Abreu Snaps Winless Streak With World of Outlaws at Eldora

Rico Abreu. (Jim Denhamer photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

ROSSBURG, Ohio (September 23, 2022) – For the first time in over four years Rico Abreu drove his car into victory lane with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.

Abreu from St. Heleana, California snapped a long winless streak with the Greatest Show on Dirt Friday at Eldora Speedway during the “BeFour the Crowns” event, taking the lead from Spencer Bayston on lap seven and holding off late race challenges by Donny Schatz and James McFadden for the victory. The win was Abreu’s fifth of the 2022 season.

Abreu credited his return to victory lane to his team and the improved chemistry this year led by veteran crew chief Ricky Warner.

“It’s just that confidence booster. As racecar drivers we become so hard on oursleves when you go through slumps and a lot of inconsistent results, but another new team this year and I’m just really thankful to have Ricky Warner working on my car,” said Abreu. He makes the driver look really good. It just shows how important the chemistry is with these race teams. Zach’s been with me for three years now and he’s a long-term crew member of mine and Walker’s first year on board, I’m just very thankful to be racing with such a great group”

Abreu hopes to use the success from Friday’s race in 2023 during the marque races at Eldora during the summer.

“All this is data for when the crown jewel races come back here,” said Abreu. I never ever thought in a million years I would win a race on the bottom in three and four, but that just shows how comfortable I was in my race car. The guys made some last minute decisions right before we pushed off which really excelled this car on the track. Starting third and winning a World of Outlaws race is pretty badass.”

Bayston and Tyler Courtney started on the front row for the 30-lap main event. Bayston took the lead at the start while Abreu used a daring dive into turns one and to drive into the second spot.

The first red flag of the event appeared on lap four when Sheldon Haudenschild got into the wall and tipped over in turns one and two. Haudenschild’s car was towed to the work area where crew members from multiple teams changed a front end and repaired other damage for Haudenschild to joint he tail of the field for the restart.

Bayston led as Abreu was able to hang to his back bumper. Behind them Brad Sweet moved into third position on lap seven driving around Courtney in turns one and two. Just as Sweet made that move the caution appeared for Travis Philo slowing in turn three.

Bayston led the field through turns one and two, but Abreu made his move through turns three and four to take the lead on lap seven. One lap later Sweet moved into second just before the caution appeared for Hunter Schuerenberg slowing in turns one and two.

Abreu maintained the lead during the restart as Donny Schatz charged from mid-pack into fourth on lap 14 while James McFadden continued his steady march through the field into the second spot.

Slower traffic became factor on lap 16 as Schatz closed in on Abreu for the lead, but two laps later the caution appeared as Haudenschild ended up sideways in turn four, nearly making contact was Abreu as he was overtaking a slower car with Abreu taking evasive action to avoid the incident.

During the restart several cars made contact including Haudenschild and Robbie Price in turn four. Landon Myers and Brock Zearfoss also made contact coming down the frontstrech with Zearfoss pounding the wall head on, destroying the front of his car. All drivers emerged from their cars under their own power.

This setup a single file restart with Abreu pulling away from the field with Schatz in second. During the later stages of the feature McFadden started to roll the top and overtook Schatz for second on lap 28. McFadden closed in on Abreu over the final two laps, but ran out of time as Abreu crossed the finish line first over McFadden, Schatz, Sweet, and 10th starting Carson Macedo.

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Night Before the Crowns
Eldora Speedway
Rossburg, Ohio
Saturday, September 23, 2022

Qualifying Flight A
1. 2-David Gravel, 12.625[3]
2. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 12.777[18]
3. 24-Rico Abreu, 12.782[21]
4. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 12.823[22]
5. 55V-Cole Macedo, 12.866[12]
6. 41-Carson Macedo, 12.872[8]
7. 83-James McFadden, 12.881[11]
8. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 12.883[7]
9. 9-Kasey Kahne, 13.053[16]
10. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 13.110[20]
11. 1M-Landon Myers, 13.205[14]
12. 47X-Dylan Westbrook, 13.222[6]
13. 85-Dustin Daggett, 13.249[1]
14. 5T-Ryan Timms, 13.253[5]
15. 97-Greg Wilson, 13.354[10]
16. 19-Trey Jacobs, 13.358[15]
17. 16C-Tylar Rankin, 13.411[17]
18. 11N-Ayrton Olsen, 13.421[19]
19. 1-Nate Dussel, 13.433[13]
20. 83X-Nate Reeser, 13.472[2]
21. 21H-Brady Bacon, 13.472[9]
22. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, 13.472[4]

