recent in fact – Cannon McIntosh and Buddy Kofoid.
One thing both had in common at the time was driving for Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports. Those pair of victories coupled with Logan Seavey and Tanner Carrick’s wins in 2018 and 2019, respectively, have resulted in KKM holding an undefeated 4-0 USAC record at Sweet Springs entering the weekend.
McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.) was the lone driver to lead both nights at Sweet Springs in 2020. He led just one, the final one, on night one after tracking down the leader on the last lap to win by a nose, making it the closest finish of the entire 2020 USAC season at 0.056 seconds. Since then, McIntosh has won two POWRi Midget events at Sweet Springs in July of 2021 and July of 2022. He’ll pilot the family owned Dave Mac Motorsports No. 08 throughout the weekend.
Current series point leader and reigning USAC National Midget champion, Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.), found redemption in his Sweet Springs debut in 2020. In the night one opener, Kofoid’s race was over just a half-lap in after he and Justin Grant went for mighty flip down the back straightaway, ending both driver’s evenings. Kofoid returned the following night and endured a ferocious charge from McIntosh three-quarters of the race in, then was forced to hold off more incomers to score the win, which served as his first career USAC feature victory.
AMAZIN’ DAISON RETURNS
Ten months after a horrific crash at Arizona Speedway in November of 2021 left Pursley with a broken neck and spinal damage that briefly left him paralyzed from the neck down, Daison Pursley will return to the cockpit of a USAC National Midget for the first time since.
Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) recently earned his first midget feature win since returning from injury in the POWRi event at Missouri’s Lake Ozark Speedway last weekend.
He also sports a POWRi victory at Sweet Springs, scoring top honors in October of 2021 and his two top-ten USAC results at Sweet Springs in 2020 came in consecutive 6th place finishes during his Rookie season.
Kofoid and Pursley’s teammates include Kaylee Bryson (Muskogee, Okla.), who made headlines in 2020 with her first career Fatheadz Fast Qualifying time with the series at Sweet Springs. By doing so, she became just the fifth female to accomplish the feat while her best Sweet Springs feature result came with a 10th in 2020. With POWRi, she scored a 2nd at Sweet Springs in July of 2021.
Since then, Taylor Reimer (Bixby, Okla.) has become the first woman to earn three fast qualifying times with the USAC National Midgets. She ran 6th with POWRi at Sweet Springs this past July.
KKM’s USAC debuters at Sweet Springs this coming weekend come from Bryant Wiedeman (Colby, Kan.), Brenham Crouch (Lubbock, Texas), Cade Lewis (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Mariah Ede (Fresno, Calif.). Three of the four in this group have competed with POWRi at Sweet Springs with Crouch garnering a 2nd this past July while Wiedeman took 3rd in July of 2021 and Lewis recorded a 14th twice in 2021.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL (FOR VICTORY)
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) holds the 10-lap USAC National Midget track record at Sweet Springs with a 2:03.358, set on night one in 2020. His best feature result at the track came in a 9th place performance in 2018.
Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) has finished inside the top-ten in both of his Sweet Springs starts, finishing 5th and 9th on back-to-back nights in 2020.
Two-time USAC National Midget champion Jerry Coons Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) will be back in the seat of the Central Motorsports No. 85. Coons finished 7th at Sweet Springs in 2019. Coons has won a USAC National Midget feature in the state of Missouri before, taking the victory in 2006 at Lake Ozark. The USAC Triple Crown champion has finished on the podium in three of his five series starts this season.
CB Industries team brings three USAC National Midget Rookies to Sweet Springs. Leading Rookie of the Year contender and one-time series winner Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) leads a crew that also includes Jace Park (Overland Park, Kan.) and Chase McDermand (Springfield, Ill.). McDermand will perform his duties in the CBI No. 86 in a one-weekend deal with the team before returning to his regular ride with Mounce-Stout Motorsports thereafter.
