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Rico Abreu Transitioned From Sprint Cars to NASCAR K&N Pro Series & Won in 7th Race

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Rico Abreu captured his second Coors Light Pole Award in a row at Columbus Motor Speedway

Rico Abreu captured his second Coors Light Pole Award in a row at Columbus Motor Speedway, with his first being at the previous NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Langley Speedway

In his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut, Grant Quinlan battled for, and swapped, the lead eight times

In his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut, Grant Quinlan battled for, and swapped, the lead eight times with Rico Abreu throughout the Napa 150-lap event at Columbus Motor Speedway

Rico Abreu made a name for himself wheeling an open-wheel car on dirt, even winning the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals sprint car event in 2014. Abreu made his first stock car start in February behind the wheel of a NASCAR K&N car and it hasn’t taken long for him to get acclimated to stock car racing on asphalt. In only his seventh start, the 23-year-old from St. Helena, California, earned his first NASCAR win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Columbus Motor Speedway in Columbus, Ohio.

Abreu is following the path that his friend and fellow Californian Kyle Larson – now a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor – took in transitioning from dirt to asphalt. Larson’s first NASCAR victory came in his sixth career K&N Pro Series East start in 2012 en route to the championship that season. With Abreu’s win in the NAPA 150, Abreu continues his breakout year that saw him sign with HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks and win his first Coors Light Pole Award in the previous K&N Pro Series East event at Langley Speedway.

Rico Abreu barely beat Grant Quinlan to the finish line with a decisive pass for the lead on Lap 115

Rico Abreu barely beat Grant Quinlan to the finish line with a decisive pass for the lead on Lap 115 that ultimately delivered his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory in Columbus, Ohio

With Abreu’s win in the NAPA 150, he continues a breakout year that saw him sign with HScott Motorsports & win two Coors Light Pole Awards

With Abreu’s win in the NAPA 150, he continues a breakout year that saw him sign with HScott Motorsports & win two Coors Light Pole Awards in a row in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East

Rico Abreu captured his second Coors Light Pole Award in a row at Columbus Motor Speedway, but it was a decisive pass for the lead on Lap 115 that ultimately delivered his first victory. Rico Abreu barely beat Grant Quinlan to the finish line. In his K&N Pro Series East debut, Quinlan battled for – and swapped – the lead eight times with Abreu throughout the 150-lap event. The final margin of victory for Abreu over Quinlan was 0.103 seconds. Kaz Grala crossed the line in third with Jay Beasley fourth and Ronnie Bassett Jr. fifth.

After the race Abreu said, “It was cool. I sat on the pole and led for a few laps. Then I ran second a few laps. I just focused on hitting my marks every lap. I’m used to running 30 laps and now I’m running 150 laps. So it’s a little more technical to hit your marks every lap. But that’s what it takes to win these kinds of races.”

William Byron, who finished 14th in the Napa 150 at Columbus Motor Speedway, retained the championship lead by 20 points over Austin Hill with seven races complete. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action with the Granite State 70 on July 17 at the more than 1-mile long New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval.

Rico Abreu is following the path that his friend and fellow Californian Kyle Larson

Rico Abreu is following the path that his friend and fellow Californian Kyle Larson, now a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor, took in transitioning from dirt to asphalt

One autographed K&N Pro Series mini Bell replica helmet will be given away through K&N’s official Twitter feed

One autographed K&N Pro Series mini Bell replica helmet will be given away through K&N’s official Twitter feed twitter.com/knfilters after all 28 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East & West races


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