DUQUOIN, Ill. – While his teammate Karsyn Elledge was the talk of the Southern Illinois Center on Saturday night after her wild C-main flip, Chad Boat didn’t enter the conversation until the final laps of the Shamrock Classic.
Boat made a last-lap pass of Zeb Wise to finish as the runner-up in the night’s 50-lap feature event, a strong effort after racing in through his B main and starting 15th in the 21-car field.
Saturday night marked the second time in recent years that Boat has come home just short of victory on the sixth-mile indoor bullring. He was passed for the win by Christopher Bell in December of 2017.
“This race is always kind of a race of attrition, but we had an awesome race car,” said Boat. “Starting that far back always makes it hard to win, but we almost did it. I can’t thank everyone at Tucker-Boat Motorsports enough for their efforts, because this car was really, really good tonight.”
Boat worked through the field effortlessly compared to some, but said a miscalculation on what line to run when may have cost him the time he needed to contend for the win against Cannon McIntosh.
“On the long green flag run, I actually wasn’t in too much traffic with as far back as I started, at least compared to the leaders,” he explained. “I just committed to the top too late. I thought I might have been better on the bottom, but I would have been better off going to the top sooner than I did.
“You live and learn, though, and we’ll come back even stronger knowing that for next time.”
Boat now has finishes of eighth, third and second in the first three races of the year, putting him fourth in the standings and only 32 points behind championship leader Tyler Courtney.
“We were really strong in Ocala and really strong here, so I think we have some good momentum.”
– Cannon McIntosh’s drive to victory Saturday night didn’t just involve rallying from his fiery incident in hot laps, it also featured a borrowed driver’s suit as well.
McIntosh had to take a suit loan from longtime friend, sometimes-competitor and current Dave Mac Motorsports crew member Grady Chandler just to race in the Shamrock Classic.
The borrowed threads helped do the trick, with McIntosh leading 40 out of the 50 laps.
“I owe Grady one there,” McIntosh laughed. “I guess he was a pretty big part of this win tonight, in more than one way. He told me to go right to the trailer and get his suit, and I listened to him. I wasn’t about to give up and he didn’t want me to, either. Thankfully, it all paid off in the end.”
– Notably, McIntosh became the fourth-straight first-time series winner in four editions of the Shamrock Classic, following in the footsteps of Shane Golobic (2016), Justin Grant (2017) and Logan Seavey (2018).
McIntosh’s maiden victory came in just his second-career feature start with the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series. He made the show at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Okla., in July of last year.
– Zach Daum notched a solid fourth-place finish Saturday night in DuQuoin, giving Toyota power plants three of the top four finishing positions in the Shamrock Classic.
It was a surprise to see, given Keith Kunz Motorsports’ longtime position as Toyota Racing Development’s factory-backed organization.
Kunz has yet to place a car on the podium this season. As a team, its best finish has been by Tucker Klaasmeyer, who came home fifth in the second race at Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park in February.