Last-Lap Pass Lifts Kofoid In Ohio

Buddy Kofoid enjoys victory at Wayne County Speedway. (Mike Campbell photo)

ORRVILLE, Ohio — Buddy Kofoid etched his name in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 history books on Saturday night at Wayne County Speedway.

Kofoid’s first series victory came on the final night of the 37th annual Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Indy Metal Finishing.

The victory scored Kofoid a $10,000 payday.

The 17-year-old was forced to outduel Parker Price-Miller and six-time All Star champion Dale Blaney during the closing circuits of the 35-lap event. In fact, Kofoid was third when the field received the five-to-go signal from the flagstand, eventually getting by Blaney with two laps remaining, followed by a slick move to drive under Price-Miller on the final circuit.

Price-Miller, who led the first 34 laps from the pole, held on to finish second at Wayne County Speedway, followed by Blaney, Broc Martin and Rico Abreu.

“I really don’t know what to say. This was one of my goals when I moved out here,” said Buddy Kofoid, driver of the Ed Neumeister Racing/Gill Construction/CK Plumbing/Linder’s Speed Equipment/No. 11n sprint car. “Getting that first All Star win is just unbelievable. Now I want to get an Outlaw win. I really can’t thank this team enough. Mike [Linder] and the guys gave me a great car. I’m having a lot of fun doing this.”

Although never in command until the final circuit, it was obvious that Kofoid was going to be a factor. In fact, Kofoid took command for the first time, unofficially, on lap nine with a slider over Price-Miller through turns one and two. Unfortunately, a caution, the main event’s first and only caution, halted action just as Kofoid took command, ultimately negating his move.

Racing one-two after the restart, Price-Miller and Kofoid did not encounter traffic for the first time until lap 17, causing the front-runners to bunch that now included a fast-paced Dale Blaney, who battled his way to third from fifth by the completion of lap 23. From that point forward, it was a shootout.

By lap 26, the lead trio were trapped behind a wall of slower cars. Using traffic as a pick, Blaney pounced on Kofoid for second on lap 27, actually diving below the familiar No. 11N with a move between turns three and four. Despite losing a position, Kofoid kept pace with Blaney and Price-Miller, eventually returning the favor and advancing back into second on lap 33.

Keeping Price-Miller within striking distance, Kofoid drove to the tail tank of the Indy Race Parts No. 71P as the duo were entering turn one on the final circuit. In an attempt to protect the bottom, Price-Miller dived into one, but slid too high, actually opening the door for Kofoid who was able to sneak past.

“I was running harder and harder and harder. I actually blew off the track a little bit and that let Dale [Blaney] by,” Kofoid continued. “I was still running hard, but smoother. I ended up getting a run on Dale which allowed us to get back by him. I kept doing the same thing and that allowed us to reel Parker [Price-Miller] in. I felt like I could probably do a wheelie down the backstretch, that’s how much driver I was getting off of turn two.”

Kofoid won the battle on Saturday night, but it was Blaney who won the war, using his podium run to clinch a sixth Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek title, worth $4,000.

The finish:

Feature (35 Laps): 1. 11N-Buddy Kofoid [4]; 2. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [1]; 3. 11-Dale Blaney [5]; 4. 83M-Broc Martin [2]; 5. 24-Rico Abreu [8]; 6. 16-DJ Foos [3]; 7. G1-Justin Peck [6]; 8. 71-Gio Scelzi [14]; 9. O7-Gerard McIntyre [7]; 10. 57X-Andrew Palker [22]; 11. 49X-Tim Shaffer [11]; 12. 3-Jac Haudenschild [9]; 13. 3C-Cale Conley [12]; 14. W20-Greg Wilson [16]; 15. 87-Aaron Reutzel [25]; 16. 26-Cory Eliason [26]; 17. 13-Paul McMahan [20]; 18. K4-Chad Kemenah [17]; 19. 9-Dean Jacobs [19]; 20. 8M-TJ Michael [24]; 21. 45-Trevor Baker [15]; 22. A79-Brandon Wimmer [10]; 23. 8J-Jess Stiger [23]; 24. 22B-Ryan Broughton [13]; 25. 5H-Jordan Harble [18]; 26. 19-Mitch Harble [21]

Lap Leaders: Parker Price-Miller (1-34), Buddy Kofoid (35)


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