Abreu Pockets Ohsweken Sprint Car Cash

Rico Abreu scored a $5,000 victory during night one of the 2019 Northern Summer Nationals. (Dale Calnan Photo)
Rico Abreu scored a $5,000 victory during night one of the 2019 Northern Summer Nationals. (Dale Calnan Photo)

OHSWEKEN, Ontario – Rico Abreu took top honors in Monday’s Northern Summer Nationals winged 360 sprint car opener at Ohsweken Speedway.

Mack DeMan and Dylan Westbrook started on the front row for the 30-lap Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Car f, but Christopher Bell stole the lead exiting turn two after the green flag waved. Bell’s move was negated, however, when Josh Hansen flipped hard in turn three. Hansen was uninjured, but his car was heavily damaged.

Westbrook took the lead when the race restarted but the sideboard on his top wing began to come apart, which drastically affected the handling on his car. Both DeMan and Bell took advantage and were followed by Abreu, Mark Smith, and Jason Barney, while Westbrook fought valiantly but eventually brought out a yellow flag on lap six. Mark Smith then flipped in turn three to bring out a red flag before the next lap was completed; Smith was uninjured but done for the night.

DeMan held the lead when the race restarted again with Bell following closely behind, while Steve Poirier worked his way into the top five. As DeMan and Bell approached traffic on lap 12, DeMan dove to the bottom groove in turn one in search of racing room.

Bell seized the opportunity and drove around the outside to take the lead, and immediately opened a gap on the rest of the field. Bell’s lead was short-lived, however, as he brought out a yellow flag with a flat right rear tire on lap 18. Abreu had just passed Mack DeMan before the yellow flag and inherited the lead for the restart, while Bell restarted at the rear of the field with a new tire and eventually charged back to finish 11th.

Abreu opened a lead when the race restarted, while Poirier got past DeMan and into second. Poirier began to close in on Abreu as the race wound down, but Abreu made a daring three wide move in traffic which essentially sealed the victory.

Abreu took the feature win and the guaranteed starting spot in September’s Canadian Sprint Car Nationals feature which went with it. Poirier settled for the runner-up spot followed by DeMan in third, while Tony Stewart made a late charge to finish fourth, and Mitch Brown rounded out the top five.

The finish:

Rico Abreu, Steve Poirier, Mack DeMan, Tony Stewart, Mitch Brown, Jason Barney, Jim Huppunen, Max Stambaugh, Scott Kreutter, Davie Franek, Christopher Bell, Jared Zimbardi, Jacob Dykstra, Holly Porter, Shane Ross, Joe Trenca, Jake Brown, Alex Hill, Denny Peebles, Lynton Jeffrey, Mark Smith, Dylan Westbrook, Tom Huppunen, Jordan Thomas.