This message was edited on
April 20, 2011 at
12:56:08 AM by abreuracing
Newcomer Abreu Impresses In First Ocean Speedway Start
Watsonville, CA – April 15, 2011. After stepping onto the highest stage he could find when he made his sprint car racing debut last month with the World of Outlaws at Hanford and Tulare, Northern California Outlaw Sprint Kart Star Rico Abreu settled in to do battle with fellow 360 competitors this past Friday night in the opening round of action in the Taco Bravo 360 series at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway. The 19 year old from St. Helena, California wowed onlookers with his natural ability in heat race action before a myriad of issues hampered his first ever main event start.
The lid lifter at the scenic seaside raceway found 27 cars qualifying in small groups for the first time and Abreu stopped the clocks 20th quick in the order. The driver of the Abreu Vineyards/Kaeding Performance Maxim Shaver lined up seventh in the second heat and quickly displayed his potential to the rest of the field.
As Kyle Larson sped to the lead Abreu jumped into third down the backstretch of the initial lap. A slight miscue by Nick Green in turn two of the second lap saw Abreu take advantage and motor into the runner up position. With Larson out front Abreu put down lap times within a half second of his much more experienced Keading Performance teammate as the duo pulled away from the field.
Abreu, the winner of 19 main events last year in outlaw karts, began the feature in 16th but a vibration in the rear end saw the youngster roll to a stop on the aborted first lap. As he was being pushed to the work area in the pits the push truck got into the right rear corner causing damage to the Jacob’s ladder and unknowingly puncturing his right rear tire.
Before all repairs could be completed Abreu, in an attempt to remain on the lead lap, rejoined the field. When another caution came out a lap later he returned pitward, as his crew went back to work replacing the jacob’s ladder, radius rod, and now deflated tire. However, this time the field went back to green flag conditions as Abreu remained idle.
When another yellow flag appeared a lap later Abreu rejoined the race at the tail of the field. Although he eventually fell another lap to the top three of Tim Kaeding, Tommy Tarlton and Shane Golobic, Abreu again impressed as he laid down the seventh fastest lap of the race on lap 21. In a misleading result that didn’t quite reflect the performance, Abreu was scored 17th in the final rundown.
Still a competitor in the outlaw karts as he gets his feet wet in the sprinters, Abreu said at the conclusion of his up and down night, “Man, I had a lot of fun tonight. It didn’t go so well in the main, but Brent Kaeding and his crew had the car real fast for me all night long. For somebody just starting out like me, having a great car and crew helps make the learning come a lot quicker. I cant wait to get back in the sprint car. I need to get as much seat time as I can.”
Abreu is scheduled to run his 360 sprint car against the King of the West Sprint Car 410 sprint cars this Saturday at Ocean Speedway.
Abreu’s racing efforts are sponsored by Abreu Vineyards, Stadelhofer Construction, Kaeding Performance and Swift Metals.
Visit www.ricoabreuracing.com for more information and news on 19 year old Rico Abreu.