Rico Abreu was able to hold off a late challenge from Tyler Thomas to sweep the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Ironman 55 double-header in front of a capacity crowd at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
On Friday, Abreu had charged up from the 14th starting spot to win the weekend opener in Pevely. The sweep gives him three 2019 national feature wins and 27 in his career. His victory also marked the 29th of the year for a Toyota-powered driver after Logan Seavey won the USAC event in Pennsylvania earlier in the evening.
Saturday night’s event saw four different leaders in an exciting contest where Ace McCarthy would take the lead early with Tyler Thomas in second, Cannon McIntosh in third, Noah Gass in fourth and Zach Daum holding down fifth.
The driver to watch early was the 16-year-old McIntosh, who passed Thomas for second on lap two and then set his sights on the leader. By lap four, he had caught McCarthy and then would power past on the outside for the lead.
McIntosh would lead the next eight laps before Gass reeled him in, rolling through the middle as McIntosh was committed to the high side to take over the lead.
As the 30-lap race reached the midway point, Gass continued to lead with McCarthy moving back past McIntosh for second, while Abreu continued to climb through the field to fourth. McIntosh regained the second spot on lap 17 and then started to close on the leader. By lap 20, McIntosh had pulled back side-by-side with Gass while going for the lead before a yellow flag briefly slowed down the action.
As Gass brought the field back to green on the restart, Abreu made his move, trading sliders with McIntosh to take over second on lap 22 and one lap later, he would go to the high side to clear Gass to take the point position. Shortly afterward, Abreu’s Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate Daison Pursley would get upside down in turn four, climbing out of the car under his own power and setting up a wild sequence of events over the last seven laps.
Firing back off for a restart with seven laps left, Abreu led Gass, McIntosh, Thomas, CJ Leary, Daum, McCarthy and Holley Hollan. Thomas would execute a daring three-wide move past McIntosh and Gass to claim second heading into turn one.
As they came around on the following lap, another red flag waved, this time for McCarthy, who had gotten upside down in turn three. After the restart, Thomas began to close on Abreu for the lead as the two Toyotas went wheel-to-wheel with Abreu holding him off before a yellow flag came out as McIntosh slowed with a flat tire.
The Abreu-Thomas battle had been reduced to a two-lap showdown for the win. After the green, Thomas made another run at Abreu on lap 29, going for the lead in turn four only to spin while trying to take over the top spot. The resulting yellow would revert the field back to lap 29, with Thomas having to rejoin at the back of the field. Abreu would lead the field back to green and go on to a well-deserved victory, followed by Gass, Leary, Andrew Felker and Hollan, while Thomas came home in 12th.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League is back in action at Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Fairbury, Ill., Aug. 15.
|Finish||Toyota Saturday Feature Results at I-55 Raceway|
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Standings:
*Toyota-powered drivers in bold
Toyota Racing PR