Florian is Top Dog for third time

Published 9:45 pm Monday, November 10, 2008

HAMPTON — Adam Florian bypassed former series champ Larry Murphy for the lead on the 41st circuit and stormed to his second straight victory in the 50-lap Top Dog finale, the featured event of Saturday’s Military Appreciation Night program for Arena Racing USA at the Hampton Coliseum. The win was Florian’s third in Top Dog competition and fourth overall this season.

Murphy started from the pole position and grabbed the lead as the field charged into Turns 1 and 2 for the first time. Anthony Perez emerged from the shuffle in second, followed by Jason Styron, Florian and Greg Pass.

By lap 10, Florian overtook Styron for the runner-up spot. The first caution flag waved on lap 15 when Cameron Williams spun in Turn 2 and collected points leader Scott Prillaman. The incident sidelined Prillaman for the night.

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The last of the race’s three caution flags was displayed on lap 34 when Morgan and Styron tangled. On the final restart, Murphy and Florian were joined by Jordan Wood in a three-car breakaway at the head of the pack.

Florian shadowed Murphy until lap 39 when he drove underneath the leader off Turn 4. Murphy was able to edge Florian to maintain the lead on laps 39 and 40. He couldn’t hold the youngster at bay on lap 41, however. In short order, Wood and Derek Miller also overhauled Murphy.

At the finish, Florian was the winner by 0.991-second — almost half a straightaway — over Wood. Miller was third to the stripe, followed by Murphy and Pass.

Jordan Wood slipped past Larry Murphy for the lead on lap 29 and roared to his second straight victory in the 50-lap A Main.

After following in Murphy’s tire tracks for lap after lap, Wood overhauled the leader on lap 29, just one lap ahead of the race’s first yellow flag, which appeared for Aaron Leach’s spin.

Back under green, Wood and Murphy bolted from the pack while Derek Miller and Scott Prillaman worked to clear a lapped car. By lap 41, Miller had pulled to within two car-lengths of the lead duo.

The second, and final, yellow flag waved on lap 42 when Brittany Bangas overturned in Turn 4.

On the last restart, Wood quickly gained a one-length advantage over Murphy and held that margin to the finish. Miller was third to the line, while Prillaman and Patrick Morgan completed the top five.

Nelson Moody took the lead on the third lap and led the rest of the way to notch his second win of the season in the 50-lap B Main.

Moody drew the pole for the start of the event, but outside pole-sitter Jason Styron nosed ahead to lead lap 1. On lap 3, though, Moody motored ahead and cleared Styron off Turn 4.

Adam Florian, second in the series standings coming into the event, made his way into the top five on lap 21. As the race rolled on, Florian took fourth and moved in on third-place Cody Carlton. The Florian/Carlton battle got a bit overheated, though, prompting a caution flag on lap 46. Officials penalized Carlton, directing him to the rear of the field.

Under green for the final time, Moody forged a one-length lead over Styron and maintained that margin to the finish. Florian was third followed by Greg Pass.

Mike Dayton assumed the top spot on the 23rd circuit and rolled to his first victory in the 50-lap C Main.

Cody Turbitt led from the opening lap until lap 23 when he looped his machine in Turn 2, prompting the yellow flag and handing the lead to Dayton.

Back under way, Dayton quickly opened a one-length lead over Michelle Pearl and started to pull away. By lap 28, he had built a half-straightaway margin.

Another caution appeared on lap 34 as Turbitt continued his struggles in Turn 2. Before the restart, Pearl suddenly pulled out of line and headed for the infield, giving up second place to Anthony Perez.

On the final restart, Dayton jumped out to a two-length lead over Perez and kept going, winning by almost half a straightaway.