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Abreu Leads Points After Opening Night of Australian Championship

Rico Abreu (Serena Dalhamer photo)

From Archerfield Speedway

BRISBANE, Au. (February 3, 2017) — After the opening night of competition in the Kratzmann Caravans 2016/2017 Australian Midget/Speedcar Championship at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Friday night, it is the international contingent who lead the way, with California’s Rico Abreu sitting atop the championship standings after three rounds of qualifying heats. With two heat wins and a runner-up result in the other, Abreu sits five points clear of New Zealand’s defending champion Michael Pickens who, after finishing second in his opening two heats, finished the night with a brilliant drive to victory in his final outing. Another Kiwi in Hayden Williams is third overall, while Nathan Smee is the best of the Aussies in fourth, followed by two more American hotshoes in Zach Daum and Brady Bacon.

The NSW-based pair of Matt Smith and four-time champion Adam Clarke are equal seventh, with Anthony Chaffey next best as the highest placed of the locals. Western Australia’s Dayne Kingshott rounds out the top ten ahead of Michael Stewart and two more Americans in Alex Bright and Andrew Felker.

A 41-car field fronted for competition and it was Smee who got things underway when he cleaned up in the opening heat, leading Bright and Bacon to the line.

Having inherited a pole position start when Lee Redmond headed infield before the race got underway, Chaffey took maximum advantage to lead home Abreu, who advanced from the back of the grid, with Brad Mosen third.

Daum downed Pickens and Michael Stewart in heat three, with Williams striking in heat four to finish ahead of Troy Ware and Felker.
Smith sailed home in heat five to down Chris Gwilliam and Chaffey before Abreu snared the first of his two wins when he outpaced Mosen and Kingshott in heat six.

Williams doubled up in heat seven to down Pickens and Felker, while heat eight fell in favour of Clarke over Scott Farmer and Whittaker.

The racing through the first two rounds of heats was somewhat tame by Midgets standards, but things heated up in the final rounds and perhaps some insight into how things might pan out tonight.

Heat nine saw Smee cement his place as the best of the Aussies with another win, this time over Michael Stewart who, after an early spin, stormed back through the field to snatch second spot from Smith on the final lap.

In a remarkable performance, Abreu took less than two laps to advance from position nine to the lead in heat ten before clearing away to win with ease ahead of Kingshott and Michael Harders, who bounced back after crashing out of his opening heat.

Bacon was even more impressive in heat eleven, finishing more than six seconds clear of Brock Dean and Troy Jenkins.

The final heat of the night was also the best with Pickens pouncing on the final lap to usurp Daum from the lead after the pair had swapped spots on more than one occasion. Further back, Bright surged from the deep in the field to grab third late in the race.
When newly crowned Australian champ Aaron Prosser spun himself out of the race with just two laps remaining, Terry Leerentveld took maximum advantage to score yet another Modlite feature race win. Sean Butcher capped a very good night with a runner-up finish ahead of Steve Collins, Ben Walker, Richard Mapp, Troy Evans and Sean Rose. Heat wins went to Prosser, Butcher, Walker and Klinton Hancey, whose feature race ambitions were scuttled after just two laps.

Australian Midget/Speedcar Championship
Archerfield Speedway
Brisbane, AU
Friday February 3, 2017

