Not only did the 10% chance of rain at the Cocopah Speedway change to a 100% of rain, allowing the heavens to open up and pour a heavy rain precisely at the conclusion of the National Anthem. The rain caused a two hour delay in the start of the race. The net results was that young man from “the CA wine country”, Rico Abreau, “soaked” up the nights biggest prize, $10,000 to win the feature! Rolling the Abreu Vineyards #24 off third in the night’s Protect the Harvest A-Feature, the Rutherford, Calif. driver worked past race long leader Christopher Bell on Lap 27 to become the series first repeat winner in 2014.
Ushering the entire pack to the green flag from the pole, Bell worked into slower traffic on Lap 7. Giving Abreu the chance to close the gap, however, Abreau would be unable to mount a charge as the Berryman Motorsports #31B of Bell slipped quickly through the back markers.
Bell’s hot rod was really hooked up and he was on the “loud pedal” constantly, putting several slower cars between he and Abreu early in the race. However, once again the caution displayed, this time for third running Mason Moore. On Lap 15 Bell led the field on the single file restart. With a pair of lapped cars between Christopher and Rico, the difference opened quickly, as Bell very precisely placed his race car next to the cushion and “drove it like he stole it”! But fate would visit Bell’s race car on lap 26 as he missed his mark, jumping over the cushion, and consequently tagging the wall.
“The track just got so finesse there at the end, it was just right around the wall and it was really demanding on the cushion,” commented Abreu of track conditions. “Bell just made that one mistake and I was right there, so I just raced my own race and when I got to traffic I was just sliding guys, you know really grinding my tires. It was tough driving by those lappers when they were running side-by-side but other than that, Paul Silva gave me a great race car.”
Protect the Harvest A-Feature – 30 laps, $10,000 to win.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 24-Rico Abreu; 2. 31B-Christopher Bell; 3. 21-Brian Brown; 4. 33L-Danny Lasoski; 5. 82C-Bryan Clauson; 6. 41-Jason Johnson; 7. 11-Roger Crockett; 8. 45X-Johnny Herrera; 9. 82-Sam Hafertepe Jr; 10. 23-Seth Bergman; 11. 3-Craig Stidham; 12. 05-Brad Loyet; 13. 17-Blake Hahn; 14. 2L-Logan Forler; 15. 0-Glenn Styres; 16. 95-Matt Covington; 17. 18-Tony Bruce Jr; 18. 29-Brandon Hahn; 19. 17W-Cole Wood; 20. W20-Greg Wilson; 21. 9R-Reece Goetz; 22. 94-Jeff Swindell; 23. 12-James Mosher; 24. (DNF) 22-Mason Moore; 25. (DNF) 87-Aaron Reutzel
Lap Leader(s): Christopher Bell (1-26), Rico Abreu (27-30)
KSE Hard Charger: Danny Lasoski +12
Hawk Performance Fastest Lap: Brian Brown – 15.667 seconds
CSI Rebound: Mason Moore
Provisional(s): Jeff Swindell (P1), Aaron Retuzel (PP), Reece Gotez (PP)
An editorial note:
I have watched race Rico Abreau race midgets and sprint cars now for over four years, and even though he has, what could be described as a monumental challenge in his life, he is height challenged. Nevertheless, just because he is extremely short, do not confuse that obstacle in his life with his inability to drive a race car extremely fast and extraordinarily precise. In other words, Rico can most definitely “hang out with the big dogs” of sprint car and midget racing!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!