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.