ALGER, Wash. – Buddy Kofoid won the richest prize of his career on Saturday night by wheeling the Rutz Racing No. 8r to victory lane and a $10,000 payday during the 29th annual Bob’s Burgers and Brew Summer Nationals at Skagit Speedway.
Drama filled the main event for the Summer Thunder Sprintcar Series. Cam Smith held the early lead but appeared to be eclipsed by the second Rutz Racing entry piloted by Jared Peterson on the fifth circuit.
Subsequent to Peterson making the pass, head flagger Kirby Hoyle was struck by an unidentified object, knocking him down while two cars spun in the second corner. With a split yellow system in place, speedway officials were not able to determine where the caution would have been called/come out on the field. The decision was made to go to the last completed lap for the lineup, which was lap four where Smith was still in front.
Open red conditions ensued while Hoyle was tended to, who would return to the flagstand to finish the race. On the ensuing restart, Smith rocketed back out to the lead with Peterson and Kofoid, from his third place original starting spot, in hot pursuit.
Kofoid made an aggressive move on Peterson coming out of turn two on lap seven to take second and began working Smith for the lead as the pair entered traffic. On the seventeenth lap, Kofoid slid Smith for the lead coming out of turn two, then denied Smith’s crossover as the raced past the start finish line.
Smith kept Kofoid close as the two continued to carve through slower cars on the very slick surface before his run ended on the 30th circuit. Smith had closed to the rear nerf of Kofoid on the 29th lap, but contact with Jason Reed on the front straight away as the pair came to 10 laps remaining sent Reed flipping and Smith to the infield with front end damage.
Kofoid would restart with a pair of lapped cars between himself and last year’s Summer Nationals winner Jason Solwold and Garen Linder. As he got back to the throttle pedal, Buddy streaked away, never seeing a challenge from the Shaylen Raye Motorsports No. 18 or the Linder Racing No. 22 to score the biggest win of his young career.
J.J. Hickle advanced from ninth to fourth and Austen Wheatley came forward seven spots to finish fifth.
Nick Evans returned to his winning ways at Skagit Speedway, winning both Friday and Saturday night with the Northwest Focus Midget Series. Garrett Thomas led the first eight laps of the Bardahl Summer Challenge Round Six sponsored by Whirlyball Seattle before Evans beat him to the inside of the first corner to take the top spot.
From there, Evans survived a handful of restarts to take his second straight win, followed by Tristin Thomas and hard charging Jonathan Jorgenson, who came out of the B Main to take third.
In an entertaining green to checkered affair with no stoppages, Max Sanford won the 2018 Tuner Nationals event. Sanford, a regular at Grays Harbor Raceway, led lap one but was passed by Cliff Ballenger, who held the top spot for laps two and three.
Sanford rallied to jump back into the lead on lap four and went the rest of the way with Jon Gunderson on his heels. Despite Gunderson being right there, Sanford never lost the top spot again, scoring the win in only his second ever race at Skagit Speedway. Vance Hibbard nipped Gunderson at the line for second in one of the best Tuner mains in memory.