Abreu Bests Reutzel In Attica All Star Battle

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Rico Abreu (27) battles Aaron Reutzel Saturday night at Attica Raceway Park. (Mike Campbell Photo)
Rico Abreu (27) battles Aaron Reutzel Saturday night at Attica Raceway Park. (Mike Campbell Photo)

ATTICA, Ohio – Rico Abreu and Aaron Reutzel put on a thrilling battle for the $10,000 top prize during Saturday’s Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions event at Attica Raceway Park.

In the end, it was Abreu who left with the winner’s share of the purse.

Trey Jacobs and Abreu brought the field to green for the All Star 40-lap feature with Jacobs gaining the early advantage over Abreu, Cale Thomas, Reutzel and Tim Shaffer. After a lapped was scored a multi-car incident in turn one brought out the yellow. When the green flew again Jacobs and Abreu battled side by side with Shaffer and Reutzel in pursuit.

Abreu was able to take the lead on lap five and began to pull away slightly from Jacobs and Shaffer closed in. Jacobs didn’t throw in the towel and steadily gained ground on Abreu and retook the lead on lap 12 just as the caution flew. On the restart Abreu jumped to the high side of the track and battled with Jacobs again, reclaiming the lead on lap 14 as Shaffer and Reutzel went side by side for third.

Abreu built his lead to over two seconds by lap 22 as Jacobs was locked in a battle for Reutzel with Ian Madsen, Shaffer and Cap Henry trying to close. Reutzel was finally able to wrestle second from Jacobs on lap 25 as Abreu encountered heavy lapped traffic. That allowed Reutzel to close on Abreu and with 10 laps to go the battle was on for the win.

Abreu was able to pull away slightly with seven laps to go but Reutzel hung around as Jacobs was locked in a battle with Madsen and Henry for third. After taking the white flag, Reutzel threw a slider on Abreu as the pair nearly touched but Abreu kept his car on the ragged edge of the narrow cushion to maintain the lead and drove to the win over Reutzel, Henry, Madsen and Jacobs.

“That was so tricky…that’s as slick as it gets for Ohio right there,” Abreu said. “You know you catch lapped cars and you judge your pace off of theirs. Kemenah was gaining on me on the bottom in front of me and the 11 car was driving away from me on the top. I was just trying to move around. I knew Reutzel or someone was pressuring me… you know you can kind off just sense that. I moved around and I was just way to free on the bottom and I could keep my car really propped up on the top and keep my wing speed up. That gets intense…40 laps and you have to really be patient and know your car will keep coming to you. I kept moving my wing back and it got really cleaned off on the top and I could keep my pace up.”

Reutzel, the current All Star point leader, threw everything he could at Abreu but had to settle for a close second.

“That was all I had. I didn’t realize it was about to end. I don’t know what more I could have done,” Reutzel said. “I got to where I was running the top really hard and he started getting tight. I was kind of playing with the bottom and I was trying to show him I was down there and make him move down and he did for a little bit but I didn’t capitalize and get a good enough run at the time. Our car was really good at the end. I felt like we were getting better and better. It was just hard to get runs to slide him. There were lapped cars there all the time. I had one good opportunity to slide him where I felt like I had a good run on him.

“We had the 11 on inside of us and he raced me off in the corner and I couldn’t get all the way to the bottom to slide him. All in all it was a great race. I just needed  to capitalize sooner. I wish I wouldn’t have tried that slider on the last lap. I wish I would have just bombed it in there and try to get a run down the back stretch. It was a lot better run than last night. I thought the track was phenomenal tonight.”

In other action, Paul Weaver won the 305 sprint car feature.

The finish:

1. 24-Rico Abreu [2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel [6]; 3. 4-Cap Henry [8]; 4. 17-Ian Madsen [4]; 5. 3J-Trey Jacobs [1]; 6. 28-Tim Shaffer [5]; 7. W20-Greg Wilson [13]; 8. 26-Cory Eliason [9]; 9. 71-Shane Stewart [11]; 10. 70-Cale Thomas [3]; 11. 8M-TJ Michael [15]; 12. 3C-Cale Conley [17]; 13. 97-Max Stambaugh [18]; 14. 19R-Jordan Ryan [21]; 15. 99-Skylar Gee [12]; 16. 16-DJ Foos [24]; 17. 5T-Travis Philo [20]; 18. 5R-Byron Reed [22]; 19. 15K-Chad Kemenah [19]; 20. 11-Zeb Wise [25]; 21. 3-Jac Haudenschild [7]; 22. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [23]; 23. 13-Paul McMahan [10]; 24. 77I-John Ivy [14]; 25. 35-Stuart Brubaker [16]