Buddy Kofoid stormed out of the gates and never relented throughout the 18th edition of USAC Indiana Midget Week in 2022, earning victories in the first two events to become the mini-series’ third back-to-back champion. Kofoid drives for the Columbus-based Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team.
The Penngrove, California, native’s consecutive IMW titles joined him with Shane Cottle (2005-06) and Rico Abreu (2014-15) in accomplishing the feat, and Kofoid’s triumphs in the first two features of the week made him just the second driver in the history of the series to do just that, and the first since Kyle Larson to do so in 2020.
Kofoid’s first two scores at Bloomington Speedway and Lawrenceburg Speedway were part of an overall four-race USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship winning streak that dated back to April’s score at Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Port City Raceway and in early June on the eve of Indiana Midget Week at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois.
En route to a 36-point margin of victory in the final standings, Kofoid provided his Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team its seventh Indiana Midget Week championship, following in the steps of Christopher Bell (2013), Abreu (2014-15), Spencer Bayston (2018), Logan Seavey (2019) and Kofoid himself (2021-22).
The driving record of Kofoid throughout Indiana Midget Week included four finishes inside the top five and all five results residing within the top 10. His successive wins were subsequently followed by a second at Tri-State Speedway, a ninth at Lincoln Park Speedway and a fifth at Kokomo Speedway, while also securing fast qualifying time on two occasions at Lawrenceburg and Tri-State.
At Bloomington, Kofoid became the first reigning Indiana Midget Week titlist to collect an opening night IMW feature victory in the following year since 2005 champ Shane Cottle achieved the feat in 2006. Like Cottle, Kofoid used it as the springboard he needed to push him toward a back-to-back Indiana Midget Week throne. In doing so, Kofoid escaped the clutches of Chance Crum (Snohomish, Wash.) who led the first 24 laps at Bloomington and just narrowly missed earning his first career USAC National Midget victory by taking a personal-best second at the finish line.
Despite Lawrenceburg Speedway being his own self-described “favorite racetrack,” Kofoid had felt the frustrations of finishing as the runner-up during the 3/8-mile dirt oval’s USAC Indiana Midget Week round in each of his two previous appearances in 2020 and 2021.
But this year was different as he exorcised the demons at The Burg to break through for his first triumphant performance at the southeastern Indiana high banks in round two to become the eighth driver in the 67-year history of USAC National Midget racing to have strung together at least four in a row: Shorty Templeman (1956), Mel Kenyon (1969), Rich Vogler (1978-79), Kevin Olson (1987), Rich Vogler (1988), Billy Boat (1995-96), Dave Darland (2003) and Kyle Larson (2012-13).
Owen wins Lawrenceburg
Justin Owen won the sprint car feature on June 11 at Lawrenceburg Speedway. Columbus natives J.J. Hughes and Joss Moffatt finished second and third, respectively. Michael Fischesser was fourth and sprint car rookie Tripp Gerrald completed the top-five finishers.
Matt Hamilton won the open wheel modified feature over David Spille, Anthony Chaney, Matthew Moore and Scotty Kincaid. In other results, Cordell Moore won the hornet feature and Joel Andrews took first in the pure stock feature.
Tonight, Lawrenceburg will host the BOSS sprint cars along with modifieds, pure stocks and hornets. For ticket info, visit lawrenceburgspeedway.com.
Columbus go-kart results
The results from June 4 for the Columbus Go-Kart Racing, which holds events at Tony Stewart Speedway located at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds, saw division winners Blake Robertson (junior 3), Evan Shatto (heavy and medium), Kamden Fields (rookies), Conner Smith (junior 2), Brandon Malone (super heavy), Brooklyn Summers (junior 1), Hunter Bryant (pro purple) and Brandon Lange (pred).
Brownstown back tonight
After a scheduled two weekends off from racing, Brownstown Speedway will be racing tonight with the Don Russ Memorial, a special for the pure stocks. Also competing tonight will be the pro late models, super stocks, hornets and crown vics. For more info, visit brownstownspeedway.com.
