SALISBURY, N.C. — Tuesday night turned into a house party for Cannon McIntosh.
The house was Millbridge Speedway and the party was his third victory of the season with the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented Toyota.
The Oklahoma native moved to Mooresville, N.C., in the offseason and made Millbridge a new home for racing – helping build a micro sprint team with his dad and winning weekly shows at the one-sixth-mile track himself.
On Tuesday night, he scored his biggest win yet at the track during the first night of the DIAEDGE Double Down Showdown with the Xtreme Outlaw Midgets – accompanied by a $4,000 payday.
“It was nice to come back here and do what we know how to do and put this thing back in victory lane,” McIntosh said. “This thing was lights out all night. I felt pretty confident in what I was doing on the track. All the pieces came together and we were able to win.”
McIntosh was never shy about his speed all night, running the fastest time in his hot-lap group, running the fastest time in his qualifying group and winning the TJ Forged Heat Race. That placed him as the second highest points earner behind Hayden Reinbold, who scored the Whitz Quick Time Award and also won his Heat Race.
However, with Reinbold drawing the No. 6 pill in the invert draw that placed Chase McDermand – who won the last two Xtreme Outlaw Midget shows – on the pole and McIntosh in fifth for the 30-lap feature.
When the main event commenced, outside polesitter Gavin Miller, looking for his first career national Midget win, rocketed around the outside of McDermand to take the lead on the first lap.
While McDermand tried to hunt him back down, McIntosh was already on the move behind them, up to third by lap four. Two laps later, up to second past McDermand.
He wasn’t the only one on a climb too. After fading in the first two laps, Jade Avedisian was climbing her way up through the field, getting back to third by lap nine and looking to spoil McIntosh’s appetite for the win, which eluded him last year.
Miller, McIntosh and Avedisian waged a war for the lead by the halfway point, trading slide jobs like it was a choreographed dance. McIntosh ended up having the better footing, winning the battle with a slider through the middle of turns one and two.
With the lead in hand, McIntosh stayed glued to the top and let the party rage on behind him. And while he had already won the war for the lead, Miller and Avedisian kept it going for second. The close racing between the two Keith Kunz Motorsports drivers resulted in contact in turn three, sending Avedisian into the wall and collecting six other cars with her.
With 10 laps to go, McIntosh worked on making qualifying laps out of each one. When the white flag hit the air, he had a straightaway lead on Miller. Then, a caution flag created a green-white-checkered finish.
Miller pushed his No. 97 Toyota-power car as hard as he could in the final two laps, looking underneath McIntosh in the final corner, but the No. 08 car for Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports was perfect around the top and sprinted with ease to the checkered flag first.
“I couldn’t see behind me, but I felt like we had a really good car,” McIntosh said. “I felt confident every lap, so I knew if I just hit my marks, we’d be fine. Don’t know how close [Miller] was behind us but felt really good. It was about as good as you could ask for in a car and try to go back and do the same thing tomorrow.”
While Miller had to settle for second, it was his third straight top-10 finish and second straight podium with the series.
“I struggled off exit,” Miller said. “I just needed to be up a little higher. Cannon could get through a little better than we could, but we’ll figure it out.”
McDermand finished third, ending his winning streak, but still satisfied as it was also his first time at Millbridge.
“Really just needed to get off the corner better, needed more forward drive there,” McDermand said. “Once the track progressed throughout the race, I fell off a little bit. Just struggled to get off the corner.”
Rounding out the top five were Briggs Danner in fourth and Mariah Ede in fifth.
Feature (31 Laps): 1. 08-Cannon McIntosh; 2. 97-Gavin Miller; 3. 40-Chase McDermand; 4. 98-Briggs Danner; 5. 71E-Mariah Ede; 6. 5G-Gavan Boschele; 7. 26-Chance Crum; 8. 67-Ryan Timms; 9. 71-Jade Avedisian; 10. 7U-Kyle Jones; 11. 11X-Brent Crews; 12. 17B-Austin Barnhill; 13. 55-Trevor Cline; 14. 25K-Taylor Reimer; 15. 5D-Zach Daum; 16. 97K-Carson Hocevar; 17. 19M-Ethan Mitchell; 18. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold; 19. 55D-Nick Drake; 20. 2X-Landon Brooks