Qualifying Flight B
1. 5-Spencer Bayston, 12.646[3]
2. 11-Logan Seavey, 12.750[7]
3. 13-Justin Peck, 12.789[2]
4. 49-Brad Sweet, 12.809[15]
5. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 12.860[11]
6. 15-Donny Schatz, 12.896[18]
7. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 12.905[5]
8. 11X-Michael Kofoid, 12.912[13]
9. 5TX-Travis Philo, 12.914[10]
10. 4-Sye Lynch, 12.950[4]
11. 8-Aaron Reutzel, 13.001[14]
12. 7S-Robbie Price, 13.029[20]
13. 1A-Jacob Allen, 13.081[12]
14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 13.098[22]
15. 55T-McKenna Haase, 13.130[6]
16. 20G-Noah Gass, 13.159[8]
17. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, 13.212[21]
18. 26-Zeb Wise, 13.216[16]
19. 7-Tyler Reeser, 13.281[17]
20. 101-JJ Hickle, 13.300[1]
21. 56R-Ryan Myers, 13.343[19]
22. 47-Eric Riggins Jr, 13.400[9]

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 2-David Gravel[1]
2. 24-Rico Abreu[2]
3. 83-James McFadden[4]
4. 9-Kasey Kahne[5]
5. 21H-Brady Bacon[11]
6. 1M-Landon Myers[6]
7. 55V-Cole Macedo[3]
8. 97-Greg Wilson[8]
9. 85-Dustin Daggett[7]
10. 16C-Tylar Rankin[9]
11. 1-Nate Dussel[10]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[2]
2. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[1]
3. 41-Carson Macedo[3]
4. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[4]
5. 11K-Kraig Kinser[5]
6. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[6]
7. 5T-Ryan Timms[7]
8. 19-Trey Jacobs[8]
9. 11N-Ayrton Olsen[9]
10. 83X-Nate Reeser[10]
11. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[11]

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 1S-Logan Schuchart[3]
2. 5-Spencer Bayston[1]
3. 13-Justin Peck[2]
4. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[4]
5. 8-Aaron Reutzel[6]
6. 1A-Jacob Allen[7]
7. 5TX-Travis Philo[5]
8. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[9]
9. 7-Tyler Reeser[10]
10. 55T-McKenna Haase[8]
11. 56R-Ryan Myers[11]

Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 11-Logan Seavey[1]
2. 49-Brad Sweet[2]
3. 15-Donny Schatz[3]
4. 11X-Michael Kofoid[4]
5. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[7]
6. 7S-Robbie Price[6]
7. 4-Sye Lynch[5]
8. 26-Zeb Wise[9]
9. 101-JJ Hickle[10]
10. 20G-Noah Gass[8]
11. 47-Eric Riggins Jr[11]

DIRTVision FAST PASS Dash (6 Laps)
1. 5-Spencer Bayston[3]
2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[2]
3. 24-Rico Abreu[1]
4. 49-Brad Sweet[4]
5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[8]
6. 11-Logan Seavey[6]
7. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[5]
8. 2-David Gravel[7]

C-Main (10 Laps)
1. 7-Tyler Reeser[2]
2. 55T-McKenna Haase[6]
3. 20G-Noah Gass[8]
4. 85-Dustin Daggett[1]
5. 1-Nate Dussel[9]
6. 16C-Tylar Rankin[5]
7. 56R-Ryan Myers[10]
8. 11N-Ayrton Olsen[3]
9. 101-JJ Hickle[4]
10. 47-Eric Riggins Jr[12]
11. 83X-Nate Reeser[7]
12. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[11]

Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps)
1. 1A-Jacob Allen[4]
2. 5TX-Travis Philo[2]
3. 26-Zeb Wise[12]
4. 1M-Landon Myers[3]
5. 97-Greg Wilson[9]
6. 7S-Robbie Price[6]
7. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[10]
8. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[5]
9. 5T-Ryan Timms[7]
10. 4-Sye Lynch[8]
11. 7-Tyler Reeser[13]
12. 55T-McKenna Haase[14]
13. 19-Trey Jacobs[11]
14. 55V-Cole Macedo[1]

Lap Leaders: Bayston 1-6, Abreu 7-30