Wall wins Top Dog race
Published 9:38 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2012
By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald
Travis Wall showed the way from pole to checkers to post the win in the 50-lap Machinery Movers and Erectors Top Dog race, the main event of Saturday evening’s program for Arena Racing USA’s Pro Series at the Richmond Coliseum.
The victory was Wall’s second of the weekend in Top Dog competition, his fourth Top Dog win of the season and his eighth win overall.
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As the race got under way, Wall bolted ahead of outside pole-sitter Jason Styron to grab the lead. Dylan Loving and Jordan Wood, who started behind Wall, in third and fifth, tagged along with the leader and took over the second and third places. Styron dropped another spot on lap 3 when Robbie Davis scooted past.
The first caution flag flew on lap 4 when Lin O’Neill overturned off the second corner and slid the length of the backstretch on his roof, coming to rest in Turn 3. With an assist from officials, O’Neill was able to continue. Tyler Hughes wasn’t as fortunate, however, as mechanical problems chased him to the infield.
As it turned out, O’Neill’s flip was only a prelude to “The Big One.” One lap after the ensuing restart, the caution flag was flying again for an eight-car pileup in Turn 1. That incident sidelined Scott Prillaman, Daniel Thomas and Styron, trimming the field to nine cars.
On the double-file restart, Wall quickly cleared Wood, who found Loving to his inside. Exiting Turn 2, Loving muscled Wood toward the outside wall and grabbed the second spot. The momentary scuffle allowed Wall to open a half-straightaway advantage on the rest of the pack.
Closing in on the finish, Wall enjoyed a comfortable lead over Wood and Carlton, who jousted nose-to-tail, ahead of fast-closing Weddell.
Eventually, Carlton worked a fender to the inside of Wood in a bid for second. The two went door-to-door until lap 41 when they made contact off Turn 4. With nowhere to go, Weddell slammed into the rear of Wood’s machine as Carlton pulled ahead. While the dustup played out in his mirror, Wall padded his margin.
At the finish, Wall was the winner by a full straightaway over Carlton. Wood was third to the line, followed by Weddell and Loving. Matt Midgett headed up the second five, in sixth. Davis was seventh, followed by Jefferson and O’Neill. Early retiree Styron was shown in 10th, followed by Prillaman, Thomas and Hughes. Series newcomer David Hunt was credited with 14th.
During post-race inspections, officials discovered a lead weight in Loving’s #02 machine that didn’t meet series technical specifications. Loving was disqualified, losing his fifth-place Top Dog finish, as well as his fourth-place A Main result.
Jordan Valdes led all the way from the pole to capture his first victory of the season in the 30-lap Youth Series feature.
Valdes grabbed the lead off Turn 2 on the opening lap, pulling ahead of outside pole-sitter Savannah Cook, who was gunning for her fifth straight win.
During the closing circuits, Causey gained ground on the leader. Her late charge came up three lengths short, however, as Valdes held on for the win. Causey was second, followed by Thurston and Gummy Cook. Savannah Cook and Courtney were credited with fifth and sixth, respectively.
In late afternoon Pro Series qualifying, Suffolk’s Scott Prillaman circled the tenth-mile oval in 7.769 seconds to bag his fifth pole award of the season. Cody Carlton was second-fastest, 12-thousandths of a second off Prillaman’s pace. Travis Wall, winner of the two previous poles, was third, followed by Dylan Loving and Tyler Hughes. Ten of the 24 drivers clocked in below the eight-second mark.
Macy Causey made it nine-for-nine in Youth Series time trials, maintaining her unbeaten qualifying streak with a 8.218-second effort. Tripp Thurston was second-quickest, 0.151-second behind. Jordan Valdes, Savannah Cook and Gummy Cook were third, fourth and fifth, in that order.
FEBRUARY 4 RACE RESULTS from Richmond Coliseum
PRO SERIES TOP DOG (50 laps): 1. Travis Wall; 2. Cody Carlton; 3. Jordan Wood; 4. Mike Weddell; 5. Matt Midgett; 6. Robbie Davis; 7. Austin Jefferson; 8. Lin O’Neill; 9. Jason Styron; 10. Scott Prillaman; 11. Daniel Thomas; 12. Tyler Hughes; 13. David Hunt; DQ Dylan Loving. Pole: Wall
PRO SERIES A MAIN (50 laps): 1. Cody Carlton; 2. Scott Prillaman; 3. Travis Wall; 4. Jordan Wood; 5. Tyler Hughes; 6. Mike Weddell; 7. Robbie Davis; 8. Tommy Jackson Jr.; 9. Cole Amsden; 10. Pete Hunt; 11. Scott Allen; DQ Dylan Loving. Pole: Hunt
PRO SERIES B MAIN (50 laps): 1. Jason Styron; 2. Matt Midgett; 3. Lin O’Neill; 4. Austin Jefferson; 5. Daniel Thomas; 6. David Hunt; 7. Josh Thomas; 8. Austin Ancheta; 9. Jason Manes; 10. Megan Creech; 11. Nathan Thomas; 12. Troy Doggett. Pole: Midgett
YOUTH SERIES (30 laps): 1. Jordan Valdes; 2. Macy Causey; 3. Tripp Thurston; 4. Gummy Cook; 5. Savannah Cook; 6. Devon Courtney. Pole: Valdes