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November 19th (SAT) - Season Opener 200
ARENA RACING USA
at Richmond (Va.) Coliseum
2016-17 Season Opener
Saturday, November 19, 2016
RICHMOND, Va. (Nov. 19) -- Garrett Manes of Powhatan, Va., assumed the lead on lap 49 and paced the last two circuits to score the win in the 50-lap Pro Series Top Dog feature, the headlining event of Saturday evening's season-opening program for Arena Racing USA at the Richmond Coliseum. The victory was Manes' second of the night as he backed up his earlier triumph in the A Main.
Branden Sanders drew the pole for the start of the finale, sharing the front row with Jim Grady. Chase Butler and Scott Prillaman made up Row 2, while Johnny Shonk and defending Pro Series champion Camden Testerman launched from Row 3. Manes started from the outside of Row 4, alongside Matt Sanders.
As the race got under way, Branden Sanders and Grady dueled side-by-side with Sanders eking out a slim edge at the end of lap 1. The battle continued until they reached the backstretch on lap 2. Motoring into Turn 3, Sanders finally gained the clear-cut advantage. Grady slipped into second, followed by Butler, Shonk, Testerman and Manes.
Meanwhile, Prillaman, a former Pro Series champion and a pre-race favorite, slowed with mechanical problems on lap 3 and made the turn into the infield, retiring to a 14th-place finish.
The first caution flag flew on lap 7 when Arena Racing newcomer Tyler Warriner rolled on his side at the start/finish line. Branden Sanders was collected in the mess, while Grady slipped through to inherit the top spot. Butler took over second and Testerman moved up to third, followed by Manes.
Back under green, Testerman and Manes scooted by Butler, who dropped from second to fourth. Soon, the front three were in nose-to-tail formation with Testerman pestering Grady for the lead.
On lap 12, Testerman initiated a bid for the top spot, driving underneath Grady in Turn 4. Before he could complete the pass, however, the second yellow flag appeared for debris in Turns 1 and 2.
On the next double-file restart, Testerman raced ahead of Grady alongside the backstretch to take the lead for the first time. As Testerman pulled ahead, he left the inside lane open for Manes.
Caution #3 was unfurled on lap 15 when Branden Sanders plowed into the inside barricade on the frontstretch. Setting the lineup, Testerman and Grady went 1-2, while Manes, Butler and Mark Clements rounded out the top five.
As the race resumed, Testerman darted ahead of Grady. Manes pounced on the opening and swiped second, bringing Butler along with him, to third, and dropping Grady to fourth. By lap 28, Testerman and Manes had broken away from the pack, widening their advantage over Butler to a straightaway.
The fourth caution flag waved on lap 32 for a three-car snarl in Turn 4. Approaching the scene, second-place Manes was unable to avoid the fracas, catching a small piece of the action as he braked to a halt. Manes' misfortune elevated Butler to second in the running order as the field prepared for another restart. Though he played a part in the caution, Manes only dropped to fifth for the restart, lining up ahead of the three drivers originally involved in the mishap.
Back under green, Testerman quickly cleared Butler and set sail, extending his lead to half a straightaway by lap 43. Closing in on the finish, though, slower traffic loomed in his path.
Testerman had already seen the white flag when the complexion of the event took a wild swing. Motoring through Turns 1 and 2, Testerman suddenly found his route blocked by a pair of spinning machines. Unable to miss the melee, Testerman plowed into the scrum as the fifth caution flag went in the air, setting up a "green-white-checkered" finish.
As Testerman retreated to the rear of the field, Butler took over the lead. Grady was second, while Manes, Chase Burrow and Todd Meredith occupied the next three spots.
Before another lap could be completed, the yellow flag flew for a sixth, and final, time as Butler and Grady tangled at the end of the backstretch. Butler overturned, while Grady made heavy contact with the outside wall in Turn 4.
