- Buy Tickets
- Join the VIP Club
- Drivers & Teams
- Be a Sponsor
- About Us
February 4th (SAT) - Top-Notch Tire & Auto Center 200RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 4) -- Savannah Nickens of Chesterfield, Va., snagged the lead on an early-race restart and showed the way to her first Pro Series victory in the 50-lap Top Dog feature, the headlining event of Saturday evening's Top-Notch Tire & Auto Center 200 for Arena Racing USA at the Richmond Coliseum. Nickens' win is believed to be the first by a female driver in Top Dog competition in series history.
Chase Burrow drew the pole for the start of the event, sharing the front row with Johnny Shonk. Shane Zupo and B Main winner John Alford lined up on Row 2, while Garrett Manes was fifth on the grid. Nickens launched from the seventh slot.
As the race got under way, Shonk stayed even with Burrow until they reached Turn 4 for the first time. Exiting the corner, Shonk used the momentum off the high side to nose out front. He cleared Burrow through Turns 1 and 2 on lap 2 to gain the clear-cut edge. Burrow slipped into second, followed by Manes, Nickens and Zupo.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 7 when Branden Sanders and Todd Meredith got together in Turn 2 and Meredith looped his machine. Approaching the accident scene, Shonk committed to the high lane and just managed to squeeze between the outside wall and the stopped cars.
On the double-file restart, Shonk and Burrow battled side-by-side for about a lap and a half with Shonk retaining the top spot. Behind them, Zupo, who restarted fifth, had an adventure on lap 7 as he two-wheeled his way through Turns 3 and 4. Meanwhile, at the front, Manes swiped the runner-up position from Burrow and closed in on the leader.
The second yellow flag flew on lap 12 when Shonk spun off Turn 4 and collected Manes. At about the same time, Branden and Matt Sanders tied up at the other end of the track. All four drivers went to the rear of the field for the restart.
Preparing for the green flag, Burrow was the new leader, flanked by Nickens. Jim Grady and Tyler Warriner made up the second row, followed by Zupo and Blaine Schumann.
Back under green, Nickens stayed alongside Burrow until they reached Turn 4. Heading back to the flagstand, she surged out front.
The third caution flag appeared on lap 15 when Zupo and Branden Sanders tangled off Turn 2 and Zupo spun. Lining up for the next restart, Nickens made the unconventional, but not unheard of, decision to go to the outside lane, feeling she was getting a superior takeoff from the top side.
Nickens' choice of the outside lane proved to be a good one as she easily dispensed with Burrow. Warriner tagged along and took over second, followed by Shonk and Manes. Behind them, a momentary logjam in Turn 2 served to stretch out the field.
By lap 32, Nickens' advantage had swelled to nearly half a straightaway over Warriner. That margin disappeared on lap 35, though, when Shonk and Burrow locked horns in Turn 2, prompting the last of the race's four yellow flags.
For what would turn out to be the final restart, Nickens again chose the outside lane. Warriner lined up to her inside, followed, in the second row, by Manes and Chase Butler.
As the race resumed, Nickens cleared Warriner as they entered Turn 1. Butler took advantage of the opening on the outside and moved up to second, while Warriner and Manes slipped to third and fourth.
Heading into the final five circuits, Butler had closed to within a car-length of the leader's rear bumper. He never could muster a winning pass, though, as Nickens held on at the checkers. Warriner was third to the line, while Manes and Matt Sanders completed the top five.
Zupo was sixth in the final rundown, followed by Grady, Schumann and Burrow, all on the lead lap. Shonk and Meredith ended up 10th and 11th, both a lap in arrears. Branden Sanders and Alford rounded out the field. Scott Prillaman qualified for the evening's last event, but was didn't start.
Arena Racing USA will be off next weekend before hitting the road for a date at the Hampton (Va.) Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 18. The series returns to Richmond on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Garrett Manes took the lead on a restart with five to go and showed the way to his fifth victory of the season in the Pro Series A Main, which was extended from 50 to 51 laps by a late caution flag.
