Yellow flags greet Arena Racing back to Hampton

Published 10:47 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Smithfield’s Nelson Moody III drove his No. 23 car to Victory Lane in the 50-lap C Main race in the American Cancer Society 200 for the Arena Racing USA Hampton Roads Pro Series at the Hampton Coliseum Saturday. Nelson has several Suffolk area sponsorships and the win was his first C Main victory of the 2010-11 season. Arena Racing resumes Saturday night in Hampton.

By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald

HAMPTON — Pro Series leader Jordan Wood took the lead on lap 19 and sailed to the win in the 50-lap Structural Mechanical Top Dog race, capping Saturday evening’s American Cancer Society 200 for Arena Racing Hampton Roads at the Hampton Coliseum.

On the first try starting the Top Dog, Wood edged ahead of rookie Justin Jones. As the leaders returned to the flagstand, Arena Racing’s version of “The Big One” erupted in Turns 3 and 4. When the smoke cleared, nine of the 14 starters were piled up in the middle of the corner.

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On the second attempt at a start, Jones bolted ahead of the pack. Wood settled into second, followed by Nelson Moody, Travis Wall and Dylan Crumpler.

After a caution for another multi-car melee on lap 19, Jones got another jackrabbit restart and pulled ahead of Wood. This time, though, officials drew the line on his aggressive jumps and the caution flag reappeared.

This time on the green flag, Wood stayed even with Jones and surged into the lead as they returned to the start/finish line.

On lap 25, Jones and Wall scuffled momentarily off Turn 4 and fell to the rear of the running order. While his potential challengers tussled amongst themselves, Wood pulled off by a straightaway.

Wood kept his lead despite three more yellow flags, the final one bring up a restart on lap 46.

On the restart, Wood cleared Michael Weddell on the backstretch and began to power away from the field. By the finish, his winning margin had swelled to 1.196 seconds — half a straightaway.

The victory was Wood’s fourth in Top Dog competition and his fifth overall. Weddell, Curtis Hughes, Moody and Wall rounded out the top five.

Adam Florian started on the pole and led all 50 laps to notch his third victory of the season in the A Main.

In the 50-lap Quaker Steak & Lube B Main, Spencer Saunders moved out front on the third circuit and motored to his second victory of the season and his first since opening night.

Nelson Moody led the final 10 circuits and posted his first win of the season in a caution-filled 50-lap C Main.

Connor Hall led all the way from the pole and snagged his fifth victory in the 30-lap Youth Series A Main. With the win, Hall snapped a three-race losing streak.

After a rough beginning, Tripp Thurston moved out front and held on for his first win of the season in the 30-lap Youth Series B Main.