Rico Abreu donned his poker face on Sunday, when Brad Sweet visited the Abreu family to have lunch and discuss High Limit Racing.
Prior to the somewhat-informal meeting with Sweet, who co-owns High Limit with Kyle Larson, Abreu originally had his sights set on running a true outlaw schedule in 2024. But as the driver of the No. 24 sprint car said, “That was definitely the day.”
While Abreu made that commitment on Dec. 3, he publicly announced his plans to contest the full 60-race High Limit slate on Thursday.
Abreu explained, “Things have become so appealing for High Limit for me. Number one, my relationship with Brad (Sweet) and Kyle (Larson) and their vision with the sport of sprint car racing and their long-term plan is extremely appealing to me.”
He mentioned that it was important to him that Sweet took the time to shake hands over the deal and further discuss the vision he and Larson have for the High Limit series.
For Abreu, it’s a direction he’s happy to follow.
“Like the charter system that they’ve roughly started to create — you know, this is all long-term down the road and I think it’s very important that I support people like that who are trying to lead the front of our industry and I believe in the product of sprint car racing,” Abreu said.
Despite being one of the latest racers to commit to the national High Limit Racing slate — along with Jacob Allen, Corey Day and seven others — Abreu still considers himself to have a true outlaw schedule.
More than anything, the California native is focused on winning as many races as he can. After spending the last few years chasing wins and money across the country, adding points racing to the mix will provide a slight change of pace for Abreu.
“I look at this as a three-year plan for me. When you race for a title, you just work to build towards that,” Abreu explained. “You collect all the data you can the first season, minus those mistakes the second season and then go for a championship the third season.”
Abreu views his commitment to High Limit as an investment for himself and Rico Abreu Racing as he anticipates what the future of sprint car racing holds. But at the same time, he doesn’t view his step up to the full national schedule as a major change.
“The 60 High Limit races aren’t far off from what I did last year. They still pay an extraordinary amount. They have $300,000-to-win’s, a couple $50,000’s and a bunch of $20,000’s. That’s important to my team, and to be able to go run World of Outlaws races in between those races, it’s just — why wouldn’t you race with High Limit?” Abreu said.
Abreu’s sole career championship is the 2014 USAC national midget crown. He challenged Larson for the title during the 11-race, midweek High Limit championship this past season, but ultimately finished second.
Watch SPEED SPORT’s interview with Rico Abreu at the PRI Show below.