Chili Bowl winner Rico Abreu lands NASCAR K&N East ride
Well, that didn’t take long.
Three days after turning heads across the racing world with his popular victory in the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, Rico Abreu has been signed by HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks to run the full 2015 season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East — a feeder series to NASCAR’s highest levels.
Abreu, 22, competed in more than 100 open-wheel races in 2014 in the United States and New Zealand. He posted 26 wins across 410 winged and non-winged sprint car races, 360 winged sprints, and USAC midget competition in which he also won the national championship.
Abreu’s big triumph at last weekend’s Chili Bowl came against a star-studded field that included the likes of 2014 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and two-time Xfinity Series champion and Sprint Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
"Joining HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks is a great opportunity for me," said Abreu, who stands at 4-foot-4 and weighs just 95 pounds — a result of being born with achondroplasia, a genetic disorder of bone growth.
"As a full-time open-wheel driver on dirt, I’m aware that there will be a learning curve for me this season. Knowing that Harry (Scott) and Justin (Marks) have faith in me to be successful in stock cars is a great confidence boost. I’m up for the challenge and look forward to learning from my teammates and making the most out of this season."
Abreu joins teammates William Byron, J.J. Haley, Scott Heckert and Dalton Sargeant to complete the roster for the newly-formed HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks five-car team. Abreu, a native of Rutherford, Calif., will compete in all 14 series events and continue to race in open wheel events across the country.
"Rico has remarkable talent and is a great fit for this organization," said co-owner Harry Scott Jr. "The addition of Rico to our stout lineup of drivers raises our level of excitement even higher going into the 2015 season."
Marks, also a co-owner of World of Outlaws sprint car team Larson Marks Racing, has followed Abreu’s dirt track career closely.
Abreu’s No. 98 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East entry will be led by veteran K&N crew chief Mardy Lindley. Lindley has amassed five-career victories in three seasons, along with the 2013 K&N title with driver Dylan Kwasniewski.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season gets under way on Feb. 15 at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
— NASCAR Home Tracks (@NASCARHomeTrack) January 20, 2015
Beyond excited to b apart of HScott Motorsport's with @JMarksDE 14 race K&N East schedule.Looking forward to working with everyone in 2015
— Rico Abreu (@Rico_Abreu) January 20, 2015