Like scenes out of a blockbuster movie, Todd Midas overcame several obstacles on his way to the Cabarrus Brewing Co. Masters Championship during the Charlotte Motor Speedway Summer Shootout.
Midas was spun three separate times, had to avoid a massive pileup, and finish ahead of two other championship contenders to earn his first title.
Midas, Robby Faggart, and Carl Cormier, the three championship contenders finished fourth, fifth, and sixth, a sign of just how close the championship battle was. Cormier and Faggart entered the final round tied with Midas just one point behind. With the close finishes, Faggart and Midas were tied, the tie-breaker being Midas’ two wins to Faggart’s one win.
Just like a stunt out of a movie, Midas had to come from the back, through smoke and wreckage. On a restart with five laps to go, race leader Michael Van Wingerden slid wide after contact with Jon Craig. Van Wingerden’s No. 21V Legend car bounced off the outside wall in front of the charging field. 11 cars piled in with one, Jeffrey Lefcourt, being sent end over end. Somehow the three championship contenders, Midas, Faggart, and Cormier, emerged from the smoke unscathed.
“I seen it coming,” Midas commented about the wreck. “As it was escalating, I knew the only way I could go was left. It made a big difference going left, and it saved me. That was my saving grace because a car came shooting across, almost hit me, sending the car behind me over. I cleared that, and thank God I cleared that.”
Midas spun on lap five by fellow championship contender Faggart, lap 10, and finally on lap 11. The third spin saw Midas be sent to the rear of the field, his championship seemingly over. However, no one could have predicted the series of events that saw him win the championship on a tie-breaker.
“No, not at all actually,” Midas said in disbelief that winning the championship was a possibility. “I’m a firm believer in karma sometimes because a lot of things happened to me in that race that shouldn’t happen to me. I didn’t get any favoritism from anybody, nobody gave me a break. In fact, on the last lap and the last few laps, I had to just play my cool and ride behind another car, but at the end of the day I’m thankful. That win last night (Monday night) really made the difference.”
The race ultimately was an uncharacteristic battle of attrition for the 2017 season. It brought back memories of an old nickname for the division, ‘The Masters of Disaster.’ Midas admitted that the ‘red mist,’ that contributed to the attrition, was a factor for him,
“I can tell you for sure, I lost my patience early on,” Midas said. “It became obvious, but it was a good thing. A few cautions, and a few things went my way, but I raced clean the rest of the race, and that’s what payed off.”
“But I’m very thankful. This is only our third year of racing, our second year actually, as far as running for points. I’m very thankful for the progress that’s been made, the partnership with Chase Pistone, it’s a big deal. I’m humble, thankful, and the support that I get from everybody has been great. I don’t know what to say anymore, I’m so pumped right now. It hasn’t set home yet, but it’s starting too.”
Midas had a little help earning the championship. Just before ‘The Big One,’ Faggart and Cormier traded shots back and forth as they battled hard for both the championship and position on track. The heated battle ended with Faggart dumping Cormier with five laps to go. This ultimately set up the restart, and ensuing pileup, that wiped out half of the field.
With the season now over, Midas will have a year to cherish and celebrate his first Masters Championship.