Rico Abreu, Jac Haudenschild team up for one last ‘wild’ ride
Jac Haudenschild will team up with Rico Abreu for one last “Wild” ride in 2021.
It began with a tweet announcing Abreu had been “released from Rico Abreu Racing and is seeking new opportunities.”
Of course stranger things have happened in the sport of sprint car racing. And in the time of COVID, no one expects anything but extraordinary circumstances, but to be fired from a self-owned team is strange by any measure.
There was an outcry of ‘support,’ including a reply from sprint car owner Paul Silva that read: “Don’t worry bud. Life after being fired from you ain’t that bad...”
Silva was a mechanic on Abreu’s cars for a time.
One knew there was more to the story.
NEWS: Effective immediately, Rico Abreu has been released from Rico Abreu Racing and is seeking new opportunities.— RICO (@Rico_Abreu) January 19, 2021
A day later, Abreu announced his new driver. “The Wild Child” Jac Haudenschild will race for Abreu in his final season - a career replete with more than 70 World of Outlaws victories.
“I’m going to drive a little bit for him and that’s it,” Haudenschild said in an interview at Speed Sport. “I’ve been running my own car for the last three or four years and it’s pretty tough running your own car. Rico, he’s always let me drive his car. He was going to let me drive his car last year out in California until all the races go canceled. That was a bummer.”
A little bit turned out to be 25 races this year.
The team has not yet set their schedule, but intends to race in California this spring if the pandemic allows. Marquee races such as the Kings Royal will almost certainly be on the calendar as well.
In total, Haudenschild has more than 300 victories in more than 40 years of racing. His 72 Outlaw wins ranks 11th on the all time list and he finished second in their points in 1995 behind Dave Blaney.
Other career highlights include a 2009 induction to the Sprint Car Hall of Fame as well as three Kings Royal victories in 1987, 1994 and 1998.
And as for Abreu, his fans don’t need to be overly concerned.
Abreu will team up with Silva in the No. 57 - the same car that Kyle Larson drove to so much success during the 2020 season.
To the newbies, @Paul_Silva57 + @Rico_Abreu is nothing new.— 𝗪𝗔𝗟𝗞𝗔𝗣𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗔 (@Walkapedia_) January 21, 2021
In early-mid 2010’s, they spent five seasons together on the Abreu Vineyards No. 24 as Rico’s stock exploded.
Over 70+ wins as crew chief / driver, including their most prolific year in ‘14 with 19 victories together. pic.twitter.com/Wd5gOjoclx