Kyle Larson had his attempt to capture a record-tying eighth prelim victory blocked on Tuesday Night after Michael ‘Buddy’ Kofoid ran an incredible 30 laps to capture the prelim victory for Keith Kunz Motorsports.
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion started the A-Main from the pole position, leading the majority of the event, albeit uncomfortably, with Kofoid breathing down his neck the entire time. However, as the cushion widened, even more, Larson’s No. 01 became more unstable, affording Kofoid an opportunity to snatch the top spot.
For Kofoid, the turning point of the event came on a restart with six laps to go, when he was able to put the power down exiting turn two, flying around the outside of the defending Chili Bowl Nationals winner.
— FloRacing (@FloRacing) January 12, 2022
From there, Larson threw slider after slider in an attempt to return to the top spot in the closing laps of the race, but after stumbling in turn four, the Elk Grove, California-native had to worry about third-place Chris Windom, allowing Kofoid to scurry away for the win.
“Shit, that was tough,” Kofoid said in a post-race interview with FloRacing. “The curb was treacherous, exactly how I like it. I don’t even know what to say. We had a really good race car all day, I could execute really well, feel like I could do what I needed to do all day long.”
It’s funny, I showed my crew chief a quote ‘The man that wants it more, should get it’, and I feel like I wanted it more, and I just kept searching around and my car was good wherever I went.”
With his victory on Tuesday Night, Kofoid locks himself into the A-Main on Saturday night, meaning the Keith Kunz Motorsports driver will not have to fight his way through the ‘alphabet soup’. With his second-place run, Larson will also automatically advance to the A-Main.
Behind Kofoid and Larson was Chris Windom in third, with Alex Bowman Racing’s Jake Swanson in fourth, and Thomas Meseraull in fifth. Kaylee Bryson, Jake Bubak, Jonathan Beason, Kyle Jones, and Tim McCreadie rounded out the top-10.
Other NASCAR notables that raced on Tuesday Night included Travis Braden and Jesse Little, both of which were unable to advance further than the first C-Main, meaning they’ll have to try and progress through the soup on Saturday.