Abreu Rules Sue Thiel Memorial
Abreu started on pole with Hines on the outside of the front row. He led the opening four laps, then Hines took over for two before Caleb Armstrong passed Abreu and Hines on back-to-back laps on the outside to take the lead on the seventh lap. But on the 11th, motor problems forced him to fall out.
Hines inherited the lead and held it in his Toyota-powered Spike from laps 11 through 21.
Hagen’s RFMS Racing Esslinger-powered Spike had moved up from fifth starting position to third for the final restart. He passed Hines for second exiting turn two on the 23rd lap, but never has able to mount a serious challenge to Abreu.
Hagen was running in the middle of the track. The 2012 USAC National Midget champion was hoping to trap Abreu on the cushion and keep Hines below him.
“I had a shot to win, but it never unfolded how I wanted it to,” Hagen said. “Rico was above the cushion. It’s cool to see Rico win his first (USAC) race.”
Hines of New Castle, Ind., finished third.
“We just got beat,” he said. “They (Abreu, Hagen) got going on top and I was kind of set up for the bottom.”
Jerry Coons Jr. climbed from 10th starting position to finish fourth and Andrew Felker was fifth.
Rico Abreu, Darren Hagen, Tracy Hines, Jerry Coons Jr., Andrew Felker, Alex Bright, Bryan Clauson, Tanner Thorson, Chris Bell, Austin Brown, Brad Kuhn, Dave Darland, Zach Daum, Brandon Waelti, Tyler Thomas, Mike Hess, Jake Blackhurst, Dalton Armstrong, Danny Stratton, Casey Shuman, Taylor Ferns, Scott Hatton, Caleb Armstrong, Chase Stockton.