Qualifying Round #1:
1. USA14 – Zach Daum, 13.197
2. Q29 – Adam Clarke, 13.276
3. USA97 – Rico Abreu, 13.332
4. A1 – Michael Pickens, 13.442
5. Q71 – Troy Ware, 13.454
6. N51 – Michael Stewart, 13.544
7. USA70 – Brady Bacon, 13.593
8. NZ82 – Hayden Williams, 13.614
9. NZ 27 – Brad Mosen, 13.625
10. W21m – Dayne Kingshott, 13.646
11. V6 – Anthony Chaffey, 13.665
12. N70 – Matt Smith, 13.703
13. USA4 – Alex Bright, 13.774
14. Q41 – Brendan Palmer, 13.784
15. Q6 – Darren Vine, 13.785
16. USA11 – Andrew Felker, 13.835
17. Q99 – Brock Dean, 13.86
18. Q69 – Nathan Smee, 13.872
19. Q3 – Charlie Brown, 13.937
20. N5 – Reid Mackay, 13.951
21. N78 – Troy Jenkins, 13.988
22. Q16 – Mark George, 14.07
23. NZ 2 – Chris Gwilliam, 14.087
24. N97 – Matt Jackson, 14.089
25. N62 – Dan Biner, 14.116
26. V10 – Travis Mills, 14.138
27. Q21 – Mitch Haynes, 14.165
28. W14 – Neville Lance, 14.169
29. Q22 – Scott Farmer, 14.186
30. Q78 – Rusty Whittaker, 14.201
31. Q61 – Scott Doyle, 14.217
32. V97 – Kaidon Brown, 14.227
33. Q36 – Callum Whatmore, 14.389
34. Q40 – Dallas Sharp, 14.41
35. Q82 – Jason Bell, 14.421
36. N87 – Aidan Corish, 14.544
37. Q14 – Michael Harders, 14.575
38. N26 – Jamie Hall, 14.808
39. Q5 – Rodney Harders, 15.166
40. Q51 – Darren Dillon, 16.911
41. W12 – Lee Redmond, NT

Qualifying Round #2:
1. A1 – Michael Pickens, 13.491
2. USA14 – Zach Daum, 13.542
3. Q29 – Adam Clarke, 13.608
4. USA97 – Rico Abreu, 13.632
5. NZ 27 – Brad Mosen, 13.723
6. W21m – Dayne Kingshott, 13.754
7. NZ82 – Hayden Williams, 13.789
8. N70 – Matt Smith, 13.82
9. USA70 – Brady Bacon, 13.933
10. NZ 2 – Chris Gwilliam, 13.936
11. USA4 – Alex Bright, 14.031
12. V6 – Anthony Chaffey, 14.034
13. Q71 – Troy Ware, 14.056
14. N51 – Michael Stewart, 14.079
15. USA11 – Andrew Felker, 14.083
16. N97 – Matt Jackson, 14.151
17. Q69 – Nathan Smee, 14.177
18. Q22 – Scott Farmer, 14.196
19. Q41 – Brendan Palmer, 14.201
20. Q99 – Brock Dean, 14.214
21. Q78 – Rusty Whittaker, 14.287
22. Q61 – Scott Doyle, 14.297
23. V97 – Kaidon Brown, 14.323
24. V10 – Travis Mills, 14.342
25. Q6 – Darren Vine, 14.375
26. W14 – Neville Lance, 14.383
27. Q3 – Charlie Brown, 14.428
28. Q5 – Rodney Harders, 14.433
29. N62 – Dan Biner, 14.457
30. Q40 – Dallas Sharp, 14.471
31. N5 – Reid Mackay, 14.477
32. N87 – Aidan Corish, 14.506
33. Q16 – Mark George, 14.512
34. Q82 – Jason Bell, 14.591
35. N78 – Troy Jenkins, 14.742
36. Q36 – Callum Whatmore, 14.827
37. Q21 – Mitch Haynes, 14.845
38. Q14 – Michael Harders, 14.972
39. N26 – Jamie Hall, 15.471
40. Q51 – Darren Dillon, 15.655

