FAN FAVORITE RICO ABREU ENTERS 56TH ANNUAL KNOXVILLE NATIONALS
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (July 25, 2016) — Sprint car racing’s grandest event is just 15 days away and teams are gearing up for the $150,000 prize. The event has received 99 official entries – the most ever at this point in the season.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Rico Abreu has officially entered the four-day race, driving the No. 24 sprint car for car owner Paul Silva. Abreu qualified for the Knoxville Nationals finale for the first time in 2015. Prior NASCAR commitments, however, kept him from competing in the event and left him with a 25th- place finish. This year, the Camping World Truck Series has an “off weekend” allowing Abreu to stay for the entire sprint car event and battle for his first-career Knoxville Nationals title.
Abreu scored his second consecutive Chili Bowl championship with Keith Kunz Motorsports in January. He’s also earned one 360 winged sprint car win, four 410 winged sprint car wins, including the All-Star Circuit of Champions Dirt Classic Finale last Saturday, and a USAC Midget Series win at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway. Abreu made a late-race charge for the Kings Royal win earlier this month, but finished second to eventual winner Donny Schatz.
Abreu is competing full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season, chasing Rookie of the Year honors. He finished a career-best third at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio last week.
A favorite of both race fans and fellow competitors for his enthusiasm, positivity and gritty racing style, a Knoxville Nationals win for Abreu would be one remembered for decades.
Other entries received thus far for the 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores include:
- Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Okla., will pilot the No. 99 family owned sprint car in the 2016 Knoxville Nationals. He has won one midget and two non-wing sprint car features this season. He finished 13th in the C-Main last August. Bacon was the 2011 rookie of the Knoxville Nationals.
- Dale Blaney, of Hartford, Ohio, is the reigning Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions champion and winningest driver in the series. He has qualified for 10 Knoxville Nationals finales with a career-best finish of eighth in 2009. Blaney was the rookie of the Nationals in 1992.
- Mark Dobmeier of Grand Forks, N.D., has qualified for three Knoxville Nationals finales with a career-best finish of sixth in 2011. Dobmeier finished ninth in the 2015 B-Main the same No. 13 car he’ll race this year.
- Randy Hannagan of San Jose, Calif., has entered in the Ed Neumeister owned No. 11N. Hannagan is a 10-time Nationals A-Main qualifier with a career-best finish of ninth in 2001. Hannagan finished eighth in the D-Main last year. He earned the rookie of the Nationals title in 1994.
- Johnny Herrera of Albuquerque, N.M., will drive the No. 45x in this year’s Knoxville Nationals. Herrera has qualified for 12 Knoxville Nationals finales and has posted seven top-10 finishes, including his career-best, fourth, in 2000.
- Kevin Ingle of Huron, S.D., will drive the No. 2K in Knoxville Nationals competition. Ingle finished 15th in the E-Main last August.
- Kody Kinser, of the famed Kinser family, will drive the No. 4k in the Knoxville Nationals. The Bloomington, Ind., native is the son of Kelly, who competed in two Knoxville Nationals finales. Kody finished 12th in the E-Main in 2014.
- Tasker Phillips of Pleasantville, Iowa, will drive the same No. 7w that he competes in weekly at Knoxville Raceway. Phillips recently posted a career-best finish of sixth at the Sprint Car Capital of the World. He finished sixth in the B-Main last year.
- Parker Price-Miller of Kokomo, Ind., will drive the No. 2X in the Knoxville Nationals. Price-Miller finished 17th in the C-Main last August.
- Byron Reed will return to the Knoxville Nationals in his familiar No. 5R sprint car. Reed, of Monclova, Ohio, last qualified for the Knoxville Nationals finale in 2000 when he finished 18th.
More confirmed drivers will be announced each week as we close in on the 56th running of sprint car racing’s most prestigious event. An updated list can be found at www.knoxvilleraceway.com/
The 56th annual 5-hour ENERGY® Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores kicks-off on Wednesday, August 10 and concludes on Saturday, August 13. The event features more than 100 drivers from around the United States, Australia and New Zealand, Nearly 21,000 spectators converge upon Knoxville for the event.
Tickets for the 5-hour ENERGY® Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores are available for purchase at www.knoxvilleraceway.com or by calling 641-842-5431. Four-day ticket packages are also available.
More information about Knoxville Raceway and the 5-hour ENERGY® Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores can be found at the aforementioned website, on Knoxville Raceway’s Facebook page, @KnoxvilleRaces on Twitter and Knoxville Raceway on Instagram. The Knoxville Raceway app is also a free download for all Apple and Android phones and features live timing and scoring for every event.
Fans can receive updates and information on events, driver appearances and more b texting “Nationals” to 84483.