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Rico Abreu Takes Open Wheel Championships Preliminary at Atomic Speedway

Rico Abreu celebrates victory with friends and crew in Atomic Speedway victory lane. (Vince Vellella Photo)

From Tyler Altmeyer

CHILLICOTHE, OH (August 25, 2017) – Withstanding persistent pressure from his summer landlord, “Smoke” Tony Stewart, St. Helena, California’s Rico Abreu earned his place in Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory lane on Friday evening at Atomic Speedway, capturing the Open Wheel Championships preliminary victory worth $5,000 over a field of 46 entries. The Arctic Cat All Star triumph was the seventh of Abreu’s impressive career; his first-ever at the Atomic Speedway high banks.

“I just gotta thank my guys for getting this car right where it needed to be tonight,” Abreu explained, pilot of the Abreu Vineyards/Priority Aviation/Alpinestars/Rhino Wipes/No. 24. “Our car has been really close the last few weeks. We put ourselves in really good position tonight in relation to how the track was. I felt like we were really good right away. My guys have been clocking in a lot of work. It all pays off when you are standing up here with the trophy.”

On a surface narrowed by its abrasiveness, Abreu led all but one circuit of the 30-lap main event, swapping positions with Tony Stewart just after the pair reached traffic for the first time. Stewart worked by Abreu to officially lead lap 11, but after a side-by-side battle during the entire following circuit, it was Abreu who would lead lap 12. From that point forward, it was all Abreu at the front of the field, chased to the final checkers by Stewart, Cole Duncan, Lee Jacobs and Joey Saldana.

“I caught him sleeping as traffic started to get him backed up,” Tony Stewart said. “I saw where he went, so I went in a different spot and got a run on him. I just wasn’t fast enough to hold him off. He got through traffic tonight a lot better than I did. He was definitely the better car and driver.”

“He lets me stay at his house in the summertime, so I had to be pretty nice to him there,” Abreu laughed. “You have to give Tony a lot of respect. He is just as hungry as any of us out here racing.”

“I think he got himself a little too high when he got around me. That allowed me to get back below him,” Abreu continued. “I was able to get through the center a little bit better than him. I think it would have been a really good race even if it didn’t take rubber. Towards the end, I was starting to worry about my tires. At that point, all you can do is race and pray.”

Open Wheel Championships competition will continue on Saturday evening, August 26, with a second, full Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions program, this time awarding $10,000 to the main event winner; the final Arctic Cat All Star appearance at the Chillicothe high banks in 2017.

Atomic Speedway officials will open pit gates by 1:00pm. The Arctic Cat All Star drivers meeting will take shape at 5:20pm, with hot laps to follow at 6:00pm, sharp. Those seeking additional news and notes should visit Atomic Speedway live on the Web at www.atomicspeedway.net.

Contingency Awards/Results: Atomic Speedway- Friday, August 25, 2017:

3rd Annual Open Wheel Championships

EMi Driver’s Meeting: 46 entries

State Water Heaters Warm-Ups: Chad Kemenah – 13.211 seconds

Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Tim Shaffer – 13.058 seconds (2nd quick)

Ford Performance Heat #1: Ryan Smith

All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Cole Duncan

Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Shane Stewart

Daido Engine Bearings Heat #4: Rico Abreu

Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts C-Main: Caleb Armstrong

JE Pistons Dash #1: Tony Stewart

Kistler Racing Products Dash #2: Rico Abreu

Classic Ink USA B-Main: Spencer Bayston

Daido Engine Bearings Main Event Winner: Cole Duncan (3rd)

MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Dave Blaney (+8)

Outback Steakhouse A-Main 5th Place Finisher: Joey Saldana

Outback Steakhouse A-Main 10th Place Finisher: Carson Macedo

Outback Steakhouse A-Main 15th Place Finisher: Chad Kemenah

(Lincoln Electric, Daido Engine Bearings, MSD Performance, Outback Steakhouse: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)

