Suffolk’s Prillaman a close second in Arena

Published 3:36 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald

By the slimmest of margins, Travis Wall and Savannah Cook held on to claim the Pro and Youth Series, respectively, as Arena Racing USA wrapped up its 2011-12 season with the Children’s Museum of Richmond 200 on Saturday evening at the Richmond Coliseum.

In the season’s final 50-lap Top Dog race, Suffolk’s Scott Prillaman grabbed the lead from Cody Carlton on lap 12 and proceeded to smoke the field, winning by 1.123 seconds. The victory was his sixth overall and his third in Top Dog competition.

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Carlton, who led laps 1-11, was the runner-up, followed by Jordan Wood, Wall and Jason Manes. Austin Jefferson headed the second five, in sixth, while Curtis Hughes, sitting in for Matt Midgett, was seventh. Josh Thomas, Pete Hunt and Lin O’Neill rounded out the top 10.

Cayton Hornberger and Mike Weddell were 11th and 12th, respectively. Tyler Hughes and Scott Allen both qualified for the Top Dog race, but were unable to make the start.

For Wall, the fourth-place Top Dog run allowed him to eke out a one-point margin over Prillaman in the final Pro Series standings, 379-378. The race for third place was nearly as close, with Wood outpointing Carlton by two, 370-368.

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In the 50-lap A Main, Wood, the defending series champ, moved out front on lap 15 and showed the way to the finish.

Weddell led laps 1-5 before surrendering the point to Wall, who paced laps 6-14 before giving way to Wood.

At the finish, Wood was the winner by 0.612-second over Wall, who gained an important point by crossing the stripe one position ahead of third-place Prillaman. Carlton was fourth, and Weddell completed the top five.

Curtis Hughes was sixth, followed by Hornberger and Tyler Hughes, who snagged the last Top Dog transfer spots. Jason Styron was credited with ninth, missing out on a starting spot in the evening’s finale.

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Manes scored his first win in the 50-lap B Main. After Jefferson dominated much of the event in the Bethel High School-fielded entry, Manes took over on lap 39 and dashed away to win by 0.839-second.

Jefferson, who led laps 10-38, tailed Manes to the checkers, in second, followed by Hunt, O’Neill and Josh Thomas. Allen was sixth, the last Top Dog transfer position. Troy Doggett, who led the first nine laps, was seventh, and Nathan Thomas completed the rundown.

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Macy Causey wired the Youth Series field to claim her sixth win in the season’s final 30-lapper. Unfortunately for her, though, it wasn’t quite enough, as Cook came home in second to seal the series title. In the final tally, Cook squeaked by with a one-point margin, 351-350.

Brooke Causey was third in Saturday’s race, followed by Jordan Valdes. Tripp Thurston was unable to make the start and was credited with fifth.

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In late afternoon Pro Series time trials, Prillaman nabbed his 10th pole award of the season, circling the tenth-mile oval in 7.729 seconds. Tyler Hughes was second-fastest, only 56-thousandths of a second off Prillaman’s pace. Wall, Carlton and Wood rounded out the top five in the qualifying results, all less than a tenth of a second off the pole-winning time.

In Youth Series qualifying, Macy Causey capped her perfect record with her 14th pole in as many events. She clocked in at 8.166 seconds, more than half a second quicker than Cook and faster, even, than a few of the Pro Series drivers. Thurston and Brooke Causey were third- and fourth-fastest, in that order.