SALISBURY, N.C. — Since moving to North Carolina from Oklahoma over the offseason, Cannon McIntosh has made Millbridge Speedway his new home away from home.
He faced 22 other invaders at his weekly race place Wednesday night and expelled every one for the second-straight night, winning the DIAEDGE Double Down Showdown in a sweep of the week’s events.
With eight wins in weekly micro sprint competition already this season, McIntosh was among the most prepared drivers in the field for the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota’s return to the sixth-mile speedway.
It came at exactly the right time after he was bested by Chase McDermand in back-to-back races three weeks ago in Kansas.
But this week, McIntosh was simply not going to be denied. Not in his own backyard.
“It’s definitely rewarding after running second a couple weekends,” McIntosh said. “Being able to come back here and show resilience and show what the team’s about.”
He and the Dave Mac-Dalby Motorsports team showed what they were about early, turning in a fastest qualifying lap of 9.884 seconds to snag the Whitz RC Racing Products Quick Time Award. From there, a fourth-to-second run in the third heat to put him fifth on the starting grid for the Toyota Racing Feature.
McIntosh, 20, immediately jumped to his preferred lane on the outside, right up against the wall at the drop of the green and began picking off his forward opponents. By lap 10, he reached the rear bumper of his most formidable foe – Chase McDermand – and wasted no time in getting by with a big slide job in turns three and four to take the lead.
“I kinda just went off of feel and when I could feel the car load-up, and then get back to the throttle,” McIntosh said. “We’d get really good runs on guys there. I just started making moves, and it started clicking once I got by the first car. I got into a rhythm, and we were really good in traffic.”
McIntosh was strong in traffic, having zero issues getting through multiple waves of slower cars and maintaining his gap on the field until a handful of caution periods slowed the race’s pace down after the halfway point.
Further back in the field, Taylor Reimer was mounting a big charge to the front from her 12th-place spot on the starting grid. She had advanced her Keith Kunz Motorsports No. 25k all the way to fourth before the halfway point and was hot on the tail for a podium spot as the race dipped under 10-to-go.
“I just ripped through the middle, honestly,” Reimer said. “There were a couple guys on the bottom, a lot were trying the top. From the Micro race, I knew there really wasn’t anything on the top. It was fine for the Micros, but I knew once it got to the Midgets with all the horsepower we have, it was gonna be tough to run up there.”
Reimer, 23, was one of the few drivers in the field also piloting a micro sprint over the two-day stretch and used the extra seat time to her advantage. After getting by her KKM teammate Gavan Boschele for third, she set her sights on McDermand in second.
One final restart with three circuits remaining put Reimer right on McDermand’s bumper. The two battled for the spot relentlessly until McDermand’s slide job attempt forced contact between them in Turn 3, shooting McDermand way up the track in turn four and allowing Reimer to grab the spot from underneath him.
“She came all the way up to the wall that time, so I just had to throw it down underneath of her,” McDermand said. “I realized at the last second that I probably wasn’t going to clear, so I tried to throw it sideways and that’s when my right-rear hit her.”
“He slid me because he had so much momentum; he wasn’t just going to let off,” Reimer said. “I was ripping through the middle, he slid me, and we made contact there. It pushed him up the track, thankfully it didn’t wreck either of us and we were able to continue on.”
Back out front, McIntosh was on cruise control as he crossed underneath the checkered flags unchallenged to bag the $5,000 grand prize.
“We were able to stay out of trouble and keep our nose clean,” McIntosh said. “That was our key to being able to win this week. I felt like we had the speed all week, it was just a matter of staying out of trouble and keeping this thing in one piece.”
Reimer gathered her car back up after the contact with McDermand and crossed the line in second, notching her best series finish of the year.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit; my guys always give me a great car and I just felt like I haven’t delivered yet,” Reimer said. “To get this for them is really important to me. I’m still chasing that win. I know if I just keep doing well and finishing top-fives, top-threes, the win will come.”
McDermand crossed in third for the second night in-a-row, making for his fourth-straight podium in his last four series starts.
“There’s a lot of tracks left to go,” McDermand said. “I feel like maybe the bigger tracks are more in my wheelhouse, so hopefully that’ll kinda turn the tides back toward us.”
Feature (35 Laps): 1. 08-Cannon McIntosh; 2. 25K-Taylor Reimer; 3. 40-Chase McDermand; 4. 5G-Gavan Boschele; 5. 97-Gavin Miller; 6. 71-Jade Avedisian; 7. 67-Ryan Timms; 8. 98-Briggs Danner; 9. 55D-Nick Drake; 10. 19M-Ethan Mitchell; 11. 71E-Mariah Ede; 12. 26-Chance Crum; 13. 55-Trevor Cline; 14. 7U-Kyle Jones; 15. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold; 16. 71M-Jake Andreotti; 17. 5LK-Kyle Strickler; 18. 97K-Carson Hocevar; 19. 17B-Austin Barnhill; 20. 2X-Landon Brooks; 21. 5D-Zach Daum