Rico Rebounds From VIROC Flip for Another Wednesday Prelim Win

About 24 hours after his VIROC race ended with a big tumble on the backstretch, Rico Abreu returned to form with yet another Wednesday night preliminary A-Main triumph at the Chili Bowl Nationals.  It marked the fourth straight Wednesday night prelim win and the sixth in seven years for the two-time Chili Bowl champion, who will now chase after a third Golden Driller come Saturday night.

 

The California driver gave credit to his Keith Kunz Motorsports team for the quick turnaround after Tuesday night’s wreck.  That, paired with his 10 previous years of experience at the Expo Center, helped pave the way to another prelim night win.

 

“It all comes from the guys that work on these race cars and their willingness and knowing how to build confidence back in a driver when an event like that happens.  I’m so confident in racing in this building to know that every time we get on the track, our car will get faster and faster as the race goes on,” Abreu said on the FloRacing broadcast.  “You just build all that up until Saturday night.”

 

Wednesday night’s feature proved to be the outlier of the week so far, with just two cautions slowing the pace during the 30-lap event.  While his competitors were throwing slidejobs left and right all race, Abreu checked out and went unchallenged the entire way.

 

“I really liked that to see how the car would really handle.  I was getting freer and freer getting in and I knew the momentum was going to end up being around the top, so I played it by ear and judged my pace off lapped traffic.”

 

A six-car battle for second ensued during the final eight laps, with positions swapping hands quicker than fans could keep count.  Pennsylvania Micro Sprint ace and former Thursday night prelim winner Alex Bright held off the likes of World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Brad Sweet and POWRi National Midget League champion Jake Neuman to take the runner-up position and the all-important final transfer spot to Saturday night’s main event.

 

“When I had Brad Sweet there behind me at the end, I felt like my right rear was going flat.  Not using that as an excuse, I definitely made some mistakes there towards the end and it gave him an opportunity to have a shot at it,” Bright said.  “To be able to hold on and get second and lock it into Saturday, I can just relax the rest of the week now.

 

With his second-place finish Wednesday night, he gave car owner Tom Malloy his first Saturday night A-Main appearance in the Chili Bowl.

 

“To come here and lock into the show is awesome.  The car was good tonight but not good enough to beat Rico, he was on rails.

 

Sweet and Neuman would finish third and fourth, while California’s Colby Copeland rounded out the top-five.

 

John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night takes to the Tulsa Expo Center Thursday night, headlined by three-time Chili Bowl Nationals champion Christopher Bell fresh off a VIROC win on Tuesday.  Other names to watch include reigning USAC National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon, former preliminary night winner Logan Seavey and Keith Kunz Motorsports young guns Buddy Kofoid and Kaylee Bryson.

 

-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3

-Photo Credit: Keith Kunz Motorsports Twitter

 

Chili Bowl Nationals – Circle City Raceway Qualifying Night Results:

 

 

Fatheadz Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.

 

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 15A-Emerson Axsom[1]; 2. 7R-AJ Hopkins[2]; 3. 14F-Cameron Hagin[6]; 4. 91-Jeff Stasa[8]; 5. 70-Cade Cowles[4]; 6. 18L-Logan Scherb[5]; 7. 7JW-Jarrad Warhurst[3]; 8. 17M-Kala Keliinoi[7]

 

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 4A-Parker Price Miller[1]; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell[3]; 3. 55X-Jake Swanson[8]; 4. 2ND-Jeb Sessums[4]; 5. 75-Travis Berryhill[6]; 6. 7J-Shawn Jackson[2]; 7. 77J-John Klabunde[5]; 8. 50K-Kaeden Cornell[7]

 

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 3W-Brandon Waelti[2]; 2. 22X-Steven Shebester[1]; 3. 1R-Brad Sweet[5]; 4. 27W-Colby Copeland[8]; 5. 00-Karter Sarff[6]; 6. 35X-Tyler Robbins[3]; 7. 8K-Jake Neal[7]; 8. 1L-Cody Lampe[4]

