Back-to-Back Indiana Midget Week Titles for Buddy Kofoid
Series News Release - USAC Media
Buddy Kofoid stormed out of the gates and never relented throughout the 18th edition of USAC Indiana Midget Week in 2022, earning victories in the first two events to become the mini-series’ third back-to-back champion.
The Penngrove, Calif. native’s consecutive IMW titles joined him with Shane Cottle (2005-06) and Rico Abreu (2014-15) in accomplishing the feat, and Kofoid’s triumphs in the first two features of the week made him just the second driver in the history of the series to do just that, and the first since Kyle Larson to do so in 2020.
Kofoid’s first two scores at Bloomington Speedway and Lawrenceburg Speedway were part of an overall four-race USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship winning streak that dated back to April’s score at Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Port City Raceway and in early June on the eve of Indiana Midget Week at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill.
En route to a 36-point margin of victory in the final standings, Kofoid provided his Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team its seventh Indiana Midget Week championship, following in the steps of Christopher Bell (2013), Abreu (2014-15), Spencer Bayston (2018), Logan Seavey (2019) and Kofoid himself (2021-22).
The driving record of Kofoid throughout Indiana Midget Week included four finishes inside the top-five and all five results residing within the top-10. His successive wins were subsequently followed by a 2nd at Tri-State Speedway, a 9th at Lincoln Park Speedway and a 5th at Kokomo Speedway, while also securing fast qualifying time on two occasions at Lawrenceburg and Tri-State.
At Bloomington, Kofoid became the first reigning Indiana Midget Week titlist to collect an opening night IMW feature victory in the following year since 2005 champ Shane Cottle achieved the feat in 2006. Like Cottle, Kofoid used it as the springboard he needed to push him toward a back-to-back Indiana Midget Week throne. In doing so, Kofoid escaped the clutches of Chance Crum (Snohomish, Wash.) who led the first 24 laps at Bloomington and just narrowly missed earning his first career USAC National Midget victory by taking a personal-best 2nd at the finish line.
Despite Lawrenceburg Speedway being his own self-described “favorite racetrack,” Kofoid had felt the frustrations of finishing as the runner-up during the 3/8-mile dirt oval’s USAC Indiana Midget Week round in each of his two previous appearances in 2020 and 2021.
But this year was different as he exorcised the demons at The Burg to break through for his first triumphant performance at the southeastern Indiana high banks in round two to become the eighth driver in the 67-year history of USAC National Midget racing to have strung together at least four-in-a-row: Shorty Templeman (1956), Mel Kenyon (1969), Rich Vogler (1978-79), Kevin Olson (1987), Rich Vogler (1988), Billy Boat (1995-96), Dave Darland (2003) and Kyle Larson (2012-13).
In an unpredictable event filled to the brim with its share of drama, tempers and an incalculable amount of madness for 30 laps, Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) maintained his stranglehold in USAC National Midget competition at Haubstadt’s Tri-State Speedway. With all those things and more hanging in the balance, Meseraull was forced to fend off Kofoid amid his bid for a record-tying fifth-straight win that would’ve equaled Rich Vogler in 1978.
As it turned out, it took near perfection for Meseraull to prevent Kofoid from achieving perfection himself, as he thwarted several Kofoid slide jobs throughout the duration on the path to his third career series victory at Tri-State to remain the only multi-time USAC National Midget feature winner at the track dating back to 1969.
Following a Wednesday night rainout at Indianapolis’ Circle City Raceway, Putnamville’s Lincoln Park Speedway was the host of what turned into a night full of firsts for USAC National Midget racing a night later as two-time USAC Midwest Thunder SpeeD2 Midget champ Jacob Denney (Galloway, Ohio) delivered his first career series victory in round four at.
The 17-year-old Denney, making just his sixth career USAC National Midget start, had to do it by tracking down one of the all-time greats in USAC Triple Crown champion Jerry Coons Jr., getting by for the top spot when he snuck by Coons on the bottom of turn four with 11 laps remaining.
Earlier in the evening at Lincoln Park, the storyline that was buzzing all over the racing landscape was delivered during qualifying in which the top-four fastest times were turned in by four women: fast-time Jade Avedisian (Clovis, Calif.), Kaylee Bryson (Muskogee, Okla.), Taylor Reimer (Bixby, Okla.) and Mariah Ede (Fresno, Calif.). The feat is most likely the first of its kind in auto racing.
A night later, Mother Nature claimed the event at Gas City I-69 Speedway after qualifying and all four heat races had been completed. Ma Nature tried its best to intervene in the following night’s round at Kokomo Speedway with two separate rain delays which pushed the finish of the event to after midnight. However, it was unable to contain Cannon McIntosh.
Entering the event, McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.) had endured a more than 20-month absence from USAC victory lane, a span of 57 series races without a triumphant celebration. But this one belonged to him as he raced past Justin Grant nine laps in on his way to victory, which came after a miserable week leading up to that point which featured a destroyed racecar, a backup that wouldn’t work properly, a multiple-tire trailer blowout, mechanical issues, then having his brother deliver a new frame from Oklahoma to Indiana so that the team could pull an all-nighter to put it together in time for the next race.
As it turned out, that was the conclusion of Indiana Midget Week 2022, which was cut short a night early when the rescheduled Circle City date on Sunday was washed out by more rain.
Kofoid led practically all Indiana Midget Week stat categories with wins (2), laps led (34), top-fives (4) and was tied in top-tens (5) with Grant (Ione, Calif.). Kofoid also notched two fast qualifying times and was among four drivers who won a pair of heat races alongside Brenham Crouch (Lubbock, Texas), McIntosh and Bryant Wiedeman (Colby, Kan.).
Forty-six drivers competed during Indiana Midget Week while 14 of them started all five feature events, including Jade Avedisian (Clovis, Calif.), Kaylee Bryson (Muskogee, Okla.), Crouch, Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.), Denney, Grant, Kofoid, McIntosh, Meseraull, Ethan Mitchell (Mooresville, N.C.), Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.), Taylor Reimer (Bixby, Okla.), Hayden Reinbold (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Bryant Wiedeman (Colby, Kan.). Three of the fourteen drivers required the use of a provisional starting spot during at least one of the events: Avedisian, Mitchell and Reinbold.
Bryson turned in what might’ve been the finest run of all throughout the week when she charged from the 22nd starting position to finish 4th at Tri-State, passing quote unquote “a crap ton of cars” in the process.
Grant finished a career-best second in the final Indiana Midget Week standings while Rookie Denney slotted into a highly-impressive third. Bryson became the first woman to finish inside the top-five of the IMW points with a fourth-place result. Meseraull, likewise, had a career-best Indiana Midget Week with a fifth in the final rundown.
2022 USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK STAT LEADERS
Driver Champion: Buddy Kofoid
Most Feature Wins: 2-Buddy Kofoid
Laps Led: 34-Buddy Kofoid
Top-Fives: 4-Buddy Kofoid
Top-Tens: 5-Justin Grant & Buddy Kofoid
Fast Qualifying Times: 2-Buddy Kofoid
Heat Race Wins: 2-Brenham Crouch, Buddy Kofoid, Cannon McIntosh & Bryant Wiedeman
Feature Starts: 5-Jade Avedisian, Kaylee Bryson, Brenham Crouch, Kyle Cummins, Jacob Denney, Justin Grant, Buddy Kofoid, Cannon McIntosh, Thomas Meseraull, Ethan Mitchell, Mitchel Moles, Taylor Reimer, Hayden Reinbold & Bryant Wiedeman
Most Positions Gained in a Feature: Jun 5: Tri-State Speedway – Kaylee Bryson (22nd to 4th)