Rico Abreu stays in front with Chaos behind on Wednesday

Rico Abreu stays in front with Chaos behind on Wednesday
Brad Sweet, Rico Abreu, and Alex Bright pose in victory lane after Wednesday night at the 2021 Chili Bowl. Photo by Jacob Seelman, Special to ARD.

Rico Abreu took his fourth-straight preliminary feature at the Chili Bowl Nationals on Wednesday night.

On the final stretch of green flag laps, though, chaos ensued behind him.

Alex Bright tried to throw a slider on Abreu going into turns 1 and 2 on the restart with six laps remaining.

It opened up the door for 2020 World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Brad Sweet to take P2 momentarily before surrendering the spot back to Bright.

By the end of the stretch, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Colby Copeland had thrown their noses up there.

“I felt like I should have locked it in there,” Sweet said on the FloRacing broadcast. “I should have just slid myself down in (turns) 3 and 4 and just covered. I ended up having to hold off the spot behind us.”

Sweet had come charging hard all the way back from a ninth-place starting position, before battling for P2 late.

After the six laps had passed, however, Bright had emerged as the second-place finisher.

Him and Abreu each clinch a spot in Saturday’s main event by ending the night in the top two.

“Just to come here and lock into the show is awesome,” Bright said on the FloRacing broadcast. “This (car) was good tonight. Not good enough to beat Rico. To be able to hold on, keep Sweet behind me… I can just relax the rest of the week now.”

Abreu wasn’t as far out as we’ve seen a driver this week, but make no mistake, there wasn’t much of a doubt that he would be able to complete his run in first.

“I was just trying to make up ground where they weren’t,” Abreu said on the broadcast. “I just played it by ear and judged my pace by lapped traffic.”

Grimes native and 2018 NASCAR Truck Series champion Brett Moffitt came home in P18 on Wednesday, clinching him into Saturday’s D-Main.

2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott competed on Wednesday, however a spin in the B-Main prevented him from competing in the night’s feature. He will race in Saturday’s F-Main.

The action from the Chili Bowl continues on Thursday night at 4:00 p.m. with hot laps on FloRacing.

Chili Bowl Wednesday Night Preliminary Feature Results
1. Rico Abreu
2. Alex Bright
3. Brad Sweet
4. Jake Neuman
5. Colby Copeland
6. Kevin Thomas Jr.
7. Jake Swanson
8. Daniel Robinson
9. Parker Price-Miller
10. Gio Scelzi
11. Sammy Swindell
12. Brian Carber
13. Brandon Waelti
14. Emerson Axsom
15. Tyler Thomas
16. Colten Cottle
17. Steven Shebaster
18. Brett Moffitt
19. Max Adams
20. Jeff Stasa
21. Robert Dalby
22. Chase Randall
23. Kameron Key
24. A.J. Hopkins

Locked In
Below we will continue to update the drivers who are locked in to each of the final five feature races on Saturday night in Tulsa – determined by their respective finishing positions in their preliminary nights.

Saturday’s Chili Bowl A-Main (Prelim Top 2 Finishers)
– Cannon McIntosh
– Tyler Courtney
– Kyle Larson
– Thomas Meseraull
– Brad Sweet
– Alex Bright

B-Mains (Prelim P3-P8 Finishers)
– Blake Hahn
– Chris Windom
– David Gravel
– Jacob Denny
– Chase Briscoe
– Tim McCreadie
– Zach Daum
– Cole Bodine
– Danny Stratton
– Derek Hagar
– Chase Johnson
– Hank Davis
– Brad Sweet
– Jake Neuman
– Colby Copeland
– Kevin Thomas Jr.
– Jake Swanson
– Daniel Robinson

C-Main (Prelim P9-P14 Finishers)
– Trey Marcham
– Carson Macedo
– Alex Sewell
– Gary Taylor
– Stephen Schnapf
– Kory Schudy
– Daison Pursley
– Frank Flud
– Kyle Jones
– Nick Drake
– Michael Faccinto
– Jonathan Beason
– Parker Price-Miller
– Gio Scelzi
– Sammy Swindell
– Brian Carber
– Brandon Waelti
– Emerson Axsom

D-Main (Prelim P15-P20 Finishers)
– Roger Crockett
– CJ Leary
– Steven Russell
– Kade Morton
– Riley Kreisel
– Mitchel Moles
– Noah Harris
– Anton Hernandez
– Mitchell Davis
– Tanner Carrick
– Aiden Purdue
– Shane Cottle
– Tyler Thomas
– Colten Cottle
– Steven Shebaster
– Brett Moffitt
– Max Adams
– Jeff Stasa

E-Main (Prelim P21-P24 Finishers)
– Clinton Boyles
– Jerry Coons Jr
– Ryan Bernal
– Kevin Bayer
– Carson Kvapil
– Shane Golobic
– Brody Fuson
– Curtis Jones
– Robert Dalby
– Chase Randall
– Kameron Key
– A.J. Hopkins