 

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 3N-Jake Neuman[3]; 2. 45J-Shon Deskins[2]; 3. 19A-Chase Randall[7]; 4. 26R-Tristin Thomas[4]; 5. 71X-Brian Carber[6]; 6. 98C-Slater Helt[1]; 7. (DNF) 4R-Scott Towslee[5]; 8. (DNS) 6S-Tyler Slay

 

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 91T-Tyler Thomas[2]; 2. 45M-Brett Moffitt[1]; 3. 79S-Landon Simon[3]; 4. 9E-Chase Elliott[6]; 5. 42-Shawn Mahaffey[4]; 6. 10-Santino Ferrucci[5]; 7. (DNS) 44C-Blake Carrier; 8. (DNS) 98M-Ricky McNamar

 

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 47W-Kevin Thomas Jr[1]; 2. 84-Giovanni Scelzi[2]; 3. 4D-Robert Dalby[3]; 4. 81-Colten Cottle[6]; 5. 25K-Taylor Reimer[5]; 6. 34-KJ Snow[4]; 7. (DNS) 71J-Joe Weaver; 8. (DNS) 14C-Zack Morgan

 

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 97-Rico Abreu[6]; 2. 57K-Daniel Robinson[4]; 3. 00S-Randy Sterling[5]; 4. 84J-Jesse Shapel[3]; 5. (DNF) 52C-Cody Karl[1]; 6. (DNF) 99K-Robert Carson[2]; 7. (DNF) 97A-Austin O’Dell[7]

 

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 25X-Alex Bright[5]; 2. 37-Max Adams[1]; 3. 44S-Kameron Key[6]; 4. 5O-Chase Howard[3]; 5. 12H-David Raquenio[7]; 6. 00C-Ryan Newman[2]; 7. 8W-Troy Rutherford[4]

 

 

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.

 

C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 7J-Shawn Jackson[3]; 2. 00C-Ryan Newman[4]; 3. 18L-Logan Scherb[1]; 4. 98C-Slater Helt[6]; 5. 7JW-Jarrad Warhurst[8]; 6. 34-KJ Snow[2]; 7. 50K-Kaeden Cornell[9]; 8. 14C-Zack Morgan[11]; 9. 4R-Scott Towslee[7]; 10. 6S-Tyler Slay[10]

 

C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 8K-Jake Neal[4]; 2. 10-Santino Ferrucci[1]; 3. 8W-Troy Rutherford[7]; 4. 77J-John Klabunde[6]; 5. 97A-Austin O’Dell[5]; 6. 17M-Kala Keliinoi[8]; 7. 44C-Blake Carrier[10]; 8. 35X-Tyler Robbins[2]; 9. (DNF) 99K-Robert Carson[3]; 10. (DNF) 1L-Cody Lampe[9]; 11. (DNS) 98M-Ricky McNamar

 

 

Team Toyota Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.

 

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 84-Giovanni Scelzi[1]; 2. 97-Rico Abreu[6]; 3. 19A-Chase Randall[2]; 4. 44S-Kameron Key[4]; 5. 3W-Brandon Waelti[5]; 6. 91-Jeff Stasa[3]; 7. 9E-Chase Elliott[7]; 8. 25K-Taylor Reimer[10]; 9. 12H-David Raquenio[8]; 10. (DNF) 5O-Chase Howard[9]

 

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 27W-Colby Copeland[3]; 2. 25X-Alex Bright[6]; 3. 22X-Steven Shebester[1]; 4. 15A-Emerson Axsom[4]; 5. 91T-Tyler Thomas[5]; 6. 81-Colten Cottle[7]; 7. 75-Travis Berryhill[9]; 8. 2ND-Jeb Sessums[8]; 9. 70-Cade Cowles[10]; 10. 00S-Randy Sterling[2]

 

