Prillaman cruises to seventh winPublished 10:53pm Monday, February 18, 2013
By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald
Suffolk’s Scott Prillaman captured the lead at the halfway mark and rolled to the win in the 50-lap Pro Series “Top Dog” race, the headline event of Saturday’s Arena Racing USA program at the Richmond Coliseum. The victory was Prillaman’s seventh overall and his second in Top Dog competition.
Pete Hunt was the pole-sitter for the start, flanked by Cody Carlton, who was at the wheel of the No. 8 machine normally piloted by Tommy Jackson Jr. Brenden “Butterbean” Queen, in Carlton’s regular No. 94 ride, lined up third, alongside Prillaman.
The race got under way with Hunt taking the lead from Carlton out of Turn 2. Davis tagged along with Hunt and moved into second. Three laps later, Davis went for the lead when Hunt got crossed up out of Turn 2. He successfully made the pass on the backstretch and brought Prillaman along with him, to second.
The second caution flag appeared on lap five, when Michael Hayes rolled to a halt in Turn 3. On the double-file restart, Davis quickly cleared Prillaman, who found Carlton to his inside. Carlton nabbed the runner-up spot on lap six.
The third caution flag flew on lap seven, when Tyler Daniels and John Seward locked horns in Turn 4 and Seward overturned. Daniels retired to the infield, and Seward rejoined the field. Only one more lap was completed before the fourth yellow flag was displayed, as Hayes and Seward tangled in Turn 2.
On the ensuing restart, Davis and Carlton remained side-by-side until they reached Turn 4. Davis gained the upper hand in the corner and surged ahead, bringing Prillaman to second and leaving the lane open for Dylan Loving, who pulled underneath Carlton in a bid for third.
While Loving and Carlton duked it out, Davis and Prillaman pulled away, stretching their advantage over the rest of the pack to half a straightaway. Prillaman remained in Davis’ tire tracks until lap 25. In traffic, Prillaman slipped to the inside along the backstretch and drew even with Davis. He edged ahead at the stripe to take the lead and cleared Davis on lap 26. Within five laps, Prillaman had driven away by almost half a straightaway.
The last of the race’s five yellow flags was unfurled on lap 46, when fan favorite Dystany Spurlock flipped on her lid off Turn 4. Officials righted her vehicle, and she rejoined the field for the final green flag. Under green for the last time, Prillaman and Davis stayed door-to-door until they motored onto the backstretch. Off Turn 2, Prillaman powered ahead, while Davis slipped in line on his rear bumper.
At the checkers, Prillaman was the winner by about three lengths over teammate Davis. Loving was third, followed by Loving and Queen.
With a month-long hiatus in the offing, Prillaman owns a 15-point lead over Davis in the Pro Series standings, 257-242. Styron is third with 229, while Hunt and Manes are deadlocked for fourth with 217 each.