Rico Abreu says there’s still a lot for him to learn after 1st stock car race


If not for a rear-end failure with less than 15 laps to go, Rico Abreu would have likely finished seventh in his stock car debut last night at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway when you factor in the disqualifications of the race winner and third-place finisher.

Instead, Abreu had to settle for a 13th place result in the Pete Orr Memorial 100 Super Late Model event.

A lot of that can be chalked up to avoiding a pair of multi-car incidents along the way, but at the end of the night, he had still made an impressive jump of 10 spots from where he began. That’s not a bad way to begin your stock car career.

Early this morning, he tweeted his thoughts on Saturday’s proceedings:

That last part of the tweet is the main goal right now for Abreu, the 4-foot-4 sprint car sensation that will also compete full-time for HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks this year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Abreu further elaborated about his night to Motorsport.com, saying that he had good long-run pace but failed to “get up on the wheel” in restart situations.

“I moved around more and felt where the car was comfortable,” Abreu added. “My spotter, Frank, helped me a lot telling me where the line was, and when I turned a good lap and a bad lap.”

“It’s just about getting comfortable. And these aren’t really long races, but they are a lot longer than I’m used to in sprint cars and midgets. I’m planning to come back here and test before [New Smyrna’s February] Speedweeks. I still have a lot to learn.”

Abreu will open his 2015 K&N East campaign on Feb. 15 at New Smyrna as part of its World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing (Feb. 12-21). In addition to the K&N East race, events for Super Late Models and Pro Late Models will be in abundance throughout that week.

While Abreu is not yet on an entry list for those latter races, it would not be surprising if he pops up to get more stock car seat time.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change