After all, Rico Abreu won the last two Golden Drillers — the trophy awarded to the last driver standing after five furious days of racing among more than 350 entries. This year’s field consists of the largest entry list yet, 358 cars as of Christmas Eve, which is still growing as the event quickly approaches.
In less than two weeks Abreu returns to defend his title with Keith Kunz Motorsports, the team owner who also supported Abreu’s successful run to the 2014 USAC Midget Championship.
Still, Abreu believes this will be the most difficult Chili Bowl Nationals to date — and not just due to the depth of the field which includes the top names in midget and sprint-car racing. Abreu, 24, is mourning the loss of his friend and competitor Bryan Clauson. In August, Clauson died from injuries sustained during Belleville (Kan.) Nationals midget race.
“It’s going to be a lot different,” Abreu told Motorsport.com. “Bryan created the atmosphere in that building (Tulsa Expo). He set the tone for the whole week. And he came close to winning this race so many times. He was the best guy there the first year I won. Then last year, he had the best car in the building. If you watch the final five laps, he was closing in every lap. If there had been another five laps, he would have beat me.
“But everyone is going to have to accept it. Everyone is going to have to move on. It’s going to be tough, but it’s my job as a race car driver to cancel all that out when I start racing. Racing is still a dangerous sport. Things happen. But we don’t know any better, to be honest.”
The final night of racing in the Chili Bowl will be televised live on MAVTV.
As for Abreau’s return to NASCAR, he says that he is still in negotiations with ThorSport Racing.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK !