LAS VEGAS – Rico Abreu is hoping to build on his recent two-day showing at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he notched a top-five finish in his season debut against the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.

Abreu started his mid-week adventure off strong, rising from eighth to finish fourth in the 30-lap main at the half-mile dirt track.

He ran as high as second following a lap-nine restart but stumbled atop the cushion in turns one and two the next time around, falling back to the fringes of the top five in fifth. However, a late pass of Gio Scelzi’s Roth Motorsports entry propelled Abreu back into fourth, where he eventually finished.

Thursday was nowhere near as kind to Abreu’s No. 24 Abreu Vineyards/Curb Record sprinter, however.

The St. Helena, Calif., native failed to transfer out of his heat race and struggled in the 12-lap Last Chance Showdown, finishing 10th and seeing his night come to a surprisingly-early end.

Abreu wasn’t alone among big names who missed the feature, however, as fellow USAC National Midget Series champions Christopher Bell and Tanner Thorson – as well as three-time Knoxville Nationals runner-up Brian Brown – all missed the main event on Thursday night.

Despite a roller-coaster stop in Sin City, Abreu left Las Vegas pleased overall with his team’s efforts.

“It wasn’t a bad week for us. Obviously, we were disappointed with how things ended on Thursday. We just had a hard time moving forward,” he said. “Regardless, we’ll take the good with the bad and keep working hard.”

The good news for Abreu is that he won’t have to wait long to test his mettle with the World of Outlaws once again, as the tour’s California swing gets underway March 8-9 at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway.

“Fortunately, we have a lot of World of Outlaws starts on the calendar during the next few weeks,” Abreu noted. “The intent is to build some momentum and hopefully get that first win of the year very soon.”