By Bryan Gapinski
Sun Prairie, Wis., July 15—California’s Rico Abreu captured the “Miller Lite 76th Anniversary Night” 30-lap feature Sunday Night at Angell Park Speedway. The event was co-sanctioned by the Stark Automotive Group/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series and POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series. The race capped off a doubleheader weekend celebrating Badger’s 76-years of sanctioning midget auto racing.
Robbie Ray jumped into the lead at the start, pacing the first two laps, before Tyler Thomas took mover the top position.The caution appeared for a stalled car one lap later. Mike Hess passed Thomas for the lead on the restart. The pair then exchanged the lead twice over the next two laps, before Hess final secured the top position.
The pair along with fast qualifier Abreu pulled away from the field. Abreu passed Thomas for second place on Lap 13. Hess began lapping the tail of the field at the midway point. Abreu took advantage of heavy lapped traffic and passed Hess for the lead exiting Turn 2 on Lap 16.
The caution appeared for Scott Hatton, who stalled with eight laps remaining bunching up the field. On the restart Thomas running in third suffered engine problems and retired. Brad Kuhn who started in 16th position passed Hess for second place on Lap 25. With a clear track, Abreu driving the Keith Kunz Motorsports owned Bullet-Toyota No. 67, turned his fastest laps of the race and finished 2.16 seconds ahead of Kuhn, Hess, Daniel Robinson, and Badger points leader Bubba Altig.
Abreu became the 133th driver to win a midget feature at the famed track in sixty-six years of racing. “Its great to win my first career midget feature at such a famous facility, the car was perfect, I look forward to racing here again” commented Abreu. Altig holds a 135-point lead over Daniel Robinson heading into the Aug. 11 event at Wilmot (wis.) Raceway. Chad Bogar won his fourth Badger 600 Micro feature of the season topping Brandon Fickaus and Greg Gunderson.
30-lap Feature: 1. Rico Abreu; 2. Brad Kuhn; 3. Mike Hess; 4. Daniel Robinson; 5. Bubba Altig; 6. Andrew Felker; 7. Cody Wisensel; 8. Austin Brown; 9. Dillon Welch; 10. Derek Holwood; 11. Robbie Ray; 12. Kurt Mayhew; 13. Chet Gehrke; 14. Andy Malpocker; 15. Cameron Hagin; 16. Riley Emmel; 17. Eric Johnson; 18. Tyler Thomas; 19. Scott Hatton; 20. Colten Cottle; 21. Garrett Aitken; 22. David Budres; 23. Brandon Waelti.
12-lap Semi Feature Winner: Altig.
10-lap Heat Race Winners: Felker, Robinson, Waelti, Kuhn.
Fast Time: Abreu, 14.970 seconds.
Cars Present: 28 Feature Lap Leaders: Ray 1-2, Thomas 3, Hess 4, Thomas 5, Hess 6-16, Abreu 17-30.
**Alex Bright flipped during first heat race, escaping injury.
Current Badger Midget Series points: 1. Bubba Altig 630; 2. Daniel Robinson 495; 3. Danny Stratton 474; 4. Mike Hess 443; 5. Brandon Waelti 441; 6. Scott Hatton 423; 7. Davey Ray 329; 8. Brad Kuhn 315; 9. David Budres 264; 10. Travis Berryhill 194.
By Bryan Gapinski