It’s All Buddy Kofoid On Chili Bowl Tuesday

Buddy Kofoid celebrates in victory lane Tuesday night at Tulsa Expo Raceway. (Jack Reitz photo)

TULSA, Okla. – Though he’ll be tackling a new challenge this year with his rookie World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season, Buddy Kofoid reminded the world Tuesday night that he hasn’t forgotten the tools necessary to be successful in national midget competition.

The Penngrove, Calif., native started from the pole at Tulsa Expo Raceway and led all 30 laps on Warren CAT Qualifying Night to notch his second career Chili Bowl Nationals powered by NOS Energy Drink preliminary win.

Kofoid, returning to Keith Kunz Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian for his fifth straight Chili Bowl appearance during the 38th edition of the Super Bowl of Midget Racing, was never seriously threatened during the main event. He defeated runner-up Hank Davis by 1.457 seconds inside the SageNet Center.

Afterward, Kofoid noted that his successful night came down to positioning and consistency throughout the program.

“You want to try to put yourself into position up front for the A-main, and we did a really good job in the heat race and then [in] the qualifier. [Winning tonight] was a matter of not making mistakes,” said Kofoid. “We survived going through the lapped traffic this time, and now we’re in a good position for Saturday. That’s what you want here.”

Tuesday’s result was the second straight prelim night score for owner Keith Kunz, who topped Monday’s action with another Californian in Tanner Carrick. It marked Kunz’s 36th overall Chili Bowl trophy.

Though Kofoid got the jump on the initial start and controlled a lightning-quick first half, he did have to contend with Davis briefly, amid heavy lap traffic just before the halfway point of the 30-lapper.

However, a caution with 14 to go – for eighth-running Clinton Boyles slowing on track – cleared the path ahead for Kofoid and allowed him to easily scoot away again during the ensuing restart.

A final caution for 10th-running K.J. Snow set up a four-lap dash to the finish, with Kofoid able to cruise to victory against the cushion ahead of Davis. Both locked in starting spots in Saturday’s 55-lap finale.

Chase McDermand nearly took 7U Racing to a feature lock-in, crossing third over World of Outlaws star David Gravel, who charged from 11th to fourth in a solid drive for Abacus Racing.

Kameron Key ended the night fifth, followed by Thomas Meseraull, Landon Brooks, Kevin Thomas Jr., Zach Daum and Jake Bubak.

Josh Most, Brooks, McDermand, Nick Drake, Parker Price-Miller, Jake Neuman, Boyles, and John Klabunde started the evening by winning their respective eight-lap heat races.

George Loux and Xavier Doney split the pair of 12-lap C-Features, with McDermand, Meseraull, Kofoid, and Price-Miller taking the four Team Toyota Qualifier victories. Dirt modified star Kyle Strickler and past POWRi midget champion Zach Daum topped the 15-lap B-Features to lead the transfers into the main.

With another preliminary night victory under his belt, Kofoid is looking ahead with enthusiasm toward Saturday’s championship feature, where he’ll seek to improve upon his career-best Chili Bowl mark of fourth from 2022 – his most recent start in the Saturday finale.

“The Chili Bowl creates a different feeling – there’s so much pressure – but today I was able to stay relaxed and constantly stay with our crew to give us a better Mobil 1 Toyota,” tipped Kofoid.

“To win the Chili Bowl would be the biggest race [victory] in my life.”

Action during the 38th Chili Bowl Nationals powered by NOS Energy Drink continues Wednesday with York Plumbing Qualifying Night. Every lap throughout the week can be streamed live via FloRacing.

38th Chili Bowl Nationals; Warren CAT Qualifying Night; Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway; Jan. 9, 2024

OERB Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. 92M-Josh Most[1]; 2. 7S-Jake Andreotti[7]; 3. 55X-Kevin Thomas Jr[8]; 4. 87F-Kinzer Edwards[4]; 5. 321-Chad Winfrey[9]; 6. 4G-Cole Garner[3]; 7. 31-Kyle Beilman[2]; 8. 121-Steve Glover[5]; 9. (DNF) 7W-Brendon Wiseley[6]

OERB Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. 57W-Landon Brooks[3]; 2. 26-Corbin Rueschenberg[5]; 3. 47X-Zach Daum[4]; 4. 7T-Thomas Meseraull[9]; 5. 14P-Kyle Strickler[7]; 6. 09T-Timmy Thrash[2]; 7. 60-Landon Britt[1]; 8. 08-Brock Berreth[6]; 9. 19K-Riley Kreisel[8]

