Buddy's Back


Huge crowds last season at Heavy Trax Hire Central Motor Speedway’s Christmas and New Year’s meetings couldn’t believe their eyes. Michael ‘Buddy’ Kofoid, a 17 year old American outdriving the country’s sprint car legends to ultimately go on to win the 2018-19 NZ Sprint Car Title. Even more jaw-dropping was hearing that Buddy started his racing career as a five year old in outlaw go-karts and first raced a sprint car at just 11 years of age, winning four races in his first season.

Now just turned 18 and after a successful summer season in the States that included his first sprint car series win in the All Star Circuit of Champions and first Freemont Speedway Championship, Buddy’s back at Heavy Trax Hire Central Motor Speedway to compete in the Dec 28, 2019 and Jan1, 2020 meetings. He’ll then defend his 2018–19 Ruapuna Sprint Car Gold Cup Title on January 3 and 4.

After a short stay in Te Anau with host, mentor and long-time Central Motor Speedway sprint car ‘t’ driver Daniel Anderson, Buddy jets home to the States on January 9th where his dabbling in midgets has turned into a full time contract with Keith Kunz-Curb Agajanian Motorsport, Toyota Racing as a development driver and Mobil 1.

His first midget pro-drive is the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Described as speedway’s equivalent to American football’s Super Bowl, the meeting runs from Jan 13 through to Jan 18. It comes as no surprise that Buddy has added midgets to his driving repertoire as he takes another step towards fulfilling his dream of driving NASCAR. A further measure of Buddy Kofoid’s focus on success, he’ll be mixing almost daily pro-driving with high school studies until graduation in May.

Speaking from his home in Penngrove, California, Buddy gave his reassurance that he will still find time to race sprint cars, adding that had it not been for his just signed contractual obligations he would have been defending his NZ Sprint Car Title in Palmerston North on January 10th and 11th   

But as Daniel Anderson suggests, “In a way this makes Buddy’s appearance at Heavy Trax Hire Central Motor Central Motor Speedway an even more exciting opportunity to grab hold of.

“The fact he’s here at all says a lot about his popularity in his adopted New Zealand home town of Te Anau. For helping make it happen, big thanks must go Fairview, The Ranch Bar & Grill, Te Anau Top 10, AB Electrical,Tony Brand Building, Harcourts, Bidfood and Elf Oils. Buddy will be racing the same sprint car that took him to the NZ Title with the 900 horsepower motor rebuilt by Greg Hiddleston in Christchurch.”

December 28 and Jan 1 sprint car racing launches a new competition, the Civil Construction Sprint Car Pairs where besides Buddy and on Dec 28, NZ WRC rally ace Hayden Paddon, will be local sprint car legends including King of Cromwell Jason Scott, Slammin’ Sam O’Callaghan, Nathan ‘Hitman’ Astle, Josh ‘Baby Buck’ Buchanan, Mark ‘Tapanui Flier’ Evans, Whetu ‘Winged Warrior’ Taewa and close to 20 more.

But it’s not all sprint cars with big fields of other classes and more than a few class champion drivers including three time New Zealand Super Saloon champion Mark Osborne who will be competing in the Dec 28th Christmas meeting. Always a crowd favourite, a gang of street stocks will be biffing and bashing both nights.

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