With the 14-car starting lineup whittled down to just five, Manes headed the procession as the field prepared for another try at putting the event in the books. Burrow, the B Main winner, flanked Manes for the restart, while Testerman, Clements and Meredith completed the running order.
Under green for the final time, Manes and Testerman dashed ahead of Burrow to settle things between themselves. Manes fashioned a two-length edge over Testerman and held that margin to the end.
At the finish, Manes was the winner over Testerman. Burrow was third, followed by Meredith and Clements, all on the lead lap. The other nine starters were all sidelined during the course of the event. Butler was shown in sixth, while Grady, Branden Sanders, Nate Thomas and Shonk rounded out the top 10. Matt Sanders, Savannah Nickens, Warriner and Prillaman completed the rundown.
Arena Racing USA returns to action at the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday, Dec. 10, with the Arc3 Gases 200. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the first green flag falls at 3.
Garrett Manes muscled into the lead on the 41st circuit and rolled to victory in the 50-lap Pro Series A Main.
Manes started on the pole, but gave way to outside pole-sitter Scott Prillaman on the opening lap. Manes dropped into line on Prillaman's rear bumper and the two began to distance themselves from the third-place runner, Camden Testerman.
The first caution flag waved on lap 22 when Branden Sanders spun in Turn 2, collecting Mark Clements, Savannah Nickens and Jim Grady. Lining up for the restart, no one opted for the outside lane, leaving the field in single-file formation.
Back under green, Prillaman and Manes quickly opened a two-length gap over Testerman. Half a straightaway divided the top three from fourth-place Chase Butler.
On lap 29, Manes took a peek to the inside of Prillaman off Turn 2, then fell back in line. Two laps later, he made a more forceful bid, initiating a side-by-side battle for the lead that lasted until lap 34 when Prillaman regained command.
Prillaman and Manes continued their cat-and-mouse duel until lap 41 when Manes moved Prillaman up the banking in Turn 2 and darted into the lead. Testerman took advantage of the exchange and bypassed Prillaman for second.
The final yellow flag flew on lap 45 when Nickens looped her machine in Turn 2. Preparing for a six-lap sprint to the checkers, Testerman pulled to the outside of Manes.
On the restart, Manes and Testerman raced side-by-side until they reached the end of the backstretch. Heading into Turn 3, Manes gained the upper hand and left the inside lane open for Prillaman, who moved up to challenge Testerman for second.
Testerman finally fought off Prillaman's advance on lap 47. By then, however, Manes had pulled more than half a straightaway ahead. Manes maintained that margin to the finish.
At the end, Manes was the winner, followed Testerman and Prillaman. Butler was fourth, while Grady completed the top five. Sanders, Nickens and Clements rounded out the rundown. All eight drivers claimed spots in the evening's Top Dog finale.
In the 50-lap B Main, Chase Burrow of King William, Va., took the lead on lap 27 and sailed to victory in his first Pro Series outing.
Matt Sanders was the pole-sitter for the event and grabbed the top spot from outside pole starter Shane Zupo as the field roared into Turn 1 for the first time. Zupo settled into second, followed by a door-to-door battle between Tyler Warriner and Johnny Shonk.
After the first caution flag, at lap 7, Shonk chose to restart in the outside lane and took over the runner-up spot, edging ahead of Zupo. Five laps later, Zupo tried to retake the position from Shonk in Turns 3 and 4. Instead, he overturned in Turn 4, prompting the second yellow flag.
Gathering for the ensuing restart, Burrow, who had spent the opening laps getting his bearings near the rear of the pack, picked the outside lane and pulled alongside Sanders. Back under green, he gained the second spot and began working on Sanders for the lead.
Following the third caution flag, which appeared on lap 22 for debris in Turn 4, Sanders and Burrow resumed their tussle for the top spot. Sanders held on until lap 27 when Burrow ducked underneath him on the frontstretch and snagged the lead in Turns 1 and 2. Just two laps later, Burrow had opened a half-straightaway advantage.
