Rising star Rico Abreu won the Saturday night World of Outlaws feature at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway.
The 23-year-old from the Napa Valley scored his second career win, impressive since he’s in just his third full season racing full sprints and doesn’t compete full-time on the national tour.
Still, he’s been tagged to follow the route traveled by another rising Northern California racer, Kyle Larson, whose ascendancy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series included success in sprint cars.
Abreu is signed to drive in an East Coast NASCAR stock car feeder series this year.
Saturday night, Abreu became the eighth different winner in eight races to start the Outlaws season, leading start to finish in the 35-lap race on the one-third mile clay oval. Outlaws regulars Shane Stewart (in a car owned by Larson) and Brad Sweet rounded out the top three.
Bud Kaeding had the best finish in central San Joaquin Valley-based equipment, driving Oakhurst owner Williams Motorsports’ car to ninth place one night after a flip ended his night in the feature.
Tim Kaeding in the Fresno-based Roth Motorsports car was 11th. DJ Netto of Hanford, who didn’t race Friday night, was 15th. Carson Macedo of Fresno, driving the Easton-based Tarlton & Sons car, had a rough finish to his weekend, crashing out mid-race and finishing 17th. Friday night, Macedo started third but a flip on the first lap ended his race.
The weekend started a long stretch of California races for the Outlaws. They’re in Stockton next weekend, and will be at Kings Speedway in Hanford on April 17.
Ryan Bernal of Hollister won Saturday’s companion U.S. Auto Club Western States Sprint Cars feature. Bernal got past early leader Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia on lap 14 and led the second half of the race. Tipton’s Danny Faria followed up Friday’s second-place finish with a third, Vander Weerd was fifth, his brother Jace was eighth and Riverdale’s Landon Hurst was 11th.