Suffolk drivers make for 1-2 finish in Saturday’s Top Dog

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Staff Report

HAMPTON – Scott Prillaman moved out front on lap two and led the rest of the way to win the 50-lap Top Dog shootout, the featured event of Arena Racing USA’s &uot;WVBT Fox 43/Make-A-Wish Night&uot; program Saturday at Hampton Coliseum.

It was Prillaman’s first Top Dog victory of the season and came on the heels of his first feature win, in the &uot;B&uot; Main, earlier in the evening.


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Shag Hartman was the pole-sitter for the race, sharing the front row with Prillaman. Michelle Pearl and Kerry Gilbert made up row two.

As the event got going, Hartman took the lead, clearing Prillaman at the end of the first circuit.

Before the second lap was in the books, the first yellow flag flew as Greg Pass thumped the inside wall off turn two.

Back under green, Prillaman went on the attack, diving to the inside of Hartman on the backstretch. He took the lead off turn four, bringing Gilbert along with him.

The second caution flag appeared on lap five for Rob Wells’ spin in turn two.

As the race resumed, Prillaman and Gilbert, two Suffolk drivers, staged a breakaway at the head of the field. Behind them, Derek Miller was working on Hartman for third. Miller grabbed the spot on lap six, opening the lane for Jack Parsons, Larry Murphy and Travis Miller.

The third caution flag waved on lap 14 when Hartman spun between turns three and four. During the ensuing caution period, Travis Miller, locked in a tight points battle with brother Derek, pulled to the infield, retiring to a 12th-place finish.

It didn’t take long to see caution number four as Pearl and Randy Sample tied up on the restart. Sample was sidelined by the incident.

Returning to green, Prillaman fashioned a one-length advantage over Gilbert, who was up by two lengths over Derek Miller. As the laps clicked off, though, Prillaman began easing away, while Miller closed in on Gilbert.

The final caution flag appeared on lap 36 as Travis Wall spun in turn two. Officials began scoring caution laps and the field was bunched for a restart at lap 40 with Prillaman, Gilbert and Derek Miller showing the way.

On the last restart, Prillaman managed a one-length advantage over Gilbert, then started pulling away.

At the finish, Prillaman was the winner by about three lengths – 0.716-second on the scoring monitor. Gilbert completed the one-two Suffolk sweep, holding off Derek Miller for the runner-up spot. Parsons was fourth and Murphy rounded out the top five.

Prillaman notched his first feature win of the ’05-’06 season in the 50-lap &uot;B&uot; Main, moving out front on the 47th circuit.

The sixth and final yellow flag was unfurled on lap 38 when Dean and Morgan got together in turn four and Dean spun. Both drivers were sent to the rear of the field for the restart at lap 45.

Back under green, Hartman slipped around Chris Crecelius for fourth place and Prillaman ducked under Wall for the lead. Prillaman and Wall went door-to-door with Prillaman edging ahead on lap 47.

At the finish, Prillaman was the winner by 0.690-second over Wall. Fortune was third, followed by Hartman. The top four transferred to the Top Dog feature. Dean was fifth.