Qualifying

Group (A)

1. 71-Joey Saldana, 13.358; 2. 59-Ryan Smith, 13.523; 3. 91-Cale Thomas, 13.642; 4. 17-Caleb Helms, 13.671; 5. 78-Todd Kane, 13.723; 6. 7K-Cale Conley, 13.898; 7. 1080-Jordan Mackison, 14.182; 8. 3-Dakota Jackson, 14.5; 9. 92-Sam Ashworth, 14.598; 10. 84-Brandon Hanks, 14.6; 11. 8M-TJ Michael, 14.653; 12. 27-Brad Lamberson, 21.488

Group (B)

1. 7W-Logan Wagner, 13.044; 2. 49x-Tim Shaffer, 13.058; 3. 22C-Cole Duncan, 13.219; 4. 81-Lee Jacobs, 13.489; 5. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 13.563; 6. 4-Danny Smith, 13.71; 7. 4X-Jimmy Stinson, 13.822; 8. 59N-Bryan Nuckles, 13.907; 9. A67-Brandon Wimmer, 13.978; 10. 17b-Josh Baughman, 14.244; 11. 9C-Roger Campbell, 14.443; 12. 6J-Jarrett Gerber, 14.813

Group ( C )

1. 39-Spencer Bayston, 13.348; 2. 3G-Carson Macedo, 13.457; 3. 14-Tony Stewart, 13.549; 4. 51-John Garvin, 13.713; 5. 56R-Ryan Myers, 13.999; 6. 22D-Josh Davis, 14.181; 7. 33-Brent Matus, 14.194; 8. 71a-Ayrton Olsen, 14.205; 9. 35-Tyler Esh, 14.43; 10. 16-Dallas Hewitt, 14.609; 11. 95-Hunter Mackison, 14.898

Group (D)

1. 33M-Max Stambaugh, 13.508; 2. 71m-Dave Blaney, 13.809; 3. 2-Parker Price-Miller, 13.909; 4. 24-Rico Abreu, 14.048; 5. 13-Brandon Matus, 14.232; 6. 22-Brandon Spithaler, 14.244; 7. 35R-Ronnie Blair, 14.37; 8. 83X-Nate Reeser, 14.441; 9. 7C-Caleb Armstrong, 14.556; 10. 22B-Ryan Broughton, 14.669; 11. 40-Mark Imler, 15.105

Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer

1. 59-Ryan Smith [3]; 2. 17-Caleb Helms [1]; 3. 91-Cale Thomas [2]; 4. 71-Joey Saldana [4]; 5. 1080-Jordan Mackison [7]; 6. 78-Todd Kane [5]; 7. 7K-Cale Conley [6]; 8. 92-Sam Ashworth [9]; 9. 84-Brandon Hanks [10]; 10. 8M-TJ Michael [11]; 11. 27-Brad Lamberson [12]; 12. 3-Dakota Jackson [8]

Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer

1. 22C-Cole Duncan [2]; 2. 81-Lee Jacobs [1]; 3. 49X-Tim Shaffer [3]; 4. 10H-Chad Kemenah [5]; 5. 59N-Bryan Nuckles [8]; 6. 7W-Logan Wagner [4]; 7. 4-Danny Smith [6]; 8. 4X-Jimmy Stinson [7]; 9. A67-Brandon Wimmer [9]; 10. 17B-Josh Baughman [10]; 11. 9C-Roger Campbell [11]; 12. 6J-Jarrett Gerber [12]

Heat #3 – Group ( C ) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer

1. 14-Tony Stewart [2]; 2. 51-John Garvin [1]; 3. 33-Brent Matus [7]; 4. 56R-Ryan Myers [5]; 5. 3G-Carson Macedo [3]; 6. 22D-Josh Davis [6]; 7. 39-Spencer Bayston [4]; 8. 95-Hunter Mackison [11]; 9. 16-Dallas Hewitt [10]; 10. 71A-Ayrton Olsen [8]; 11. 35-Tyler Esh [9]

Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer

1. 24-Rico Abreu [1]; 2. 2-Parker Price-Miller [2]; 3. 33M-Max Stambaugh [4]; 4. 71M-Dave Blaney [3]; 5. 22-Brandon Spithaler [6]; 6. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [9]; 7. 22B-Ryan Broughton [10]; 8. 83X-Nate Reeser [8]; 9. 35R-Ronnie Blair [7]; 10. 40-Mark Imler [11]; 11. 13-Brandon Matus [5]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)

1. 14-Tony Stewart [2]; 2. 81-Lee Jacobs [1]; 3. 22C-Cole Duncan [5]; 4. 2-Parker Price-Miller [3]; 5. 59-Ryan Smith [4]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)

1. 24-Rico Abreu [2]; 2. 71-Joey Saldana [4]; 3. 17-Caleb Helms [3]; 4. 51-John Garvin [1]; 5. 49X-Tim Shaffer [5]

C-Main (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer

1. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [3]; 2. 95-Hunter Mackison [10]; 3. 16-Dallas Hewitt [6]; 4. 84-Brandon Hanks [5]; 5. 92-Sam Ashworth [4]; 6. 9C-Roger Campbell [1]; 7. 3-Dakota Jackson [2]; 8. 27-Brad Lamberson [12]; 9. 8M-TJ Michael [7]; 10. 40-Mark Imler [11]; 11. 6J-Jarrett Gerber [9]

B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer

1. 39-Spencer Bayston [2]; 2. 7W-Logan Wagner [1]; 3. 78-Todd Kane [4]; 4. 4-Danny Smith [3]; 5. A67-Brandon Wimmer [7]; 6. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [15]; 7. 4X-Jimmy Stinson [5]; 8. 7K-Cale Conley [6]; 9. 22D-Josh Davis [8]; 10. 35R-Ronnie Blair [12]; 11. 71A-Ayrton Olsen [9]; 12. 17B-Josh Baughman [11]; 13. 35-Tyler Esh [13]; 14. 13-Brandon Matus [10]; 15. 95-Hunter Mackison [16]; 16. 83X-Nate Reeser [14]

A-Main (30 Laps)

1. 24-Rico Abreu [2]; 2. 14-Tony Stewart [1]; 3. 22C-Cole Duncan [5]; 4. 81-Lee Jacobs [3]; 5. 71-Joey Saldana [4]; 6. 33M-Max Stambaugh [11]; 7. 71M-Dave Blaney [15]; 8. 17-Caleb Helms [6]; 9. 51-John Garvin [8]; 10. 3G-Carson Macedo [17]; 11. 4-Danny Smith [24]; 12. 39-Spencer Bayston [21]; 13. 2-Parker Price-Miller [7]; 14. 59-Ryan Smith [9]; 15. 10H-Chad Kemenah [14]; 16. 22-Brandon Spithaler [20]; 17. 59N-Bryan Nuckles [18]; 18. 7W-Logan Wagner [22]; 19. 1080-Jordan Mackison [19]; 20. 33-Brent Matus [13]; 21. 49X-Tim Shaffer [10]; 22. 91-Cale Thomas [12]; 23. 78-Todd Kane [23]; 24. 56R-Ryan Myers [16] Lap Leaders: Rico Abreu [1-10], Tony Stewart [11], Rico Abreu [12-30]

Current Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Standings (August 25, 2017):

1. Chad Kemenah – 4912

2. Ryan Smith – 4578

3. Caleb Armstrong – 4434

4. Max Stambaugh – 4178

5. Caleb Helms – 4012

6. Brandon Spithaler – 3869

7. T.J. Michael – 3831

8. Tyler Esh – 3767

9. Brandon Matus – 3612

10. John Garvin – 3574