Sun Prairie, Wisconsin…….It took a final corner slidejob for Rico Abreu to win the “Pepsi Nationals” on Sunday night at the Angell Park Speedway as the reigning Honda National Midget champion added another big midget win to his list, as he edged out teammate Tanner Thorson by just .093 seconds for the tenth win in his National Midget career.
Thorson got the jump from outside the front row and led throughout. Behind him, ProSource “Fast Qualifier” Bryan Clauson quickly moved into second, but he slowed on lap five with a right-rear wheel packed with mud. He visited the work area but was able to restart.
Thorson led Kevin Thomas, Jr. from there, as Abreu slipped to third when Darren Hagen slapped the big cushion in turn-four and darted up the track. After another yellow, Hagen went to the extreme high side in one and two and came with a full head of steam just as Abreu bobbled in the middle of the corner, with the two making contact that slowed Hagen and put him well back in the field before he regained speed.
The Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team ran 1-4 as the race hit halfway, but the red flag flew on lap 18 for Tracy Hines, who flipped in turn-four while running in the fifth spot.
The race went green from there, as Thorson and Abreu pulled away from their teammate Thomas, while Clauson and Hagen fought back through the pack. With a few laps to go, Thorson hesitated with a lapped car, allowing Abreu to draw near. At the white flag, Abreu was not close enough for a pass, so he went to the extreme high side and gathered momentum as he exited turn-two.
With a full head of steam down the backstretch, he dove to the bottom and swept past Thorson for the top spot, leaving Thorson to cross back underneath him and try to beat him back to the line. It wasn’t enough, though, as Abreu finished it off by just a nose in the Toyota TRD – Curb Records #97 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“I don’t know how it looked from the stands, but that was just a hell of a race from my seat. The last lap was one of those laps where you have to tell yourself ‘Go Big or Go Home.’ I got above the cushion and kept my car straight on exit to get all the speed I could and was able to pull the trigger on him at the other end. You cherish moments like that, winning on the final lap in front of a great crowd. It’s special to win the Pepsi Nationals and knock another big race off my bucket list. I’m having a lot of fun right now just getting to do this,” Abreu said.
Thorson came home in the runner-up spot in the first race since his spectacular crash during “Indiana Midget Week” at Lincoln Park Speedway on June 11th. Still sporting some blood in his eyes, the Minden, Nevada driver returned to the seat with a strong finish aboard the Toyota TRD – Abreu Vineyards #67 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“It’s good to be back in the car, and I felt great from the start. I could hear one of them back there working something, and I figured it was Rico after hearing him above me a few times. My teammates are out there trying everything imaginable to find a way by me while I’m leading, so it’s tough to be out front the entire time. This is a new car, and we got my confidence back quickly to be able to run hard with these guys after being out for a few weeks,” Thorson said.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. joined his teammates on the podium and put himself atop the series point standings with the Toyota TRD – Bakken Concrete #67K Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“You never want to come home third, but these guys are good and it’s a solid night for us to end up on the podium. In the big picture, we gave ourselves another good finish towards the season-long goal,” Thomas said.
Clauson cleared Andrew Felker in the final laps to take home fourth in the Curb Records – Dooling Machine #63 Spike/Stanton Mopar, and Hagen also slipped into the top-five at the finish aboard the KBR Performance – Great Clips #17 Boss/Esslinger.