Qualifying Round #3:
1. USA70 – Brady Bacon, 14.304
2. N51 – Michael Stewart, 14.393
3. Q78 – Rusty Whittaker, 14.432
4. A1 – Michael Pickens, 14.434
5. USA97 – Rico Abreu, 14.444
6. Q69 – Nathan Smee, 14.501
7. NZ82 – Hayden Williams, 14.517
8. USA14 – Zach Daum, 14.618
9. Q29 – Adam Clarke, 14.705
10. N70 – Matt Smith, 14.737
11. W21m – Dayne Kingshott, 14.751
12. USA4 – Alex Bright, 14.851
13. N78 – Troy Jenkins, 14.921
14. Q61 – Scott Doyle, 14.927
15. Q99 – Brock Dean, 14.937
16. Q14 – Michael Harders, 14.938
17. Q6 – Darren Vine, 14.94
18. NZ 2 – Chris Gwilliam, 14.954
19. Q41 – Brendan Palmer, 14.96
20. Q22 – Scott Farmer, 14.972
21. USA11 – Andrew Felker, 15.009
22. V10 – Travis Mills, 15.017
23. W14 – Neville Lance, 15.022
24. N5 – Reid Mackay, 15.027
25. Q36 – Callum Whatmore, 15.059
26. Q3 – Charlie Brown, 15.072
27. Q16 – Mark George, 15.12
28. V6 – Anthony Chaffey, 15.168
29. Q5 – Rodney Harders, 15.177
30. Q82 – Jason Bell, 15.188
31. V97 – Kaidon Brown, 15.194
32. N97 – Matt Jackson, 15.227
33. N87 – Aidan Corish, 15.248
34. N62 – Dan Biner, 15.262
35. Q71 – Troy Ware, 15.269
36. Q21 – Mitch Haynes, 15.434
37. Q51 – Darren Dillon, 15.472
38. N26 – Jamie Hall, 15.611
39. Q40 – Dallas Sharp, 15.979
40. NZ 27 – Brad Mosen, NT

Heat Race #1:
1. Q69 – Nathan Smee
2. USA4 – Alex Bright
3. USA70 – Brady Bacon
4. NZ 2 – Chris Gwilliam
5. N78 – Troy Jenkins
6. V97 – Kaidon Brown
7. Q61 – Scott Doyle
8. Q78 – Rusty Whittaker
9. Q22 – Scott Farmer
10. Q5 – Rodney Harders
11. Q51 – Darren Dillon

Heat Race #2:
1. V6 – Anthony Chaffey
2. USA97 – Rico Abreu
3. NZ 27 – Brad Mosen
4. W21m – Dayne Kingshott
5. Q41 – Brendan Palmer
6. N70 – Matt Smith
7. Q99 – Brock Dean
8. Q82 – Jason Bell
9. N87 – Aidan Corish
10. W12 – Lee Redmond

Heat Race #3:
1. USA14 – Zach Daum
2. A1 – Michael Pickens
3. N51 – Michael Stewart
4. N5 – Reid Mackay
5. Q6 – Darren Vine
6. N62 – Dan Biner
7. N97 – Matt Jackson
8. V10 – Travis Mills
9. Q16 – Mark George
10. Q40 – Dallas Sharp

Heat Race #4:
1. NZ82 – Hayden Williams
2. Q71 – Troy Ware
3. USA11 – Andrew Felker
4. Q29 – Adam Clarke
5. Q3 – Charlie Brown
6. Q21 – Mitch Haynes
7. W14 – Neville Lance
8. N26 – Jamie Hall
9. Q36 – Callum Whatmore
9. Q14 – Michael Harders

Heat Race #5:
1. N70 – Matt Smith
2. NZ 2 – Chris Gwilliam
3. V6 – Anthony Chaffey
4. Q99 – Brock Dean
5. Q69 – Nathan Smee
6. Q41 – Brendan Palmer
7. V97 – Kaidon Brown
8. Q5 – Rodney Harders
9. N78 – Troy Jenkins

Heat Race #6:
1. USA97 – Rico Abreu
2. NZ 27 – Brad Mosen
3. W21m – Dayne Kingshott
4. USA14 – Zach Daum
5. N97 – Matt Jackson
6. Q6 – Darren Vine
7. N5 – Reid Mackay
8. Q16 – Mark George
9. N87 – Aidan Corish
10. Q82 – Jason Bell

Heat Race #7:
1. NZ82 – Hayden Williams
2. A1 – Michael Pickens
3. USA11 – Andrew Felker
4. Q71 – Troy Ware
5. N51 – Michael Stewart
6. V10 – Travis Mills
7. Q3 – Charlie Brown
8. Q40 – Dallas Sharp
9. N62 – Dan Biner
10. Q14 – Michael Harders

