Throwback: Clauson and Abreu Throw Sliders at 2015 Jason Leffler Memorial
Photo by Mark Funderbruk, Sprint Car and Midget/Speed Sport
Wayne City, IL. (October 23, 2015)... Let's go back to 2015 at Wayne County Speedway for the 3rd Annual Jason Leffler Memorial. The USAC/POWRi Midgets came together to honor the late Jason Leffler at the tiny 1/8th mile bullring for $20,000 to Win.
The night started off with seven heat races with these drivers winning their heat race, (in order 1-7) Zach Daum, Tanner Thorson, Jake Neuman, Rico Abreu, Dave Darland, Jonathan Beason, and Kevin Thomas Jr.
The tricky heats led into the Qualifiers where everyone got a preview of the feature. Bryan Clauson and Rico Abreu especially, racing like it was the A-Main, throwing sliders back and forth just to win their qualifier.
In the feature, it would be Justin Peck and Clauson leading the field to green with Kevin Thomas Jr and Daryn Pittman behind them. Peck would get tight in three and four, allowing Clauson to dart beneath to lead lap one.
Peck would bring out the first caution a lap later for being stopped in turn two. Clauson soon reached lap traffic after the restart.
He struggled to get by C.J. Leary and Isaac Chapple but managed to do so while Abreu and Thomas Jr closed in. Abreu and Thomas Jr. got through Leary and Chapple better than Clauson and then Abreu then had his sights set in on Clauson for the lead.
Rico was getting ready to make his move but got halted by a caution caused by Anton Hernandez and Payton Pierce.
Immediately on the restart, Bryon Clauson and Rico Abreu separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Clauson, working through the middle in one and two and then skating around the bottom in three and four. Rico, on the other hand, was up top all the way around.
That did not hast long before Rico through a turn one slider on Clauson. BC would give it right back in turns three and four. They went back to their usual lines in one and two while Clauson held on to the lead.
Rico then throws another slider into turns three and four as they go side by side at the line. They both take the same slider line through one and two staying-by-side down the backstretch. Clauson then returned the favor to Rico, and now Clauson is on Rico's outside down into turn one.
Abreu continues to say bombs away and throws two more turn one sliders while Clauson continues to hold on. As they start to enter lap traffic, Rico almost spins out but holds on to stay in second. A caution then comes out anyway for the #67 of Tanner Thorson, letting Abreu regather.
Only at the halfway point after all that action, the top 5 is Bryan Clauson, Rico Abreu, Daryn Pittman, Zach Daum, and Payton Pierce.
Clauson would survive a couple of cautions that would set up a Green-White-Checkered finish. Rico made one last-ditch run to the inside of turn one on the final lap but it wasn't enough as Bryan Clauson would go on the win $20,000 and the 3rd Annual Jason Leffler Memorial.
If you would like to rewatch this classic, you can do so on FloRacing with a PRO subscription.
Bryan Clauson, 2. Rico Abreu, 3. Zach Daum, 4. Daryn Pittman, 5. Payton Pierce, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Jonathan Beason, 8. Danny Stratton, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 11. Andrew Felker, 12. Tracy Hines, 13. Kyle Schuett, 14. Anton Hernandez, 15. Ryan Robinson, 16. Tanner Thorson, 17. Isaac Chapple, 18. C.J. Leary, 19. Dereck King, 20. Tyler Thomas, 21. Darren Hagen, 22. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 23. Austin Brow, 24. Spencer Bayston, 25. Justin Peck, 26. Tyler Courtney