Sarff Byjoeg
Karter Sarff in victory lane at Millbridge Speedway. (Joe Grabianowski photo)

Sarff Rights The Ship With Millbridge Romp

SALISBURY, N.C. — Karter Sarff’s recent starts with the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota since garnering his first win of the season in early April haven’t met his expectations.

But in unfamiliar territory Tuesday night at Millbridge Speedway, he turned it around, leading the opening round of the DIAEDGE Double Down Showdown flag-to-flag for his second win of the year and first-ever at the North Carolina oval.

“We were in a slump the last couple races, just couldn’t get anything out of the car,” Sarff said. “Come to a bullring like this kinda takes the setup out of it a little… I guess I shouldn’t say that. Paul May (crew chief) had her dialed all night long.”

Between his first win at US 36 Raceway in April and his second Tuesday night, Sarff 21, had posted three finishes of 10th or worse with a best result of seventh two weeks ago at Humboldt Speedway.

But those results are in the past, and the young open-wheel talent once again stands atop the national midget world with his third career Series victory.

When the green flag dropped in the main event, Sarff took off immediately, grabbing the lead from the pole and jumping out to a lead in lapped traffic that stretched nearly three seconds at its largest.

“I was happy when I got to lapped traffic because I usually get through lapped traffic pretty good, and I was getting through them fast,” Sarff said. “I figured I might have been out a little ways, but I didn’t know if they were right on me or not, so I just kept hammering on it.”

Behind him, Zach Daum and Cannon McIntosh began their battle for the third spot – Daum the first to throw a slide job in turn one and take the position, only to give it right back after stumbling in turns three and four. Daum was able to rebound though, getting by McIntosh for good with another turn-one slider – one that held up through turns three and four.

“Me and Cannon have come back to an understanding; we can race with each other again,” Daum said. “It’s good. That’s how racing should be – I wasn’t gonna crash him and he wasn’t gonna crash me. I had my line; he had his line. When he was better, he would drive around me and if not, we’d drag race down the straightaway.”

“You’d see [Daum] and you’d lift, and you didn’t know if he was sliding all the way across or gonna keep it in the middle,” McIntosh said. “When I lifted, he was just kinda there, and I couldn’t really slide him back just because he was running the middle. I could get momentum and get back to him, just nowhere to really pass him back.”

When the race’s first caution flag appeared on lLap 22, Sarff led the field back to green ahead of Ryan Timms, Daum in third and McIntosh in fourth. Daum wasted no time going after Timms, throwing a slider on him in turn one on the restart.

But Timms held strong, crossing back underneath Daum in turns three and four to regain the spot, at least for the moment. When the yellow came out again for Timms’ Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate Kale Drake on lap 25, Timms lined up once more with Daum on his tail for the restart.

Timms was smooth through turns one and two but stumbled in turn four, hitting the outside wall. When Daum and McIntosh got underneath him heading back into turn one, Timms jumped up over the cushion in turn two and tagged the wall, which slowed him dramatically. Several cars drove by cleanly on the inside except Ethan Mitchell, who hit Timms’ left-rear tire, puncturing it and bringing out the yellow once again.

With Timms out of the picture, McIntosh assumed third place for the restart with Daum and Sarff in front of him. Try as he may, however, McIntosh was unable to make a move to advance position and crossed the stripe third. In doing so, he increased his lead in the points standings to 108 with Timms ending up 12th and McDermand 20th.

Daum challenged Sarff on the final restart, nearly pulling even with him at one point, but was unable to get close enough to make a move for the lead.

“Hopefully, we can start this trend,” Daum said. “This race last year was the last race in my car, and we started off with the 7U after these races and kinda went on a tear. Hopefully, this is the start of that again. Championship’s pretty well out of grasp right now, so we’re just gonna go for wins and try to win as many races as we can by the end of the year.”

The finish:

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 21K-Karter Sarff[1]; 2. 7U-Zach Daum[6]; 3. 71K-Cannon McIntosh[2]; 4. 97-Gavin Miller[8]; 5. 98D-Briggs Danner[7]; 6. 55D-Nick Drake[10]; 7. 25K-Taylor Reimer[12]; 8. 72-Sam Johnson[11]; 9. 71-Jade Avedisian[16]; 10. 55-Trevor Cline[9]; 11. 67K-Ashton Torgerson[15]; 12. 67-Ryan Timms[4]; 13. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold[13]; 14. 1K-Brayton Lynch[19]; 15. 98K-Elijah Gile[20]; 16. 97K-Kale Drake[17]; 17. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[5]; 18. 2H-Nick Hoffman[3]; 19. 14S-Tyler Edwards[14]; 20. 40-Chase McDermand[18]