Park and McDermand both have previous POWRi experience at the venue with Park taking 5th in October of 2021 and McDermand, similarly, notching a 5th this past July. Meanwhile, team owner CBI team owner Chad Boat made two Sweet Springs starts as a driver, finishing 10th and 5th in 2018-19, respectively.
Ethan Mitchell (Mooresville, N.C.) has made three Sweet Springs starts with a 17th as his best on night two of 2020. His Bundy Built Motorsports teammate, Zach Daum (Pocahontas, Ill.), was a heat race winner and a 13th place feature finisher in the initial USAC Sweet Springs run in 2018.
You can include Chance Crum (Snohomish, Wash.) among those making their USAC debut at Sweet Springs, but not necessarily their first midget start at the track. Crum tallied a runner-up finish with POWRi at Sweet Springs in October of 2021. Joe B. Miller (Millersville, Mo.) snared a solid 4th just a couple months ago in July. Branigan Roark (Lincoln, Mo.) notched a 12th in 2021.
Hayden Reinbold (Gilbert, Ariz.) returns to Sweet Springs after a pair of USAC visits in 2020 but seeks his first pair of starts this weekend. This year’s USAC Indiana Midget Week feature winner at Lincoln Park Speedway, Jacob Denney (Galloway, Ohio), will make his first Sweet Springs midget appearance of any kind this weekend along with Austin Barnhill (Wilmington, N.C.) and Braden Chiaramonte (El Cajon, Calif.).
The John Hinck Championship Presented by Dahmer Powertrain at Sweet Springs features the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship, Velox Racing Outlaw Non-Wing Micros and Engler Machine Restricted Micros.
Both nights, pit pass sales begin at 3pm Central with the pits cleared at 4pm, front gates opening at 5pm, the drivers meeting taking place at 5:30pm, engine heat at 6pm followed by hot laps, qualifying and racing.
On Friday, general admission tickets are $25 while children age 12 and under free. Pit passes are $35. Tickets will be available at the gate on both race days.
On Saturday, general admission tickets are $30 while children age 12 and under free. Pit passes are $40. Tickets will be available at the gate on both race days.
Advance tickets for the event are on sale now at www.eliteracingpromotions.com.
2022 USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-1258, 2-Justin Grant-1172, 3-Thomas Meseraull-1014, 4-Cannon McIntosh-976, 5-Mitchel Moles-965, 6-Bryant Wiedeman-928, 7-Kaylee Bryson-919, 8-Logan Seavey-763, 9-Ethan Mitchell-750, 10-Brenham Crouch-749.
TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC NATIONAL MIDGETS AT SWEET SPRINGS MOTORSPORTS COMPLEX:
1 Lap – 9/4/2020 – Tyler Courtney – 11.863
10 Laps – 9/4/2020 – Justin Grant – 2:03.358
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WINS AT SWEET SPRINGS MOTORSPORTS COMPLEX:
1-Tanner Carrick, Buddy Kofoid, Cannon McIntosh & Logan Seavey
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WINNERS AT SWEET SPRINGS MOTORSPORTS COMPLEX:
2018: Logan Seavey (7/15)
2019: Tanner Carrick (7/14)
2020: Cannon McIntosh (9/4) & Buddy Kofoid (9/5)
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WINS IN MISSOURI:
3-Mike McGreevy, Henry Pens & Bob Wente
2-Danny Frye, Arnie Knepper, Steve Knepper, Bob Tattersall & Rich Vogler
1-Steve Cannon, Tanner Carrick, Bill Chennault, Jerry Coons Jr., Tommy Copp, Jimmy Davies, Jay Drake, Rex Easton, A.J. Foyt, Steve Gennetten, Buddy Kofoid, Jason Leffler, Jerry McClung, Cannon McIntosh, Andy Michner, J.R. Miller, Richard Powell, Stevie Reeves, Logan Seavey, Dave Strickland, Joe Walter & Terry Wente
PAST FEATURE RESULTS FOR USAC NATIONAL MIDGETS AT SWEET SPRINGS MOTORSPORTS COMPLEX:
2018 FEATURE: (40 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (7), 2. Cole Bodine (1), 3. Ryan Robinson (5), 4. Brady Bacon (4), 5. Tyler Courtney (3), 6. Christopher Bell (14), 7. Spencer Bayston (21), 8. Tanner Carrick (2), 9. Justin Grant (12), 10. Chad Boat (11), 11. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (10), 12. Sam Johnson (13), 13. Zach Daum (19), 14. Jerry Coons, Jr. (22), 15. Brayton Lynch (24), 16. Tucker Klaasmeyer (8), 17. Holly Shelton (23), 18. Riley Kreisel (9), 19. Tyler Thomas (20), 20. Zane Hendricks (15), 21. Kyle Craker (18), 22. Jake Neuman (17), 23. Karter Sarff (16), 24. Jason McDougal (6). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Bodine, Laps 5-12 Carrick, Laps 13-36 Bodine, Laps 37-40 Seavey.