OERB Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. 7U-Chase McDermand[3]; 2. 71E-Mariah Ede[4]; 3. 8K-KJ Snow[8]; 4. 116-Claud Estes III[1]; 5. 25V-Billy VanInwegen Jr[7]; 6. 96-Cody Brewer[5]; 7. 4C-Cody Jessop[6]; 8. 91B-Kevin Bayer[9]; 9. 1HD-Tommy Colburn[2]

OERB Heat 4 (8 laps): 1. 55D-Nick Drake[2]; 2. 21J-Kameron Key[7]; 3. 10-Ryker Pace[3]; 4. 1M-Caden McCreary[8]; 5. 13-Elijah Gile[6]; 6. 9A-Blake Bower[1]; 7. 6X-Anthony Esberg[5]; 8. (DNF) 14E-Joseph Wray IV[4]; 9. (DNF) 22G-Jack France[9]

OERB Heat 5 (8 laps): 1. 08X-Parker Price Miller[2]; 2. 22B-Troy Betts[3]; 3. 20C-CJ Sarna[4]; 4. 10M-Darin Naida[8]; 5. 45H-Robbie Price[7]; 6. 87-Tanner Holmes[9]; 7. 14X-Andy Pake[6]; 8. 86C-David Camfield Sr[1]; 9. 44-Colton Hardy[5]

OERB Heat 6 (8 laps): 1. 3N-Jake Neuman[2]; 2. 71W-Michael Kofoid[7]; 3. 2ND-Jeb Sessums[1]; 4. 19P-Carson Perkins[5]; 5. 48G-George Loux[3]; 6. 97X-Xavier Doney[6]; 7. 19J-Jack Berger[4]; 8. 22P-Brant O'Banion[9]; 9. (DNF) 88J-Joey Amantea[8]

OERB Heat 7 (8 laps): 1. 11B-Clinton Boyles[4]; 2. 29S-Hank Davis[6]; 3. 7E-Cap Henry[1]; 4. 1K-Brayton Lynch[8]; 5. 28B-Brandon Mattox[7]; 6. 07-Scout Spraggins[5]; 7. 80-Clint Woolbright[3]; 8. (DNF) 17K-Tony Helton[2] 

OERB Heat 8 (8 laps): 1. 77J-John Klabunde[1]; 2. 58-David Gravel[4]; 3. 1Z-Justin Zimmerman[6]; 4. 11K-AJ Bender[2]; 5. 27B-Jake Bubak[7]; 6. 11H-Jori Hughes[3]; 7. (DNF) 715-Robert Bell[5]; 8. (DNF) 6W-Colin White[8]

Smileys Racing Products C Feature 1 (12 laps, top four transfer): 1. 48G-George Loux[1]; 2. 09T-Timmy Thrash[4]; 3. 91B-Kevin Bayer[6]; 4. 44-Colton Hardy[13] / 5. 19J-Jack Berger[8]; 6. 60-Landon Britt[10]; 7. 4C-Cody Jessop[5]; 8. 88J-Joey Amantea[11]; 9. 22G-Jack France[12]; 10. 4G-Cole Garner[3]; 11. 121-Steve Glover[9]; 12. (DNF) 86C-David Camfield Sr[14]; 13. (DNF) 6X-Anthony Esberg[7]; 14. (DNF) 96-Cody Brewer[2]; 15. (DNS) 6W-Colin White 

Smileys Racing Products C Feature 2 (12 laps, top four transfer): 1. 97X-Xavier Doney[1]; 2. 9A-Blake Bower[4]; 3. 07-Scout Spraggins[2]; 4. 19K-Riley Kreisel[12] / 5. 14X-Andy Pake[5]; 6. 22P-Brant O'Banion[6]; 7. 11H-Jori Hughes[3]; 8. 08-Brock Berreth[10]; 9. 80-Clint Woolbright[8]; 10. 1HD-Tommy Colburn[15]; 11. 7W-Brendon Wiseley[14]; 12. 17K-Tony Helton[13]; 13. 715-Robert Bell[7]; 14. 14E-Joseph Wray IV[11]; 15. (DNF) 31-Kyle Beilman[9]

Team Toyota Qualifier 1 (10 laps): 1. 7U-Chase McDermand[4]; 2. 29S-Hank Davis[5]; 3. 1Z-Justin Zimmerman[2]; 4. 7S-Jake Andreotti[6]; 5. 10M-Darin Naida[1]; 6. 87F-Kinzer Edwards[10]; 7. 3N-Jake Neuman[3]; 8. 45H-Robbie Price[9]; 9. (DNF) 2ND-Jeb Sessums[8]; 10. (DNF) 47X-Zach Daum[7]

