• By Gary Thomas

Rico Abreu wins a Hanford thriller


Rutherford’s Rico Abreu came out on top of a thrilling duel with Fremont’s Shane Golobic to claim his first Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards victory of 2018 on Saturday. Abreu, aboard the Abreu Vineyards No. 24 and Golobic at the helm of the Elk Grove Ford No. 17w traded the lead numerous times on the well-prepared Keller Auto Speedway surface during Saturday’s 33rd Penny Newman Grain Cotton Classic.

The win marked Abreu’s second career triumph with SCCT. “It feels great to get a win tonight here in Hanford,” Abreu said. “That was about as good as you’ll get in sprint car racing right there. It was certainly a fun race with Shane for the lead and being able to race everywhere on this track made it a blast. I can’t thank my crew chief Drew Warner and our whole team enough for the support they give me.”

Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi drove from ninth starting to finish in third after racing with the lead duo a couple times during the 30-lapper. Current Sprint Car Challenge Tour point leader Kyle Hirst of Paradise and Roseville’s Willie Croft completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox, who started 16th, Hollister’s Tony Gualda, Hanford’s DJ Netto, 24th starter Justin Sanders of Aromas and 21st starter Sean Becker of Roseville. Sanders’ run from 24th to ninth gave him the Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award.

1 #24 Rico Abreu 2 #17W Shane Golobic 3 #41S Dominic Scelzi 4 #83 Kyle Hirst 5 #29 Willie Croft 6 #42X Justyn Cox 7 #7C Tony Gualda 8 #3C DJ Netto 9 #56 Justin Sanders 10 #75 Sean Becker 11 #5C Colby Copeland 12 #X1 Andy Forsberg 13 #33W Tucker Worth 14 #10 Mathew Moles 15 #53 Michael Pombo 16 #88A Joey Ancona 17 #67V Danny Faria 18 #17 Bud Kaeding 19 #99T Tanner Boul 20 #9S Landon Hurst 21 #94 Steven Tiner 22 #6C Travis Coelho 23 #24R Jac Haudenschild 24 #12P Scott Parker

The evening’s Finley Farms B-main was snagged by Sean Becker, while Rico Abreu won the Race Punk Dash. All Star Performance heat one went to Shane Golobic, with A.R.T. Speed Equipment heat two going to Bud Kaeding, the Auto Meter Inc. heat was claimed by Jac Haudenschild and the Winters Performance heat went to Abreu. The Quick Time Mortgage/ ADCO Drivline and Custom Exhaust fast time award to begin the night went to Roseville’s Colby Copeland, who toured the Keller Auto Speedway in 13.731 seconds.

The Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards will now finish off the campaign on Saturday November 3 at the Stockton Dirt Track. With nobody claiming the Kyle Larson Racing bonus money last night, the SCCT portion of the 35th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson will pay a solid $5,500-to-win. More info in the week’s to come will be available at www.stocktondirttrack.com and www.sprintcarchallengetour.com

Images courtesy of MM Racing Photos

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