Lawrenceburg, IN – Rico Abreu continued what has been a sensational 2014 Honda National Midget season with his third win of the year on Saturday, a frenetic affair that featured countless slide-jobs around the high-banked Lawrenceburg Speedway.
Alex Bright edged Michael Pickens back to the line to lead lap one, but Pickens took command as they ran the extreme high line. Pickens and Bright were setting a torrid pace early, encountering traffic as Bright closed for the lead. A turn-one slide-job followed, and the two made contact in the middle of the corner with Pickens getting up into the concrete and collapsing his front end. He was done for the race.
After that, Bright was in command as Abreu worked on Tracy Hines for second, and cars were racing all over behind them. Brady Bacon was moving his way through the field, using every inch of the wide race track.
Abreu closed on Bright for the lead and pulled the trigger into turn-one on lap 27, and again the lead duo ended up in the same spot, this time with Bright on the short end as he struggled to regain control exiting turn-two. As his front-end bounced around, Abreu raced away and scored a relatively easy win aboard the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #97 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“Whether they boo me or cheer for me, I’ll be at Kokomo tomorrow night driving just as hard. Alex (Bright) is a hell of a driver, and both of us are running as hard as we can. He got the short end of the stick on that one. I just have to thank my guys for giving me an incredible car once again. It’s good to be back in victory lane now after the injury. You have to respect these cars, as I’ve had my fair share of big ones,” Abreu said to a boisterous Lawrenceburg crowd.
Bright held second until the final lap, when he could hold on no more and bounced to a stop through turn-three just as Abreu was taking the checkers. Hines had flashed by with the runner-up spot aboard the Parker Machinery – Turbines, Inc. #24 Spike/Stanton Toyota.
“I had a front-row seat for a lot of wild slide-jobs tonight, and they were from everybody. Our car was pretty good, and I’m happy to finish out a long day with a good finish after coming from the Silver Crown race at Gateway,” Hines said.
Friday night winner Christopher Bell returned to the podium with a strong run in third, again in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“Hats off to the track crew for giving us a great race track where we could move around. We had great cars again tonight, but I got us behind the eight-ball a little with a poor qualifying run,” Bell said.
Bryan Clauson was credited with fourth in the Fairbury Westin Packaged Meats – Curb Records #63 Spike/Esslinger, and Bacon’s run from 18th to fifth in the Wilke-Pak Racers – Autonet Mobile #11 Spike/Stanton Mopar earned him the night’s B&W Auto Mart “Hard Charger Award.” Tanner Thorson, who earlier in the night earned the ProSource “Fast Time Award” for the second night in a row, retired from the event early.
USAC HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET RACE RESULTS: June 14, 2014 – Lawrenceburg, Indiana – Lawrenceburg Speedway –“Indiana Midget Week”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.790; 2. Rico Abreu, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.832; 3. Alex Schutte, 28, Schutte/McElwee-14.999; 4. Michael Pickens, 3F, RFMS-15.001; 5. Chris Windom, 3, RFMS-15.053; 6. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-15.055; 7. Alex Bright, 77, Hemler-15.103; 8. Trey Marcham, 39, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-15.150; 9. Christopher Bell, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.169; 10. Steve Buckwalter, 25, Buckwalter-15.220; 11. Bryan Clauson, 63, RKR/Curb-Agajanian-15.238; 12. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-15.304; 13. Brock Maskovich, 39B, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-15.354; 14. Isaac Chapple, 52, Chapple-15.378; 15. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-15.386; 16. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Johnson-15.386; 17. Dave Darland, 17, RW/Curb-Agajanian-15.400; 18. Shane Cottle, 57, Ecker-15.437; 19. Brenden Bright, 92, Bright-15.573; 20. Brady Bacon, 11, Wilke-15.621; 21. Seth Motsinger, 2, KBR-15.624; 22. Andrew Felker, 11A, Felker-15.629; 23. Domain Ramsay, 20, Ramsay-15.648; 24. Jaimie McKinlay, 42, Graham-15.669; 25. Tyler Courtney, 35, Hampton-15.736; 26. Nathan Smee, 3A, Cooper-15.750; 27. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 9K, KBR-15.844; 28. Leyton Kendall, 7L, KBR-15.877; 29. James Edens, 5E, Daum-15.996; 30. Chad Boespflug, 57B, Ecker-16.007; 31. Andy Malpocker, 22, Malpocker-16.470; 32. Danny Burke, 15, Johnson/Burke-16.483; 33. Robby Parish, 7K, Irwin-16.643; 34. Tate Martz, 2x, Steele-16.800; 35. Parker Price-Miller, 9P, Ronk-80.190.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Bell, 3. Windom, 4. Thorson, 5. Motsinger, 6. Courtney, 7. Maskovich, 8. Edens, 9. Parish.
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Abreu, 2. Cottle, 3. Felker, 4. Hines, 5. Smee, 6. Boespflug, 7. Chapple, 8. Martz, 9. Buckwalter.
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Clauson, 2. Daum, 3. A. Bright, 4. Ramsay, 5. K. Thomas, 6. Schutte, 7. B. Bright, 8. Malpocker.
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Pickens, 3. T. Thomas, 4. McKinlay, 5. Marcham, 6. Gardner, 7. Kendall, 8. Burke.
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Marcham, 2. Schutte, 3. Maskovich, 4. K. Thomas, 5. Gardner, 6. B. Bright, 7. Smee, 8. Chapple, 9. Courtney, 10. Boespflug, 11. Kendall, 12. Edens, 13. Parish, 14. Burke, 15. Malpocker.
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Rico Abreu, 2. Tracy Hines, 3. Christopher Bell, 4. Bryan Clauson, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Chris Windom, 8. Shane Cottle, 9. Zach Daum, 10. Brock Maskovich, 11. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 12. Andrew Felker, 13. Ronnie Gardner, 14. Brenden Bright, 15. Alex Bright, 16. Jaimie McKinlay, 17. Domain Ramsay, 18. Trey Marcham, 19. Alex Schutte, 20. Tyler Thomas, 21. Michael Pickens, 22. Tanner Thorson. NT
**K. Thomas flipped in Qualifying. Chapple flipped in Heat 2.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 A. Bright, Laps 2-16 Pickens, Laps 17-26 A. Bright, Laps 27-30 Abreu.
NEW HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-Abreu-415; 2-Bell-329; 3-Hines-323; 4-Clauson-321; 5-Thorson-264; 6-Darland/Windom-250; 8-Felker-231; 9-Daum-229; 10-K.Thomas-208.
NEW “INDIANA MIDGET WEEK” POINTS: 1-Abreu-209; 2-Clauson-178; 3-Hines-171; 4-Darland-156; 5-Windom-142; 6-Bell-135; 7-Pickens-123; 8-Felker-106; 9-Thorson-103; 10-Bacon-102.
NEXT HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET RACE: June 15 – Kokomo, Indiana – Kokomo Speedway – “Indiana Midget Week
Photo Credit: Rich Forman