2019 FEATURE: (40 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Tanner Carrick (5), 2. Zeb Wise (9), 3. Chris Windom (7), 4. Jason McDougal (4), 5. Chad Boat (15), 6. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (8), 7. Jerry Coons, Jr. (16), 8. Daniel Robinson (23), 9. Tucker Klaasmeyer (11), 10. Andrew Layser (2), 11. Cole Bodine (17), 12. Tyler Courtney (3), 13. Joe Boyles (20), 14. Chad Frewaldt (21), 15. Casey Hicks (22), 16. Logan Seavey (1), 17. Brady Bacon (12), 18. Chad Winfrey (18), 19. Clinton Boyles (14), 20. Ethan Mitchell (13), 21. Sam Johnson (10), 22. Curtis Spicer (19), 23. Tanner Thorson (6). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Andrew Layser, Laps 3-37 Tyler Courtney, Laps 38-40 Tanner Carrick.
2020 NIGHT #1 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Cannon McIntosh (13), 2. Chris Windom (7), 3. Tyler Courtney (10), 4. Tanner Thorson (11), 5. Thomas Meseraull (5), 6. Daison Pursley (12), 7. Andrew Felker (17), 8. Robert Dalby (8), 9. Tanner Carrick (3), 10. Kaylee Bryson (14), 11. Spencer Bayston (4), 12. Andrew Layser (21), 13. Emerson Axsom (1), 14. Ace McCarthy (20), 15. Trey Marcham (22), 16. Noah Gass (19), 17. Jesse Love (15), 18. Cole Bodine (18), 19. Ethan Mitchell (23), 20. Chase Johnson (16), 21. Clinton Boyles (2), 22. Buddy Kofoid (6), 23. Justin Grant (9). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Clinton Boyles, Laps 2-16 Tanner Carrick, Laps 17-29 Chris Windom, Lap 30 Cannon McIntosh.
2020 NIGHT #2 FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Buddy Kofoid (7), 2. Tyler Courtney (2), 3. Chris Windom (6), 4. Tanner Carrick (11), 5. Spencer Bayston (8), 6. Daison Pursley (4), 7. Andrew Layser (19), 8. Clinton Boyles (3), 9. Thomas Meseraull (16), 10. Tanner Thorson (23), 11. Jesse Love (13), 12. Cannon McIntosh (5), 13. Trey Marcham (14), 14. Chase Johnson (9), 15. Emerson Axsom (15), 16. Kaylee Bryson (10), 17. Ethan Mitchell (24), 18. Noah Gass (18), 19. Justin Grant (1), 20. Trey Gropp (22), 21. Cole Bodine (17), 22. Ace McCarthy (21), 23. Andrew Felker (20), 24. Robert Dalby (12). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-14 Tyler Courtney, Laps 15-28 Cannon McIntosh, Laps 29-40 Buddy Kofoid.