Rico Abreu, Jac Haudenschild team up for one last ‘wild’ ride

Abreu Haudenschild
Rico Abreu Twitter

Jac Haudenschild will team up with Rico Abreu for one last “Wild” ride in 2021.

It began with a tweet announcing Abreu had been “released from Rico Abreu Racing and is seeking new opportunities.”

Of course stranger things have happened in the sport of sprint car racing. And in the time of COVID, no one expects anything but extraordinary circumstances, but to be fired from a self-owned team is strange by any measure.

There was an outcry of ‘support,’ including a reply from sprint car owner Paul Silva that read: “Don’t worry bud. Life after being fired from you ain’t that bad…”

Silva was a mechanic on Abreu’s cars for a time.

One knew there was more to the story.

A day later, Abreu announced his new driver. “The Wild Child” Jac Haudenschild will race for Abreu in his final season – a career replete with more than 70 World of Outlaws victories.

“I’m going to drive a little bit for him and that’s it,” Haudenschild said in an interview at Speed Sport. “I’ve been running my own car for the last three or four years and it’s pretty tough running your own car. Rico, he’s always let me drive his car. He was going to let me drive his car last year out in California until all the races go canceled. That was a bummer.”

A little bit turned out to be 25 races this year.

The team has not yet set their schedule, but intends to race in California this spring if the pandemic allows. Marquee races such as the Kings Royal will almost certainly be on the calendar as well.

In total, Haudenschild has more than 300 victories in more than 40 years of racing. His 72 Outlaw wins ranks 11th on the all time list and he finished second in their points in 1995 behind Dave Blaney.

Other career highlights include a 2009 induction to the Sprint Car Hall of Fame as well as three Kings Royal victories in 1987, 1994 and 1998.

And as for Abreu, his fans don’t need to be overly concerned.

Abreu will team up with Silva in the No. 57 – the same car that Kyle Larson drove to so much success during the 2020 season.


IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”