“This has to be a dream,” Cannon McIntosh recalled saying. There he was, in only his second year of midgets, gunning for a feature win in the 2020 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
Not only was he in contention for an improbable win, he was running third late in the Saturday night finale behind two of the best in the business, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell.
“I tried to get around Christopher near the end, but just couldn’t get it done. Being on national TV being interviewed later was also real cool,” McIntosh added.
That noble effort might have been a surprise to many, but it wasn’t to those who already knew the young Bixby, Okla., driver.
He’s honed his skills over a number of winning years in winged micro-sprints. He also came from a family – including his dad, grandfather, uncle and brother – who have all dabbled in the same type of cars.
Cannon’s father, Dave, raced for several years before helping his son learn the trade.
“My start in 2009-2010 was far from spectacular, not getting a single win in those first two years,” the younger McIntosh noted.
But things turned his direction in 2011, when Cannon showed 12 wins in the Junior Sprint class and finished second at his Port City Raceway home track. The following year, he took eight checkered flags and the track title.
In 2012 he moved into the 600 micros and success continued when he took a win at the Tulsa Shootout. He also won five more races on other Oklahoma tracks.
The next year he moved up to the A-Class and also tried a few non-winged races. In 2015 he won two big features, one at Port City and the other at Tulsa.
DOB: – Dec. 18, 2002
HOMETOWN: – Bixby, Okla.
SERIES: – POWRi National Midget League, NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series
SPONSORS: – Toyota, Mobil 1, IWX Trucking, K1 Race Gear. D.A. Macintosh Inc., Sanders Inc., DriveWFX.com, Curb Records, Bell Helmets, Keith Kunz Motorsports.
Then, in 2017 came the long-awaited opportunity. He was thrown into the fire and finished 10th in his first POWRi race.
He took his first POWRi win at Springfield, Mo., and finished fourth in points in the POWRi West division.
Cannon built his first midget in 2018, with a Toyota powerplant. He competed with the POWRi West again, along with their National series, with a best finishing position of third. He also made his debut with the USAC National Midget Series.
“Boy, those guys are tough, and really opened my eyes,” he recalled.
Then, with a new midget, he competed in the Chili Bowl for the first time in 2019. He was competitive, finishing fifth in the Wednesday preliminary feature, then started eighth on Friday, but missed making the Saturday finale.
This year, he earned the earlier-mentioned third place Chili Bowl finish. He’s running the full USAC National Midget Series with Keith Kunz and has so far earned two POWRi National Midget Series feature wins.
It’s fairly safe to say that Cannon McIntosh’s time is coming, and coming soon.