Chili Bowl champ Rico Abreu finishes 13th in stock car debut (UPDATED)

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UPDATED (10:50 p.m. ET) A potential Top-10 finish by Chili Bowl champion Rico Abreu in his stock car debut was scuttled late in tonight’s Pete Orr Memorial Super Late Model race at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.

The sprint car star and future NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competitor had come from 23rd on the starting grid to run ninth with less than 15 laps left in the 100-lap event.

But according to the Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer, the rear end on Abreu’s No. 24 DLP Motorsports entry broke at Lap 87 and forced him into the pits.

He was set to be credited with a 15th-place finish. However, a pair of post-race disqualifications involving winner Dalton Sargeant and third-place finisher William Byron – two of his HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks teammates in K&N East – elevated Abreu to 13th at night’s end.

Speed51.com reports that both Sargeant and Byron’s cars were hit with left-side weight infractions. The site says Sargeant’s car went across the scales at 58.2% left side weight, while Byron’s car had a 58.3% left side weight – both beyond the tolerances set in the track rulebook. Sargeant’s Twitter account said his car’s left side weight was 58.1%.

Conflicting numbers aside, Sargeant’s penalty meant that Good was declared the new winner upon his car passing inspection. Jake Perkins, J.J. Haley, Stephen Nasse, and Tyler Dippel rounded out the Top 5.

Haley, along with Scott Heckert (finished 11th), are also Abreu’s K&N East teammates in the HScott/Marks stable.

Sargeant had made headlines earlier in the month when he was held out of the ongoing Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. He was to co-drive a Prototype Challenge entry for Performance Tech Racing, but his lack of sports car experience caused IMSA to deny him a license to race (a FoxSports.com story has more details).

Abreu and the rest of the HScott/Marks team will be back at the New Smyrna half-mile on Sunday, Feb. 15 for the K&N East season opener.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.