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 4A-Parker Price Miller[4]; 2. 57K-Daniel Robinson[5]; 3. 55X-Jake Swanson[6]; 4. 1-Sammy Swindell[3]; 5. 79S-Landon Simon[7]; 6. 42-Shawn Mahaffey[10]; 7. 45M-Brett Moffitt[1]; 8. 7R-AJ Hopkins[2]; 9. 00-Karter Sarff[9]; 10. 26R-Tristin Thomas[8]

 

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 4D-Robert Dalby[7]; 2. 1R-Brad Sweet[3]; 3. 3N-Jake Neuman[6]; 4. 47W-Kevin Thomas Jr[4]; 5. 71X-Brian Carber[9]; 6. 45J-Shon Deskins[2]; 7. 37-Max Adams[1]; 8. 14F-Cameron Hagin[5]; 9. 52C-Cody Karl[10]; 10. 84J-Jesse Shapel[8]

 

 

Dave.com B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.

 

B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 1-Sammy Swindell[1]; 2. 71X-Brian Carber[2]; 3. 37-Max Adams[7]; 4. 91-Jeff Stasa[3]; 5. 14F-Cameron Hagin[5]; 6. 26R-Tristin Thomas[12]; 7. 42-Shawn Mahaffey[4]; 8. 75-Travis Berryhill[6]; 9. 25K-Taylor Reimer[8]; 10. 00C-Ryan Newman[14]; 11. 18L-Logan Scherb[13]; 12. 98C-Slater Helt[15]; 13. 12H-David Raquenio[9]; 14. (DNF) 7J-Shawn Jackson[11]; 15. (DNF) 00-Karter Sarff[10]; 16. (DNS) 52C-Cody Karl

 

B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 22X-Steven Shebester[1]; 2. 7R-AJ Hopkins[7]; 3. 81-Colten Cottle[3]; 4. 45M-Brett Moffitt[6]; 5. 45J-Shon Deskins[4]; 6. 79S-Landon Simon[2]; 7. 8K-Jake Neal[13]; 8. 9E-Chase Elliott[5]; 9. 2ND-Jeb Sessums[8]; 10. 10-Santino Ferrucci[14]; 11. 8W-Troy Rutherford[15]; 12. 77J-John Klabunde[16]; 13. 84J-Jesse Shapel[12]; 14. 00S-Randy Sterling[9]; 15. (DNF) 5O-Chase Howard[11]; 16. (DNF) 70-Cade Cowles[10]

 

 

A-Feature: Top 2 advance to Saturday’s A-Feature.

 

A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 97-Rico Abreu[1]; 2. 25X-Alex Bright[2]; 3. 1R-Brad Sweet[9]; 4. 3N-Jake Neuman[7]; 5. 27W-Colby Copeland[8]; 6. 47W-Kevin Thomas Jr[14]; 7. 55X-Jake Swanson[5]; 8. 57K-Daniel Robinson[6]; 9. 4A-Parker Price Miller[4]; 10. 84-Giovanni Scelzi[10]; 11. 1-Sammy Swindell[17]; 12. 71X-Brian Carber[19]; 13. 3W-Brandon Waelti[15]; 14. 15A-Emerson Axsom[13]; 15. 91T-Tyler Thomas[16]; 16. 81-Colten Cottle[22]; 17. 22X-Steven Shebester[18]; 18. 45M-Brett Moffitt[24]; 19. 37-Max Adams[21]; 20. 91-Jeff Stasa[23]; 21. (DNF) 4D-Robert Dalby[3]; 22. (DNF) 19A-Chase Randall[11]; 23. (DNF) 44S-Kameron Key[12]; 24. (DNF) 7R-AJ Hopkins[20]

 

Lap Leader(s): Rico Abreu 1-30
Hard Charger: Kevin Thomas, Jr. +8

 

 

 

Rico Rebounds From VIROC Flip for Another Wednesday Prelim Win