All-Star TQ midgets tonight
Tony Stewart’s All-Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midgets had their event on June 11 at Paragon Speedway cut short due to rain just before the feature. Tonight, the series will be at the Rush County 4-H Fairgrounds in Rushville for a racing program.
Rock Crest to host event Thursday
Rock Crest Raceway, formally known as Twin Cities Raceway Park, will host the Mark Clark Memorial, a special for super stocks, on Thursday. Also on the schedule will be the pro late models, pure stocks and hornets.
This week in racing history
From 50 years ago this weekend in 1972 at Brownstown, Jim Curry won the late model feature over Jack Owens, Mel Vails, Woody Smith and Bob Fleetwood.
Also from 50 years ago at 25th Street Fairgrounds Speedway in Columbus, a special Thursday night sprint car special went to Sheldon Kinser over Mike Waltz, Allen Barr, Butch Wilkerson and Don Jackson. The next night, Russ Petro won the late model feature over Luther Burton, Johnny Robbins, Gary Herbert and Carl Collins.
From 1972 at Haubstadt, Sheldon Kinser won the sprint car feature over Cliff Cockrum, Dick Gaines and Butch Wilkerson. Jack Owens won the late model feature over Jim Curry, Jim Scales and Wayne Coakley.
Also from 50 years ago at Whitewater Valley Speedway in Liberty, Floyd Gilbert won the late model feature over Gene Petro, Pat Patrick, Blady McLaren and Bruce Merz.
From 40 years ago in 1982 at Brownstown, Ray Godsey won the late model feature race over Kenny Simpson, Roger Absher, Russ Petro and Bob Fleetwood. John Mull won the street stock main event over Darrell Hunter, Rodney Harris, Bob Johnson and Dave Barnett.
From 40 years ago at this weekend in 1982 at Twin Cities, Lee Fleetwood won the limited late model feature over Steve Boley, Bob Gullion, John Warner and Jim Ruddick. Clyde James won the street stock feature over Troy Burton, R.C. Calton, Ernie Niemoeller and Scott McKeand.
Also from 1982 at Bloomington, Kelly Kinser won the sprint car feature over Chuck Amati, Mike Johnson, Randy Kinser and Mark Todd. Glenn Sheeks won the limited late model feature over Mickey Smith, Rodney Ritter Jr., John Davis and Dallas Kinser.
From 40 years ago this weekend at Charlestown Motor Speedway, Russ Petro won the late model feature over Doug Ault, Gerald Dixon, Paul Crockett and Tony Darnell.
Also from 1982 at Haubstadt, John Gill won the late model feature over Doug McCammon and Tom Marchino. Chuck Amati won the sprint car feature over Rich Vogler and Kenny Schrader.
From 1982, the Columbus Go-Kart Club division winners were Tony Stewart, Joe Janowski, Jay Hall, David Keith, John Pollock and Steve Stuckwisch.
From 1992 at Brownstown, John Gill won the late model feature over Lee Fleetwood, Don O’Neal, Steve Barnett and Marty O’Neal. Tim Clark took the street stock feature over Darren Davis, Randy Petro, Scott Patman and Willie Sallee. Bob Johnson won the bomber feature over John Abel, Ray Hughes, Jay Deckard and Jerry Adams.
Also from 30 years ago at Paragon, Brad Marvel won the sprint car feature over Dave Peperak, Mike Mann, Joe Roush and Kevin Thomas.
From 1992 at Martin County Speedway in Loogootee, Albert Webb Jr. won the street stock feature over Cale Kern, Greg Benton, Lee Hobbs and Rich Groomer. Ralph Klem and Randy Wininger won the bomber features.
Also from 1992 at Union County Speedway in Liberty, Steve Barnett won the late model feature over Dan Sturgeon, Brian Stinson, Steve Warren and Ken Bradley. Danny Eichler won the bomber feature.
From 20 years ago in 2002 at Brownstown, John Gill won the late model feature over Brad Barrow, Mike Jewell, Mark Barber and Mike Bechelli. Darin George won the modified feature over Lee Hobbs, Matt Boknecht and Adam Sasser. Gary Green won the super stock feature, and Matt Cummings took the bomber feature.
James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Republic. Send comments to [email protected]