Team Toyota Qualifier 2 (10 laps): 1. 7T-Thomas Meseraull[3]; 2. 26-Corbin Rueschenberg[4]; 3. 21J-Kameron Key[6]; 4. 55X-Kevin Thomas Jr[5]; 5. 7E-Cap Henry[8]; 6. 20C-CJ Sarna[7]; 7. 13-Elijah Gile[10]; 8. 92M-Josh Most[2]; 9. 28B-Brandon Mattox[9]; 10. (DNF) 1K-Brayton Lynch[1] 

Team Toyota Qualifier 3 (10 laps): 1. 71W-Michael Kofoid[6]; 2. 8K-KJ Snow[5]; 3. 27B-Jake Bubak[9]; 4. 22B-Troy Betts[1]; 5. 55D-Nick Drake[4]; 6. 14P-Kyle Strickler[8]; 7. 77J-John Klabunde[2]; 8. 11K-AJ Bender[10]; 9. 10-Ryker Pace[7]; 10. (DNF) 71E-Mariah Ede[3]

Team Toyota Qualifier 4 (10 laps): 1. 08X-Parker Price Miller[4]; 2. 58-David Gravel[3]; 3. 11B-Clinton Boyles[6]; 4. 57W-Landon Brooks[5]; 5. 25V-Billy VanInwegen Jr[8]; 6. 87-Tanner Holmes[9]; 7. 19P-Carson Perkins[7]; 8. 116-Claud Estes III[10]; 9. 1M-Caden McCreary[2]; 10. 321-Chad Winfrey[1]

WWTR B Feature 1 (15 laps, top four transfer): 1. 14P-Kyle Strickler[5]; 2. 13-Elijah Gile[6]; 3. 87F-Kinzer Edwards[3]; 4. 25V-Billy VanInwegen Jr[2] / 5. 1K-Brayton Lynch[12]; 6. 1M-Caden McCreary[9]; 7. 91B-Kevin Bayer[13]; 8. 22B-Troy Betts[1]; 9. 19P-Carson Perkins[7]; 10. 10-Ryker Pace[10]; 11. 44-Colton Hardy[15]; 12. 48G-George Loux[11]; 13. 09T-Timmy Thrash[14]; 14. 11K-AJ Bender[8]; 15. (DNF) 87-Tanner Holmes[4]; 16. (DNS) 2ND-Jeb Sessums

WWTR B Feature 2 (15 lap, top four transfer): 1. 47X-Zach Daum[11]; 2. 7E-Cap Henry[1]; 3. 3N-Jake Neuman[4]; 4. 20C-CJ Sarna[3] / 5. 19K-Riley Kreisel[15]; 6. 45H-Robbie Price[7]; 7. 97X-Xavier Doney[13]; 8. 28B-Brandon Mattox[8]; 9. 116-Claud Estes III[6]; 10. 321-Chad Winfrey[10]; 11. 07-Scout Spraggins[14]; 12. 77J-John Klabunde[5]; 13. 9A-Blake Bower[12]; 14. 10M-Darin Naida[2]; 15. 92M-Josh Most[16]; 16. (DNF) 71E-Mariah Ede[9]

Warren CAT A Feature (30 laps): 1. 71W-Michael Kofoid[1]; 2. 29S-Hank Davis[3]; 3. 7U-Chase McDermand[2]; 4. 58-David Gravel[11]; 5. 21J-Kameron Key[5]; 6. 7T-Thomas Meseraull[8]; 7. 57W-Landon Brooks[14]; 8. 55X-Kevin Thomas Jr[13]; 9. 47X-Zach Daum[18]; 10. 27B-Jake Bubak[12]; 11. 26-Corbin Rueschenberg[9]; 12. 08X-Parker Price Miller[4]; 13. 7S-Jake Andreotti[10]; 14. 14P-Kyle Strickler[17]; 15. 25V-Billy VanInwegen Jr[23]; 16. 13-Elijah Gile[19]; 17. 1Z-Justin Zimmerman[15]; 18. 8K-KJ Snow[6]; 19. 55D-Nick Drake[16]; 20. 3N-Jake Neuman[22]; 21. 87F-Kinzer Edwards[21]; 22. 20C-CJ Sarna[24]; 23. (DNF) 11B-Clinton Boyles[7]; 24. (DNF) 7E-Cap Henry[20]

Lap Leader(s): Buddy Kofoid 1-30

Hard Charger: 47x-Zach Daum (+9)

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