(January 14, 2021 from Bryan Hulbert) – Having to roll down a new car for his qualifying run after a massive flip during Tuesday’s Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champion, the new Spike Chassis seemed to be a perfect fit as California’s Rico Abreu rolled into Victory Lane for the sixth consecutive year on Wednesday’s Circle City Raceway Qualifying Night.
“This Keith Kunz Motorsports Team, they are so good at setting up a car to get better as the race goes on,” stated Rico. “It’s really rewarding to drive for such an unbelievable team.”
The 31st victory for car owner Keith Kunz, the No. 97 went unchallenged through the duration of the 30-lap affair with Rico rolling to the lead from the pole with Alex Bright in pursuit. Rolling the hub of the Tulsa Expo Raceway the first third of the A-Feature, slower traffic finally forced Abreu to adjust to the cushion.
Amassing a 2.906-second lead before the caution lights for Robert Dalby, who flipped in the second turn after contact from Parker Price-Miller, the field reverted to Lap 16 on the restart. Keeping the field at bay, Rico began quickly pulling away. Back into the traffic on Lap 24, Whelen Caution Lights greeted the field one final time.
Rolling back to speed, third running Brad Sweet set sights on second. Taking the position off the second turn, Bright answered the challenge by retaking the spot off the fourth turn.
Buried in the cushion of the Tulsa Expo Raceway, Rico Abreu rolled to a 3.588-second advantage at the finish. Alex Bright held on for second to lock into his third Chili Bowl Championship A-Feature. Up from ninth, Brad Sweet crossed third with Jake Neuman and Colby Copeland, making up the top five.
Gaining eight positions, Kevin Thomas, Jr. crossed sixth with Jake Swanson seventh. Daniel Robinson, Parker Price-Miller, and Giovanni Scelzi completed the top ten.
Circle City Raceway Qualifying Night saw 62 Drivers draw in.
Fatheadz Eyewear Heat Race wins went to Emerson Axsom, Parker Price-Miller, Brandon Waelti, Jake Neuman, Tyler Thomas, Kevin Thomas, Jr., Rico Abreu, and Alex Bright. C-Features went to Shawn Jackson and Jake Neal. Team Toyota Qualifiers were topped by Giovanni Scelzi, Colby Copeland, Parker Price-Miller, and Robert Dalby. Dave.com B-Features went to Sammy Swindell and Steven Shebester.
The World Wide Technology Raceway Flip Count made it to 29, with all drivers uninjured.
The 35th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire continues Thursday, January 14, 2021, with John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night. The River Spirit Expo Center opens at 9:00 A.M. with Hot Laps at 4:00 P.M. and Racing at 5:00 P.M. (CT). A limited number of Pit Passes will be available to the General Public.
Reminder to all who attend that masks are required while inside the River Spirit Expo Center.
Those who cannot make it can see the action live on http://www.floracing.com.
For continued updates on the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, follow the event on Social Media (@cbnationals) and at http://www.chilibowl.com.
Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Tulsa Expo Raceway – Tulsa, Okla.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Circle City Raceway Qualifying Night
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 97-Rico Abreu; 2. 25X-Alex Bright; 3. 1R-Brad Sweet; 4. 3N-Jake Neuman; 5. 27W-Colby Copeland; 6. 47W-Kevin Thomas Jr; 7. 55X-Jake Swanson; 8. 57K-Daniel Robinson; 9. 4A-Parker Price Miller; 10. 84-Giovanni Scelzi; 11. 1-Sammy Swindell; 12. 71X-Brian Carber; 13. 3W-Brandon Waelti; 14. 15A-Emerson Axsom; 15. 91T-Tyler Thomas; 16. 81-Colten Cottle; 17. 22X-Steven Shebester; 18. 45M-Brett Moffitt; 19. 37-Max Adams; 20. 91-Jeff Stasa; 21. (DNF) 4D-Robert Dalby; 22. (DNF) 19A-Chase Randall; 23. (DNF) 44S-Kameron Key; 24. (DNF) 7R-AJ Hopkins
Lap Leader(s): Rico Abreu 1-30
Hard Charger: Kevin Thomas, Jr. +8