Abreu Holds Off Gravel for Eldora Victory

Rico Abreu. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)
Rico Abreu. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

ROSSBURG, Ohio (September 22, 2023) — ROSSBURG, Ohio (September 22, 2023) – Rico Abreu found himself in familiar territory at Eldora Speedway during the BeFour the Crowns Showdown with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.

In victory lane.

For the second time this year with the series a Eldora Speedway Abreu won the 30-lap feature event. Abreu was able to take the lead from Eldora Million winner Logan Schuchart and hold off a final lap challenge from David Gravel for the victory.

The win was Abreu’s 10th of the 2023 season.

Abreu was able to squeeze by Logan Schuchart for the lead and pulled away from the field early in the main event. Then on lap five Abreu got into the fence just after Giovanni Scelzi took over the second position, allowing him to challenge for the lead. Abreu was able to maintain momentum at the top of the racetrack to keep the lead.

By Lap 11 Abreu had built up a sizeable lead while Gravel started to pressure Schuchart for third.

The caution flag came out with nine laps to go when James McFadden got into the wall in turn four, erasing Abreu’s 1.712 second advantage.

Abreu pulled away as Gravel took third from Schuchart after the restart. One lap later the caution appeared for Spencer Bayston, who was stopped sideways between turns one and two.

Gravel was able to take second spot from Scelzi with three laps to go and quickly closed in on Abreu. This gave Gravel one opportunity to slide Abreu through turns three and four on the final lap, but Abreu used his momentum to drive to the victory. Gravel, Scelzi, Carson Macedo, and Schuchart rounded out the top five.

“I knew my pace slowed down in the top,” said Abreu. “There weren’t too many cars running all the way up on the wall and it was getting crummy. I won a race here a couple years ago just cheating it into three and four. The sun bakes that corner, so it’s the fastest corner to slick up and you just really got to pay attention racing on the Outlaws, things to happen quickly. Part of being in the lead is judging your pace off lapped traffic, and we were catching lap traffic super fast and I knew they were throwing the crumbs across the track”

“With my lower tire pressures on the restarts just trying to keep my board speed up as much as possible. I knew I had missed it a little bit into the turn one and then getting into three I just wanted to cover my ass. I knew someone was going to try to dive on me, you can get big runs here.”

Gravel felt like his car was improving at the end where others were starting to fall off.

“I think we definitely needed a 40-lap race there,” said Gravel. “I felt like everybody was getting worse and we’re either staying the same or getting better there at the end. I figured out three and four, and in one and two Rico was laying on the cushion hard, hitting it again and getting tight, and wasn’t making a lot of corner speed where I felt like I was if I was clean air in front of him through one and two, we would have been really hauling ass through there. Strong run for us. Those late race restarts when it’s this slick and the tires cool down you just never know how your car is going to react. Luckily our car fired off good. We’re able to run through the middle and three quarters of the way up on the restarts and get by those guys.”

Gravel was the fastest in Qualifying Flight A and set the fastest time overall with a lap of 12.983 seconds. Schuchart was fastest in Qualifying Flight B with a lap of 13.061 seconds. Gravel, Scelzi, Schuchart, and Justin Peck won heat races events. Creed Kemenah won the C-Main event while Kerry Madsen won the B-Main event. Schuchart won the Dash.

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Eldora Speedway
Rossburg, Ohio
Friday, September 22, 2023

LowE Insulation Qualifying A
1. 2-David Gravel, 12.983[19]
2. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 13.003[13]
3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.010[1]
4. 24-Rico Abreu, 13.023[3]
5. 41-Carson Macedo, 13.036[4]
6. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.078[11]
7. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 13.084[16]
8. 42-Sye Lynch, 13.227[8]
9. 55-Kerry Madsen, 13.245[21]
10. 26-Zeb Wise, 13.269[18]
11. 4-Chris Windom, 13.287[15]
12. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.294[12]
13. 1T-Tanner Holmes, 13.300[5]
14. 11-Cory Eliason, 13.302[24]
15. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 13.394[9]
16. 70-Kraig Kinser, 13.396[2]
17. 6-Brian Paulus, 13.397[14]
18. 55T-McKenna Haase, 13.448[20]
19. 15K-Creed Kemenah, 13.498[6]
20. 29-Carl Bowser, 13.498[22]
21. 50YR-JJ Hickle, 13.540[17]
22. 24D-Danny Sams III, 13.624[7]
23. 45-Kyle Reinhardt, 13.811[10]
24. 11N-Kasey Jedrzejek, 14.163[23]

