Abreu Goes Third To First At Knoxville

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Rico Abreu (Knoxville Raceway photo)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Rico Abreu thrilled the Knoxville Raceway crowd with a move from third to first on the final lap to grab the $4,000 win in the 410 sprint car class Saturday night.

Justin Henderson, who won at Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota on Friday night, earned $3,000 for his win in the 360 class, plus a $3,000 bonus for sweeping the weekend.  The Tea, South Dakota driver cashed in $9,000 for his weekend exploits.

Devin Kline used a mid-race pass in the Pro Sprints presented by Pace Performance to garner his 13th career win in the class regaining the all-time lead in that category.

Things did not get off to a quick start in the 20-lap 410 main event. Trey Starks spun in turn two at the first try at green, collecting Ryan Giles, who tipped over.

Terry McCarl jetted from outside the front row to lead Lynton Jeffrey and Brian Brown early before Hunter Schuerenberg slowed on the backstretch, bringing a caution two laps in.  After the restart, Brown used the high side to get around Jeffrey for second, and Abreu followed him into third on lap six.

McCarl entered lapped traffic on lap seven, and set a good pace utilizing the high side of the track.  His quandary came when traffic thickened on lap 13. Not only was Brown able to reel the leader in, but Abreu was making quality laps in third as well.

With three laps to go, Brown slid in front of the leader, but McCarl was able to drive back by. Brown set his sights again, and quickly took the point on the 18th lap.

Meanwhile, Abreu was rolling the bottom better than the lead pair. Coming for the white flag, he sat third, and it appeared another status quo win from Brown was in the offing.

However, Rico stuck the bottom of one to pass McCarl into second, and pulled up on the rear bumper of Brown down the back stretch.  He dove to the low side of turn three and in front of Brown to take the lead and came to the checkers for his second career win here.

Abreu was followed to the finish by Brown, Terry McCarl, Austin McCarl and Matt Juhl.

“My car was just so good on the bottom,” said Abreu after his traditional wing dance in Victory Lane. “I could hunt those guys as the race went on.  They caught traffic, and their pace kind of came to me. I came here a couple of months ago and ran second to Brownie.  Then we came to the Outlaw show and had our car a lot different.  Getting to race through Pennsylvania and Ohio Speedweeks…we kind of fine-tuned our car to make it better for each race on the half-mile stuff. Throughout the race I was patient, kind of letting my car settle down. Once I figured out the bottom I could really hunt those guys. My guys are hungry. I’ve got some big boys to feed.”

The finish:

Feature (20 laps): 1. Rico Abreu (3); 2. Brian Brown (4); 3. Terry McCarl (2); 4. Austin McCarl (7); 5. Matt Juhl (9); 6. Lynton Jeffrey (1); 7. Brooke Tatnell (5); 8. Gio Scelzi (12); 9. Dominic Scelzi (10); 10. Davey Heskin (15); 11. Justin Henderson (16); 12. Tasker Phillips (21); 13. Josh Schneiderman (11); 14. Sawyer Phillips (14); 15. AJ Moeller (6); 16. Chris Martin (20); 17. Skylar Prochaska (18); 18. Bobby Mincer (19); 19. Tucker Klaasmeyer (24); 20. Tori Knutson (22); 21. Mike Ayers (23); 22. Hunter Schuerenberg (13); 23. Trey Starks (8); 24. Ryan Giles (17).