NIGHT 1 AT BELLEVILLE ALL ABREU TO OPEN “MIDGET NATIONALS”
Belleville, Kansas.…..Rico Abreu of Rutherford, California has been chomping at the bit to return to the Belleville High Banks all season after finishing second in last year’s “Belleville Midget Nationals.” He started his weekend off the right way as he led every lap to score his second victory of the season in Thursday’s 25-lap Honda National Dirt Midget Series feature.
Abreu out-gunned polesitter Caleb Armstrong to the lead, and Armstrong shadowed him in second until getting over the turn-three cushion on lap-two and flipping wildly into turn-four. He emerged from the car with some assistance and was conscious when transported to the hospital.
Abreu continued to lead as Tracy Hines rallied to third and brought Dave Darland with him from row-four. As they started to close on the lead duo of Abreu and his teammate Chris Bell, the point-leader Bell encountered problems and slowed on lap nine. After a quick change of a right-rear tire, Bell resumed.
On the restart, Hines stumbled and Darland grabbed the second spot, quickly setting out for Abreu and the lead. The Lincoln, Indiana veteran was within striking distance with ten to go as he looked underneath Abreu in turn-three. Abreu dropped down through the north end of the speedway and reopened a gap on Darland.
Darland slowed some over the final few circuits, surrendering second to Hines as Abreu took a 2.724-second win in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“What an honor to win here! This is a huge confidence booster going into Saturday, which we wanna win so bad. I saw Dave and thought he was rolling through the middle, so I ripped through there a couple laps until it seemed to blow off. You can’t mess around down there too long or they’ll drive by you on the outside. We got good restarts and kept our momentum up. I was wearing our tires out toward the end, so we have a good car going into Saturday and learned some things we can do to be better,” Abreu said.
Hines took second and moved to fourth in points aboard the Parker Machinery – Turbines, Inc. #24 Spike/Stanton Toyota.
“I think Dave was having some issues late, and I probably wasn’t gonna get him if he didn’t have that. We could maintain, but couldn’t gain much ground. Restarts were tough. This place is hard on everything, so we’ll take our second and try to make it better,” Hines said.
Darland wound up third in the CML RW Security – Fontana Automotive #17 Beast/Fontana.
“We started smoking a bit at the end, and I backed off just a little. Hopefully, we saved it for Saturday. I didn’t really play it out right trying to get the lead from Rico. We were good down through three and four, if I entered right, but they were better than me running the top through one and two. My team gave me a great car and I’m looking forward to going at them again on Saturday,” Darland said.
Defending Belleville champion Jerry Coons, Jr. finished fourth in the Joe Dooling – Westin Packaged Meats #63 Spike/Esslinger, and Bryan Clauson finished fifth in the Curb Records – Mobil-1 #39 Spike/Esslinger. ProSource “Fast Qualifier” Bell rallied from the tail to finish sixth.
HONDA USAC NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET RACE RESULTS: August 1, 2013 – Belleville, Kansas – Belleville High Banks – “Belleville Midget Nationals”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Chris Bell, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.581; 2. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-17.684; 3. Bobby East, 4, Klatt-17.689; 4. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-17.724; 5. Rico Abreu, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.734; 6. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C&A-17.767; 7. Jerry Coons, Jr., 63, Dooling-17.776; 8. Dave Darland, 17, RW/Curb-Agajanian-17.815; 9. Bryan Clauson, 39, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-17.840; 10. Darren Hagen, 3, RFMS-17.925; 11. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.956; 12. Dalton Armstrong, 7A, C&A-17.973; 13. Andrew Felker, 11A, Felker-18.010; 14. Shane Golobic, 11, Wilke-18.070; 15. C.J. Johnson, 45x, Martin-18.106; 16. Brad Kuhn, 10, Cook-18.119; 17. Cody Brewer, 96, Central-18.236; 18. Garett Hood, 11H, Two Hoods-18.373; 19. Ronnie Gardner, 62, Bock-18.601; 20. Jeff Stasa, 91, SBR-18.638; 21. Shane Hollingsworth, 85, Hollingsworth-18.920; 22. Johnny Murdock, 2P, Zero-20.408; 23. A.J. Fike, 3F, RFMS-NT (time of 18.153 disallowed); 24. Randy Boyer, 69, Boyer-NT (time of 19.169 disallowed); 25. Troy Simpson, 0, Zero-NT (time of 20.748 disallowed).
FIRST HEAT : (8 laps) 1. Coons, 2. Hagen, 3. Bell, 4. Daum, 5. Felker, 6. Gardner, 7. Murdock, 8. Kuhn, 9. Simpson. NT
SECOND HEAT : (8 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Hines, 3. Abreu, 4. Thorson, 5. Golobic, 6. Stasa, 7. Chris Windom (#3F), 8. Brewer. NT
THIRD HEAT : (8 laps) 1. East, 2. C. Armstrong, 3. Johnson, 4. Clauson, 5. D. Armstrong, 6. Hood, 7. Hollingsworth, 8. Boyer.
FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Rico Abreu, 2. Tracy Hines, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Jerry Coons, Jr., 5. Bryan Clauson, 6. Chris Bell, 7. Tanner Thorson, 8. C.J. Johnson, 9. Andrew Felker, 10. Cody Brewer, 11. Shane Golobic, 12. Shane Hollingsworth, 13. Dalton Armstrong, 14. Jeff Stasa, 15. Ronnie Gardner, 16. Zach Daum, 17. Randy Boyer, 18. Bobby East, 19. Darren Hagen, 20. Garett Hood, 21. Troy Simpson, 22. Caleb Armstrong, 23. Johnny Murdock. NT
**C. Armstrong flipped on Lap 2 of the Feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Abreu.
NEW HONDA NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET POINTS: 1-Bell-566; 2-Clauson-516; 3-Coons-493; 4-Hines-476; 5-Felker-449; 6-Hagen-446; 7-Daum-393; 8-Abreu-382; 9-Kuhn-374; 10-C.Armstrong-319.
NEXT HONDA NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET RACE: August 3 – Belleville, Kansas – Belleville High Banks – “Belleville Midget Nationals”