KOKOMO, IN (July 23, 2016) - Rico Abreu scored big on Saturday night at Kokomo Speedway in Kokomo, Indiana, earning the inaugural Dirt Classic Indiana title worth $12,500 against Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions. Abreu took command officially on lap 24 of the 40-lap main event, using a textbook slide job to work beyond Wooster, Ohio’s Sheldon Haudenschild. The victory, earned from the inside of row three, gives Abreu three on the season with the Arctic Cat All Stars, increasing his career total to five.
“I just want to thank all of the fans for coming out tonight,” Rico Abreu said. “There was a lot stuff going on in Indianapolis. For you guys to choose to come racing with us instead is really cool and we all really appreciate it. I gotta thank the Dirt Classic staff, Tony Stewart, and the All Stars for making this happen. We just really enjoy doing this. Even on the bad nights, we still really enjoy this, and we should, because we are all pretty lucky to just be out here racing.”
Lined up according to points accumulated on Friday and Saturday, Friday night’s Prelude to the Dirt Classic Indiana winner Christopher Bell and five-time Arctic Cat All Star winner Sheldon Haudenschild led the 24 feature starters to green. Haudenschild jumped to the early advantage, leading Bell and Rico Abreu at the completion of lap one. Unfortunately for Haudenschild, early momentum would cease with red flag conditions halting the field on lap two. Randy Hannagan, Bryan Clauson, and Kraig Kinser were all involved and unharmed.
After a caution on lap two for a spinning Tyler Courtney, green flags waved for a third time with Sheldon Haudenschild still in charge, once again followed by Christopher Bell and Rico Abreu. Abreu made a big bid for the runner-up spot on lap four and made it stick, using another one of his textbook slide jobs in turns one and two.
Meanwhile, Haudenschild continued to roll the very topside of the speedway, opening up his advantage by a near straightaway. Traffic started to come into play for the first time on lap nine, slowing some of Haudenschild’s momentum. Abreu tried to work traffic as quickly as he could, sliding two and three cars at a time, but still had trouble closing in on the Haudenschild Racing/No. 93 entry.
By lap 24, Abreu worked his way within reach of the top spot and capitalized, using a monster slider to work underneath Haudenschild for the lead in traffic. Once obtaining control, Abreu never stumbled, surviving the remaining 16 circuits, as well as two additional cautions, to earn himself a trip to Dirt Classic Indiana victory lane. The St. Helena, California, native navigated the very top-shelf of the speedway for the majority of his campaign at the front of the field, opening his advantage to a near straightaway even during traffic.
“I was pretty good everywhere here tonight,” Abreu explained. “I could run the top and I could run the bottom. I knew the bottom was going to slow down eventually so I decided to work my way up to the top. I thought I heard somebody working up on the outside of me. I just worried about getting to the top and staying smooth. I had so much fun here tonight. Kokomo always puts on a great race. I am very happy to win in a winged sprint car here.”
After a four car battle for the last two podium spots, Jamie Veal and Chad Kemenah emerged. Veal worked his way forward from fourth to finish second, scoring a second consecutive podium performance during the Dirt Classic Indiana doubleheader at Kokomo Speedway. Kemenah climbed from the outside of row three to finish third.
Up next on the 2016 schedule, the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will return to the Keystone State for the I-79 Summer Shootout presented by Classic Ink USA; a trio of events along the Interstate 79 corridor in Western Pennsylvania. “America’s Series” will visit three facilities during their three day campaign, each hosting a full, Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions program worth $5,000 to the main event winner. In addition, a $3,000 point fund will also be awarded to the weekend’s top racers.
The I-79 Summer Shootout presented by Classic Ink USA will take shape on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 29-31, beginning with action the the Eriez Speedway in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Friday night, July 29. Action will resume on Saturday, July 30, at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway in Imperial, Pennsylvania, followed by a visit to the Tri-City Raceway Park near Franklin, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, July 31. It will be the final Western Pennsylvania appearance for the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions in 2016.
Those seeking additional information regarding the I-79 Summer Shootout presented by Classic Ink USA should visit each facility live on the Web, or stay connected at www.allstarsprint.com.
