USAC: Kofoid rides the cushion to win BC39

Reigning USAC National Midget champion Buddy Kofoid kept saying he wanted to kiss the bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. First, he had to conquer the Speedway’s dirt.

Driving the No. 67 of Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, Kofoid did that in spectacular fashion Thursday night, outdueling Cannon McIntosh in a cushion-riding frenzy late in the Driven2SaveLives BC39 presented by WeatherTech at The Dirt Track at IMS.

The two drivers put on a thrilling show for the capacity crowd, exchanging the lead several times as the 39-lap main event wore on. The action featured both drivers using the highest portion of the track for grip, so much so that bouncing off the Turn 4 wall became part of their path.

Cannon McIntosh – Driven2SaveLives BC39 – By_ James Black

On the final lap, Kofoid scooted away from McIntosh when McIntosh’s No. 08 machine of Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports bobbled slightly in Turn 2.

“This is the biggest midget win of my career,” Kofoid said before kissing the Yard of Bricks mounted in the wall at the finish line. “It’s something special, and I feel like it hasn’t even sunk in yet.”

Kofoid, a native of Penngrove, California, said he had to catch his breath after what he described as “almost giving (the lead) away on the last restart” as he again went breathtakingly high in Turn 4.

Winner Buddy Kofoid – Driven2SaveLives BC39

“I started ripping the fence and if I put (the car) upside-down, I put it upside-down,” he said, laughing. “Luckily, that didn’t happen.”

Of the frequent wall contact with his right-side tires, Kofoid said “some of it was intentional, some of it was an accident. A lot of the time it worked out, and luckily I didn’t get bit.”

Said McIntosh, who led much of the first half of the race: “It was fun racing with him there. I feel like we were able to push each other to the limit without going over the limit. That was a cool battle.”

Kofoid became the third “Buddy” to win a major event at IMS, following Buddy Lazier (1996) and Buddy Rice (2004) in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Thomas Meseraull, Zach Daum and Jacob Denney rounded out the top-five finishers.

The two-night BC39, held for the fourth year, honors the late Bryan Clauson, a five-time USAC champion who led three laps in the 2016 “500.” Clauson was the inspiration for this quarter-mile dirt track and the event that attracted 86 drivers this year, including several NASCAR Cup Series stars plus 10-time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz. The 26-car main event featured reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, who finished eighth.

5th place – Kyle Larson – Driven2SaveLives BC39 – By_ James Black

This event also promotes organ donation through the Indiana Donor Network. Clauson, who died in a racing accident in August 2016, saved five lives as an organ donor.

Before kissing those bricks, Kofoid joined the Clauson family in victory lane.

“We won at probably the coolest track in the world (with) great fans, and it was cool to see a packed house,” he said. “To honor Bryan Clauson and the whole Clauson family, plus Driven2SaveLives, it’s hard to put into words what that means.

“Also, (winning) $15,000 is pretty damn cool, too.”

Thursday’s action began with six qualifying races of 10 laps each. Winning were Jacoby Denney, Jace Park, McIntosh, Kofoid, Bryant Wiedeman and Kaylee Bryson.

In the main races, Mariah Ede and Rylan Gray were D Main winners, with Ryan Timms winning the C Main and Chase McDermand capturing the B Main.

Former USAC champions and NASCAR veterans J.J. Yeley and Ryan Newman were eliminated in the D Main. Chase Briscoe, who has won a Cup Series race this season, reached the B Main before bowing out of the competition.

The BC39 winner once again was presented with a winner’s wreath in the spirit of the “500.” The wreath included messages from organ recipients who have benefitted from the Driven2SaveLives campaign through the Indiana Donor Network.

Tony Kanaan, who wore the “500” wreath after winning at IMS in 2013, took a half-dozen exhibition laps around The Dirt Track at IMS. He said his goal was not to embarrass himself with slower lap times than those competing in the fourth annual event. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver said he hopes to participate in the BC39 next year.

“What a blast; I’m still shaking,” said Kanaan, whose only other time in a midget came during a 21-lap test on this track last month. “I think I looked good out there, but it’s a blast.”

