Michael “Buddy” Kofoid’s breakout season continued in mid-November with the biggest payday of his USAC career after winning two races at the 2022 Hangtown 100 weekend in Placerville, Calif. ) Speedway and finished third in the three-day opener. Saturday night’s victory was worth $20,000 for the 100 laps plus an additional $12,000 for finishing first in the points standings.
Winner of this race last year, Justin Grant also pocketed a career check for $20,000 in 2021, making it one of USAC’s most lucrative races. Kofoid finished second in 2021 after leading the most laps in 66.
Kofoid started the 2022 weekend on a high by finishing third on Night 1 and bringing the ladies home from Night 2. It was his first win since picking up his 10th win of 2022 in the 30-lap James Dean Classic at Gas City (Ind.) Speedway in September.
After his victory at Gas City, Kofoid finished on the podium in four of the next five races, contributing to his points battle and keeping hope alive throughout the fall calendar.
It’s one of the biggest midget wins I’ve had and of course $32,000 is pretty damn cool too,” Kofoid said in a statement from the show. “It was a long race, and it was stressful. It’s hard to lead that many laps and know where you need to be or whether you need to move. When the track is that slippery, it brings the speed a little bit closer to everybody.
Kofoid lost the lead twice during the marathon, as he and Cannon McIntosh battled for position on laps 49-55. Kofoid took the lead for good on lap 56 and led a total of 95 during the event .
With this 21st win, Kofoid passed AJ Foyt on the series’ all-time win list and in a five-way tie with Ken Schrader among others for 30th place.
Kofoid’s 12th win of the season made it the most successful season by a driver since Rich Vogler won 16 in 1988. Kofoid is only the eighth driver to win 12 or more in one season in the 67 years of series history. The record is held by Mel Kenyon with 17 wins in 1967.
McIntosh was Kofoid’s biggest challenger for most of the race before hopping off the pad on lap 70 and dropping to sixth. He would lose one more position before the end of the race.
Chance Crum rose from 21st place at the start of the race to finish second. Last year’s winner Grant took the final spot on the podium with Outlaw Carson Macedo in fourth and 2022 Chili Bowl winner Tanner Thorson rounding out the top five.
“When you get to traffic, it’s not a car per se,” Kofoid said. “Then you get to the next car and there were like five on top of each other.
“When I slid them they pushed me back and tried to race the guys in front of them. It made things a bit difficult, having to go back and forth with them. I didn’t feel good in the traffic the last two nights, but I guess we were good enough to get the win.
“You just have to maintain your speed and not let their speed interfere with your performance. A few times it got a little tricky, and I didn’t know where to go, but I decided to stick with it and jump on their mistakes and try to put as many cars as possible between me and the one who was in second place. ”
Kofoid’s win at the Hangtown 100 is part of an incredible season for the 20-year-old rider. In 13 World of Outlaws races this season, he earned his first victory in the opening series on Night 2 of Huset’s High Bank Nationals in June. He won the BC39 in August and beat NASCAR stars Kyle Larson and Chae Briscoe to do it. Also in August, Kofoid won the inaugural trophy for Larson and Brad Sweet’s new High Limt Sprint car series at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville Ind.
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Buddy Kofoid continues his breakout season with Hangtown 100 victory originally appearing on NBCSports.com