Although he might be short in size, California's Rico Abreu was tall in stature after dominating the two-day Kokomo Grand Prix for the USAC Honda National Midget Series and the Lucas Oil Powri National Midgets over the weekend at the Kokomo Speedway.
In Saturday's $6,000-to-win 40-lap feature, Abreu got past teammate Chris Bell on the 14th lap and never trailed the remainder of the event. Bell turned in the most inspiring third-place finish in recent memory.
After being forced to the tail of the field with a broken right rear torsion stop just before the midway point, Bell ran the cushion flawlessly to climb into the top five. However, neither Bell or second-place finisher Tanner Thorson, another Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate, had anything for Abreu down the stretch.
"This is an historical weekend for Keith Kunz Motorsports," Abreu said following the race. "I know this is special for him and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this great team. I can't thank my family, Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby enough for all they do for me."
With the laps winding down and big money on the line, Noblesville's Bryan Clauson is seemingly always in the hunt and Saturday night was no different. On a late-race restart, Clauson looked to be the only driver on the track capable of getting around Abreu. With the laps dwindling, Clauson biked his No. 63 ride, then was hit on the left rear, flattening his tire and ending his bid for another big payday at the local oval.
Tracy Hines was the first non-Kunz car to take the checkered flag with his fourth-place run. Tyler Thomas completed the top five. Kokomo's Parker Price-Miller was ninth, Clauson wound up 16th while Dave Darland, who set fast time both nights, was 22nd.