Rico Abreu – 2016 Kentucky Recap

Rico-Safelite-TSR-2016Team Information:
Started: 21st
Finished: 15th
Laps: 150/150
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
Driver Points: 14th
Owner Points: 16th

Rico Abreu Race Recap:

Rico Abreu, driver of the No. 98 Safelite Toyota Tundra, made his track debut at Kentucky Speedway in Thursday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Buckle Up In Your Truck 225. Starting 21st, the ThorSport Racing driver ran as high as 13th, but maintained a position inside the top-20 throughout the 150-lap event, and finished 15th, his sixth career top-15 result.

Starting from the 21st position, Abreu complained of “loosing rear grip in Turns 1 & 2” in the opening laps, but maintained track position through the first round of pit stops at lap 27. Crew chief Doug George brought the Safelite machine to pit road for two tires, and fuel, in an effort to gain track position, and Abreu was able to restart from the 13th position at lap 35. Just 12 laps later, the ThorSport Racing driver would get turned around in Turn 2, and make contact with another competitor. In an effort to repair the right-side quarter panel of his Toyota Tundra, George would bring the No. 98 machine to pit road three times, under the extended caution period, and the rookie driver would restart from the 24th position at lap 55.

Making his way through the 32-truck field, Abreu was scored 20th by lap 70, and 18th by lap 90. George would bring the ThorSport Racing driver to pit road at lap 58 for fuel only, and for the final stop of the night at lap 105, for four tires, and fuel, allowing the No. 98 machine to restart from the 14th position when the field when back to green at lap 108. In the ensuing 42 laps, Abreu would continue to fight a Toyota Tundra that wouldn’t turn, and settle for a 15th-place finish behind race winner, William Byron.

Quote:

“I just really fought a tight Safelite Toyota Tundra tonight. Once we got it free’d up we could run some good times, but we were just way too far back, and track position was key. We just need to put together some solid runs. Hopefully we can do that at Eldora next week.”

News & Notes:

  • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday night’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Abreu was 16th, and 23rd, respectively, in both sessions.
  • Making his track debut at Kentucky Speedway in the NCWTS, Abreu started 21st, ran as high as 13th, and finished 15th.
  • In 10 starts in 2016, Abreu has led one lap en route to two top-10 (Martinsville & Texas), and five top-15 finishes.
  • In 12 career NCWTS starts Abreu has led one lap en route to two top-10, and six top-15 finishes.
  • Abreu’s ThorSport Racing teammates finished sixth (Hayley), eighth (Crafton), and 13th (Rhodes).
  • Up Next: The Aspen Dental 150 at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
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