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Abreu Rock Solid At Chili Bowl

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, January 17 2019
Rico Abreu stole the show Wednesday night in Tulsa.

RacinToday.com

Rico Abreu outclassed the field during Wednesday’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino-Tulsa Qualifying Night A-Feature at the 33rd annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire.

Abreu won a 25-lap prelim race for the fourth time since 2015 around Tulsa Expo Raceway wheeling the Safelite AutoGlass/Keith Kunz Motorsports No. 97. Abreu and runnerup David Gravel secured spots in Saturday night’s championship race during Day 3 of the week-long event.

“I won those back-to-back years and I kind of had a slump year and came back to be competitive,” said Abreu, recapping his recent event history. “Last year I felt I wasn’t as good as the top two but if the roles were reversed, I think I was in a little better position where they could chase me instead of me chasing them. Because those two boys (NASCAR regulars Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson), they don’t make too many mistakes when they get out front. I think this year was a matter of just minimizing the mistakes.”

Holding off Gravel on a Lap 14 restart, Abreu quickly rolled away on the cushion. Gravel closed the gap until Rico adjusted his line to the bottom of Turns 3 and 4 while running the top of Turns 1 and 2. “Keith (Kunz) was kind of giving me a few signals that I needed to pick up the pace a little bit and said they were making up some time on me on the bottom in (Turns) 3 and 4,” Abreu said. “All night I kind of struggled around the bottom, but I feel like I hit some good laps there at the end of the race.”

Locking into his first career championship feature event, second-place Gravel was trailed by Cole Bodine, who held off the challenge of 17th-place starter Jake Swanson over the closing laps. Able to keep his No. 08 ahead of Tim McCreadie, the top-five was rounded-out by Chili Bowl rookie Cannon McIntosh.

McCreadie settled for sixth with Colby Copeland seventh. Having to race out of a B-Feature, Ryan Smith was the night’s Hard Charger with a run from 23rd to eighth. Robert Dalby, from 15th, grabbed ninth with Daniel Robinson making it three drivers in the top-10 to advance 10 positions or more.

Through three nights of competition, 204 drivers have checked in with 73 taking part in Wednesday’s racing. The Chili Bowl Flip Count currently stands at 22; all drivers have walked away.

Racing will continue Thursday with John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night and a roster of 75 drivers expected. Hot Laps get underway at 4 p.m. (CST) with racing at 5 p.m. Fans can follow all Chili Bowl action on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with @CBNationals. All official press, updates and results can be found online at http://www.chilibowl.com.

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire/Hard Rock Hotel and Casino-Tulsa Qualifying Night

Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 15M-Jason McDougal, [2]; 2. 52-Blake Hahn, [4]; 3. 4D-Robert Dalby, [6]; 4. 91T-Tyler Thomas, [1]; 5. 45H-Anthony Pope, [3]; 6. 11C-Chett Gehrke, [7]; 7. 16C-David Camfield III, [5]; (DNS) 7HM-Heath Murry; (DNS) 10K-Marvin Mitchell.

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 16K-Tristan Guardino, [2]; 2. 54W-Matt Westfall, [5]; 3. 1L-Landon Simon, [3]; 4. 92-Aaron Reutzel, [7]; 5. 3JR-Jarrett Soares, [1]; 6. 87F-Johnny Kent, [6]; 7. 78-Rob Caho Sr., [4]; (DNS) 35X-Tyler Robbins.

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 3F-Geoff Ensign, [2]; 2. 28-Kory Schudy, [8]; 3. 31-Travis Berryhill, [1]; 4. 91-Jeff Stasa, [7]; 5. 29A-Davey Ray, [6]; 6. 22E-Shane Stewart, [4]; 7. 8K-Robert Spino, [5]; 8. 75X-Mike Griffiths, [3].

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 57C-Cole Bodine, [2]; 2. 68W-Jake Swanson, [1]; 3. 08-Cannon McIntosh, [7]; 4. 3W-Brandon Waelti, [4]; 5. 57D-Daniel Robinson, [8]; 6. 52K-John Dyson, [5]; 7. (DNF) 9P-Tom Harris, [6]; (DQ) 2J-J.J. Yeley, [3]***No. 2J, Yeley, Disqualified for not allowing officials to tech fuel.