Kanaan said car owner Tim Clauson, Bryan’s father, was worried that he was going to hit the wall, but that is what the dirt’s cushion is for.

“I like it because you don’t hit the wall,” Kanaan said. “I need a cushion next year at the ‘500.’ It will be much, much better.”

Race Results


Hot Laps (Combined) : 1. Michael Pickens (12.074); 2. Kyle Larson (12.188); 3. Ryan Timms (12.230); 4. Jacob Denney (12.240); 5. Ethan Mitchell (12.249); 6. Michel Moles; 7. Cannon McIntosh; 8. Thomas Meseraull; 9. Jace Park; 10. Jade Avedisian;

11. Chris Windom; 12. Dominic Gorden; 13. Buddy Kofoid; 14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr; 15. Nick Drake; 16. Austin Barnhill; 17. Chase McDermand; 18. Emerson Axsom; 19. Taylor Reimer; 20. Timmy Buckwalter;

21. Braden Chiaramonte; 22. Kyle Jones; 23. JJ Yeley; 24. Chance Crum; 25. Justin Grant; 26. Chase Briscoe; 27. Adam Taylor; 28. Kyle Cummins; 29. Ryan Thomas; 30. Jerry Coons Jr;

31. Isaac Chapple; 32. Hayden Reinbold; 33. Shannon McQueen; 34. Logan Seavey; 35. Bryant Wiedeman; 36. Brenham Crouch; 37. Jordan Kinser; 38. Kaylee Bryson; 39. Chris Baue; 40. Tyler Courtney;

41. Zach Daum; 42. Karter Sarff; 43. Riley Kreisel; 44. Maria Cofer; 45. Mariah Ede; 46. Travis Buckley; 47. Peter Paulson; 48. Cade Lewis; 49. Rylan Gray; 50. Brady Bacon;

51. Colby Copeland; 52. Jason McDougal; 53. Donny Schatz; 54. Michael Faccinto; 55. CJ Leary; 56. Sheldon Creed; 57. Russ Gamester; 58. Greyson Springer; 59. Anton Hernandez; 60. Dillon Welch;

61. Ryan Newman; 62. Barrie Valentino; 63. Jimi Quin; 64. Michelle Decker; 65. Trey Gropp; 66. Ian Creager; 67. Bryan Stanfill; 68. Alex Nalon; 69. Blake Brannon; 70. Kyle Keaton;

71. Justin Dickerson; 72. Zach Veach; 73. Josh Hodge; 74. Jeff Schindler; 75. Bill Rose; 76. Zach Boden; 77. Alex Watson; 78. Jim Jones; 79. John Haydenreich;

Qualifying Races

Qualifying Race 1 : 1. Jacob Denney; 2. Dominic Gorden; 3. Michael Pickens; 4. Thomas Meseraull; 5. Chris Windom; 6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr; 7. Nick Drake; 8. Kyle Jones; 9. Timmy Buckwalter; 10. Austin Barnhill; 11. Breden Chiaramonte; 12. Ryan Thomas; 13. Jim Jones; 14. John Heydenreich;

Qualifying Race 2 : 1. Jace Park; 2, Michael Moles; 3. Kyle Larson; 4. Hayden Reinbold; 5. Kyle Cummins; 6. Ryan Timms; 7. Isaac Chapple; 8. Greyson Springer; 9. Michelle Decker; 10. Ian Creager; 11. Adam Taylor; 12. Zach Veach; 13. JJ Yeley

Qualifying Race 3 : 1. Cannon McIntosh; 2. Ethan Mitchell; 3. Chase McDermand; 4. Jade Avedisian; 5. Chance Crum; 6. Chase Briscoe; 7. Russ Gamester; 8. Mariah Ede; 9. Donny Schatz; 10. Shannon McQueen; 11. Jimi Quin; 12. Peter Paulson; 13. Josh Hodge; 14. Kyle Keaton;

