Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Rico Abreu’s first sprint car start of 2023 ended in victory lane, with the declared High Limits Sprint Car Series regular blowing by defending World of Outlaws champion Brad Sweet on lap 22 of Saturday night’s (March 18) 35-lap feature at Lincoln Speedway in Pennsylvania.
The win marked Abreu’s 10th in WoO competition.
On the back of a fourth-place finish, Carson Macedo grabbed a $10,000 bonus check for winning the spring mini series within the WoO schedule, a series that ended up consisting only of the two Bike Week features at Volusia and Saturday’s Lincoln show thanks to rain-outs at Port Royal and Williams Grove over the last two weeks. That bonus paid as much as the win Saturday night.
Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: The modified sportsman feature that ended Saturday’s Short Track Super Series program at Selinsgrove Speedway in Pennsylvania was red-flagged for a nasty restart incident with 17 laps to go that sent both Brian Papiez and Levi Riley airborne on the frontstretch.
Fortunately, all drivers involved walked away. Between this incident and some destructive heat races at Lincoln, Pennsylvania was home to a lot of dirt racing carnage this weekend, though this incident was arguably the most violent of the bunch.
What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning
I don’t know who was responsible for putting the word “Posse” in chalk across turns 3 and 4 at Lincoln on Saturday, but considering the event snapped a four-race winning streak for Pennsylvania Posse drivers in WoO-sanctioned races, keep the chalk for the restart line. Anyone that’s seen The Mighty Ducks knows to “score, not spike.”
Big-name drivers including Sweet and Brent Marks had plenty to say on DirtVision about the new Hoosier rear tires that were mandatory starting this weekend at Lincoln, but if there was ever an inconclusive race to debut with it was this one. Unseasonably cold weather on a notoriously tight racetrack that was made even more so with provisionals producing a bloated 31-car starting grid is hardly a conclusive test case for what to expect for big-league 410 racing in 2023. The WoO to their credit posted an excellent Tech Talk on the subject.
So about that 31-car starting grid. Yes, the rulebook was followed to the letter in setting the lineup. And had rain not cost the WoO tour pretty much the entire month of March so far, the number of provisionals taken at Lincoln may have been smaller. Still, I can empathize with fans that sat through a very long race program on a very cold day only to see the preliminary action prove largely inconsequential.
One final not there, presented without commentary. It took nearly five hours to run a one-class program at Lincoln Saturday night. It wasn’t a month ago that the Icebreaker was run at the same track in scarcely two hours.
I really wish the WoO would adopt a 360-spin rule that if a car spins, the field goes yellow. The later the night’s program went, what necessitated a yellow flag changed. Speeding the program up should never have an impact on how a race is officiated.
Abreu does have a new sponsor on his car for 2023, but I frankly didn’t know that until he got to victory lane Saturday night. The decals on the body of his sprint car are illegible at race speed.
I tried and failed to find any video or narrative of what led to this post, but whatever the cause, there seem to be larger failings afoot if this has happened twice at any racetrack ever, much less twice in a year.
Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Weekend
A 13th-place finish normally doesn’t meet this criteria, but for James McFadden to win hard charger honors and gain 12 spots in Saturday’s WoO feature at Lincoln was a true accomplishment. Not just because of the difficult racetrack and traffic posed with a 31-car field, but also because McFadden endured two incidents in his heat race earlier in the evening, the second of which cost him a front wheel.
Dirt Racing’s Victim/Villain of the Weekend
The nasty wreck discussed earlier at Selinsgrove was not the only incident of note for drivers in the Keystone State this weekend. Ryan Timms’s Lincoln Speedway debut went about as poorly as it could, with the teenager enduring easily the hardest wreck of the evening at Lincoln early in his heat race.
Timms was uninjured but his race team withdrew after the wreck.
Selinsgrove played host to another bad crash Saturday, where Matt Yoder endured an awkward crash that send his modified tumbling during heat race action.
Dirt tracks that ran an oval-track racing program in the U.S. this weekend (per MyRacePass and Race Monitor)
The nation’s largest car count this weekend, opening night at Harris Speedway in North Carolina Saturday.
The nation’s largest purse this weekend, awarded to World of Outlaws feature winner at Lincoln Speedway Saturday (Abreu).
Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Saturday morning (March 25) with coverage of the World of Outlaws sprint cars’ visit to the newly-revamped Talladega Short Track as well as the opening night of the XR Super Series from Volunteer Speedway in Tennessee. Coverage can be found on DirtVision and RaceXR, respectively.
About the author
Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.
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