WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Buddy Kofoid picked up his domination of the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League right where he left off last year in Friday night’s season opener at Monarch Motor Speedway.
Kofoid, who won a series-best seven POWRi features in 2020, stormed past his Keith Kunz/Curb Agajanian Motorsports teammate Daison Pursley on a lap-eight restart and never looked back from that point on.
Despite a bevy of caution flags and pursuers on restarts, Kofoid was never shaken and led the rest of the way for his eighth career POWRi national midget win and first at Monarch’s quarter-mile dirt oval.
Kofoid held off a late charge from Pursley, who rallied back from fourth to second over the final six-lap run to the finish, to take the checkered flag first by .448 seconds in the No. 67 Mobil 1 Bullet-Toyota.
It was a big moment early in the outdoor season for Kofoid, who is in his second year under the guidance of team owner Keith Kunz and crew chief Jarrett Martin.
“The whole crew gave me a really good race car,” said the victorious Kofoid. “I’m glad to be able to get the first win of the season in USAC and then the first win in POWRi. But I couldn’t do this without Toyota Racing Development, Mobil 1 and Keith Kunz Motorsports. Hopefully, we can repeat tomorrow.”
Four cautions in the second half of Friday’s 30-lapper created multiple shifts of momentum among the frontrunners, but it was Pursley that found some steam on the top of the track late in the going.
He ripped past Brent Crews and Cannon McIntosh following the final restart and got to Kofoid’s back nerf bar coming to the white flag, but couldn’t make anything happen on the final lap.
“It was a really tough race with a lot of yellows,” relayed Pursley. “The track changed quite a bit during the race. Overall, it was a good night in being able to fall back out of the top five and then come back and finish second. I thought I had a car fast enough to win at the end, but we just came up short. Thanks to Toyota, KKM and IWX for giving me this opportunity.”
McIntosh completed the podium ahead of defending POWRi champion Jake Neuman and Crews, who scored a top-five finish in his series debut with CB Industries.
Emerson Axsom, outside polesitter Kaylee Bryson, Keith Martin, Brenham Crouch and Rees Moran filled out the top 10.
In all, the marathon feature – which had nine total yellow flags and several flips that necessitated red-flag periods for cleanup – took one hour, five minutes and four seconds to complete.
Thanks to all the attrition, just 12 of the 26 starters made it to the checkered flag.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League season continues Saturday night with another complete program at Monarch Motor Speedway.
RESULTS: POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League; Monarch Motor Speedway; March 19, 2021
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Emilio Hoover, 2. Karter Sarff, 3. Bryant Wiedeman, 4. Ryan Timms, 5. Tyler Thomas, 6. Jake Neuman, 7. Cade Lewis, 8. Trey Gropp, 9. Cade Cowles.
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Daison Pursley, 2. Cannon McIntosh, 3. Emerson Axsom, 4. Brenham Crouch, 5. Keith Martin, 6. Brent Crews, 7. Gavin Stout, 8. Scott Evans, 9. Taylor Reimer.
Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. Jade Avedisian, 2. Buddy Kofoid, 3. Kaylee Bryson, 4. Trey Marcham, 5. Kyle Jones, 6. Pierce Urbanosky, 7. Rees Moran, 8. Dylan Postier.
A Feature (30 laps): 1. 67-Buddy Kofoid, 2. 71k-Daison Pursley, 3. 08-Cannon McIntosh, 4. 3n-Jake Neuman, 5. 86-Brent Crews, 6. 15-Emerson Axsom, 7. 71-Kaylee Bryson, 8. 79-Keith Martin, 9. 97-Brenham Crouch, 10. 10-Rees Moran, 11. 116-Scott Evans, 12. 85t-Ryan Timms, 13. 32-Trey Marcham, 14. 91t-Tyler Thomas, 15. 19u-Pierce Urbanosky, 16. 7u-Kyle Jones, 17. 21k-Karter Sarff, 18. 70-Cade Cowles, 19. 84-Jade Avedisian, 20. 15x-Gavin Stout, 21. 01-Bryant Wiedeman, 22. 21-Emilio Hoover, 23. 67k-Cade Lewis, 24. 21ks-Trey Gropp, 25. 10p-Dylan Postier, 26. 25-Taylor Reimer.
Lap Leader(s): Daison Pursley 1-7, Buddy Kofoid 8-30.