Buddy Kofoid. (Paul Trevino photo)
MERCED, Calif. — Buddy Kofoid clinched his second consecutive USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series championship with a second-place finish in Tuesday night’s feature at Merced Speedway.
The title is the ninth for a Toyota-powered driver in the last 10 years.
With two races remaining on the 2023 schedule, the 20-year-old Penngrove, Calif. native, has registered 12 USAC wins this season. He’s the first driver in more than 30 years to register double-digit wins.
“I’m so busy with racing in general and here in USAC, that it’s hard to think about it because you still have work to do,” Kofoid said. “It’s cool to get to cap off another championship, but there’s still more work to do. Keith Kunz, Pete Willoughby, Jarrod Martin and everyone worked so hard all year to give me such a great car.
“It’s all them, I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive the car. I’ll probably breathe a little earlier these next couple of races and try to get some more wins. I owe it all to Keith, Pete, and everyone at Mobil and Toyota for everything they do for me. It’s been a special three years. I’m looking forward to finishing off these last two races strong.”
Kofoid is currently tied for fifth all-time in single season USAC wins. He became the first Toyota-powered driver to win two USAC National Midget Series titles and is the second-winningest Toyota midget driver with 40 career national midget feature wins, behind only NASCAR star Christopher Bell.
“Congratulations to Buddy Kofoid on his second consecutive USAC national championship,” said David Wilson, president of TRD, U.S.A. “At just 20 years of age, Buddy joins an elite company of back-to-back champions, including the likes of Bryan Clausen, Dave Darland and Jason Leffler, to name just a few.
“For Team Toyota, Buddy becomes our first multi-time USAC champion and our ninth USAC champion in the last 10 years. Of course, none of this would be possible without the likes of Keith Kunz, Pete Willoughby, and Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM). Sweeping the USAC and POWRi titles for the second consecutive year underscores just how special the entire KKM organization is and how much Toyota and TRD value this truly special partnership.”