Story By: ALEX NIETEN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – CONCORD, NC – Michael “Buddy” Kofoid, one of Sprint Car racing’s top young talents, is set to compete full-time with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars in 2024.
The 22-year-old will wheel the Roth Motorsports #83 powered by Toyota Racing engines for his first full run with The Greatest Show on Dirt. It’s a dream come true for the Penngrove, CA driver to pilot Dennis and Teresa Roth’s car on the tour.
The California kid fell in love with the sport going to World of Outlaws races whenever they visited “The Golden State.” And Roth’s cars, out of Fresno, CA, have been a staple of both the World of Outlaws and west coast scene for three decades.
“It means a lot to me,” Kofoid said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I started racing. Being a kid and going to Gold Cup, we used to go every year as a family. We’d do it every year. I became even more attached and grew more fond because you got to see the Outlaws so few times. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do. That’s what I want to be one day is an Outlaw.’
“To do it with Dennis and Teresa Roth makes it even more special being from California and growing up watching that car and everyone that they had that made an impact on the sport. It’s an iconic car from California, but I always appreciate how iconic they are in Sprint Car racing in general.”
“Buddy and Toyota have a long history of success together in multiple dirt racing disciplines, including multiple national midget championships,” said Jack Irving, Executive Commercial Director, TRD. “Buddy’s talent behind the wheel of a Sprint Car is clearly evident and everyone at TRD looks forward to supporting his full-season effort with Roth Motorsports. Their win last fall at Placerville showed what the team is capable of, and we are confident Buddy will celebrate many more victories this season under the Toyota umbrella.”
Kofoid has assembled quite the résumé in his young career. He topped a Trophy Cup prelim at Thunderbowl Raceway (Tulare, CA) at 14 years old in 2016 – then won the event in 2021. He’s one of 12 competitors who’ve claimed back-to-back USAC National Midget championships (2021-2022). And his first World of Outlaws triumph came in only his 16th Feature start with the Series in 2022 at Huset’s Speedway.
He joined Roth Motorsports midway through 2023 and hit the ground running, winning an All Star Circuit of Champions race at I-70 Motorsports Park in July. Then, Kofoid became the 16th different driver to usher Roth’s #83 to World of Outlaws Victory Lane with a win at Placerville Speedway in September. He’ll enter the new year with three World of Outlaws Feature wins already in his back pocket (Huset’s in 2022, Talladega Short Track in 2023 and Placerville in 2023).
Dylan Buswell, Roth’s esteemed mechanic, helped lead “Buddy” to his early success with the team as the two found instant chemistry. He’ll continue to lead the way on the wrenches in 2024, giving Kofoid another level of confidence for his debut campaign.
“That comfort came almost instantly, and it was a package that I was kind of used to and fond of,” Kofoid said. “But I think that’s kind of a testament to the team that Dennis, Teresa, Todd (Ventura), and everyone at Toyota provides for us. But then also I think it’s a testament to Dylan’s skill and his talent. I believe in Dylan a lot. I’ve always wanted to work with him and was super thankful that it worked out last year. But I had no idea it would lead into this. I think having the right people in your corner that believe in you and people that want to win just as bad as you is how you be successful.”
The 2024 season will take Kofoid from coast to coast and to a handful of new and familiar tracks along the way. Among those they’ll have circled will undoubtedly be the $83,000-to-win Dennis Roth Classic at Thunderbowl Raceway (Sept. 20-21) – an event saluting their legendary owner at one of Kofoid’s favorite tracks.
Over the course of the grind of the 86-night campaign, Kofoid plans to take a balanced approach. His USAC titles taught him blending the race by race focus with mindfulness of the year-long points outlook is vital for a successful season.
“Obviously, I feel like you’ve got to take it race by race and focus on the task at hand,” Kofoid said. “I kind of set small goals. Work on that one and move to the next one and try to accomplish each small goal. But also, at the same time I feel like in a season like that for points it’s hard to not look ahead. I learned that with my USAC races racing for points and trying to compete for that. You’ve got to look ahead and work on your weaknesses but also try to improve your strengths at tracks that my lie ahead.”
The 2024 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car season begins at Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL) for the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 7-10.