Oklahoma teenager Cannon McIntosh wins with a last lap pass at Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex, his second win in the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Car Series.
33 cars and drivers were on hand to race at the Sweet Springs, Missouri 1/6 mile dirt oval with Tyler Courtney setting a new track record in qualifying with a lap time of 11.863 seconds. His time only 0.078 ahead of Buddy Kofoid in one of 5 Keith Kunz motorsport cars.
The field was split into 4 heat races that were one by Justin Grant who is only competing at select events in the Midget this season, Chris Windom who leads the Series in points and current Western States Series Champion Robert Dalby in the Stewart/Esslinger who all won from the front row. Thomas Meseraull won the final heat race from 6th place on a track that had plenty of drive.
The top 4 from each heat race had locked into the Feature with grids 17 to 22 found by way of a 12-Lap Semi Main.
While Courtney set fastest time in qualifying he could only muster a 7th in his heat which put him in the B-Main which is gridded in order of fastest qualifying time and put the Indianapolis driver on pole.
Courtney bicycled up in turn 2 and gave his early lead over to Oklahoma teenager Daison Pursley who went on to win with Trey Marcham pipping Courtney at the post for 2nd. Chase Johnson, Kaylee Bryson and Cole Bodine in the #39BC in the 6th and final transfer spot.
Franklin, Indiana’s Emerson Axsom was on pole for the 30-Lap Feature with Clinton Boyles on the front row with Tanner Carrick, Spencer Bayston, Meseraull and Kofoid in the first 3 rows.
The initial start didn’t last a lap before the red flags were waved when Kofoid and Meseraull made contact, sending Kofoid across the path of Grant who flipped high and slow, landing hard. Kofoid also rolling with the closely bunched cars scattering everywhere.
Grant’s Bullet/Stanton SR-11 left in the hook and Kofoid restarted 17th after going to the work area. When the race got back under way Meseraull had contact with Bayston which stopped Bayston on the track and bought interrupted the race for the 2nd time before a lap was recorded.
At the restart Carrick passed both Axsom and Boyles who tangled for the briefest of moments. Boyles then stopped on lap 3 and went to the work area.
Upon resumption Carrick established a lead with Windom running him down and getting alongside as the caution flags flew for Boyles and Ethan Mitchell who were parked on the track.
The little track racing wide and fast with plenty of wheelies as Windom ran down Carrick for the lead a second time and completed the pass. Cannon McIntosh in 3rd running low and Meseraull throwing his car at the tall cushion with a gap back to Thorson, Courtney and Pursley at the race passed the half way mark.
With 12 laps to go the race stopped for Johnson who flipped on the back straight.
Windom controlled the single file restart. Carrick was passed by McIntosh as his car came on strong. McIntosh gained on Windom then missed his mark then settled back down. With 5 laps to go McIntosh was 0.9 seconds behind.
Windom caught the back of the field and McIntosh caught Windom as the white flag came out. The pair coming off the back straight with Windom a car length ahead. Windom covered the lower line and McIntosh sent the through the middle and across the line by a bumper.
Courtney was 3rd with Tanner Thorson and Meseraull in the top five. Pursley, Andrew Felker, Dalby, Carrick and Bryson finishing in the top ten.
“I would make mistakes down in [turns] 1 & 2 and [Windom] would pull away and I would get him back. On that last lap I didn’t think there was going to be a chance.” Said the Keith Kunz Motorsports driver of his win.
“The bottom was the preferred line. I didn’t think the middle was going to hold me” he said of his run for the lead and well-timed final pass.”
A Kiwi connection coming with the win by way of New Zealand Midget car team Seamount Racing’s crew chief Kaz Townsend part of the winning team.
The Series races tomorrow at the same venue.
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Image courtesy of Mike Howard