Rico Abreu Race Recap:
Rico Abreu, driver of the No. 98 Safelite/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, made his track debut in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Following a solid run inside the top-10 for a majority of the 167-lap race, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender was going for the lead on the last lap, but contact with the outside wall resulted in a ninth-place finish, his second career top-10 result.
Starting 13th, Abreu maintained a position inside the top-12 for the first 40 laps, battling a Toyota Tundra that was, "losing rear grip." Crew chief Doug George brought the No. 98 machine to pit road under the first caution of the night for four tires, including an air pressure adjustment, and fuel. Abreu would restart 12th and by the end of the second run, the Safelite driver was inside the top-10, scored eighth. Through the ensuing 60 laps, Abreu would continue to run inside the top-10, running as high as seventh, until a slow pit stop under the races third caution would mire him back in the 12th position. A long green flag run in the races last 43 laps is when the Safelite Toyota Tundra really came to life. By lap 130 Abreu was up to ninth, lap 150, fourth, and on the races final lap, the ThorSport Racing driver was passing teammate, Matt Crafton for second and marching towards the lead. Unfortunately, while running the high line, Abreu made contact with the wall and settled for a ninth-place finish behind race winner, William Byron.
"This was obviously not the finish we were hoping for. I got the top going in turns three and four there, and I kept following, and following, and you can only follow for so long. We came to the white (flag) and you have to push it with the way they've built this new Chase format, you have to win and he's (William Byron) already won. I wasn't going to do something too stupid, and wreck him, because I've done that before. I had to go for it, and I did. I know we have the speed in our Safelite Toyota Tundra's, and I just have a lot of drive - I'm never giving up."