The expectations were plenty high for Michael “Buddy” Kofoid entering 2024. One of Sprint Car Racing’s most promising young talents announced he’d be joining the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars with Roth Motorsports for a full-time rookie run. And the Californian is living up to the hype.

The start of the season provided some bumps in the road, but over the last several weeks Kofoid and his Roth crew have been one of the fastest teams on tour. The 10 most recent races have yielded unflinching consistency for Kofoid and company.

A 10th-place outing at Cotton Bowl Speedway on March 15 kicked off a run of 10 consecutive finishes inside the top 10. And they’ve only gotten faster throughout the stretch. The last six main events have resulted in five podiums and a 3.5 average finish. Kofoid is also currently on a streak of qualifying for six straight Toyota Racing Dashes.

The early season decision to swap to a different car proved to be a catalyst for putting Kofoid on the right track.

“It started a little rough,” Kofoid admitted. “We unfortunately had some engine issues the first couple nights of DIRTcar Nationals, which put us behind in a spot that we didn’t want to be in at a big track like that.

“It’s been really good. We struggled a little bit early on in Texas, but then Dylan (Buswell) made the decision to go to our backup car, which is the car we actually ended last year with. It’s kind of old faithful if you will. I think it was the right move, for sure. It felt just like we remembered and looked better and felt better. I think doing that helped us a lot.”

Another key piece to the team’s success is Buswell – Kofoid’s crew chief. Kofoid is always quick to credit his lead wrench when interviewed. Buswell has worked with some of the sport’s top drivers, and the pairing quickly gelled when connecting at Roth last summer. They nearly won the richest race in World of Outlaws history in their first week of racing together, but mechanical troubles pried victory from their grasp. Even with that disappointment, Kofoid made it clear he’d be a force in the #83.

“I knew Dylan a little bit and actually met him at the beginning of 2023 but didn’t know him a whole lot personally before I got to Roth,” Kofoid said. “And then once we got started, I always say it’s the story of what could’ve been at Huset’s. He went to California and drove everything out and got here (Iowa) on Sunday and then left Monday or Tuesday and went straight to Huset’s and had a really good week there right off the bat. I think Dylan is extremely talented, and I trust him 110-percent. He’s helped me enjoy Sprint Car Racing even more, and he’s helped me become a better driver.”

The upcoming World of Outlaws schedule will present a shift as Kofoid continues his rookie season. The tour hasn’t visited a half mile since Volusia Speedway Park in early March, but three of the next five facilities on tap – Knoxville Raceway (April 26-27), Eldora Speedway (May 3-4), and Williams Grove Speedway (May 10-11) – are half miles.

Buddy Kofoid driving the Roth Motorsports #83 at Paducah International Raceway
Buddy Kofoid and Roth Motorsports are on a roll of four consecutive podium finishes (Trent Gower Photo)

For Kofoid, who grew up racing Sprint Cars on California’s countless bullrings before focusing on Midgets for a few years, bigger tracks continue to provide a challenge as he gets acquainted with the style. But he’s found that ever since partnering with Roth, he’s never felt better at the high speeds of half miles leading to confidence heading into the upcoming stretch.

“I feel good in general right now,” Kofoid said. “And I think it helps to have that positive mindset anywhere, but on the other hand I know that half miles are something that I need to get better on, and it’s something that I haven’t really been exposed to all that much. When I took those three years and ran Midgets, it made it less possible for me.

“But last year with Dylan I feel like on the half-mile stuff was the best I’ve ever felt. We’ve went to Knoxville a few times and almost won an All-Star race there. Or at least had a shot and ran second. We were okay in our (Knoxville Nationals) prelim night. We just qualify really well there, and that’s a huge part. Then we finished eighth last year (in the Knoxville Nationals).”

With more than 60 nights remaining on the schedule, there’s still plenty of racing left to go in 2024. Any World of Outlaws season has its ups and downs, and Kofoid and the Roth crew will have to fight through some off nights along the way. But Kofoid has made it clear he belongs with The Greatest Show on Dirt. The bar was set high when this California kid was winning races in his early teenage years. And now that he’s arrived on the sport’s biggest stage, he continues to raise the bar even higher as he lives out his dream with the World of Outlaws.

“Once you have a good run and you kind of figure out what you need to do the next time, and you hope it snowballs from there,” Kofoid said. “And it’s kind of done that. We’re looking forward to keeping it going, and we’re just having fun.”

Kofoid’s debut season with the World of Outlaws continues this weekend (April 26-27) with Knoxville Raceway’s Premier Chevy Dealers Clash. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, catch every lap live on DIRTVision.