by Ron Rodda
(Tulare, CA 18-Oct) Night two of the Abreu Vineyards 26th Annual Trophy Cup Presented by Rudeen Racing offered a 2nd $29,630 purse with $4000 to the winner. Friday’s 30 lap main was won by Rico Abreu, becoming the first to win two preliminary mains.
The format was the same as Thursday’s except group B qualified first and the order within the 2 groups was reversed. An 86 car field returned, losing 3 from opening night.
Heat racing was frantic as usual since the first two rows must win to transfer directly to the A main since row 3 almost always provides the top point car after 8 laps.
Six out of 8 fastest time cars in the heats took high point transfer, very unusual to have two miss. Willie Croft and Justin Sanders accomplished the unlikely high point finish from 5th starting.
Very tough B mains moved four from each to the finale. The 12 inverted cars in the pair of B mains have claimed numerous wins but the very strong field and demanding format means loaded B mains.
The first B main had sliders galore with Cole Macedo winning over Colton Heath, 18th starting Bud Kaeding, and J.J. Ringo survived a last turn slider from micro sprint star Mitch Moles for the final transfer.
The second B main went to Buddy Kofoid ahead of two time Cup champion Shane Golobic. Chase Johnson with wing and nonwing wins this year, and veteran Randy Hannagan.
Inverting 12 by points put Cole Macedo and Golobic on the front row while the top 2 point cars of Justyn Cox and Tim Kaeding filled row 6.
Golobic quickly established a lead while Cory Eliason and Cole Macedo chased. Justin Sanders took 3rd on lap 10 with Thursday winner Rico Abreu closing.
Abreu took 3rd on lap 14 as Golobic successfully maneuvered through traffic. Two laps a red flew for a tangle involving Dominic Scelzi, D. J. Netto and Chase Johnson.
As the green reappeared, it was let the sliders begin. Eliason and Abreu traded lap 17 sliders before Abreu made a turn 4 slid work on lap 18 for 2nd.
Another red was needed after Tim Crawley found how treacherous Tulare’s turn 4 wall can be.
The top 3 ran the cushion in turns 1 and 2 and the wall in 3 and 4. Neither line is forgiving of any mistake.
A lap 20 restart led to a battle of sliders between Golobic and Abreu until Golobic established a larger lead.
Lap 26 had Abreu right behind Golobic and when the leader went up the track a bit in turn 2, Abreu drove underneath and won the race down the backstretch. Abreu led the final 4 laps for the $4000 win over Golobic, Eliason, Jonathan Allard, and Justin Sanders.
Points…Rico Abreu 283. Shane Golobic 277, Jac Haudenschild 276, Kyle Hirst 272, Jonathan Allard 269, Cory Eliason 267, Colby Copeland 265, Justyn Sanders 265