The Racers Reunion Banquet, a non-profit organization founded by Johnny Rutherford and Bill Jones, awarded 17-year old Michael “Buddy” Kofoid the Brady Bacon Baton during this year’s Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
About The Racers Reunion Banquet
The Racers Reunion Banquet is viewed as a traveling museum exhibit based on oral history, told by racers and their crews, where these stories come to life at reunion events. The initial events were held from 1990 to 1998 when the reunion suddenly fell silent.
Rutherford and Jones offered support and guidance to revive the organization, making a triumphant comeback in 2010 in Irving, Texas. Since then, the group has grown in numbers, to help celebrate the history of American auto racing.
“We preserve the past by promoting the future,” said Shane Carson. “And we preserve the future by promoting the past,” he added.
We preserve the past by promoting the future. – Shane Carson
The Brady Bacon Baton
The Racers Reunion started a new tradition in 2017 by establishing the Brady Bacon Baton award. This award was designated to recognize a young racer that Brady Bacon selected as a future star of the sport.
As a third-generation racer, and a two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion, Brady most certainly has the skill to spot future talent. In 2017, Brady selected Giovanni “Gio” Scelzi as the Baton’s first recipient.
Scelzi has gone on to become a standout in both All Stars (ASCS) and World of Outlaws (WoO) series this season, driving for Bernie Stuebgen’s Indy Race parts team. Gio scored his second World of Outlaws wins at the Dirt Track at Charlotte in May over Kyle Larson. He then scored an All Star win in July at Knoxville, followed by a win in his first pavement late model start at Irwindale Speedway.
Jason “J-Mac” McDougal was honored in 2018 with the award. McDougal made history as he won three features in a single night at the Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout, and scored his inaugural USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win at the I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Missouri. In 2019, McDougal scored one USAC National sprint car series win and two USAC National Midget series victories. One of these wins was at the prestigious Harvest Cup at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana.
This Year’s Recipient
Michael “Buddy” Kofoid, from Penngrove California, began his racing career at age 5 in outlaw go-karts. He stepped into his first 410-cubic inch sprint car at just 14 years old. “Buddy” focused his 2019 efforts racing winged sprint cars in the Midwest for Ed Neumeister’s team.
Scoring four feature sprint car wins this year, including an All-Star series win, he claimed the Fremont Speedway 410 track championship. Only a few months ago, “Buddy” made his first national midget start at Jacksonville, Illinois, where he swept the program driving for the powerful Keith Kunz Motorsports team. In September of last year, “Buddy” scored consecutive second-place finishes driving for Kunz, in the MOWA winged sprint cars. Undoubtedly, he is a racer to watch in the future.
For more about the Racers Reunion Banquet, visit them online at www.radiusnation.net, the home of the Racers Reunion.