The event got off to a rocky start with one caution flag for a five-car mishap on the opening circuit and another on lap 2. Preparing for a restart, to begin lap 2, pole-sitter Chase Butler was the leader, flanked by Savannah Nickens.
As the race resumed, Nickens surged into the lead, clearing Butler off Turn 4. Butler slipped back to second, while Scott Prillaman scooted around Manes to take over third.
On lap 9, Prillaman and Manes locked horns in Turn 2. Camden Testerman took advantage of the incident, making his way past Manes for fourth. Meanwhile, at the head of the field, Nickens had increased her lead to almost half a straightaway.
Closing in on the halfway mark, Butler had pulled to within a couple car-lengths of Nickens' rear bumper. Third-place Prillaman enjoyed a front-row seat for the brewing battle, riding three lengths back.
On lap 23, Nickens bobbled in Turn 2 and Butler pounced, taking over the top spot. Prillaman tagged along and took over second, while Nickens fell to third.
The third yellow flag flew on lap 30 for a two-car skirmish off Turn 4. For the ensuing restart, Nickens opted for the outside lane, pulling alongside Butler. Fifth-place Testerman also chose the high side and restarted to the outside of Prillaman.
Back under green, Prillaman gave Butler a boost at the end of the backstretch, allowing him to gain the clear-cut edge over Nickens. As the field navigated Turn 4, Butler slid up and scrubbed the outside wall. He maintained the lead, though, with Prillaman in pursuit.
Caution #4 appeared on lap 34 when Nickens ducked underneath Prillaman in Turns 3 and 4 in a bid for second, but spun in Turn 4, collecting Testerman. Testerman, the defending Pro Series champ, got the worst of the exchange as the resulting damage chased him to the sidelines.
For the next restart, to begin lap 46, third-place Manes picked the outside lane and made the choice pay off as he roared ahead of Butler along the backstretch.
Just as the white flag went in the air, Butler and Prillaman tangled at the flagstand, prompting the fifth caution flag.
Lining up for a "green-white-checkered" dash to the end, Manes chose to give up the inside lane and restart on the outside. Chase Burrow, making his A Main debut after three straight B Main wins, occupied the inside of the front row.
The ensuing restart was a rather disjointed affair and the last of the race's six caution flags waved, slowing the field. Again, Manes opted for the outside lane.
Under green for the last time, Manes pulled ahead of Shane Zupo, who had restarted on the outside, at the flagstand. By the finish, Manes' winning margin had grown to half a straightaway. Zupo was second, followed by Burrow, Nickens and Blaine Schumann.
Branden Sanders headed up the second five, in sixth, while Prillaman and Butler were seventh and eighth, respectively, claiming the final Top Dog transfer spots. Testerman and Tommy Jackson Jr. were ninth and 10th and missed out on a chance to compete in the evening's finale.
John Alford of Stafford, Va., assumed the point after a wreck on the opening circuit and led all 50 laps for his first win of the season in the Pro Series B Main.
Tyler Warriner was the pole-sitter for the event, sharing the front row with Mark Clements. On the initial green-flag lap, however, the two tangled along the backstretch, bringing out the first caution flag. As they retreated to the back of the pack, Alford moved into the pole slot, flanked by Nate Thomas.
The second try at a start didn't go much better as Allen Booth III overturned in the middle of a crowd in Turn 4, prompting the second caution flag before the first lap was officially on the board.
The third attempt proved to be the charm with Alford pulling ahead of Thomas through Turns 1 and 2 to take the lead. A few laps later, Johnny Shonk slipped by Thomas to grab second. Working lap 11, Alford enjoyed a half-straightaway margin over Shonk, who was another half-straightaway ahead of third-place Thomas.
The third yellow flag came out on lap 17 when a broken drive chain ruined Thomas' promising outing. Cautions #4 and #5 followed on laps 20 and 28 as Alford continued to lead the way. After the fourth yellow flag, the red flag made an extended appearance as Clements apparently lost an engine and oiled down a good portion of the racing surface.
Back under green, to begin lap 32, Alford and second-place Shonk bolted from the pack. Shonk closed in on the leader's rear bumper and launched a bid for the lead on lap 43, ducking low into Turn 1. Alford held him off, though, and opened a two-length lead off the second corner.
