Sixteen-year-old sprint car driver Michael “Buddy” Kofoid is set to embark on his most ambitious racing schedule to date after joining Harley Van Dyke Motorsports.
Kofoid, who rocketed into the national spotlight in 2016 when as a 14-year-old he won a preliminary feature during the Trophy Cup at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., is slated to run between 70 and 80 races on the West Coast and in the Midwest aboard the Van Dyke No. 5h.
“We’re planning on running for Harley Van Dyke after running for Dan Simpson for a couple of years,” Kofoid explained. “We plan on running 70 to 80 races. We plan on starting in Las Vegas with the Outlaws (in March) and we’ll follow their swing up to California.
“Then we would run some local shows with King of the West as well as the SCCT (Sprint Car Challenge Tour) series,” Kofoid continued. “Then around June we’ll head back East and possibly run with the All Stars during Ohio Speedweek, the 360 and 410 Knoxville Nationals and then we would come back to California and finish out the season with some more local shows as well as King of the West and SCCT again.”
It’s another big step for Kofoid as he continues to make a name for himself in the world of sprint car racing. Earlier this year, he captured his first King of the West-NARC Sprint Car Series victory, winning the Howard Kaeding Classic at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif.
In addition to his King of the West victory, Kofoid finished fifth in the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour standings and eighth with the King of the West-NARC Sprint Car Series.
The opportunity for Kofoid to join Harley Van Dyke Motorsports, whom he drove for during one race in October, came about after Kofoid began exploring his options for the 2018 season. After talking with several teams, Kofoid settled on Van Dyke Motorsports because of the chance to race on the West Coast and in the Midwest.
“You can’t really stay in California forever,” Kofoid said. “You’ve got to expose yourself to different areas and race against different people. The best people aren’t just in one place, they’re all spread out over the country. You’ve got to race against all of them and race in different places for track time and experience.
“We’ll just see how it pans out,” Kofoid added. “Harley’s got super good equipment and definitely equipment that can win anywhere, so it’s just up to me to see if we can get it done.”
Kofoid will also make his first trip to Australia in the next few weeks, where he’ll be driving a sprint car fielded by Bernie Gordon during his trek Down Under.
“I’ll be down there for a month. I’ve never been out of the country either so that’ll be cool to experience a totally different atmosphere and run around 12 to 14 times in a month,” Kofoid said. “Everything is set in stone and we’re just waiting on the day to come that we can leave. I’m super thankful for that.
“I like the idea of new things and new experiences, so I think it’ll be well worth it and hopefully we can make something good out of it.”
For those race fans not living on the West Coast and who are not familiar with this young gun, I can only say that you need to keep your eyes and ears open! Buddy has a heap load of raw talent that is coupled with the enthusiasm of a 16-year-old!! I first saw this youngster race in The Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown in 2015 and I was quite impressed with his abilities. Likewise, Kofoid showed off his racing talent in the Gold Cup at Chico this past September and everyone knew that he was in the house!
Stay tuned, I think that there are great things in store for this young man.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!