Contingency Awards/Results: Kokomo Speedway - Saturday, July 23, 2016:
Event: Dirt Classic Indiana *Show-up points only
EMi Driver’s Meeting: 36 Entries
State Water Heaters Warm-Ups: Randy Hannagan - 12.041 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: N/A
Kistler Racing Products Heat #1: Brady Bacon
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Danny Holtgraver
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Jamie Veal
Classic Ink USA Heat #4: Chad Kemenah
Kistler Racing Products Heat #5: Kraig Kinser
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #6: Dave Blaney
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #7: Kody Kinser
Classic Ink USA Heat #8: Carl Bowser
JE Pistons Dash: N/A
Daido Engine Bearings Main Event Winner: Rico Abreu
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Spencer Bayston
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 5th Place Finisher: Christopher Bell
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 10th Place Finisher: Parker Price-Miller
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 15th Place Finisher: Kraig Kinser
(Lincoln Electric, Daido Engine Bearings, MSD Performance, Outback Steakhouse; Need decal to qualify for contingency award)
Heat 1 - (10 Laps)
1. 99-Brady Bacon ; 2. 14-Christopher Bell ; 3. 1st-Gary Taylor ; 4. 1-Dale Blaney ; 5. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 7. 40-Caleb Helms ; 8. O7-Jacob Wilson ; 9. 12-Daniel Harding
Heat 2 - (10 Laps)
1. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 2. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 3. 2-Parker Price-Miller ; 4. 24-Rico Abreu ; 5. 71m-Dave Blaney ; 6. 23-Jimmy Light ; 7. 5-Chris Windom ; 8. 99M-Kyle Moody
Heat 3 - (10 Laps)
1. 71-Jamie Veal ; 2. 11N-Randy Hannagan ; 3. 23c-Tyler Courtney ; 4. 3G-Brandon Wimmer ; 5. 8M-TJ Michael ; 6. 4K-Kody Kinser ; 7. 2X-Spencer Bayston ; 8. 85-Mike Terry ; 9. 7S-Joe Swanson
Heat 4 - (10 Laps)
1. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 2. 17W-Bryan Clauson ; 3. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 4. 21-Cap Henry ; 5. 57X-Andrew Palker ; 6. 10-Carl Bowser ; 7. 49H-Bradley Howard ; 8. 60-Kory Crabtree ; 9. 6M-Jac Haudenschild
Heat 5 - (10 Laps)
1. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 2. 1-Dale Blaney ; 3. 14-Christopher Bell ; 4. 99-Brady Bacon ; 5. 40-Caleb Helms ; 6. 1st-Gary Taylor ; 7. O7-Jacob Wilson ; 8. 81-Lee Jacobs
Heat 6 - (10 Laps)
1. 71m-Dave Blaney ; 2. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 3. 24-Rico Abreu ; 4. 2-Parker Price-Miller ; 5. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 6. 99M-Kyle Moody ; 7. 5-Chris Windom ; 8. 23-Jimmy Light
Heat 7 - (10 Laps)
1. 4K-Kody Kinser ; 2. 2X-Spencer Bayston ; 3. 3G-Brandon Wimmer ; 4. 85-Mike Terry ; 5. 71-Jamie Veal ; 6. 23c-Tyler Courtney ; 7. 8M-TJ Michael ; 8. 11N-Randy Hannagan ; 9. 7S-Joe Swanson
Heat 8 - (10 Laps)
1. 10-Carl Bowser ; 2. 6M-Jac Haudenschild ; 3. 17W-Bryan Clauson ; 4. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 5. 60-Kory Crabtree ; 6. 21-Cap Henry ; 7. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 8. 49H-Bradley Howard ; 9. 57X-Andrew Palker
B-Main 1 - (12 Laps)
1. 8M-TJ Michael ; 2. 2X-Spencer Bayston ; 3. 10-Carl Bowser ; 4. 40-Caleb Helms ; 5. 85-Mike Terry ; 6. O7-Jacob Wilson ; 7. 99M-Kyle Moody ; 8. 5-Chris Windom ; 9. 23-Jimmy Light ; 10. 7S-Joe Swanson ; 11. 60-Kory Crabtree ; 12. 49H-Bradley Howard ; 13. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 14. 57X-Andrew Palker ; 15. 12-Daniel Harding ; 16. 7-Critter Malone
A-Main 1 - (40 Laps)
1. 24-Rico Abreu ; 2. 71-Jamie Veal ; 3. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 4. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 5. 14-Christopher Bell ; 6. 99-Brady Bacon ; 7. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 8. 1-Dale Blaney ; 9. 71m-Dave Blaney ; 10. 2-Parker Price-Miller ; 11. 2X-Spencer Bayston ; 12. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 13. 8M-TJ Michael ; 14. 21-Cap Henry ; 15. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 16. 23c-Tyler Courtney ; 17. 40-Caleb Helms ; 18. 3G-Brandon Wimmer ; 19. 6M-Jac Haudenschild ; 20. 1st-Gary Taylor ; 21. 4K-Kody Kinser ; 22. 10-Carl Bowser ; 23. 17W-Bryan Clauson ; 24. 11N-Randy Hannagan