Abreu Owns Chili Bowl Wednesday Night Once Again

Wednesday night proved to be ‘Rico Night’ once again at the Chili Bowl Nationals as Rico Abreu scored the Wednesday prelim feature win for the fifth time in six years. The St. Helena, CA driver started on the outside of the front row and worked past Brad Sweet just before halfway to give car owner Keith Kunz his second win in three nights.

 

Abreu waited until he and Sweet caught lapped traffic before making his bid for the lead. Once taking the lead, he had to fend off Sweet, Colby Copeland, and others over several late restarts to lock his spot into Saturday’s main event.

 

“I know Keith (Kunz)’s cars really come in during the last 10 laps, so I was just waiting there, hanging out for him to make some mistakes in traffic. We caught traffic and I turned the pace up,” Abreu said on the Racinboys.com broadcast. “That’s how you get going in these races, you’ve got to set a little faster pace than the lapped cars and I felt like that’s where our advantage was. At the end, there were a bunch of cautions. I just tried to make good decisions and be smooth.”

 

Abreu used the late restarts as an opportunity to test different lines in advance of Saturday night, when he will go after a third Chili Bowl win. With a Chili Bowl restart different than at most other races, it was an opportunity to think toward the main event.

 

“The restarts get really tricky on the top. It’s momentum-based, but it gets crumby up there from guys throwing moisture off the bottom,” he said. “I tried restarting up there once just to try to get a big run and I took off a little early into three, but you just spin your tires so much off the exit of the corner and it really hurts it. I moved back down and that’s where it was.”

 

Fellow California driver Colby Copeland survived the late restarts and a strong challenge from Blake Hahn to finish second and transfer to the Chili Bowl main event for the second year in a row. After struggling with the setup most of the night, he was stoked to have locked himself into Saturday night’s field.

 

“Holy smokes, I can’t believe it. I see why different things happen when the cameras are put in front of you because this is so emotional,” Copeland said. “I know Rico won but I feel like I’ve won. This thing was a war wagon when I blasted through Ronnie Gardner over there, but these guys were tuning on it all night. That was so awesome.”

 

Hahn would finish third, setting himself on the front row of a B-Main on Saturday. Chase Johnson and Sammy Swindell rounded out the top five.

 

Results:
Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Tulsa Expo Raceway - Tulsa, Okla.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Hard Rock Casino Tulsa Qualifying Night
Car Count: 66
Event Count: 200

OERB Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 57D-Daniel Robinson[3]; 2. 50-Daniel Adler[4]; 3. 2M-Colby Stubblefield[2]; 4. 15F-Kinzer Edwards[9]; 5. 0-Billy VanInwegen Jr[7]; 6. 7J-Shawn Jackson[5]; 7. 51G-Garet Williamson[1]; 8. 37-Eddie Tafoya Jr[6]; 9. 4F-Chad Frewaldt[8] Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 16C-David Camfield Jr[1]; 2. 15A-Harley Hollan[2]; 3. 9-Tim McCreadie[6]; 4. 88N-DJ Netto[3]; 5. 08K-Karsyn Elledge[4]; 6. 1P-Holly Porter[5]; 7. 101-Chuck McGillivray[8]; 8. 17K-Michael Koontz[7]; 9. (DNS) 68S-Scott Scherb
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 25C-Chase Johnson[2]; 2. 1R-Brad Sweet[7]; 3. 45X-Parker Price Miller[1]; 4. 67J-Chase Jones[5]; 5. 75X-Mike Griffiths[3]; 6. 85-Matt Moore[8]; 7. 22C-Charlie Crumpton[4]; 8. 80-Joe Spillman[6] Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 14-Jesse Colwell[1]; 2. 27W-Colby Copeland[3]; 3. 52-Blake Hahn[5]; 4. 22X-Steven Shebester[4]; 5. 14E-Jake Neal[2]; 6. 2T-Keith Martin[8]; 7. 2D-Matt Sherrell[7]; 8. 99R-Brad Bowden[6] Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Sammy Swindell[1]; 2. 73T-Jake Swanson[3]; 3. 84-Giovanni Scelzi[8]; 4. 2G-JJ Yeley[4]; 5. 35X-Tyler Robbins[5]; 6. 3W-Brandon Waelti[7]; 7. 13B-Johnny Brown Jr[6]; 8. 18S-Santino Ferrucci[2] Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 97-Rico Abreu[7]; 2. 97K-Tom Harris[4]; 3. 91T-Tyler Thomas[6]; 4. 54-Matt Westfall[2]; 5. 71R-Robby Josett[5]; 6. 91-Jeff Stasa[3]; 7. 54G-Trey Gropp[8]; 8. 8B-Colin Deming[1] Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 14S-Clinton Boyles[2]; 2. 40-Eric Wilkins[6]; 3. 6N-Ryan Newman[7]; 4. 8W-Mark Lowrey[8]; 5. 130-Larry Bratti[1]; 6. 99K-Robert Carson[3]; 7. 2L-Landon Simon[4]; 8. 11E-Cory Elliott[5] Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 68-Ronnie Gardner[3]; 2. 76G-David Gravel[4]; 3. 97X-Austin Odell[1]; 4. 11G-Mike Goodman[5]; 5. 14J-Matt Streeter[6]; 6. 4D-Robert Dalby[7]; 7. 18K-Tony Gualda Jr[2]; 8. 77J-John Klabonde[8]

