Toyota-powered Rico Abreu charged from 14th into the lead by the mid-way point and then proceeded to run away from the field on the way to a dominating victory in Friday night’s POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Ironman 55 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
The win is the second 2019 national feature win for Abreu and the 26th of his career. His victory also marked the 27th of the year for a Toyota-powered driver.
The race began with CJ Leary moving into the lead from the outside of row one as Zach Daum would fall in behind him, with Cannon McIntosh, Daison Pursley and Noah Gross rounding out the top five.
As Leary maintained the lead, Abreu had gone from 14th to eighth in the first five laps when a caution waved for Goss, who flipped while contending for a spot in the top five.
Going back to theto green with 25 laps left, Daum would go low and attack Leary for the lead, but Leary would hold him off and as they came back to the line, it was Leary, Daum, Jesse Colwell, Pursley and Abreu now up to fifth in just six laps.
After another caution on lap seven, Colwell started to close on Daum in a battle between the top two drivers in points. Colwell would throw a huge slider at Daum, only to see the three-time POWRi champ cross him back. Behind them, Abreu would gain another position up to fourth on lap nine.
As Abreu made it a three-car fight, Leary would stretch his lead out to nearly half a straightaway only to see another caution flag wave on lap 12,
On the restart, Abreu moved past Colwell for third on lap 13 and then overtook Daum for second a lap later. The caution waved again on the following lap, bunching the field and putting Abreu right on Leary’s tail for the restart.
Coming back to green. Abreu used a huge slider to take the lead, only to see Leary cross back, but it was Abreu who would hold the lead at start/finish. Once Abreu took command of the lead, it became a fight for second between Leary, Daum and Colwell.
By lap 21 (of 30), Abreu had opened up a half-a-straightaway lead over Leary, while Colwell took over third from Daum, with McIntosh running in fifth. As Abreu pulled away like a finely tuned machine, Colwell had his sights on Leary and would get past him for second with five laps remaining.
There was no stopping Abreu as he would easily bring home the victory, with his Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) teammate Colwell finishing second to give Toyota a one-two finish on the night. Leary would place third, Daum fourth and Tyler Thomas claimed the fifth position as Toyota drivers captured four of the top five. McIntosh would finish sixth, followed by KKM drivers Pursley, Holley Hollan and Jesse Love placing seventh, eighth and tenth, respectively.
With his fourth consecutive top-five finish, Colwell has opened up a 230-point lead over Daum in the championship race.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League closes out the Ironman 55 Saturday night at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.