Local driver goes 2-for-2 opening Arena season

Published 7:47 pm Saturday, October 18, 2008

HAMPTON — Adam Florian assumed the lead on lap 21 and motored to victory in the 50-lap Top Dog race, the featured event of Friday evening’s season-opening program for Arena Racing USA’s Hampton Roads Series, held at the Hampton Coliseum.

Earlier in the evening, Florian, a sophomore who attends Nansemond-Suffolk, led from pole to checkers in the 50-lap A Main race.

In the A Main event, Patrick Morgan shared the front row with Florian, but dropped back in the opening circuits as he remained caught in the outer groove.

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By lap 9, Florian had opened a four-length lead over second-place Aaron Leach, while a full straightaway separated Leach from third-place Matt Midgett.

The last of the race’s three caution flags flew on lap 39 when Midgett and Curtis Hughes tangled in Turn 4.

On the final restart, Florian eked out a slim edge over Derek Miller. Meanwhile, Scott Prillaman, who started 11th in the 12-car field, took third on lap 44.

Nearing the finish, Florian enjoyed a commanding lead over Miller, who was under attack from Prillaman. On lap 48, Prillaman nosed under Miller off Turn 4. After a lap of door-to-door racing, Prillaman pulled ahead in Turns 3 and 4 on lap 49.

With his pursuers battling in his mirror, Florian sailed to Victory Lane, winning by half a straightaway over Prillaman.

In the Top Dog feature, Florian started sixth, but quickly made his way into third by lap 12. Greg Pass led until lap 6 when Robbie Davis took over first and Prillaman followed Davis to take second.

On lap 21, Davis, Prillaman and Florian headed through Turns 1 and 2 in nose-to-tail formation. Before they could exit the second corner, though, they briefly stacked up and Davis spun to bring out the first caution flag. As the field circulated under the yellow flag, Davis and Prillaman were directed to the back of the pack and Florian moved to the head of the parade.

On the last restart, at lap 47, Florian jumped out to a two-length advantage over Charlie Green. By the end, he had added another car-length to the margin as he took the checkered flag. Green was second, followed by Pass, Jordan Wood and Patrick Morgan.

Starting from the pole, Craig Carlton jumped out front on the first circuit, then withstood a flurry of late-race caution flags, to score a victory in the 50-lap B Main.

Nelson Moody regained the lead on lap 28 and rolled to the win in the 50-lap C Main, an all-rookie affair

Next event — Daily Press Kids’ Night is Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Hampton Coliseum. Doors open at 6 p.m.; racing starts at 7 p.m.