Leader scores two Arena wins

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jordan Wood, driver of the No. 02 in the Arena Racing Hampton Roads Pro Series, celebrates with his dad L.J. Wood (white shirt) and his crew members after winning the Top Dog race in the Towne Bank 200 to benefit the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Saturday at the Hampton Coliseum. Wood won the A Main race as well Saturday, giving Wood wins seven and eight for the season and keeping him in first place of the Pro Series point standings. Arena Racing returns to the Hampton Coliseum Saturday evening.

By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald

HAMPTON — Looking to put a stranglehold on the Pro Series championship, series leader Jordan Wood assumed the lead on lap 45 and sailed to the victory in the 50-lap Structural Mechanical Top Dog race, the featured event of Saturday evening’s TowneBank 200 for Arena Racing Hampton Roads at the Hampton Coliseum.

The win was Wood’s eighth overall, his sixth in Top Dog competition and his second of the night as he scored the prized A Main/Top Dog sweep.

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Spencer Saunders and rookie contender Justin Jones shared the front row for the start of the event. The two went door-to-door for the first six laps.

The first caution flag appeared on lap 25 when Travis Wall overturned in Turn 4. Setting the running order, Saunders was the leader, followed by Jones, Wood, Matthew Leach and Scott Prillaman.

On the double-file restart, Saunders cleared Jones as the field rolled into Turn 1. Wood rushed to fill the void to the inside of Jones and came away with the second spot on lap 26.

Prillaman gained the runner-up spot from Wood on a restart on lap 34. Prillaman was challenging for the lead on lap 45 when he was hooked by Saunders and spun off the fourth quarter for another caution flag. Prillaman went to the back of the field and Saunders retired to the infield.

Now with Wood suddenly gaining the lead, he stayed in front of Travis Wall on the restart.

At the finish, Wood was the winner by a whopping 2.255 seconds — a full straightaway — over Charlie Green.

Earlier in Saturday’s feature races, Wood rolled to the victory in the 50-lap KeesVacations.com A Main.

Charlie Green shared the front row with pole-sitter Wood, but gave way to the series points leader as the field rolled into Turn 1 for the first time. Travis Wall, the third-place starter, moved up to second, followed by Derek Miller.

Two laps from the checkers, Wood and Wall, the leaders the whole way, ran up on heavy traffic. Prillaman drove to the outside of Wall in a bid for the runner-up position.

At the finish, Wood was the winner by a car-length over Wall, who fought off third-place Prillaman at the stripe.

In the 50-lap Quaker Steak & Lube B Main, Denver Alvis picked up the lead for good on the 32nd circuit and showed the way to his first win of the season.

After being involved in several of the eight caution flags (including one rollover) and with his car heavily taped together, Clayton Parrish took the lead on lap 39 of the 50-lap C Main and held on for his first win of the season.

In the 30-lap Youth Series A Main, Connor Hall led all the way from the pole for his sixth victory of the season.

Cullen Roberts held down the runner-up spot throughout the contest, but couldn’t stay with the leader following the last restart, just before the halfway mark. At the end, he was half a straightaway back.

In the 30-lap Youth Series B Main, Austin Ancheta muscled out front on lap 24 and cruised to his second feature win.