Suffolk man in running for top arena finish

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Suffolk's Scott Prillaman is only 10 points away from a top Arena Racing finish.

By Gary Daughtrey

Special to the News-Herald

With a snarling pack of title-hungry contenders nipping at their heels, Travis Wall and Savannah Cook will try to wrap up the Pro and Youth Series championships, respectively, as Arena Racing USA brings down the curtain on its 2011-12 season this Saturday, April 7, with the Children’s Museum of Richmond 200 at the Richmond Coliseum.

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

Suffolk’s Scott Prillaman is just 10 points out of the top spot.

In previous campaigns, the season finale often served as a night-long coronation for the series champions, who entered the event with near-insurmountable points leads. That won’t be the case this time, though, as titles likely won’t be decided until the last checkered flag waves.

The “Championship Saturday” Pro Series slate includes the Insurance Doctor A Main and the Pete Rose Landscape Products B Main. The top finishers from those two 50-lappers make up the 14-car starting grid for the 50-lap Machinery Movers & Erectors Top Dog feature, the last race of the season. The 30-lap finale for the Youth Series is slotted between the B Main and Top Dog races.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the pre-race fan festival, a prime opportunity to snap some photos, collect a few autographs, get a close-up look at the half-scale stock cars and wish drivers well before they head into battle. Opening ceremonies get under way at 7 p.m., immediately followed by the green flag for the A Main.

Going into Saturday’s meet, Wall holds a five-point lead over defending Pro Series champ Jordan Wood, 397-392. Scott Prillaman, on the strength of a Top Dog/A Main sweep on Mar. 23, is third, 10 points out of the lead. Cody Carlton is fourth, one behind Prillaman.

Before the final standings are calculated, each driver’s two worst finishes will be dropped from consideration. Taking that into account, Wall’s advantage shrinks to only three over Prillaman, who leapfrogs Wood for second place. Wood and Carlton are deadlocked for third, 11 behind Wall.

On the Youth Series side, Cook holds a four-point lead over hard-charging Macy Causey, 376-372. Rookie Jordan Valdes is third, at 356, followed by Tripp Thurston, at 344.

Tossing the two worst finishes, though, Cook’s margin is trimmed to just two over Causey. Meanwhile, if Cook and Causey get carried away, tussling between themselves, Thurston is only six points out of the lead and primed to pounce.

Arena Racing USA will celebrate the 2011-12 season April 20 at its annual awards gala. The event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn on East Broad Street in downtown Richmond.

To learn more about Arena Racing USA and its schedule of upcoming events, visit the series’ website, www.ArenaRacingUSA.com.