LowE Insulation Qualifying B
1. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 13.061[2]
2. 83-James McFadden, 13.150[4]
3. 21H-Brady Bacon, 13.247[17]
4. 13-Justin Peck, 13.272[11]
5. 8-Aaron Reutzel, 13.294[20]
6. 9R-Chase Randall, 13.301[23]
7. 1M-Landon Myers, 13.316[3]
8. 9P-Parker Price Miller, 13.325[9]
9. 5-Spencer Bayston, 13.359[19]
10. 6G-Garet Williamson, 13.376[16]
11. 23-Cale Thomas, 13.376[10]
12. 88-Austin McCarl, 13.389[21]
13. 9-Kasey Kahne, 13.443[13]
14. 99-Skylar Gee, 13.513[7]
15. 35-Zach Hampton, 13.525[22]
16. 5T-Ryan Timms, 13.529[8]
17. 49X-Tim Shaffer, 13.547[5]
18. 7S-Robbie Price, 13.579[14]
19. 21-Brian Brown, 13.583[18]
20. 19-Ayrton Gennetten, 13.614[1]
21. 20G-Noah Gass, 13.641[15]
22. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.688[6]
23. 56R-Ryan Myers, 13.851[12]

Case No1 Engine Oil Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 2-David Gravel[1]
2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[2]
3. 41-Carson Macedo[3]
4. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[4]
5. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[8]
6. 55-Kerry Madsen[5]
7. 4-Chris Windom[6]
8. 50YR-JJ Hickle[11]
9. 45-Kyle Reinhardt[12]
10. 15K-Creed Kemenah[10]
11. 6-Brian Paulus[9]
12. 1T-Tanner Holmes[7]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[1]
2. 24-Rico Abreu[2]
3. 49-Brad Sweet[3]
4. 15-Donny Schatz[6]
5. 26-Zeb Wise[5]
6. 42-Sye Lynch[4]
7. 11-Cory Eliason[7]
8. 70-Kraig Kinser[8]
9. 29-Carl Bowser[10]
10. 55T-McKenna Haase[9]
11. 11N-Kasey Jedrzejek[12]
12. 24D-Danny Sams III[11]

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 1S-Logan Schuchart[1]
2. 8-Aaron Reutzel[3]
3. 21H-Brady Bacon[2]
4. 5-Spencer Bayston[5]
5. 9-Kasey Kahne[7]
6. 23-Cale Thomas[6]
7. 35-Zach Hampton[8]
8. 21-Brian Brown[10]
9. 49X-Tim Shaffer[9]
10. 1M-Landon Myers[4]
11. 20G-Noah Gass[11]
12. 56R-Ryan Myers[12]

Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 13-Justin Peck[2]
2. 83-James McFadden[1]
3. 9R-Chase Randall[3]
4. 88-Austin McCarl[6]
5. 9P-Parker Price Miller[4]
6. 6G-Garet Williamson[5]
7. 19-Ayrton Gennetten[10]
8. 5T-Ryan Timms[8]
9. 99-Skylar Gee[7]
10. W20-Greg Wilson[11]
11. 7S-Robbie Price[9]

Toyota Dash (6 Laps)
1. 1S-Logan Schuchart[1]
2. 24-Rico Abreu[3]
3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[4]
4. 2-David Gravel[6]
5. 83-James McFadden[2]
6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[5]
7. 13-Justin Peck[8]
8. 8-Aaron Reutzel[7]

C-Main (10 Laps)
1. 15K-Creed Kemenah[1]
2. W20-Greg Wilson[2]
3. 1T-Tanner Holmes[9]
4. 7S-Robbie Price[6]
5. 55T-McKenna Haase[3]
6. 56R-Ryan Myers[8]
7. 11N-Kasey Jedrzejek[7]
8. 24D-Danny Sams III[10]
9. 6-Brian Paulus[5]
DNS: 20G-Noah Gass

MicroLite Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps)
1. 55-Kerry Madsen[3]
2. 42-Sye Lynch[1]
3. 4-Chris Windom[5]
4. 11-Cory Eliason[7]
5. 35-Zach Hampton[8]
6. 1M-Landon Myers[2]
7. 21-Brian Brown[12]
8. 19-Ayrton Gennetten[10]
9. 70-Kraig Kinser[11]
10. 6G-Garet Williamson[6]
11. W20-Greg Wilson
12. 5T-Ryan Timms[14]
13. 50YR-JJ Hickle[9]
14. 99-Skylar Gee[17]
15. 49X-Tim Shaffer[16]
16. 29-Carl Bowser[15]
17. 15K-Creed Kemenah
18. 45-Kyle Reinhardt[13]
19. 23-Cale Thomas[4]

NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps)
1. 24-Rico Abreu[2]
2. 2-David Gravel[4]
3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[3]
4. 41-Carson Macedo[9]
5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[1]
6. 15-Donny Schatz[15]
7. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[6]
8. 13-Justin Peck[7]
9. 49-Brad Sweet[11]
10. 26-Zeb Wise[19]
11. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[13]
12. 8-Aaron Reutzel[8]
13. 9R-Chase Randall[12]
14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[17]
15. 21H-Brady Bacon[10]
16. 11-Cory Eliason[24]
17. 88-Austin McCarl[16]
18. 42-Sye Lynch[22]
19. 4-Chris Windom[23]
20. 7S-Robbie Price[26]
21. 9-Kasey Kahne[18]
22. 1T-Tanner Holmes[25]
23. 5-Spencer Bayston[14]
24. 83-James McFadden[5]
25. 55-Kerry Madsen[21]
26. 9P-Parker Price Miller[20]