ROSSBURG, Ohio — Rico Abreu secured his fourth Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory of the season on Saturday night at Eldora Speedway, leading all 30 circuits of the non-stop Sprintacular en route to a dominating win.
For Abreu, the Eldora victory was the second of his career at the track in All Star competition, holding back a pair of championship contenders in Dale Blaney and Chad Kemenah for a $5,000 payday.
Blaney crossed under the final checkers just behind Abreu, followed by Chad Kemenah, a hard-charging Cap Henry, and Cole Duncan.
“Hats off to Eldora Speedway and the entire staff. There are a lot of cars here between all three of the divisions (118). That is definitely not easy,” Abreu said. “I especially want to thank all of you fans for sticking this out through the cold weather here tonight. I’m not real used to this. I’m used to California weather. This is so much fun, though. I enjoy getting to come here and being a part of everything at Eldora Speedway.”
Abreu started third on the feature grid, taking command before the completion of lap one over Blaney and Sheldon Haudenschild. The California native wasted no time and began to stretch his advantage right from the drop of the green flag, extending his lead to nearly three seconds by lap three.
Blaney eventually settled into second, followed by Kemenah and Haudenschild.
Abreu, Blaney and Kemenah raced-on unshuffled, hitting their first obstacle in the form of traffic with 10 laps in the books. Rubber started to come into play by the mid-point of the 30-lap program, allowing the racing surface to narrow and shrinking Abreu’s racing lane and advantage.
His two to three second lead shrunk to less than one second over Blaney and Kemenah by lap 25, with all three eventually racing single file and nose to tail on a thin lane of rubbered-up racing surface.
Abreu ultimately held on, earning his sixth career victory against the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions and tying Kerry Madsen and Kasey Kahne on the series’ all-time win list.
“I knew Dale (Blaney) was getting close. I probably shouldn’t have, but I looked up at the big screen a few times and saw he was behind me,” Abreu added. “You just have to stay patient with the lapped cars. It was taking rubber and the racing line kept getting narrower and narrower. I was able to get around the lapped cars that I needed to. By that time, the lapped cars that were ahead of me weren’t passing anybody. I just had to make sure to hit my marks and stay patient.”
Blaney’s runner-up finish allowed the Low Rider to snip away at Chad Kemenah’s points advantage. Kemenah, a former four-time All Stars champion, will lead Dale into the Atomic Speedway season finale with an 18-point margin.
The Alvada, Ohio, native led Blaney by 20 points entering the Sprintacular on Saturday night.
“Overall, it was a really good run for us tonight,” Blaney said. “Second is tough to take here. I mean, Rico runs really good here so I can’t take that away from him or us. We really started to get single file there, especially in three and four, which made things really difficult in terms of passing. I’m happy with second. Things are going to be interesting at Atomic.”
The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will wrap up the 2016 season with a two-day visit to Atomic Speedway, Oct. 21-22.
RESULTS: Arctic Cat All Stars Circuit of Champions; Sprintacular; Eldora Speedway; Oct. 8, 2016
A-Main (30 Laps): 1. 24-Rico Abreu ; 2. 1-Dale Blaney ; 3. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 4. 21-Cap Henry ; 5. 12N-Cole Duncan ; 6. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 7. 18-Ian Madsen ; 8. 5T-Travis Philo ; 9. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 10. 97-Aaron Reutzel ; 11. 82-Sammy Swindell ; 12. 70-Danny Holtgraver ; 13. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss ; 14. 49D-Shawn Dancer ; 15. 7C-Caleb Armstrong ; 16. 23c-Tyler Courtney ; 17. 6M-Jac Haudenschild ; 18. 2M-Dustin Daggett ; 19. 17B-Bill Balog ; 20. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 21. 7K-Dallas Hewitt ; 22. 8M-TJ Michael ; 23. 60-Kory Crabtree ; 24. 4-Danny Smith ; 25. 13-Brandon Matus .
CREDIT: All Star Communications