Rico Abreu has been a rising star in the NASCAR ranks since his 2015 Chili Bowl win, and he continues to climb the ladder in 2016. Prior to attempting to repeat at the Chili Bowl, Abreu announced on Friday he’ll join ThorSport Racing in the Camping World Trucks Series.
— Rico Abreu (@Rico_Abreu) January 15, 2016
The 4-foot-4 driver was born with achondroplasia, a genetic disorder that is the most common cause of dwarfism, but he hasn’t allowed it to limit him on the track. Abreu is expected to drive the No. 98 machine and announce a pending sponsor on Friday.
Earlier this year, Abreu already pulled in a huge sponsor for his midgets ride in Safelite AutoGlass.
— Steven Blakesley (@StevenBlakesley) January 8, 2016
In his first full-time season with HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks at the K&N Pro Series East level, Abreu registered eight top 10s in 14 races. He also punched his first win at Columbus Motor Speedway, triggering four top-five finishes in the final eight events.
Close friends with Kyle Larson, Abreu told us last year that he hopes to follow in his footsteps.
“Oh, I definitely would love to follow that career path,” Abreu said. “I’ve just got to make sure I’m in the right place at the right time. So far I have been. He’s done such a great job with everything that’s been placed on him so far and it would be awesome to get to that point.
“But if you’re not winning races, people aren’t really looking at you. So I put it on myself to change that.”
Yes yes yes!!!!! Way to go @Rico_Abreu so pumped for your first stock car win!! I knew you could do it. Awesome.
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) July 5, 2015
Abreu didn’t just land with some run of the mill Trucks team, either.
ThorSport Racing won two titles in 2013 and 2014 with Matt Crafton — who finished third last year. Along with Crafton, ThorSport also pulled in former JR Motorsports driver Ben Rhodes, who has three top-10 results in four career CWTS races. Suffice to say, ThorSport has an All-Star caliber cast in 2016.
The opportunities are certainly coming Abreu’s way, and he’s succeeded at every level. At 24 years old when the season starts in February — his birthday is Jan. 30 — ThorSport now has two budding stars in its stable. How both perform this season should reveal the future for Abreu and Rhodes.