Abreu Romps At Lincoln Speedway

Rico Abreu in victory lane Friday night at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway. (Randy Brown photo)
Rico Abreu in victory lane Friday night at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway. (Randy Brown photo)
Rico Abreu in victory lane Friday night at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway. (Randy Brown photo)

LINCOLN, Ill. — Rico Abreu led all 30 laps for his second feature victory of the season and fifth of his 18-event career in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Joe B. Miller won his third of the season in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series on Friday at Lincoln Speedway.

Abreu started on the outside of the front row and dominated the race in the Toyota-powered Bullet owned and prepared by Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports. He built commanding leads during green-flag runs of nine and 15 laps before cautions tightened the field. The final caution came with three laps remaining.

“I had to get back up on the wheel for the last three laps,” Abreu said. “They’re the ones that count.”

The 21-year-old finished five car lengths in front of runner-up Brad Kuhn, who had the disadvantage of lapped car between him and Abreu on the last restart.

“Rico took off and the (lapped) car in front of me didn’t get going,” Kuhn said. “I was pretty equal with Rico, but the track was fast on the outside and we were running the same line. I was faster in turns three and four and everything I was gaining, I was giving back in turns one and two.”

Kuhn started fourth in his Fontana-powered Spike and passed pole sitter Bryan Clauson on the fifth lap. The 32-year-old is running a partial season in POWRi and the Stark Automotive Group/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midgets, which co-sanctioned Friday’s event. He has seven top-threes including a victory in 11 POWRi events and is leading the Badger championship.

Clauson finished third in his Curb Records Spike-Esslinger.

“We just got beat by Rico and Brad,” Clauson said. “They were running pretty good. If I’d had 50 laps, I might have had a chance. I was a little too tight. The Kunz team has been kind of the dominant midget team this year and we’ve had trouble catching up. We’ve just got to keep working at it.”

Abreu’s victory at Lincoln was the fourth for the Kunz team in POWRi this season. Chris Bell won at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., and Kyle Larson won at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway.

“It’s been phenomenal,” Abreu said. “Rick Long builds great motors and Keith (Kunz) builds great cars. He’s the best in the business. We have a good group of guys working on the cars and a good group of guys driving them. It makes for a very strong team.”

Abreu is in his second season driving midgets. In addition to his five victories, he has six more top fives — 11 total in 18 events in POWRi.

Miller led all 21 laps — one over the scheduled distance because of a green-white-checkered finish — for his third win in eight POWRi events this year. The 2012 POWRi Micro champion is dividing his season between midgets, micros and sprint cars.

Miller started on pole in his Hyper-Kawasaki and steadily drove away from runner-up Jeremy Camp and third-place Nathan Benson.

The finish:

Rico Abreu, Brad Kuhn, Bryan Clauson, Andrew Felker, Tanner Thorson, Jerry Coons Jr., Austin Brown, Zach Daum, Tim Siner, Danny Stratton, Garrett Aitken, Colten Cottle, Chris Bell, Joey Moughan, Daniel Robinson, Daniel Adler, Terry Babb, Tyler Thomas, Parker Price-Miller, Chett Gehrke, Jake Blackhurst, Jake Neuman, Joe B. Miller.