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 9-Tim McCreadie, [2]; 2. 76G-David Gravel, [5]; 3. 2X-Joe Stornetta Jr., [7]; 4. 4M-J.J. Ercse, [6]; 5. 51G-Garet Williamson, [3]; 6. 96-Cody Brewer, [4]; 7. 00S-Randy Sterling, [8]; 8. 77J-John Klabunde, [1].

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 87-Colby Copeland, [1]; 2. 67R-Ryan Smith, [2]; 3. 0B-Billy VanInwegen Jr., [6]; 4. 50-Daniel Adler, [5]; 5. 43-Justin Peck, [8]; 6. 9T-Tyler Shoemaker, [3]; 7. 21X-Landon Cassill, [7]; 8. (DNF) 50J-Brian Jones, [4].

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 97-Rico Abreu, [2]; 2. 9F-Frankie Guerrini, [1]; 3. 7J-Shawn Jackson, [3]; 4. 67K-Holley Hollan, [8]; 5. 73K-Tyler Edwards, [4]; 6. 12-Billy Wease, [6]; 7. 14E-Jake Neal, [5]; 8. 23P-Patrick Lawson, [7].

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 17-Chris Windom, [3]; 2. 13M-Dennis Gile, [2]; 3. 51A-Zachary Madrid, [7]; 4. 37X-Andrew Prather, [1]; 5. 19S-Matt Streeter, [8]; 6. 49J-Jim Gardner, [5]; 7. (DNF) 44S-Brian Beebe, [6]; 8. (DNF) 16-Joey Parker, [4].

Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 47-Alex Bright, [1]; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell, [5]; 3. 17K-Michael Koontz, [2]; 4. 22X-Steven Shebester, [6]; 5. 2ND-Jeb Sessums, [4]; 6. 22C-Conor Daly, [3]; 7. 14S-Clinton Boyles, [7]; (DNS) 5T-Presley Truedson.

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature

C-Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 73K-Tyler Edwards, [1]; 2. 96-Cody Brewer, [7]; 3. 11C-Chett Gehrke, [2]; 4. 14S-Clinton Boyles, [9]; 5. 51G-Garet Williamson, [3]; 6. 22C-Conor Daly, [8]; 7. 8K-Robert Spino, [11]; 8. 35X-Tyler Robbins, [16]; 9. 87F-Johnny Kent, [4]; 10. 77J-John Klabunde, [15]; 11. 00S-Randy Sterling, [6]; 12. (DNF) 52K-John Dyson, [5]; 13. (DNF) 44S-Brian Beebe, [10]; 14. (DNF) 75X-Mike Griffiths, [14]; 15. (DNF) 78-Rob Caho Sr., [12]; (DNS) 50J-Brian Jones.

C-Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 22E-Shane Stewart, [6]; 2. 9P-Tom Harris, [9]; 3. 2ND-Jeb Sessums, [1]; 4. 12-Billy Wease, [4]; 5. 16-Joey Parker, [13]; 6. 14E-Jake Neal, [11]; 7. 16C-David Camfield III, [10]; 8. 21X-Landon Cassill, [8]; 9. 49J-Jim Gardner, [5]; 10. 5T-Presley Truedson, [16]; 11. 3JR-Jarrett Soares, [3]; 12. 9T-Tyler Shoemaker, [7]; 13. 45H-Anthony Pope, [2]; 14. 23P-Patrick Lawson, [12]; 15. (DNF) 2J-J.J. Yeley, [14]; (DNS) 7HM-Heath Murry.

Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature

Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 92-Aaron Reutzel, [1]; 2. 9-Tim McCreadie, [3]; 3. 1-Sammy Swindell, [5]; 4. 15M-Jason McDougal, [4]; 5. 68W-Jake Swanson, [7]; 6. 57D-Daniel Robinson, [8]; 7. 0B-Billy VanInwegen Jr., [2]; 8. 3W-Brandon Waelti, [10]; 9. 28-Kory Schudy, [6]; 10. 7J-Shawn Jackson, [9].

Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 97-Rico Abreu, [3]; 2. 87-Colby Copeland, [2]; 3. 08-Cannon McIntosh, [5]; 4. 17-Chris Windom, [6]; 5. 91-Jeff Stasa, [1]; 6. 16K-Tristan Guardino, [4]; 7. 43-Justin Peck, [8]; 8. 29A-Davey Ray, [10]; 9. 9F-Frankie Guerrini, [7]; 10. 17K-Michael Koontz, [9].

Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 52-Blake Hahn, [3]; 2. 47-Alex Bright, [2]; 3. 91T-Tyler Thomas, [10]; 4. 67R-Ryan Smith, [1]; 5. 3F-Geoff Ensign, [4]; 6. 54W-Matt Westfall, [6]; 7. 2X-Joe Stornetta Jr., [5]; 8. 50-Daniel Adler, [9]; 9. 4M-J.J. Ercse, [7]; 10. 19S-Matt Streeter, [8].

Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 57C-Cole Bodine, [4]; 2. 67K-Holley Hollan, [2]; 3. 76G-David Gravel, [6]; 4. 4D-Robert Dalby, [3]; 5. 13M-Dennis Gile, [1]; 6. 22X-Steven Shebester, [7]; 7. 31-Travis Berryhill, [9]; 8. 1L-Landon Simon, [8]; 9. 51A-Zachary Madrid, [5]; 10. 37X-Andrew Prather, [10].

B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature

B-Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 68W-Jake Swanson, [1]; 2. 43-Justin Peck, [7]; 3. 29A-Davey Ray, [9]; 4. 67R-Ryan Smith, [2]; 5. 0B-Billy VanInwegen Jr., [6]; 6. 2X-Joe Stornetta Jr., [4]; 7. 73K-Tyler Edwards, [13]; 8. 3W-Brandon Waelti, [8]; 9. 96-Cody Brewer, [14]; 10. 14S-Clinton Boyles, [16]; 11. 9F-Frankie Guerrini, [10]; 12. 11C-Chett Gehrke, [15]; 13. 13M-Dennis Gile, [5]; 14. 7J-Shawn Jackson, [11]; 15. 28-Kory Schudy, [3]; 16. (DNF) 17K-Michael Koontz, [12].

B-Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 54W-Matt Westfall, [1]; 2. 57D-Daniel Robinson, [3]; 3. 16K-Tristan Guardino, [2]; 4. 9P-Tom Harris, [14]; 5. 31-Travis Berryhill, [6]; 6. 22E-Shane Stewart, [13]; 7. 91-Jeff Stasa, [4]; 8. 1L-Landon Simon, [9]; 9. 50-Daniel Adler, [8]; 10. 2ND-Jeb Sessums, [15]; 11. 51A-Zachary Madrid, [7]; 12. 12-Billy Wease, [16]; 13. 19S-Matt Streeter, [11]; 14. 37X-Andrew Prather, [12]; 15. 4M-J.J. Ercse, [10]; 16. (DNF) 22X-Steven Shebester, [5].

A-Feature: Top 2 advance to Saturday’s A-Feature

A-Feature (25 Laps): 1. 97-Rico Abreu, [2]; 2. 76G-David Gravel, [4]; 3. 57C-Cole Bodine, [1]; 4. 68W-Jake Swanson, [17]; 5. 08-Cannon McIntosh, [7]; 6. 9-Tim McCreadie, [6]; 7. 87-Colby Copeland, [11]; 8. 67R-Ryan Smith, [23]; 9. 4D-Robert Dalby, [15]; 10. 57D-Daniel Robinson, [20]; 11. 52-Blake Hahn, [3]; 12. 43-Justin Peck, [19]; 13. 92-Aaron Reutzel, [10]; 14. 47-Alex Bright, [12]; 15. 1-Sammy Swindell, [5]; 16. 9P-Tom Harris, [24]; 17. 54W-Matt Westfall, [18]; 18. 16K-Tristan Guardino, [22]; 19. 15M-Jason McDougal, [14]; 20. 67K-Holley Hollan, [13]; 21. 3F-Geoff Ensign, [16]; 22. (DNF) 91T-Tyler Thomas, [9]; 23. (DNF) 17-Chris Windom, [8]; 24. (DNF) 29A-Davey Ray, [21].

Lap Leader(s): Cole Bodine 1-7; Rico Abreu 8-25. 
Hard Charger: Ryan Smith, plus-15.

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, January 17 2019
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