Miller stops Simmons#8217; run, Simmons keeps overall lead
HAMPTON – Derek Miller took command on lap 8 and sped on to the checkered flag in the 50-lap Top Dog race, the featured event of Saturday evening’s Newport News Shipbuilding Employees’ Credit Union 250 Arena Racing USA program at the Hampton Coliseum. With the victory, he halted Ken Simmons’ season-opening, three-race winning streak.
Steve Greene drew the pole for the start, but surrendered the lead to his front-row partner, Greg Pass, at the end of the backstretch on the opening circuit. Miller, who started fourth, tagged along with Pass to gain the runner-up spot.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 3 when Kerry Gilbert and Jordan Wood tangled on the frontstretch. Back under way, Pass and D. Miller shot out to a healthy advantage over Greene, who had his hands full with Simmons and Miller grabbed the lead from Pass in Turns 3 and 4 on lap 8.
By lap 24, Parsons and Travis Miller had closed in on D. Miller and Simmons, making the battle for the lead a four-way affair.
The race’s second, and final, yellow flag waved on lap 40 when Matt Midgett spun in Turn 2, collecting fourth-place T. Miller.
Under way for the final time, D. Miller forged a one-length lead, then began to ease away. Within a couple circuits, he enjoyed a two-length advantage – the most breathing room he’d had all race.
Parsons tailed Miller and Simmons to the line. Murphy and Pass were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Gilbert was sixth at the finish, followed by Jordan Wood, Midgett and Travis Miller. Greene was 10th, the final driver to complete the entire distance.
D. Miller forced his way past Wood on lap 38 of the 50-lap “A” Main and led the rest of the way to post the win.
Gilbert started on the pole and led the opening lap. Jack Parsons, who started third, moved up to second on lap 1.
In Turn 1 on lap 2, Parsons went after the lead, ducking to the inside of Gilbert. Instead of a pass for the top spot, though, what resulted was a six-car pileup. Involved were Gilbert, Parsons, Murphy, T. Miller, Chris Crecelius and R.J. Davis.
Wood skirted the accident scene and assumed the lead for the ensuing restart. Patrick Morgan lined up second, followed by D. Miller, Spencer Saunders and Steve Hanna.
Wood continued to hold D. Miller at bay until lap 38 when the two made contact in Turn 2 and Wood spun, prompting the sixth, and final, caution flag.
Lining up for the final restart, D. Miller held the lead, followed by Murphy, T. Miller, Patrick Morgan and Gilbert.
Under green for the last time, D. Miller quickly fashioned a one-length lead and he held that margin to the checkers, winning by 0.358-second. Murphy was second, while T. Miller, Gilbert and Parsons rounded out the top five.
Dec. 2 Race Results from Hampton Coliseum:
TOP DOG (50 laps): 1. Derek Miller, 2. Ken Simmons, 3. Jack Parsons, 4. Larry Murphy, 5. Greg Pass, 6. Kerry Gilbert, 7. Jordan Wood, 8. Matt Midgett, 9. Travis Miller, 10. Steve Greene, 11. Charlie Green, 12. Craig Brown, 13. Aaron Adams, 14. Francis Jarrelle. Pole: Steve Greene – via draw.
“A” MAIN (50 laps): 1. Derek Miller, 2. Larry Murphy, 3. Travis Miller, 4. Kerry Gilbert, 5. Jack Parsons, 6. Jordan Wood, 7. Spencer Saunders, 8. Patrick Morgan, 9. Chris Crecelius, 10. Steve Hanna, 11. R.J. Davis. Pole: Kerry Gilbert – via draw.
“B” MAIN (50 laps): 1. Matt Midgett, 2. Steve Greene, 3. Greg Pass, 4. Denver Alvis, 5. Michelle Pearl, 6. Adam Florian, 7. Lee Banks, 8. Megan Dayton, 9. Bill Dailey, 10. Travis Fortune, 11. Jason Styron. Pole: Adam Florian – via draw.
“C” MAIN (50 laps): 1. Ken Simmons, 2. Charlie Green, 3. Craig Brown, 4. Robbie Davis, 5. Dane Wood, 6. Rob Wells, 7. Craig Rayfield, 8. Don Guschel, 9. Jessica Zaruba, 10. John Farrer, 11. Tony Perez. Pole: Robbie Davis – via draw.
“D” MAIN (50 laps): 1. Francis Jarrelle, 2. Aaron Adams, 3. Michael Weddell, 4. Stephen Kirby, 5. Cameron Williams, 6. Amy Clingenpeel, 7. Ray Ellington, 8. Steve Freeman, 9. Speedy Manning, 10. Craig Carlton. Pole: Michael Weddell – via draw.
ARENA RACING USA presented by Interstate Batteries
Current Point Standings
tie Jordan Wood119
R.J. Davis 99
Greg Pass 98
tie Patrick Morgan 98
10. Dane Wood 96
NEXT EVENT: Saturday, Jan. 6 at Hampton Coliseum