The last caution flag was unfurled on lap 30 for debris in Turn 3. Fifth-place Nate Thomas opted for the outside lane, motoring alongside Burrow.
On the final restart, Burrow cleared Thomas at the flagstand and pulled away from the pack, quickly building his advantage to almost a straightaway.
At the finish, Burrow was the winner by a straightaway over Sanders. Shonk was third to the line, followed by Warriner and Thomas. Todd Meredith was sixth and claimed the final Top Dog transfer spot. Allen Booth III and Zupo were seventh and eighth in the final finishing order.
Layton Harrison of Dinwiddie, Va., regained the top spot on lap 29 and paced the final two circuits to win a 30-lapper for the Future Stars.
With novice drivers making up half of the six-car field, things were a bit hairy for the three experienced drivers -- Harrison, Conner Jones and Jay Seward -- in the early going. Catching the slower cars every two or three laps, the lead trio slowed to a snail's pace as they made their way past. As the race went on, the leaders began making liberal use of the infield concrete to get around the lapped machines.
On lap 27, Harrison got boxed in by the slower cars and Jones and Seward squeezed by off the fourth corner. Two laps later, though, Jones tangled with Rae Ingram on the backstretch and they both plowed into the inside barricade, bringing out the last of the race's three yellow flags. Along with Jones and Ingram, Seward was also judged to have been involved in the incident and joined the other two at the rear of the field.
Separated from Jones and Seward by a pair of lapped cars, Harrison enjoyed a big advantage on the final restart. He bolted to a full-straightaway lead and cruised to the finish.
At the checkers, Harrison was the winner, followed by Jones and Seward. Fred Daniels, Ingram and Connor Garlitz completed the rundown.
Scott Prillaman of Suffolk, Va., set the pace in late afternoon Pro Series qualifying, nabbing the pole for the A Main with a 7.967-second lap. Garrett Manes was second-fastest, just 9-thousandths of a second off Prillaman's standard. Former Future Stars Series champion Chase Burrow clocked in third for his Pro debut, followed by Camden Testerman and Chase Butler. Fifteen drivers posted times with 0.787-second separating the field.
In Future Stars Series time trials, Layton Harrison topped the qualifying results at 8.429 seconds. Conner Jones, Jay Seward, Connor Garlitz and Fred Daniels completed the top five.
NOVEMBER 19 RACE RESULTS from Richmond Coliseum:
PRO SERIES TOP DOG (50 laps): 1. Garrett Manes; 2. Camden Testerman; 3. Chase Burrow; 4. Todd Meredith; 5. Mark Clements; 6. Chase Butler; 7. Jim Grady; 8. Branden Sanders; 9. Nate Thomas; 10. Johnny Shonk; 11. Matt Sanders; 12. Savannah Nickens; 13. Tyler Warriner; 14. Scott Prillaman. Pole: B. Sanders (via draw).
PRO SERIES A MAIN (50 laps): 1. Garrett Manes; 2. Camden Testerman; 3. Scott Prillaman; 4. Chase Butler; 5. Jim Grady; 6. Branden Sanders; 7. Savannah Nickens; 8. Mark Clements. Pole: Manes (top 2 inverted).
PRO SERIES B MAIN (50 laps): 1. Chase Burrow; 2. Matt Sanders; 3. Johnny Shonk; 4. Tyler Warriner; 5. Nate Thomas; 6. Todd Meredith; 7. Allen Booth III; 8. Shane Zupo. Pole: M. Sanders (top 6 inverted).
FUTURE STARS SERIES (30 laps): 1. Layton Harrison; 2. Conner Jones; 3. Jay Seward; 4. Fred Daniels; 5. Rae Ingram; 6. Connor Garlitz. Pole: Harrison.
NEXT EVENT: Arc3 Gases 200. Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Richmond Coliseum. Doors open at 2 PM and racing starts at 3 PM.
Phone: (804) 835-5211