National Dirt
Friday, 4 October 2013


Rico Abreu opens the "Gold Crown Midget Nationals" with a victory! Rico Abreu opens the "Gold Crown Midget Nationals" with a victory! Photo by John Mahoney



Pontoon Beach, Illinois.…..Rico Abreu continued his hot streak with the Honda National Dirt Midget Series as he made a power move on lap one and went on to dominate Thursday’s 25-lapper to open the 5th “Gold Crown Midget Nationals” at Tri-City Speedway. It was the fourth National Midget win of Abreu’s season.

Brady Bacon got the jump from the pole, but second-row teammates Tanner Thorson and Abreu threw big sliders at the front row on the first round, with Abreu emerging from turn-four with the lead. Bacon settled into second and held pace with Abreu over the opening stretch.

After an early three-car tangle, the race hit halfway as Abreu was pulling away from a battle between Bacon and Thorson for second. Early charger Chris Windom vaulted to fourth before pulling to the infield with problems. Meanwhile, Bryan Clauson was on a charge from the 13th starting spot into the top-five.

With ten to go, Tracy Hines suffered a broken rear axle while running sixth, and he collected Dave Darland, who was on the move from row eleven. On the restart, Thorson aggressively went after Bacon as Clauson tried to sneak by both of them. Clauson finally cleared Thorson and brought Zach Daum with him as Bacon retired from the event.

With four to go, Thorson got completely sideways in turn-one and flipped after collecting Andrew Felker. Both drivers were unhurt, and Felker restarted.

Clauson searched around over the final four laps but had nothing for Abreu, who won by .641 seconds in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #67K Bullet/Speedway Toyota.

“I knew guys had to be coming, so I tried to be smart and not make any mistakes. I biked a little one time on the cushion in three and four, so I moved down and took Clauson’s line away there. It was hard to make up ground, so I wanted to get to business right away. I diamonded off of two and got a big run, so I slid the top-two in three and four. I drag-raced Bacon down the front-stretch and got the lead. I gotta thank my team and our engine builder Rick Long – it’s good to have those guys on your side,” Abreu said.

Clauson finished his fine run to the runner-up slot in the Corey Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Mobil1 #39 Spike/Esslinger.

“When you gotta come from 13th, you’re gonna have all kinds of obstacles. I kinda found the bottom by accident and drove by a few cars down there. I knew we needed to get to the top early on and not waste much time. I wasn’t gonna get a big run on the top to get Rico, though, so I had to mix it up and try looking low. We didn’t need that last red. Our tire pressures went down some and cost us the chance we had,” Clauson said.

Chris Bell took the “Hard Charger” honors for the night, however, as he came from 15th to finish third in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian – Toyota TRD #71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.

“The cautions towards the end helped. I was able to pass a couple cars each time and then get caught right back up. On the start, I got the bottom to myself, but there was just too much momentum on the top. Once I got up there, I got going but it just took longer to get through the pack once we were green a little bit. Luckily we had a great car again tonight, and the car was just stuck wherever,” Bell said.

Daum ended up fourth in the Daum Crop Insurance – Weld Wheels #5D Eagle/Stanton Toyota, and Darren Hagen finished fifth in the RFMS Racing – Liberty Village #3 DRC/Esslinger.

HONDA USAC NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET RACE RESULTS: October 3, 2013 – Pontoon Beach, Illinois – Tri-City Speedway – 5th “Gold Crown Midget Nationals” (co-sanctioned by POWRi)

FIRST HEAT : (8 laps) 1. Jonathan Beason (36, Beason), 2. Brady Bacon (11, Wilke), 3. Rico Abreu (67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 4. Bubba Altig (33, Davis), 5. Jerry Coons, Jr. (63, Dooling), 6. Logan Hupp (38, Gardner), 7. Tyler Robbins (5H, Hoppe), 8. John Campbell (19, Campbell), 9. Ross Rankine (39x, Rankine). 1:59.33

