BELLEVILLE, Ill. (Aug. 12, 2012)—Rico Abreu put together a spectacular comeback to win his third feature race of the season in POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Jeremy Camp led all 20 laps to triumph in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series in 21st annual Arnie Knepper Memorial races Sunday at Belle-Clair Speedway.
Abreu started on the outside of the front row in the Keith Kunz Motorsports’ Bullet-Toyota and grabbed the lead at the start. The 20-year-old from Rutherford, Calif., was attempting to put a car a lap down on the ninth lap when he made contact and spun. It sent him to the back of the field, restarting 21st.
The aggressive Abreu used slide jobs to overtake following restarts on the ninth, 14th and 20th laps, finally taking the lead on the 26th with a slide-job pass of Brett Anderson in turn two. Abreu built a commanding lead over the final 10 laps.
It was the first victory in Abreu’s career that he went from last to first.
“It feels awesome,” he said. “I was sliding a lapper in turn four and hesitated a bit and we touched and I spun. Fortunately, we had that big wreck (involving four cars on the 13th lap in turn two) and we gained some spots. I pulled the trigger every chance I had to get to the front.”
Abreu has three wins in his last four POWRi Midget starts. He’s made 10 this season and in his career.
Daniel Robinson of Mt. Vernon, Ill., passed Anderson of Belleville, Ill., in the final 10 feet of the 35-lap race on the one-fifth mile track to take a season-best second.
“We’re getting better, moving up,” Robinson said. “The track started to smooth out at the end and got better for our car. I’m pretty happy with second. We came into ld like this (event) fifth in points and this was a good points night.”
Anderson finished third in his first race since June 23. The 2008 POWRi Midget champion had missed five straight events with illness.
“My glasses fell off with five laps to go and I’m blind without them,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t see to drive. But I couldn’t have been better than second. Rico was gone. He’s definitely got some confidence and momentum right now.
“It feels good to be back. I was a little rusty and this was good to get rid of the cobwebs.”
Camp’s victory was the 10th of his career in POWRi Micros, fourth on the all-time list. It was the first win for the 25-year-old from Blue Mound, Ill., since the 2010 season, when he was the POWRi champion. He’s had a solid season with five top-five finishes in the previous 11 events in his first season using the Edge chassis.
“I’m pretty excited,” Camp said. “We’ve had a lot of good runs and we finally got a win. I love the Edge chassis.”
Joe B. Miller of Millersville, Mo., finished second for the fifth time this season. He’s the POWRi points leader.
“It’s really good to have the points lead, but I’d like to get a win,” Miller said. “I’m tired of finishing second.”
Three-time POWRi Micros champion Dereck King of Vienna, Ill., finished a season-best third in his fourth event of the season.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature results (35 laps): 1. Rico Abreu, 2. Daniel Robinson, 3. Brett Anderson, 4. Andrew Felker, 5. Dereck King, 6. Jake Blackhurst, 7. Dillon Welch, 8. Dave Camfield Jr., 9. Tim Siner, 10. Austin Brown, 11. Ryan Criswell, 12. Tony Roney, 13. Tyler Thomas, 14. Garrett Aitken, 15. Steve Knepper, 16. Darren Kingston, 17. Andy Malpocker, 18. Nick Knepper, 19. Gavin Galbraith, 20. Chett Gehrke, 21. Derrick Myers, 22. Colten Cottle.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series feature results (20 laps): 1. Jeremy Camp, 2. Joe B. Miller, 3. Dereck King, 4. Justin Peck, 5. Andrew Felker, 6. Jake Neuman, 7. Brad McDaniel, 8. Derek LeMaster, 9. Jimmy Wells, 10. Derek Schuett, 11. Kyle Schuett, 12. Cale Thomas, 13. Nathan Benson, 14. Steven Russell, 15. Luke Hanning, 16. Carlee Gress, 17. Chuck Walter, 18. Kurt Westerfield, 19. Zach Hampton, 20. Mike Hudson, 21. John Dines, 22. Aaron Andruskevitch.
For more information, go to www.POWRi.com.