Crash decides Arena Racing Top Dog winner

Published 9:37 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Savannah Cook, second from right, driver of the No. 21 Arena Racing car, finished second in the 30-lap Youth Main Race during Saturday’s Arena Racing USA Series event at the Richmond Coliseum. Cook is from Isle of Wight. With Cook is, from left, spotter Landon Florian, Jesse Call, her dad Harrell Cook and, far right, her brother Marshall Cook.

By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald

RICHMOND — Cody Carlton assumed the lead on the 29th circuit and showed the way to his first win of the season, claiming the 50-lap Top Dog feature, the main event of Saturday evening’s Arena Racing USA program at the Richmond Coliseum.

Opening night combatants Jordan Wood and Scott Prillaman shared the front row. Carlton launched from the seventh spot on the 14-car grid.

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Exiting Turn 4 to complete lap 28, Prillaman slipped underneath Wood, the leader, and the two cars became locked together. As they fought to extricate themselves from the curious predicament, Carlton flashed past. Ultimately, the caution flag appeared as Wood and Prillaman ground to a halt in Turn 1, collecting Jason Manes’ lapped machine in the process.

Back under green, Carlton received a friendly “boost” from Matt Midgett and sailed ahead of Tyler Hughes to maintain the lead. Midgett was unable to benefit from his helpful gesture, though, as Hughes held onto second. Meanwhile, Carlton motored away by half a straightaway.

By the finish, Carlton had extended his winning margin to better than a full straightaway over Hughes, who enjoyed his best outing of the young season. Midgett was third, while Prillaman and Wood rebounded from their mishap to take fourth and fifth, respectively.

Aided by a second-place struggle between Matt Midgett and Scott Prillaman, Travis Wall blazed to a convincing victory in the 50-lap A Main.

Wall and Midgett shared the front row for the start of the event and raced door-to-door for nearly three laps before Wall gained the clear-cut edge.

On what would turn out to be the final restart, Midgett was the only driver to choose the outside groove. While he was no match for Wall, he eventually battled ahead of Prillaman to claim second.

In the 50-lap B Main, which ran caution-free, Tommy Jackson Jr. held off a race-long challenge from Jason Styron to pick up the victory.

Macy Causey started on the pole and led all 30 laps, surviving four caution flags along the way, to nail down her second victory of the season in the Youth Series feature.

Savannah Cook, the Nov. 26 race winner, held down the runner-up position throughout the contest. On the final restart, Causey outdistanced Savannah Cook, winning by two car-lengths.