USAC HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET RACE RESULTS: July 5, 2015 – Sun Prairie, Wisconsin – Angell Park Speedway – “Pepsi Nationals” (co-sanctioned by POWRi)
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Bryan Clauson, 63, RKR/Curb-Agajanian-14.316; 2. Rico Abreu, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.333; 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.372; 4. Bill Balog, 57, Ecker-14.467; 5. Austin Brown, 7, KBR-14.539; 6. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-14.600; 7. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.606; 8. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.620; 9. Jimi Quin, 8, Quin-14.647; 10. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-14.677; 11. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-14.699; 12. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Klaasmeyer-14.724; 13. Darren Hagen, 17, KBR-14.727; 14. Andrew Felker, 11A, Felker-14.776; 15. Kyle Schuett, 9K, Schuett-14.821; 16. Spencer Bayston, 39, Clauson-14.960; 17. David Budres, 31, Manic-15.061; 18. Katlynn Leer, 77K, Leer-15.107; 19. Eric Johnson, 82, Johnson-15.345; 20. Brandon Waelti, 15, Triple H-15.552; 21. Kurt Mayhew, 21K, Mayhew-16.003; 22. Scott Zane, 77, Zane-16.790; 23. Isaac Chapple, 52, Chapple-NT; 24. Cody Weisensel, 20, Weisensel-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bayston, 2. Hagen, 3. Clauson, 4. Thorson, 5. Hines, 6. Balog, 7. Johnson. 2:29.80
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. T. Thomas, 2. Felker, 3. Brown, 4. Robinson, 5. Abreu, 6. Chapple, 7. Budres. 2:30.56
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Quin, 2. K. Thomas, 3. Schuett, 4. Klaasmeyer, 5. Leer, 6. Mayhew, 7. Ray, 8. Weisensel. 2:33.07
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Rico Abreu, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 4. Bryan Clauson, 5. Darren Hagen, 6. Andrew Felker, 7. Spencer Bayston, 8. Ryan Robinson, 9. Tyler Thomas, 10. Kyle Schuett, 11. Isaac Chapple, 12. Kurt Mayhew, 13. Austin Brown, 14. Tracy Hines, 15. Katlynn Leer, 16. Eric Johnson, 17. Jimi Quin, 18. Bill Balog, 19. David Budres, 20. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 21. Cody Weisensel. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-29 Thorson, Lap 30 Abreu.
NEW HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-K.Thomas-360; 2-T.Thomas-339; 3-Hines-333; 4-Abreu-326; 5-Hagen-321; 6-Bayston-300; 7-Jerry Coons, Jr.-287; 8-Thorson-280; 9-Dave Darland-159; 10-Christopher Bell-152.
NEXT HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET RACE: July 28 – Beloit, KS – Solomon Valley Raceway – “Chad McDaniel Memorial”
UPCOMING EVENT INFO
2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CHAMPIONSHIP
SCHEDULE & RESULTS
@=Indiana Midget Week
***=Co-Sanctioned by ARDC
%%%=Co-Sanctioned by POWRi
###=Co-Sanctioned by Honda USAC Western Midget Series
2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET
2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET
Rico Abreu – 2 (Lawrenceburg Speedway on June 13 & Angell Park Speedway on July 5)
Christopher Bell – 1 (Bloomington Speedway on June 12)
Bryan Clauson – 1 (Lincoln Park Speedway on June 11)
Darren Hagen – 1 (Kokomo Speedway on April 11)
Kevin Thomas, Jr. – 1 (Plymouth Speedway on May 29)
Tanner Thorson – 1 (Gas City I-69 Speedway on June 10)
2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET STATISTICS
FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
TOP-FIVE FEATURE FINISHES:
TOP-TEN FEATURE FINISHES:
HEAT RACE WINS:
2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET
B&W AUTO MART
“HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE”
April 11: Kokomo Speedway – Tanner Thorson (8 positions)
May 29: Plymouth Speedway – Darren Hagen (10 positions)
June 10: Gas City I-69 Speedway – Tyler Thomas (9 positions)
June 11: Lincoln Park Speedway – Christopher Bell (14 positions)
June 12: Bloomington Speedway – Tyler Thomas (10 positions)
