Rico Abreu – 2016 Pocono Recap

Rico-Safelite-TSR-2016Team Information:
Started: 17th
Finished: 6th
Laps: 60/60
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
2016 Driver Points: 13th
2016 Owner Points: 14th

Rico Abreu Race Recap:

Rico Abreu, driver of the No. 98 Safelite/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, made his track debut at Pocono Raceway in Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150. Starting 17th, when qualifying was cancelled due to rain and the field was set based on the rule book, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender ran as high as second, with an average running position of 9.13, and finished sixth. The solid result was Abreu’s fourth top-10 finish in 12 starts this season.

Starting 17th, Abreu worked his way up to 13th by lap 10, running consistently inside the top-15 through the first 20 laps. Crew chief Doug George brought the No. 98 Toyota Tundra to pit road twice throughout the 60-lap race. Once under the second caution at lap 13, for four tires, and fuel, and for the second time under the fourth caution at lap 25, for fuel, and a chassis adjustment. With a mix of strategies on pit road, the fuel-only call allowed the ThorSport Racing driver to restart inside the top-five. Abreu was able to maintain a position inside the top-five through the ensuing 20 laps, but fell to sixth with 10 laps to go, due to a tight-handling condition. The rookie driver was able to maintain a strong run inside the top-10 through the races final 10 laps, and crossed the stripe in the sixth position behind race winner, William Byron.

Quotes:

“I had a brand new Toyota Tundra this weekend that my guys at ThorSport Racing built. Doug George (crew chief) did great calls on pit strategy to save fuel and put ourselves in position at the end. I just wish we could’ve been on the outside on that final restart. Got put three-wide and just really put us in a pinch, but I’ll take a sixth. We should’ve been a little better but two top-10s in the last two truck races is really good for a team like us. Just got to thank Safelite, ThorSport Racing, Curb Records, Toyota and DC Solar just for being a part of my career and letting me follow my dreams.”

News & Notes:

  • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway. Rico Abreu was 19th, and 15th, respectively, in both sessions.
  • Qualifying for the 7th annual NCWTS event at Pocono Raceway was cancelled on Saturday morning due to weather. The 32-truck field was set based on the rule book – practice speeds – and Abreu rolled off from the 17th position for the 60-lap event.
  • Making his track debut at Pocono Raceway, Abreu started 17th, ran as high second, and finished sixth.
  • In 12 starts in 2016, Abreu has led one lap en route to one top-five (Eldora), and four top-10 finishes.
  • In 14 career NCWTS starts, Abreu has led one lap en route to one top-five (Eldora), four top-10, and eight top-15 finishes.
  • Abreu’s ThorSport Racing teammates finished second (Hayley), 11th (Rhodes), and 12th (Crafton).
  • Up Next: The UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, August 17 at 8:30pm ET.
0