Suffolk drivers go 1-2 in Arena Top Dog

Published 1:32 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

HAMPTON — Adam Florian moved to the head of the pack on the third circuit and stormed to his second victory of the season in the 50-lap Top Dog race, the featured event of Saturday evening’s Arena Racing USA program at the Hampton Coliseum. The win was Florian’s third overall as he also has an A Main victory to his credit.

As the race got going, pole sitter Jason Styron gained a slight edge over Florian and led the opening lap. On the second lap, with Styron and Florian still door-to-door, Denver Alvis pulled off a stunning three-wide pass to take the lead into Turn 3. It was all for naught, though, as the first caution flag flew. Scoring reverted to lap 1, returning Styron and Florian to first and second.

On the ensuing restart, Florian nosed ahead of Styron as the field rumbled into Turn 1 to begin lap 3. Behind them, Scott Prillaman overhauled Alvis to take over third in the running order.

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Prillaman swiped the runner-up spot on the seventh circuit.

By lap 14, Prillaman had closed to within one length of Florian’s rear bumper. The lead duo enjoyed a lead of more than a full straightaway over third-place Alvis.

Heading into the final 10 laps, Florian and Prillaman ran up on B Main winner Patrick Morgan and the battle for the lead tightened considerably. Florian finally cleared Morgan and pulled out to a two-length advantage, while Prillaman tried to follow his cue.

Instead of easily dispensing with Morgan, however, Prillaman found himself locked in a fierce door-to-door tussle with the lapped machine. Meanwhile, Florian was steadily extending his lead.

On the final circuit, Prillaman and Morgan banged together just past the start/finish line, sending Prillaman on a brief excursion into the foam blocks that make up the inside barricade.

With Prillaman occupied by Morgan, Florian rolled to an easy victory, winning by 2.531 seconds — more than a full straightaway. Prillaman was second, followed by Alvis, Jordan Wood and Charlie Green.

Jordan Wood grabbed the lead on lap 12 and rolled to his first feature win of the season in the 50-lap A Main.

On lap 11, Wood finally worked a fender alongside Mike Weddell out of Turn 4. He motored into the lead on lap 12 and brought four cars along with him. After holding the lead for 11 laps, Weddell found himself back to sixth.

On the final restart, after a yellow flag on lap 33, Wood and Larry Murphy pulled away, while Denver Alvis and Charlie Green battled past a lapped car.

Nearing the finish, Wood held a three-length lead over Murphy. Traffic loomed in the leader’s path, however. On lap 48, Wood waded into a thicket of slower machines and Murphy closed in.

At the finish, Wood held off Murphy to win by a car-length. Green, Florian and Alvis were third, fourth and fifth. After getting caught in an accident early in the race and nearly going a lap down, Scott Prillaman came home in sixth and bagged the final Top Dog transfer position.

Patrick Morgan started on the pole and led from wire to wire in the 50-lap B Main. The win was Morgan’s first of the new campaign.

The third caution flag waved on lap 25 as Joshua Johnson overturned in Turn 2 and absorbed a wicked blow to the outside wall, littering the corner with debris. Officials quickly flipped Johnson’s car upright, applied copious amounts of duct tape and, amazingly, sent him on his way.

Back under green, Morgan eked out a slim edge over Chris Crecelius, who was being hounded by Brittany Bangas for second place.

The last of the race’s four yellow flags was unfurled on lap 31 when Bangas spun in Turn 4, collecting Derek Miller and Johnson.

Under way for the final time, cruised to a full-straightaway victory. Crecelius was second, followed by Jason Styron and Greg Pass. The top four drivers moved on to the Top Dog feature.

Cody Carlton took the lead on the 20th circuit and showed the way to his first victory of the season in the 50-lap C Main.

Cameron Williams drew the pole for the start and moved out front as the event got under way.

After a caution on lap 13, Carlton shadowed Williams until lap 19 when he poked a fender alongside the leader off Turn 4, picking up the lead on the following circuit.

At the halfway mark, Carlton enjoyed a three-length edge over Bill Dailey, who had swiped second from Williams.

With three laps to go, Carlton ran up on traffic. Rather than press the issue, he simply followed the lapped machines to the finish, winning by two car-lengths. Dailey was second, while Cory Millard and Michelle Pearl were third and fourth, respectively. The top four finishers all advanced to the Top Dog finale.