PEVELY, MO. (August 3, 2019) – Earning his 11th-career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League victory on Friday night, Rico Abreu did so in jaw-dropping fashion at the Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. Driving from 14th-to-1st in 15 laps, Abreu put on a clinic as he marched through the field almost instantly and then ran away in the second half for a dominating triumph at the Pevely, Mo. 1/3rd-mile.
While Abreu took the green flag from the outside of the seventh row, it was Zach Daum of Pocahontas, Ill. in his Toyota No. 5D and C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Ind. aboard the Reynolds Racing, Lucas Oil, Ripper/SR-11 pacing the field out front.
Flying flat out into turn one, Leary accepted the early lead while Daum settled into second and the 30-lapper started to shake out. A lap five stoppage for an upside down, top-five running Noah Gass halted the field and shined the spotlight on Abreu, who had already stormed from 14th-to-seventh in five trips around.
While Leary maintained control out front, all eyes turned to the war for the runner-up spot as Jesse Colwell of Red Bluff, Calif. launched a lap ten slider on Daum and brought Abreu along with him. The trio of Colwell, Daum and Abreu went head-to-head swapping spots, switching lines and trading blows for several laps before a lap 11 caution bunched them back up.
Taking advantage of the break, Abreu regrouped and immediately went back on the attack as the green flag flew again. Nailing the turns one and two cushion, Abreu rocketed around Colwell to secure third and wasted no time pouncing on Daum, tossing a bomb-like slide job from the backstretch into turn three as he stole that spot away too.
A lap 14 break for an upside-down Austin O’Dell gave fans just what they wanted to see, a restart with the hard-charging Abreu right on Leary’s back bumper. Gassing it right away and making his move, Abreu attacked with a turn one slider, but Leary proved ready and crossed him over.
Again, Abreu launched the three-story slider at Leary into turn three and the duo raced side-by-side down the front stretch with the cross flags waving and Abreu ahead by a nose. Racing wheel-to-wheel into turn one, Abreu edged Leary into the corner and drifted to the cushion before powering off and running away with the lead.
Going unchallenged from there, Rico Abreu of St. Helena, Calif. led the final 16 laps aboard his Keith Kunz Motorsports, Safelite Autoglass, Bullet/Toyota No. 97 and locked down his 11th-career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League win in dominating fashion. Driving all the way from 14th, an elated Abreu rose from the car in victory lane to a monstrous applause from the thrilled crowd at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
Jesse Colwell ended up with a runner-up finish for his Keith Kunz Motorsports, JBL Audio, Bullet/Toyota No. 71, extending his series points lead into the second half of the season. After controlling the opening half, CJ Leary faded in the end to a still strong third-place effort for his Reynolds Racing No. 21KS entry.
Rounding out the top five behind Abreu, Colwell and Leary was fourth-place finisher Zach Daum and fifth-place driver Tyler Thomas. Finishing out the top ten was Cannon McIntosh in sixth, Daison Pursley in seventh, Holley Hollan in eighth, Ace McCarthy in ninth and Jesse Love in tenth.
The “Ironman Weekend” at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. continues tomorrow Saturday, August 3 for the POWRi Lucas Oil National / West Midget League. If you can’t attend this epic event in person, www.dirtvision.com has you covered with a LIVE pay-per-view broadcast.
For more information on POWRi Racing, you can visit www.powri.com online, follow @POWRi_Racing on Twitter and Instagram, or like POWRi on Facebook.
Article Credit: Brian Walker