Qualifying Race 4 : 1. Buddy Kofoid; 2. Jerry Coons Jr; 3. Zach Daum; 4. Brenham Crouch; 5. Emerson Axsom; 6. Jordan Kinser; 7. Anton Hernandez; 8. Travis Buckley; 9. Riley Kreisel; 10. Alex Watson; 11. Barrie Valentino; 12. Chris Baue; 13. Bill Rose;

Qualifying Race 5 : 1. Bryant Wiedeman; 2. Brady Bacon; 3. CJ Leary; 4. Jason McDougal; 5. Cade Lewis; 6. Maris Cofer; 7. Justin Grant; 8. Michael Faccinto; 9. Bryan Stanfill; 10. Ryan Newman; 11. Justin Dickerson; 12. Alex Nalon; 13. Taylor Reimer;

Qualifying Race 6 : 1. Kaylee Bryson; 2. Sheldon Creed; 3. Trey Gropp; 4. Karter Sarff; 5. Tyler Courtney; 6. Blake Brannon; 7. Dillon Welch; 8. Rylan Gray; 9. Zach Boden; 10. Jeff Schindler; 11. Scott Orr; 12. Colby Copeland; 13. Logan Seavey;

Alphabet Mains

D-Main 1 : 1. Mariah Ede; 2. Timmy Buckwalter; 3. Travis Buckley; 4. Colby Copeland; 5. JJ Yeley; 6. Taylor Reimer; 7. Chris Baue; 8. Ian Creager; 9. Bill Rose; 10. Ryan Newman; 11. Kyle Keaton; 12. Adam Taylor; 13. Alex Watson; 14. Shannon McQueen; 15. Alex Nalon; 16. Kyle Jones; 17. Jim Jones;

D-Main 2 : 1. Rylan Gray; 2. Riley Kreisel; 3. Donny Schatz; 4. Logan Seavey; 5. Braden Chiaramonte; 6. Justin Dickerson; 7. Ryan Thomas; 8. Jimi Quin; 9. Josh Hodge; 10. Zach Boden; 11. Austin Barnhill; 12. Zach Veach; 13. Jeff Schindler; 14. Barrie Valentino; 15. Scott Orr; 16. Peter Paulson; 17. Maria Cofer; 18. Michelle Decker;

C-Main : 1. Ryan Timms; 2. Justin Grant; 3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr; 4. Cade Lewis; 5. Chase Briscoe; 6. Nick Drake; 7. Anton Hernandez; 8. Dillon Welch; 9. Bryan Stanfill; 10. Russ Gamester; 11. Timmy Buckwalter; 12. Riley Kreisel; 13. Rylan Gray; 14. Donny Schatz; 15. Greyson Springer; 16. Mariah Ede; 17. Travis Buckley; 18. Blake Brannon; 19. Jordan Kinser; 20. Isaac Chapple;

B-Main : 1. Chase McDermand; 2. Justin Grant; 3. Emerson Axsom; 4. Kyle Cummins; 5. Jason McDougal; 6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr; 7. Jerry Coons Jr; 8. Sheldon Creed; 9. Cade Lewis; 10. Chase Briscoe; 11. Brenham Crouch; 12. Chance Crum; 13. Nick Drake; 14. Jace Park; 15. Jade Avedisian; 16. Tyler Courtney; 17. CJ Leary; 18. Hayden Reinbold; 19. Ryan Timms; 20. Michael Faccinto;

Main Event

1. Buddy Kofoid
2. Cannon McIntosh
3. Thomas Meseraull
4. Justin Grant
5. Kyle Larson
6. Zach Mitchell
7. Kaylee Bryson
8. Brady Bacon
9. Dominic Gorden
10. Brenham Crouch
11. Bryant Wiedeman
12. Chris Windom
13. Emerson Axsom
14. Taylor Reimer
15. Trey Gropp
16. Jason McDougal
17. Tyler Courtney
18. Chase McDermand
19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
20. Karter Sarff
21. Chase Briscoe
22. Michael Pickens
23. Mitchel Moles
24. Jacob Denney
25. Ethan Mitchell
26. Kyle Cummins

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