BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Rico Abreu put together a spectacular comeback to win his third feature race of the season in POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Sunday at Belle-Clair Speedway.
Abreu started on the outside of the front row in the Keith Kunz Motorsports’ Bullet-Toyota and grabbed the lead at the start. The 20-year-old was attempting to put a car a lap down on the ninth lap when he made contact and spun. It sent him to the back of the field, restarting 21st.
The aggressive Abreu used slide jobs to overtake following restarts on the ninth, 14th and 20th laps, finally taking the lead on the 26th lap with a slide-job pass on Brett Anderson in turn two. Abreu built a commanding lead over the final 10 laps.
It was the first victory in Abreu’s career that he went from last to first.
“It feels awesome,” he said. “I was sliding a lapper in turn four and hesitated a bit and we touched and I spun. Fortunately, we had that big wreck (involving four cars on the 13th lap in turn two) and we gained some spots. I pulled the trigger every chance I had to get to the front.”
Abreu has three wins in his last four POWRi Midget starts. He’s made 10 this season and in his career.
Daniel Robinson of Mt. Vernon, Ill., passed Anderson of Belleville, Ill., in the final 10 feet of the 35-lap race on the one-fifth mile track to take a season-best second.
“We’re getting better, moving up,” Robinson said. “The track started to smooth out at the end and got better for our car. I’m pretty happy with second. We came into ld like this (event) fifth in points and this was a good points night.”
Anderson finished third in his first race since June 23. The 2008 POWRi Midget champion had missed five straight events with illness.
“My glasses fell off with five laps to go and I’m blind without them,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t see to drive. But I couldn’t have been better than second. Rico was gone. He’s definitely got some confidence and momentum right now.
“It feels good to be back. I was a little rusty and this was good to get rid of the cobwebs.”
Jeremy Camp won the companion 20-lap POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series event.