Abreu Wins at Arizona Speedway
Coming into the Arizona stretch of the 2017 season, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series full-time drivers scored wins in first 12 events of the season. That stat changed after Brian Brown ran away with the Yuma Valley Showdown at Cocopah Speedway on Friday Night. The outsiders were looking to make it two-for-two in Arizona when the Series visited the Arizona Speedway for the second time in their history. For the second night in a row, Brown started from the pole position. After jumping out to an early lead, Brown opened up a half-second lead over Abreu after a pass attempt that didn't stick. On lap 12 of the 30-lap Arizona Desert Shootout, David Gravel who was running third made a move on Jason Sides to move him inside the top three. At the half-way point, Abreu, from St. Helena, CA closed the gap on Brown while he was dealing with lap traffic and took advantage of the opportunity and threw a perfectly executed slide-job pass on Brown in Turn 2 to vault him into the lead. "It's so easy to slow down to someone's pass, especially when they're in traffic," said Rico Abreu. "You've got to be committed on your slide jobs - that's what I do nowadays. I got a little impatient when we got to lap traffic but once I cleared some lap cars I felt really confident and made the move. I just tried to save my tires for the end as I knew it was going to get trickier for someone to peel off and pass." While Abreu was making his move on Brown, Gravel was also able to sneak his No. 5 GoMuddy.com machine by for second. "[traffic] started to play an issue there but I'm happy with a second-place finish," said David Gravel. "It was a really fun race with a lot of sliders. I just wanted to thank all my guys and everyone at CJB Motorsports. We'll take a second and move onto next week." Out front as the leader, Abreu was left to navigate his way around heavy lap traffic but Abreu made quick work and was able to grow his lead to a one-second advantage. As the laps started to tick away, Gravel worked his way back up to the rear bumper of Abreu. With just a few laps remaining, Gravel didn't get the opportunity to get by Abreu to add to his win total, instead it was Rico Abreu playing spoiler to the Outlaw regulars as the outsiders swept the Arizona weekend. The Outlaws will head back east after a spending a month on the West Coast of the United States for a makeup race at Gator Motorplex on Thursday April 13. A trip back to the place where it all started for the Outlaws at Devil's Bowl Speedway for a doubleheader on April 14 and 15.