June 13: Lawrenceburg Speedway – Tyler Thomas (13 positions)
July 5: Angell Park Speedway – Isaac Chapple (9 positions)
ALL-TIME USAC NATIONAL MIDGET
DRIVER FEATURE WINS
1. [111 wins] Mel Kenyon
2. [95 wins] Rich Vogler
3. [78 wins] Bob Wente
4. [63 wins] Bob Tattersall
5. [59 wins] Sleepy Tripp
6. [48 wins] Jimmy Davies
7. [35 wins] Tracy Hines
8. [34 wins] Bryan Clauson
9. [31 wins] Gene Hartley & Chuck Rodee
11. [30 wins] Dave Darland, Mike McGreevy & Johnny Parsons
14. [27 wins] Gary Bettenhausen & Tony Stewart
16. [25 wins] Darren Hagen, Parnelli Jones & Dave Strickland
19. [24 wins] Bill Engelhart
20. [23 wins] Tom Bigelow, Pancho Carter, Tommy Copp, Kevin Olson & Billy Vukovich
25. [22 wins] Bobby East & Shorty Templeman
27. [21 wins] Steve Cannon, Jimmy Caruthers, Rex Easton & Ken Schrader
31. [20 wins] A.J. Foyt
32. [19 wins] Jerry Coons Jr., Stan Fox & Jason Leffler
35. [18 wins] Dave Steele
36. [17 wins] Jay Drake & J.J. Yeley
38. [16 wins] George Amick, Billy Cantrell, Lee Kunzman, Bobby Olivero & Henry Pens
43. [15 wins] Christopher Bell, Don Branson & Larry Rice
46. [14 wins] Chuck Arnold, Jack Turner & Leroy Warriner
49. [13 wins] Steve Knepper, Don Meacham, Ryan Newman & Stevie Reeves
53. [12 wins] Danny Caruthers, Gene Force, Russ Gamester, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Grim, Kyle Larson & Ron Shuman
60. [11 wins] Kasey Kahne, Jimmy Knight, Bob McLean, Johnny Moorhouse, Bobby Santos & Brad Sweet
66. [10 wins] Rico Abreu, Allen Heath, Doug Kalitta, Brad Kuhn, Steve Lotshaw, Jerry McClung & Chuck Weyant
73. [9 wins] Billy Boat, Tony Elliott & Chuck Gurney
76. [8 wins] Merle Bettenhausen, Tony Bettenhausen, Hank Butcher, Kevin Doty, Dan Drinan, Ronnie Duman, Brian Gerster, Kenny Irwin Jr, Eddie Johnson, Michael Lewis, Andy Michner & Josh Wise
88. [7 wins] Tommy Astone, Jack Hewitt, Don Horvath, Page Jones, Kenneth Nichols, Larry Patton, Les Scott, Len Sutton & Johnnie Tolan
97. [6 wins] Donnie Beechler, George Benson, Dana Carter, Bob Cicconi, Robby Flock, Nick Fornoro Jr., Arnie Knepper, Ricky Shelton, Mike Streicher, Dave Strickland Jr., & Roger West
108. [5 wins] Mike Bliss, Lonnie Caruthers, Larry Dickson, Mike Fedorcak, Burt Foland, Mack McClellan, Danny McKnight, Cliff Spalding, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Swindell & Jerry Weeks
119. [4 wins] Caleb Armstrong, Teddy Beach, Johnny Boyd, Frank Burany, Russ Congdon, Ray Elliott, Aaron Fike, Danny Frye, Billy Garrett, Mike Gregg, Jim Hettinger, John Heydenreich, Bubby Jones, Levi Jones, Andy Linden, Bobby Marshman, Roger McCluskey, Billy Mehner, Ken Nichols, Jeff Nuckles, Jan Opperman, Gary Ponzini, Davey Ray, Eddie Sachs, Don Schilling, Sam Sessions, George Snider, Dale Swaim & Rodger Ward
148. [3 wins] John Batts, Gays Biro, Shane Cottle, Allen Crowe, Zach Daum, Bruce Field, A.J. Fike, Drew Fornoro, Gene Gennetten, Rick Goudy, Bob Hare, Bob Hauck, Jeff Heywood, Bill Homeier, Sam Isenhower, Jim Keeker, Jim McClean, Warren Mockler, Dave Moses, Earl Motter, Jerry Nuckles, Danny Oakes, Johnnie Parsons, Porky Rachwitz, Johnny Riva, Johnny Roberts, Lowell Sacks, Billy Shuman, Tom Steiner, Bobby Unser & Billy Wease
179. [2 wins] Al Alpern, Sonny Ates, Brady Bacon, Johnny Baldwin, Jim Beckley, Dean Billings, Alan Brown, Jack Calabrase, Johnny Cofer, Mel Cornett, Cotton Farmer, Terry Farrar, Joe Garson, Chuck Gurney Jr., Kyle Hamilton, Bob Hogle, Rick Hood, P.J. Jones, Critter Malone, Jimmy McCune, Michael Pickens, Aaron Pollock, Barry Reed, Lloyd Ruby, Joe Saldana, Tom Sellberg, Tony Simon, Danny Stratton, Steve Troxell, Don Vogler, Bruce Walkup, Terry Wente, Johnny White, Tommy White & Cole Whitt
214. [1 win] John Andretti, Mario Andretti, Mike Appio, Dick Atkins, Paul Bates, Harry Beck, Bud Bogard, Tony Bonadies, Dan Boorse, Don Boorse, Dwight Brown, Steve Buckwalter, Barry Butterworth, Gary Byers, Larry Cannon, Tyce Carlson, Ed Carpenter, Dane Carter, Billy Cassella, Bill Chennault, Bill Clemons, Roy Cook