Carlton motors to two Arena wins

Published 10:22 pm Monday, March 16, 2009

Cody Carlton started on the pole and led flag-to-flag to win the 50-lap Top Dog race, the featured event of Saturday’s Girl Scout Night program for Arena Racing USA’s Hampton Roads series at the Hampton Coliseum. The victory was Carlton’s first in a Top Dog event and his fourth of the season, overall.

Carlton got a big jump at the drop of the initial green flag, clearing his front-row colleague, Spencer Saunders, before the field reached Turn 1. As Carlton pulled away, points leader Adam Florian moved into second.

The fifth, and final, caution flag of the race appeared on lap 36. Lining up for the restart, Carlton maintained the lead, followed by Florian, Saunders, Derek Miller and Aaron Leach.

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Under green for the last time, Carlton and Florian pulled away, bumper-to-bumper, by one length over Saunders. Florian continued to hound Carlton for the lead until lap 46 when they made contact off the fourth corner. While Carlton quickly righted his machine and held onto the top spot, Florian lost the runner-up position to Saunders.

At the finish, Carlton was the winner by one car-length over Saunders. Florian, Miller and Aaron Leach completed the top five. Jordan Wood was sixth to the line, while Patrick Morgan, Matt Leach, Robbie Davis and Mike Weddell rounded out the top 10.

Derek Miller grabbed the top spot on lap 20 and led the rest of the way to win the 50-lap A Main.

Nelson Moody started on the pole with Robbie Davis alongside. On the opening lap, Davis nosed out front to claim the lead as the field returned to the flagstand. On lap 4, Miller swiped second place from Moody.

The first caution flag flew on lap 9 when Charlie Green and Scott Prillaman tangled in Turn 4. Setting the lineup, Davis was the leader, followed by Miller, Curtis Hughes, Moody and Patrick Morgan.

On lap 18, Spencer Saunders caught up to and ducked under Hughes in a bid for third. Ahead of them, Miller was working on Davis for the lead, eventually taking over the top spot on lap 20.

The last of the race’s five yellow flags appeared on lap 43. Under green for a sprint to the checkers, Miller turned on the jets, pulling away to win by almost half a straightaway over Davis. Saunders was third, followed by Jordan Wood, Adam Florian and Morgan.

Cody Carlton moved out front on the third circuit and rolled to his third win of the season in the 50-lap B Main.

Matt Leach took the lead on lap 45 and showed the way to his second straight victory in the 50-lap C Main. Landon Florian, Adam’s younger brother, making his first Arena Racing start, finished second to Leach.

NEXT EVENT: 2008-09 season finale and Relay for Life Night — Saturday, March 28 at the Hampton Coliseum. Doors open at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m.