TULSA, Okla. (January 11, 2023) – Rico Abreu used a last-lap pass to take the lead from fellow Toyota driver Mitchel Moles in winning his sixth consecutive Smiley’s Racing Products Qualifying Night feature at the 37th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.

The victory is Abreu’s eighth preliminary night feature win in the last nine years, all coming in a Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota. With the win, the two-time Chili Bowl champ will advance directly to Saturday’s A Main feature event. With Moles also advancing, Toyota-powered drivers have earned four of the six berths awarded for Saturday’s feature.

Moles, the 2022 USAC Rookie of the Year, started the race from the pole and led 29 of the 30 laps, but couldn’t hold off Abreu on the final lap when Abreu used the high side to power past him coming out of turn four, winning by approximately half a car length. Brent Crews would finish third, with Blake Hahn coming home in fourth and Kevin Thomas Jr. placed fifth to give Toyota four of the top-five finishers on the night.

Overall, nine Toyota-powered drivers advanced to tonight’s A Main, with Taylor Reimer (seventh) and Trey Gropp (tenth) also earning top-10 finishes.

The race was marred by a horrific accident that saw Ashton Torgerson taken to the hospital after flipping his car on lap 11.

This year’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals features 370 entries – each fighting for one of the 24 openings in Saturday night’s A Main feature event.  Qualifying continues for each of the next two nights.

Quotes:

Rico Abreu, Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota: “That last restart with six to go, Mitchel went down low, and I wasn’t going to follow him. I was able to build up enough momentum on the top to get it done. I think my car is right where it needs to be for Sunday. There are a few things I could do to make my car better during the middle of the race, but we were really good at the end. It was a tough situation to be a driver after the crash, but we’re race car drivers, and we have to strap in when things go off. I just want Ashton Torgerson to be ok.”

Mitchel Moles, CB Industries Toyota: “I’m tired of losing here. You always want to win. The goal for the team is to try to finish in the top two, but I have to be a little better than that. Prayers to the Torgersons and for Ashton’s well-being.

Toyota Wednesday ResultsFinished
Rico AbreuA Main – 1st
Mitchel MolesA Main – 2nd
Blake HahnA Main – 4th
Kevin Thomas Jr.A Main – 5th
Taylor ReimerA Main – 7th
Trey GroppA Main – 10th
Kaden HoneycuttA Main – 14th
Cade LewisA Main – 15th
Jake AndreottiA Main – 21st
Danny WoodB Main – 5th
Mitchell DavisB Main – 7th
Chris SchmelzleB Main – 8th
Mark ChisholmB Main – 8th
Rylan GrayB Main – 9th
Karsyn ElledgeB Main – 9th

For more information about Toyota, visit ToyotaNewsroom.com.

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