CHICO, CA — Rico Abreu went from third to first to lead Lap 26 and never looked back, securing his second Gold Cup title in a slide job war Saturday Night at Silver Dollar Speedway. Tim Kaeding, in a second Sides Motorsports entry, finished second for the second consecutive night with Cory Eliason completing the all-California podium.
16-year-old Buddy Kofoid won the Sears Craftsman Dash by 4.921 seconds to earn the pole for the 40-Lap Gold Cup Race of Champions alongside Justin Sanders, both drivers in search of their first career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victories.
Kofoid and Sanders set a slow pace as the field came to Green and Kofoid slipped off the bottom, opening the door for third-starting Cory Eliason to blast into the lead and take command.
With three provisionals being used, there were 27 410 Sprint Cars blasting around the tight-quartered Silver Dollar Speedway. Eliason, aboard the famous Roth Motorsports No.83, reached lapped traffic on Lap 5 around the bullring oval. Cars were littered all around the racing surface as Eliason worked through traffic to extend his lead.
Tanner Thorson established himself as a threat, coming forward from his seventh starting position to grab second on Lap 10 as he set his eyes on Eliason in search of his first career Outlaw win. Rico Abreu, who came from eighth to fifth in the Dash, moved into third on Lap 12, shuffling young Kofoid back to fourth with Sanders in fifth.
As Eliason negotiated heavy lapped traffic, Thorson closed in on Lap 18 and took a peak underneath the Roth Motorsports No.83. The duo battled hard, allowing Abreu to clear slower cars and reel both of them in.
Thorson used a big slider in three and four on Eliason to take the lead on Lap 25. Eliason tried to get back by into turn one, but left the door open for Abreu who took second down the backstretch and then went for the home run slider in turn three and completed it to take the lead from Thorson and lead Lap 26 with the crowd on their feet.
Eliason and Thorson continued to battle it out for second with the pair making contact with 27 laps complete, resulting in a broken front axle of Thorson’s No.3C. Thorson’s night was done, moving ninth-starting Tim Kaeding into third and defending Gold Cup Champion Shane Stewart into fourth.
The first caution of the event allowed the fans and drivers to catch their breath after an action-packed first 27 laps. A pair of cautions on the ensuing double-file restart and two laps later kept the action tame.
When action resumed Abreu darted away from the field as Kaeding and Eliason waged for second. The duo made contact coming off of turn four on Lap 31, allowing Stewart to get to third in front of Kaeding. The final caution of the evening flew for Outlaw Rookie Ian Madsen with front end damage with nine laps remaining.
Again, Abreu blasted away from the field as Kaeding, Eliason and Stewart battled for position behind him. The trio of cars battling allowed Abreu to run and hide en route to his second Outlaw win of the season in popular fashion and be crowned Gold Cup Champion for the second time in his career.
“It is so much fun to drive when your car is like it was tonight,” Abreu said in compliments of his young team, which features no one older than 23 years old.
“They are a young group, but they are becoming the best in the business. It’s hard to find a group of young guys that want to work. They all want to race, but my guys want to work. Drivers can showcase their talents when their cars are fast,” Abreu added speaking highly of his crew headlined by Ricky Warner’s son, Drew.
“I grew up racing here every Friday night in Sprint Cars, so this track is close to home to me. It’s great to get a win, especially when you beat the Outlaws,” Abreu said with a big smile to a huge roar from the crowd.
Tim Kaeding edged in front Eliason for good to secure second on back-to-back nights. “I have to thank Jason Sides and everyone that came on board for this deal. They let me have fun and that’s the one thing that has been lacking the past few years,” Kaeding said.
“That was one hell of a race from my point of view, I hope you fans enjoyed it, because that was fun,” Kaeding added to another large applause from the engaged crowd.
Cory Eliason completed the all-California podium and took the time to apologize to Thorson. “I want to apologize to Tanner for getting into him,” Eliason said humbly. “Tim and I got into each other, but we both kept going and you get that racing hard on a slick track. It was a great week,” Eliason, who finished fifth Friday, added.
Shane Stewart was the highest finishing Outlaw, coming home fourth with young Kofoid netting a career-best fifth. Justin Sanders finished sixth with 13th-starting Shane Golobic coming forward to seventh, as California was well-represented up front for the second night in a row.
Outlaws Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet charged forward from 19th and 16th, respectively, to finish eighth and ninth with track champion Andy Forsberg completing the top ten. DJ Netto garnered KSE Hard Charger honors coming from 24th to finish 12th. Brent Marks made noise by running the alphabet, transferring from the C to the Feature, where he came home 17th in his second weekend at Silver Dollar. Joey Saldana set Quick Time over the 41-car field but was on the wrong end of contact in his Heat Race, sending him to the LCS, which he won and then came forward to 15th in the Feature.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and California locals get three days off before heading to Placerville for the $20,000 to win 49er Gold Rush Classic on Wednesday, September 12. As always, if you can’t make it to the track, catch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision.com!
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 24-Rico Abreu [$15,000]; 2. 3-Tim Kaeding [$5,700]; 3. 83-Cory Eliason [$3,500]; 4. 2-Shane Stewart [$3,000]; 5. 4S-Michael Kofoid [$2,600]; 6. 121-Justin Sanders [$2,400]; 7. 17W-Shane Golobic [$2,300]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,200]; 9. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,150]; 10. 92-Andy Forsberg [$2,100]; 11. 9-Daryn Pittman [$1,600]; 12. 88N-DJ Netto [$1,350]; 13. O-Bud Kaeding [$1,300]; 14. 5-David Gravel [$1,200]; 15. 26-Joey Saldana [$1,100]; 16. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$1,000]; 17. 19-Brent Marks [$900]; 18. 83JR-Kyle Hirst [$850]; 19. 45-Austen Wheatley [$800]; 20. 7S-Jason Sides [$]; 21. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$800]; 22. 21P-Robbie Price [$800]; 23. 29-Willie Croft [$800]; 24. 18-Ian Madsen [$800]; 25. 3C-Tanner Thorson [$800]; 26. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$]; 27. 1A-Jacob Allen [$]; Lap Leaders: Cory Eliason 1-24, Tanner Thorson 25, Rico Abreu 26-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 88N-DJ Netto[+12]
-World of Outlaws Press Release
-Photo credit: World of Outlaws