FERNLEY, Nev. — One of sprint car racing’s newest champions is also one of the sport’s youngest drivers.
Eleven-year-old Michael “Buddy” Kofoid wrapped up the King of the West Lites title during a doubleheader weekend at Reno Tahoe Fernley Speedway.
Kofoid racked up four victories and eighth podium finishes driving the No. 3 sprint car for track promoter Dan Simpson, who saw promise in the youngster and gave him the opportunity to compete in the division.
Kofoid, of Penngrove, Calif., began racing go-karts when he was five years old and this was his first season driving sprint cars.
Kofoid has seven track perpetual trophies, nine track championships and 100 A main event wins in outlaw karts.
He began practicing a spec sprint car at age 8 at Marysville (Calif.) Raceway Park and later began hot lapping a 360 sprint car.
“It was a lot of fun this year racing at Fernley for Dan Simpson Racing and was a great way to get started in sprint car racing,” said Kofoid. “I’m really excited to bring home the championship and definitely have to thank my whole team and family for supporting me all year long. And of course I need to give a big thanks to Dan Simpson for the opportunity and allowing me to drive his race car this season.”
Team owner Dan Simpson was also very happy to see Kofoid bring home the inaugural KWS Lites title.
“Buddy is just a tremendous talent and it was a pleasure having him at Fernley this year driving in our stable,” Simpson said. “The first time I saw him practice a sprint car I was amazed at his car control and just how much finesse he had at such a young age. He certainly didn’t disappoint this season and it was a joy to watch him grow as the year went on.”