Heat Race #8:
1. Q29 – Adam Clarke
2. Q22 – Scott Farmer
3. Q78 – Rusty Whittaker
4. USA70 – Brady Bacon
5. USA4 – Alex Bright
6. Q61 – Scott Doyle
7. W14 – Neville Lance
8. Q36 – Callum Whatmore
9. Q21 – Mitch Haynes
10. N26 – Jamie Hall
11. Q51 – Darren Dillon

Heat Race #9:
1. Q69 – Nathan Smee
2. N51 – Michael Stewart
3. N70 – Matt Smith
4. NZ82 – Hayden Williams
5. Q61 – Scott Doyle
6. Q36 – Callum Whatmore
7. N97 – Matt Jackson
8. Q22 – Scott Farmer
9. Q40 – Dallas Sharp
10. Q51 – Darren Dillon

Heat Race #10:
1. USA97 – Rico Abreu
2. W21m – Dayne Kingshott
3. Q14 – Michael Harders
4. Q78 – Rusty Whittaker
5. Q3 – Charlie Brown
6. Q16 – Mark George
7. V97 – Kaidon Brown
8. Q82 – Jason Bell
9. Q71 – Troy Ware
10. NZ 27 – Brad Mosen

Heat Race #11:
1. USA70 – Brady Bacon
2. Q99 – Brock Dean
3. N78 – Troy Jenkins
4. Q29 – Adam Clarke
5. V10 – Travis Mills
6. NZ 2 – Chris Gwilliam
7. V6 – Anthony Chaffey
8. Q6 – Darren Vine
9. Q5 – Rodney Harders
10. Q21 – Mitch Haynes

Heat Race #12:
1. A1 – Michael Pickens
2. USA14 – Zach Daum
3. USA4 – Alex Bright
4. Q41 – Brendan Palmer
5. USA11 – Andrew Felker
6. N87 – Aidan Corish
7. N5 – Reid Mackay
8. N62 – Dan Biner
9. W14 – Neville Lance
10. N26 – Jamie Hall

Points after night #1:
1. USA97 – Rico Abreu, 70
2. A1 – Michael Pickens, 65
3. NZ82 – Hayden Williams, 63
4. Q69 – Nathan Smee, 61
5. USA14 – Zach Daum, 58
6. USA70 – Brady Bacon, 54
7. Q29 – Adam Clarke, 51
8. N70 – Matt Smith, 51
9. V6 – Anthony Chaffey, 50
10. W21m – Dayne Kingshott, 49
11. N51 – Michael Stewart, 47
12. USA4 – Alex Bright, 47
13. USA11 – Andrew Felker, 43
14. NZ 2 – Chris Gwilliam, 43
15. Q99 – Brock Dean, 42
16. Q78 – Rusty Whittaker, 37
17. NZ 27 – Brad Mosen, 36
18. Q22 – Scott Farmer, 35
19. Q41 – Brendan Palmer, 34
20. Q71 – Troy Ware, 33
21. Q3 – Charlie Brown, 31
22. N5 – Reid Mackay, 31
23. Q61 – Scott Doyle, 30
24. Q6 – Darren Vine, 29
25. N97 – Matt Jackson, 29
26. V10 – Travis Mills, 29
27. V97 – Kaidon Brown, 28
28. N78 – Troy Jenkins, 27
29. Q16 – Mark George, 25
30. N62 – Dan Biner, 25
31. W14 – Neville Lance, 25
32. Q36 – Callum Whatmore, 25
33. N87 – Aidan Corish, 24
34. Q21 – Mitch Haynes, 23
35. Q82 – Jason Bell, 22
36. Q14 – Michael Harders, 22
37. Q40 – Dallas Sharp, 21
38. Q5 – Rodney Harders, 21
39. N26 – Jamie Hall, 14
40. Q51 – Darren Dillon, 5
41. W12 – Lee Redmond, 0