HOUSEHOLDER: Teen driver sweeps to victories against some big names in sprint racing

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
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Michael "Buddy" Kofoid

Last weekend, the Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley played host to the Wild West Shootout for the sprint cars.

When it was all said and done, 19-year-old Michael “Buddy” Kofoid swept both nights of racing, beating some nationally-known standouts in the process.

In Friday evening’s preliminary feature, Kofoid bested multi-time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz for the win. Carson Macedo, the 2020 Williams Grove Speedway opening-day winner, finished third, with All Star champ Aaron Reutzel and central Pennsylvania standout Lance Dewease in the top five.

Rounding out the top 10 were Rico Abreu, former NASCAR Cup star Tony Stewart, Cory Eliason, Dominic Scelzi and Tim Kaeding.

In Saturday’s $10,000-to-win main event, Kofoid scored the win over Eliason with Macedo, Giovanni Scelzi and Abreu in the top five. Dominic Scelzi, Reutzel, Corey Day, Michael Faccinto and Schatz completed the top 10. Dewease dropped from competition and was scored 25th in the final rundown.

Southern Speedweeks: Racing action in Florida and the surrounding areas start in earnest this week leading up to the Daytona 500 in mid-February.

A number of local drivers in various classes will be making the trek south for those events. 

Here is a quick look at what will be happening over the next several weeks.

The Lucas Oil Late Model Series kicked off at the East Bay Raceway near Tampa, Florida, on Sunday night and will continue there through this coming Saturday evening. 

Meanwhile, Bubba’s Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida, will play host to the Short Track Super Series Modifieds from Wednesday through Saturday of this coming week.

The sportsman modifieds from the DIRTCar circuit will race at the Lake View Speedway in South Carolina next Friday and Saturday.

The All Star sprint series kicks off in Screven, Georgia, this coming Friday and Saturday, then moves to East Bay on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2.

The Lucas Oil Late Models move to Bubba’s on those same dates.

The All Star sprints then head over to the Volusia County Speedway near Daytona, Florida, for action on Feb, 3 and Feb. 4, before the World of Outlaws sprints move in for action from Feb. 5- Feb. 7.

That weekend of Feb. 5-7 will also see other action around Florida. The United States Auto Club midgets race at Bubba’s from Saturday through Monday of that weekend, and week-long action for the asphalt modifieds and late models begins at New Smyna on Feb. 7.

The United Sprint Car Series 360 sprints visit Hendry County Speedway in Clewiston, Florida, from Feb. 5-7.

Volusia begins a week-long stint of DIRTCar late model and modified racing on Feb. 8.

East Bay’s swing for the USCS 360 sprints begins Feb. 11 and continues through Feb. 13. They return to East Bay on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20.

The USAC wingless 410 sprints visit Bubba’s from Feb. 13 through Feb. 15.

Of course, while all this short-track racing is being held, action will also be seen on the big track in Daytona. The famed Rolex 24 hour race is set for Jan. 30-31.

The NASCAR racers move into Daytona on Feb. 10, with qualifying for the Daytona 500 to be followed on Feb. 11 by the Twin Duels at Daytona. Feb. 12 finds the Truck Series event at Daytona, with the Xfinity Series and ARCA competing on Feb. 13. 

The Daytona 500 is set for Feb. 14, but unlike in years past, the Daytona 500 won’t end Speedweeks at Daytona. The road course that uses part of the large track and part of the infield will be put back into use the following weekend, with races for the Truck Series on Feb. 19, followed by the Xfinity Series on Feb. 20 and the Cup Series on Feb. 21.

Keeping up with the Florida theme, the Xfinity cars race at Homestead-Miami on Feb. 27, and the Cup Series races there on Feb. 28.

Shaffer to Heffner car: The Steel City Outlaw, Tim Shaffer, will be going to Florida to pilot the Michael Heffner sprint car in the southern events. 

A former Knoxville nationals winner and popular figure on the local ovals, Shaffer will be at the wheel of the No. 72 to start this season.

Bloomsburg: The reports of a new track being constructed inside the old horse track at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds have begun to take shape. 

So much so, in fact, that the new track was tested a week or so ago.

While the final surface hasn’t been placed on the 3/8th mile clay oval yet, the base has been laid and former USAC champion Levi Jones made some laps in a restored Weikert’s Livestock car to get the feel of the track and make suggestions for changes before the final surface is put in place.

Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdispatch.com.