SECOND HEAT : (8 laps) 1. Shane Cottle (56P, Hmiel), 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (2, Steele), 3. Caleb Armstrong (7c, C&A), 4. Brenden Bright (92, Bright), 5. Bryan Clauson (39, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian), 6. Dave Darland (17, RW/Curb-Agajanian), 7. Tyler Thomas (91T, Thomas), 8. Ryan Criswell (11R, R&C), 9. Dalton Camfield (10c, Camfield). 2:04.38
THIRD HEAT : (8 laps) 1. Tanner Thorson (67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Andrew Felker (11A, Felker), 3. Jake Blackhurst (25, Blackhurst), 4. Taylor Ferns (55, Ferns), 5. Dalton Armstrong (7A, C&A), 6. Billy Wease (10x, Moore), 7. Colten Cottle (5c, Cottle), 8. Darren Kingston (94, Kingston). 1:58.83

FOURTH HEAT : (8 laps) 1. Chris Windom (3F, RFMS), 2. Tracy Hines (24, Parker), 3. Chris Bell (71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 4. Brad Kuhn (10, Cook), 5. Darren Hagen (3, RFMS), 6. Danny Frye (5, Frye), 7. Daniel Robinson (57, McCreery), 8. Dave Camfield, Jr. (4x, Meents). NT

FIFTH HEAT : (8 laps) 1. Zach Daum (5D, Daum), 2. Bobby East (4, Klatt), 3. Danny Stratton (56A, Hmiel), 4. Austin Brown (7, Brown), 5. Alex Bright (77, Hemler), 6. Parker Price-Miller (9P, Ronk), 7. Terry Babb (88, Babb), 8. Tim Buckwalter (52, Buckwalter). 1:59.71

C MAIN: (10 laps) 1. C. Cottle, 2. T. Thomas, 3. Babb, 4. Buckwalter, 5. Criswell, 6. Rankine, 7. Kingston, 8. Campbell, 9. Camfield, Jr., 10. Dalton Camfield. 2:33.35
DASH: (6 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Cottle, 3. Thorson, 4. Abreu, 5. East, 6. Beason. 1:31.13
SEMI: (15 laps) 1. Blackhurst, 2. Kuhn, 3. Stratton, 4. Hagen, 5. Darland, 6. A. Bright, 7. Price-Miller, 8. Brown, 9. Altig, 10. Wease, 11. T. Thomas, 12. Babb, 13. D. Armstrong, 14. Robinson, 15. Hupp, 16. Robbins, 17. C. Cottle, 18. Frye, 19. B. Bright, 20. Buckwalter. NT
FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Rico Abreu, 2. Bryan Clauson, 3. Chris Bell, 4. Zach Daum, 5. Darren Hagen, 6. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 7. Alex Bright, 8. Caleb Armstrong, 9. Jerry Coons, Jr., 10. Shane Cottle, 11. Brad Kuhn, 12. Jake Blackhurst, 13. Bobby East, 14. Austin Brown, 15. Tanner Thorson, 16. Andrew Felker, 17. Jonathan Beason, 18. Brady Bacon, 19. Tracy Hines, 20. Dave Darland, 21. Tyler Thomas, 22. Taylor Ferns, 23. Chris Windom, 24. Parker Price-Miller, 25. Danny Stratton. NT
**Camfield, Jr. flipped in Heat 4. Thorson flipped on lap 22 of the Feature.
NEW HONDA NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET POINTS: 1-Bell-791; 2-Clauson-720; 3-Hines-676; 4-Coons-648; 5-Hagen-637; 6-Abreu-596; 7-Felker-552; 8-Daum-542; 9-Thorson-492; 10-Kuhn-447.

NEXT HONDA NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET RACE: October 4 – Pontoon Beach, Illinois – Tri-City Speedway – 5th “Gold Crown Midget Nationals” (co-sanctioned by POWRi)