GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – Cannon McIntosh’s bad luck was Jake Neuman’s good luck Friday at Valley Speedway.
Sixteen-year-old McIntosh took the checkered flag first to seemingly win his first POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature Friday, but his No. 08 came up light at the scales. That handed the victory to Neuman, who chased McIntosh to the checkered flag.
Before the scene at the scales, the 30-lap Thunder in the Valley National/West feature was brought to life by front row starters Chance Morton and Zach Daum as the green flag waved. Leading the opening circuit, Daum stuck his Bullet/Toyota No. 5D to the low side, but Morton wound his No. 7M up on the high line and drove around to take the lead on lap two.
A lap nine caution jumbled the field back up and sixth-starter McIntosh came firing with a slider on Daum for the second spot. Another stoppage for top-five running Ace McCarthy halted the action and the ensuing restart saw a three-war war break out between McIntosh, Daum and Hank Davis for the runner-up position. Swapping slider-after-slider, corner-after-corner, McIntosh finally broke free of the battle and set his sights on Morton out front.
Restarting with 12 laps left, McIntosh had a golden opportunity to seize the lead and quickly took a shot at Morton, but the No. 7M prevailed and remained in control. However, on lap 22, the race took a wild turn. Attempting a slider for the lead into turn one, McIntosh’s No. 08 drifted up just as Morton started hopping, and slight contact sent Morton over the cushion and upside down over the banking of turn two.
While Morton’s bid for his first win came to a disappointing end, the field re-fired with eight to go and McIntosh quickly pulled away. As lap traffic became tense and McIntosh’s No. 08 was too tight on the cushion, Daum began to sneak in close and set up for a final lap chance at the win. However, the No. 5D stalled it in turn three going for the win, bringing his machine to a stop and setting up a one-lap dash to checkered.
Driving around Neuman’s slidejob effort in turn one, McIntosh slapped it off the curb and drove away to what appeared to be his first POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League victory. However, even as excited and jubilant as the victory lane ceremony was, the emotions were short-lived.
Rolling across the scales in hopes of meeting the mandatory rulebook weight minimum of 1,050 lbs, McIntosh’s No. 08 came across light. As the mood drastically changed, the crew rolled him off and back on, only to fall short once again. Making a third and final attempt at hitting the minimum limit, McIntosh’s machine missed the mark again, resulting in a heartbreaking disqualification.
Ultimately, Neuman was awarded his fourth POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League victory. A winner at Valley Speedway in July of last year, the triumph marks back-to-back wins at Valley for Neuman aboard his Jim Neuman Racing, Brandt, BOSS/SR-11 No. 3N.
Coming across in second was Andrew Felker, who started 18th. Jesse Colwell finished third, followed by Kyle Jones and Ace McCarthy.
1. 3N-Jake Neuman (3); 2. 44S-Andrew Felker (18); 3. 71-Jesse Colwell (10); 4. 7U-Kyle Jones (14); 5. 28-Ace McCarthy (5); 6. 11-Daniel Robinson (21); 7. 67-Holley Hollan (8); 8. 17-Austin Brown (17); 9. 9-Daison Pursley (12); 10. 32-Trey Marcham (13); 11. 8M-Kade Morton (22); 12. 5D-Zach Daum (2); 13. 42-Hank Davis (4); 14. 7M-Chance Morton (1); 15. 20G-Noah Gass (20); 16. 321-Chad Winfrey (15); 17. 2H-Luke Howard (9); 18. 2-A.J. Gilbert (23); 19. 3H-Wesley Smith (16); 20. 19S-Trey Gropp (7); 21.7X-Blake Edwards (11); 22. 3B-Shelby Bosie (19); 23. 15L-Merril Lamb (24); 24. 08-Cannon McIntosh (6) [DQ-Weight].