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Rico Abreu led his teammate, Landon Brooks, to the checkered flag Thursday night at Thunderbowl Raceway. (Paul Trevino photo)

Abreu Edges Brooks In Trophy Cup Opener

TULARE, Calif. — Rico Abreu took the checkered flag and collected $4,000 for winning on the opening night of the Abreu Vineyards 29th Trophy Cup Presented By Rudeen Racing Thursday at Thunderbowl Raceway.

Sixty-five teams were on hand for the event with the entrants split into two groups with each having a fast time car and four heat races. Fast qualifiers earned 150 points with a one-point drop per position. Four heats for each group inverted six and the heat winner plus the highest total point car moved directly to the A main. 

Heats earned 36 points to the winner with a three-point drop per finishing position.

The top 40 in points that did not qualify for the main event raced a pair of B mains with the top four moving to the night’s 30-lap finale. The main inverted 12 by points and the winner earned 100 points with a two-point drop per position.  

Group A was led by Rico Abreu in qualifying with a 13.853-second lap and Justyn Cox and Ashton Torgerson were next in time. Group B top qualifier was Ryan Timms at 14.169 seconds, while Cole Macedo and Jeb Wise were second and third.

GALLERY: Night One of Trophy Cup Racing

After heat race points were added to qualifying, Ryan Timms was top in points. That meant starting 12th in the 30-lap main.  

Chase Johnson utilized a pole assignment to lead from the green with the team cars of Landon Brooks and Rico Abreu in pursuit. By lap eight Johnson’s lead had evaporated with traffic in play.

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Rico Abreu (center) shares the podium with Landon Brooks and Corey Day. (Paul Trevino photo)

Contact between Johnson and Tyler Courtney drew a red flag after 11 laps when Courtney flipped into the turn-four wall. Johnson continued in the lead.

Brooks used a turn-four slider to take the lead on lap 19 after Dominic Scelzi had raced into third.

Scelzi drove under Johnson in turn four on lap 20 for second and a lap later Abreu took third before Timms dropped out.  

With eight laps remaining, Abreu ran the wall in turn two on lap 22 to gain second and chased Brooks until a lapped car created a problem for Brooks.

Driving Tiner Hirst Enterprises cars, Brooks and Abreu ran the last two laps side by side.

Coming out of turn four, the side-by-side racing went to the finish line with Abreu winning by a couple feet.

Brooks was second. Corey Day finished third, and Scelzi and Cole Macedo completed the top five.

Abreu was also the top point earner on night one, with Brooks second and Scelzi third.

The finish:

Rico Abreu, Landon Brooks, Corey Day, Dominic Scelzi, Cole Macedo, Colby Copeland, Aaron Reutzel, Chase Johnson, Chase Randall, Justin Sanders, D.J. Netto, Logan Seavey, Hunter Schuerenberg, Michael Kofoid, Willie Croft, Zeb Wise, Grant Duinkerken, Tanner Carrick, Jake Andreotti, Dustin Freitas, Justyn Cox, Ryan Timms, Shane Golobic, Tyler Courtney.