Prillaman wins two in Richmond

Published 1:16 pm Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Suffolk’s Scott Prillaman celebrates with trophy presenter Kristin Dennis after his 51-lap Pro Series Top Dog win in the Arena Racing USA series program at Richmond Coliseum on Saturday.

Suffolk’s Scott Prillaman celebrates with trophy presenter Kristin Dennis after his 51-lap Pro Series Top Dog win in the Arena Racing USA series program at Richmond Coliseum on Saturday.

On Teacher Appreciation Night, Scott Prillaman of Suffolk took his fellow Pro Series competitors to school, sweeping the “Top Dog” feature and the “A Main” for his second and third wins of the season, as Arena Racing USA convened at the Richmond Coliseum for Saturday evening’s RVA 200.

In the evening’s final race, the 51-lap Top Dog event, Prillaman capitalized on a tangle between the two lead cars to move into contention. He took the lead for the first time on lap 44 and led the rest of the way for his second straight Top Dog victory.

John Alford drew the pole for the start, but opted to drop to the rear of the field, handing the prime starting position to Scott Allen. Francis Jarrelle III was the outside pole-sitter, while Tyler Hughes and Tyler Daniels made up the second row. Tripp Thurston lined up in the fifth slot.

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As the race got underway, Jarrelle gathered a head of steam on the outside and nosed half a car-length ahead of Allen at the end of Lap 1. Hughes came along with Jarrelle and snagged second, while Allen fell to third.

Meanwhile, Prillaman was due to start 13th on the 14-car grid. With two cars unable to start and two more choosing to start at the rear, though, he moved up to seventh before the first green flag dropped.

The first caution flag flew on Lap 6. Back under green, Jarrelle darted off by half a straightaway, aided by a momentary logjam in Turn 2. Prillaman skirted the melee and moved up fourth, behind Jarrelle, Hughes and Allen.

The second caution flag flew on lap 18 when Allen and Prillaman tangled in Turn 2, sending Allen into the outside wall. Allen was sidelined by the incident, while Prillaman was directed to the back of the pack.

On the restart, Jarrelle quickly cleared Hughes, who dropped off the pace and made his way to the infield. With Hughes faltering, Travis Wall moved up to third, followed by Dystany Spurlock. Closing in on the leader, Wall ducked underneath Jarrelle on Lap 27. Jarrelle was strong on the outside, though, and regained the clear-cut edge a lap later.

The third caution flag flew on Lap 31 when Thurston and Dylan Loving tangled on the backstretch, sending Thurston into the inside barrier. As the race resumed, it appeared that Wall might have the advantage on the top side of the track. Jarrelle, however, carried him high in the corners a couple times and came away with the lead.

Once out front, Jarrelle quickly returned to the high line. The fourth yellow flag fluttered on Lap 35, when Jason Manes and Spurlock locked horns on the backstretch. Gathering for another double-file restart, Jarrelle and Wall remained first and second, while Prillaman had cycled back through the pack and was up to third and in position to pounce.

On the ensuing restart, Jarrelle was unable to shake Wall, who remained on his flank through Turns 1 and 2 and down the backstretch. Heading into Turn 3, Jarrelle and Wall slammed together, door-to-door, and Jarrelle nearly lost control.

As the two leaders separated, Prillaman charged up the middle and drew to the inside of Wall, who had pulled ahead of Jarrelle. With Prillaman to his inside, Wall held sway on laps 42 and 43. On Lap 44, though, Prillaman finally found enough bite in the bottom groove and surged out front, clearing Wall on Lap 45.

Prillaman’s trip to Victory Lane was delayed by two more caution flags, at laps 48 and 50. That last yellow flag set up a “green-white-checkered” finish and pushed the event one lap past its scheduled 50-lap distance.

On the final restart, Prillaman cleared Wall as they sped into Turn 1, and he opened a three-length margin that he would maintain to the end.

At the finish, Prillaman was the winner, followed by Wall, Spurlock, Tyler Daniels and Jarrelle.

Scott Prillaman took the lead on the opening circuit and showed the way to his second victory of the night and the season in the 50-lap Uptown Color A Main.