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.
C-Main 1 (12 Laps): 1. 4D-Robert Dalby[1]; 2. 2D-Matt Sherrell[6]; 3. 7J-Shawn Jackson[3]; 4. 14E-Jake Neal[2]; 5. 4F-Chad Frewaldt[12]; 6. 37-Eddie Tafoya Jr[10]; 7. 91-Jeff Stasa[5]; 8. 77J-John Klabonde[8]; 9. 101-Chuck McGillivray[4]; 10. 17K-Michael Koontz[9]; 11. 22C-Charlie Crumpton[7]; 12. 8B-Colin Deming[13]; 13. 99R-Brad Bowden[11] C-Main 2 (12 Laps): 1. 75X-Mike Griffiths; 2. 130-Larry Bratti; 3. 1P-Holly Porter; 4. 54G-Trey Gropp; 5. 99K-Robert Carson; 6. 13B-Johnny Brown Jr; 7. 2L-Landon Simon; 8. 18K-Tony Gualda Jr; 9. 51G-Garet Williamson; 10. 80-Joe Spillman; 11. 18S-Santino Ferrucci; (DNS) 11E-Cory Elliott; (DNS) 68S-Scott Scherb

Team Toyota Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.
Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 52-Blake Hahn[1]; 2. 14S-Clinton Boyles[4]; 3. 1-Sammy Swindell[2]; 4. 97-Rico Abreu[6]; 5. 9-Tim McCreadie[3]; 6. 67J-Chase Jones[7]; 7. 57D-Daniel Robinson[5]; 8. 54-Matt Westfall[9]; 9. 22X-Steven Shebester[8]; 10. 35X-Tyler Robbins[10] Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 1R-Brad Sweet[6]; 2. 68-Ronnie Gardner[5]; 3. 15F-Kinzer Edwards[1]; 4. 71R-Robby Josett[10]; 5. 91T-Tyler Thomas[3]; 6. 11G-Mike Goodman[7]; 7. 8W-Mark Lowrey[2]; 8. 50-Daniel Adler[4]; 9. 2G-JJ Yeley[8]; 10. 85-Matt Moore[9] Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 27W-Colby Copeland[2]; 2. 97K-Tom Harris[4]; 3. 88N-DJ Netto[8]; 4. 16C-David Camfield Jr[3]; 5. 6N-Ryan Newman[5]; 6. 45X-Parker Price Miller[7]; 7. 15A-Harley Hollan[1]; 8. 08K-Karsyn Elledge[10]; 9. 40-Eric Wilkins[6]; 10. 2T-Keith Martin[9] Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 73T-Jake Swanson[2]; 2. 76G-David Gravel[4]; 3. 25C-Chase Johnson[5]; 4. 14-Jesse Colwell[3]; 5. 84-Giovanni Scelzi[6]; 6. 97X-Austin Odell[7]; 7. 2M-Colby Stubblefield[1]; 8. 0-Billy VanInwegen Jr[9]; 9. 14J-Matt Streeter[8]; 10. 3W-Brandon Waelti[10]

Dave.com B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.
B-Main 1 (15 Laps): 1. 14-Jesse Colwell[1]; 2. 9-Tim McCreadie[2]; 3. 57D-Daniel Robinson[3]; 4. 2G-JJ Yeley[10]; 5. 0-Billy VanInwegen Jr[9]; 6. 2D-Matt Sherrell[14]; 7. 85-Matt Moore[11]; 8. 15A-Harley Hollan[7]; 9. 4D-Robert Dalby[13]; 10. 54-Matt Westfall[8]; 11. 7J-Shawn Jackson[15]; 12. 14E-Jake Neal[16]; 13. 8W-Mark Lowrey[6]; 14. 97X-Austin Odell[5]; 15. 11G-Mike Goodman[4]; 16. 35X-Tyler Robbins[12] B-Main 2 (15 Laps): 1. 91T-Tyler Thomas[2]; 2. 45X-Parker Price Miller[4]; 3. 08K-Karsyn Elledge[8]; 4. 67J-Chase Jones[3]; 5. 22X-Steven Shebester[9]; 6. 18K-Tony Gualda Jr[16]; 7. 54G-Trey Gropp[13]; 8. 15F-Kinzer Edwards[1]; 9. 14J-Matt Streeter[10]; 10. 1P-Holly Porter[15]; 11. 2M-Colby Stubblefield[7]; 12. 3W-Brandon Waelti[12]; 13. 2T-Keith Martin[11]; 14. 50-Daniel Adler[6]; 15. 2L-Landon Simon[14]; 16. 40-Eric Wilkins[5]

A-Feature
1. Rico Abreu
2. Colby Copeland
3. Blake Hahn
4. Chase Johnson
5. Sammy Swindell
6. Tyler Thomas
7. David Gravel
8. Tim McCreadie
9. Jake Swanson
10. Giovanni Scelzi
11. J.J. Yeley
12. Chase Jones
13. Tom Harris
14. Daniel Robinson
15. Jesse Colwell
16. Clinton Boyles
17. Robby Josett
18. David Camfield Jr
19. Brad Sweet
20. Parker Price-Miller
21. Ryan Newman
22. Karsyn Elledge
23. D.J. Netto
24. Ronnie Gardner

-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Kyler Hope

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Abreu Owns Chili Bowl Wednesday Night Once Again