USAC National Midget Championship points leader Michael “Buddy” Kofoid went pavement Late Model racing in recent weeks, competing throoughout Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The California driver has recently wrapped up a five-race stretch racing a Limited Late Model owned by two-time ARCA Midwest Tour champion Dan Fredrickson around Wisconsin and Minnesota. He also had Bond Suss along for the trip, carrying over a partnership that began in the Northwest when he raced Pro Late Models for Racing Dynamiks alongside Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate Kaylee Bryson.
“I got hooked up with Dan through being with Toyota and their driver development program. They decided to move me up a little bit and get me a chance in the pavement stuff and I started racing for Travis Sharpe in Washington a few months ago,” Kofoid told Speed51. “They moved me to another team with Dan Fredrickson and I got to have Bond Suss spot and help out with me in that.”
The first of five races came with the Super Late Model class at State Park Speedway on July 1, which was followed by races at LaCrosse, Wisconsin International Raceway (WIR), Madison and Elko Speedway through this past Saturday night. Kofoid ran well all five nights, highlighted with a second at Madison Friday night and a third at Kaukauna the night before.
We finished third at Kaukauna and second at Madison, we were close to getting it done but not quite, we were really fast. We were ninth (at Elko and LaCrosse) but we had to come from last to do it, so we had really good speed there. The finish doesn’t show how fast we were but I think being new there and not having any points, you have to start in the back for your first race.
“It was good to get some practice and learn how to get from the back to the front. We were fast everywhere we went and it was a lot of fun.”
Kofoid made his first foray into asphalt racing in April joining ARCA Menards Series West championship-winning crew chief Travis Sharpe and Racing Dynamiks for select Pro Late Model races in Washington. Along with weekly races at South Sound and Evergreen Speedway, he also took part in the Northwest Super Late Model Series Leonard Evans 150 at Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, where he finished 12th in a strong field.
Even while going to a slightly different car for the Midwest swing, Kofoid says the biggest difference between racing in Wisconsin and in Washington was the competition.
“I would say it’s really the same, it’s the same motor and kind of the same tires. A lot of it feels similar except at LaCrosse and State Park we had slicks on. A lot of it feels similar, just different tracks and the guys up in Wisconsin are pretty tough.”
Kofoid has more asphalt races planned with Fredrickson in the next couple of months, but as of now his attention shifts back to the dirt and USAC Mid-America Midget Week, with five races set in a seven-day stretch at tracks in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
He currently leads the USAC National Midget points standings over defending champion Chris Windom, having already surpassed his win total from last year with four and adding an Indiana Midget Week title. He’s also dominated the POWRi National Midget League in 2021, having won seven races in 13 feature starts.
On both dirt and asphalt, Kofoid has been having a year to remember.
“It’s been really good so far. We were good last year in the Midget stuff and this year I feel like we’re even better and our cars are a lot better. Things are clicking good and it seems like we have speed wherever we go.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3-
Photo Credit: Jason Searcy