Prillaman takes share of Arena lead

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Suffolk’s Scott Prillaman stands with trophy presenters Katie Griffin, left, and Audrey Sickles after his victory in the 50-lap Top Dog feature at the Arena Racing USA events Saturday at the Richmond Coliseum. Earlier in the evening, Prillaman won the 50-lap A Main, which brings him into a 125-point tie for the lead in the Pro Division standings. (Bill Carr/MotorSports Photo News Service)

Scott Prillaman of Suffolk took the point on lap 27 and led the rest of the way for the win in the 50-lap Top Dog race, the featured event of Saturday’s Arena Racing USA Pro Series at the Richmond Coliseum.

The victory was Prillaman’s fourth overall of the season and his first in a Top Dog tilt.

Tommy Jackson Jr. drew the pole for the evening’s finale, sharing the front row with Jordan Wood, who was subbing for Tyler Hughes in the No. 20 machine. Cody Carlton and Jason Manes made up the second row, while Prillaman and Dylan Loving launched from Row 3.

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As the race got going, Jackson and Wood went door-to-door with Jackson, eking out a slim edge at the end of Lap one. He cleared Wood out of Turn 2 on lap two and left the inside lane open for Carlton, Prillaman and Robbie Davis.

On lap five, Carlton slipped underneath Jackson off Turn 4, initiating a battle for the lead. With momentum off the top side, Jackson managed a scant advantage through lap eight. On lap 9, though, Carlton nosed ahead. He gained the clear-cut advantage on lap 10, bringing Prillaman and Davis along with him.

The first caution flag flew on lap 16, when Manes slapped the outside wall off Turn 4. The second yellow flag waved on the ensuing restart, when Wood walloped the wall, also off Turn 4.

On the double-file restart, Carlton and Prillaman went side-by-side for a lap, with Carlton coming out on top on lap 17. Davis tagged along with Carlton and took over second, dropping Prillaman to third. Joined by fourth-place Jason Styron, Carlton, Davis and Prillaman distanced themselves from the pack.

The complexion of the event took a turn on lap 27. As the leaders worked traffic off Turn 2, Carlton got tipped sideways and Davis checked up. Prillaman shot to the inside and into the lead.

As the caution flag appeared, Jackson piled into the inside barrier along the front stretch. Gathering for a restart, Prillaman was the new leader, flanked by Styron.

As the race resumed, Prillaman quickly cleared Styron and began to pull away. By lap 31, his lead had swelled to half a straightaway. The fourth caution flag was displayed on lap 32 when Davis overturned off Turn 4.

Back under green, Prillaman and Styron drove away, while Wood and Carlton jousted for third. Carlton grabbed the spot on lap 41 and set sail after Styron. Catching up to the second-place car, Carlton ducked underneath Styron on lap 44 and nosed into second on lap 46.

The last of the race’s five caution flags appeared on lap 48 when Dystany Spurlock and Tripp Thurston tangled off Turn 4. Setting the lineup for the final double-file restart, Prillaman and Carlton occupied the front row, followed by Styron and Wood in Row 2.

Coming to the final green flag, Prillaman enjoyed a clean takeoff, while Carlton got jostled a bit from behind. As they reached the start/finish line, Prillaman had already gained the clear-cut edge over his challenger and was well on the way to the checkers.

At the finish, Prillaman was the winner by about two lengths over Carlton. Styron was third, followed by Wood and Jackson. Davis was sixth, while Thurston, Spurlock, Francis Jarrelle III and Pete Hunt rounded out the top 10.


In the previous A Main event, Prillaman grabbed the lead on the opening circuit and sailed to victory in the 50-lap Insurance Doctor A Main.

Series co-leader Robbie Davis drew the pole, starting alongside Prillaman, his teammate. As the race got under way, Prillaman nosed ahead of Davis to take the lead. The two remained side-by-side until lap 7 when Prillaman finally cleared Davis along the backstretch.

Dylan Loving, Dystany Spurlock and Cody Carlton filled the remainder of the top-five positions. At lap 10, Prillaman and Davis were nose-to-tail for the lead, separated from third-place Loving by nearly a full straightaway.

The race’s only caution flag flew on lap 48, when Cayton Hornberger popped the outside wall on the front stretch.

In the series standings, Prillaman’s Top Dog/A Main sweep allowed him to pull even with Davis for the top position. Both drivers have accumulated 125 points. Styron is third, followed by Jackson and Manes.