Over the next handful of circuits, Shonk scrambled to make up the lost ground. Closing in on the finish, it looked like he might have an opportunity to catch Alford as a slower machine loomed in the leader's path.
The lapped car never came into play, though, and Alford held on to win by a car-length over Shonk. Jim Grady was third, followed by Warriner and Todd Meredith. Matt Sanders was credited with sixth and took the last available Top Dog transfer position. Clements, Thomas and Booth were seventh, eighth and ninth, in that order, in the final rundown.
Layton Harrison of Dinwiddie, Va., extended his season-opening unbeaten streak to four in a 30-lapper for the Future Stars division.
Harrison started up front and led Jay Seward and Fred Daniels in a three-car breakaway as the race got rolling. By lap 5, Harrison had opened a three-length gap between himself and Seward.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 9 when Seward got loose off Turn 2 and plowed into the big, interlocking foam blocks that make up the inside wall along the backstretch.
Back under green, Harrison pulled away by half a straightaway, while Seward set his sights on second-place Daniels. On lap 16, Seward took a run at Daniels in Turns 3 and 4. The bid went awry, though, as Seward overturned to bring out the second yellow flag.
As the field slowed under caution, Connor Garlitz inadvertently slammed into the rear of the leader's machine. All drivers were able to continue.
On the restart, Harrison pulled away from Daniels by three lengths, while Seward quickly moved past two lapped cars and began to close in on Daniels.
The third, and final, caution flag waved on lap 23 when Seward, Daniels and Garlitz all came together off Turn 4. Garlitz got the short end of the encounter as his car ground to a stop at the entrance to Turn 1 and required some assistance to make it to the infield.
On the last restart, Harrison dashed away from the field and won by a straightaway. Seward capped an active night with a runner-up finish. Daniels was third, while Rachel Ingram and Garlitz were fourth and fifth.
Camden Testerman snagged his third straight pole in Pro Series qualifying, clocking in at 7.777 seconds during the first of the three rounds that made up the session. Tommy Jackson Jr. was second-fastest, 63-thousandths of a second off Testerman's mark. Scott Prillaman, Chase Burrow and Garrett Manes rounded out the top five. Nineteen drivers posted laps with 0.726-second dividing the fastest and slowest.
Layton Harrison maintained his spotless record in Future Stars time trials, racking up his fourth pole in as many tries. Jay Seward was second-quickest, 0.129-second behind the pole winner. Fred Daniels, Rachel Ingram and Connor Garlitz completed the rundown.
FEBRUARY 4 RACE RESULTS from Richmond Coliseum:
PRO SERIES TOP DOG (50 laps): 1. Savannah Nickens; 2. Chase Butler; 3. Tyler Warriner; 4. Garrett Manes; 5. Matt Sanders; 6. Shane Zupo; 7. Jim Grady; 8. Blaine Schumann; 9. Chase Burrow; 10. Johnny Shonk; 11. Todd Meredith; 12. Branden Sanders; 13. John Alford. Pole: Burrow.
PRO SERIES A MAIN (51 laps): 1. Garrett Manes; 2. Shane Zupo; 3. Chase Burrow; 4. Savannah Nickens; 5. Blaine Schumann; 6. Branden Sanders; 7. Scott Prillaman; 8. Chase Butler; 9. Camden Testerman; 10. Tommy Jackson Jr. Pole: Butler.
PRO SERIES B MAIN (50 laps): 1. John Alford; 2. Johnny Shonk; 3. Jim Grady; 4. Tyler Warriner; 5. Todd Meredith; 6. Matt Sanders; 7. Mark Clements; 8. Nate Thomas; 9. Allen Booth III. Pole: Warriner.
FUTURE STARS SERIES (30 laps): 1. Layton Harrison; 2. Jay Seward; 3. Fred Daniels; 4. Rachel Ingram; 5. Connor Garlitz. Pole: Harrison.
NEXT EVENT: Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Hampton (Va.) Coliseum. Doors open at 6 PM and racing starts at 7 PM.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ricky Dennis
Phone: (804) 835-5211