Rico Abreu is signed, sealed and delivered to ThorSport Racing for the upcoming NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
At a press conference Friday morning at the site of this week’s Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Abreu confirmed earlier reports that he would join ThorSport as one of four drivers on the Truck series.
“Competing full time in the NASCAR K&N East Series prepared me the most for this opportunity,” Abreu said. “My first time being in stock cars and getting a full season under my belt helped me understand how to race and put together full races, longer races, than I was used to running in open wheel cars.”
“It’s been a big change, being able to run all these different cars, going from Chili Bowl to New Smyrna. Greenville Pickens and Calistoga. It’s all a big change in different types of cars I ran. I won in every car I ran last year. I’m gonna get to do it again this year.”
LaNeve recently took Abreu and Crafton to a hockey game for a bonding session. They clicked right from the start.
“You can tell they’re just talking racing,” LaNeve said. “Rico’s an old soul racer. Those two kumbayaed from Day 1. Some people think they know it all. But Rico has attached himself (to Crafton).”
In addition to the opportunity he’s been given, Abreu is also thankful that he’s joined the oldest and most experienced organization in the Truck Series.
“I think that will speed it up,” Abreu said of his development as a driver. “They’re there to support you when you need it. It’s the right step.”
Abreu hopes to defend his Chili Bowl title in Saturday’s A-main final. But after that, he’ll get to Truckin’ quickly.
“I have some high goals for 2016,” he said. “My biggest thing is finishing. If you’re not finishing, you’re not learning.”
The Truck Series season opener is the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 19.
Abreu’s career highlights:
- 2011 360 Winged Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year
- 2012 won the Trophy Cup at Thunderbowl Raceway
- 2012 USAC National Midget Series Rookie of the Year
- 2013 & 2014 Belleville Midget Nationals Winner
- 2013 4 Crown Nationals Winner at Eldora Speedway
- 2013 & 2014 Johnny Key Classic Winner – One of five drivers to win back-to-back titles
- 2014 USAC Midget National Champion
- 2015 Chili Bowl Winner
- 2015 Pepsi Nationals Winner
- 2015 NASCAR K&N Series Most Popular Driver