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February 18th (SAT) - Hampton 200 presented by Pomoco Auto Group
ARENA RACING USA
at Hampton (Va.) Coliseum
Hampton 200 presented by Pomoco Auto Group
Saturday, February 18, 2017
HAMPTON, Va. (Feb. 18) -- Making his first start of the year, former champ Cody Carlton of Chesapeake, Va., moved out front on lap 6 and led the rest of the way to win the 50-lap Pro Series Top Dog race, the featured contest of Saturday evening's Hampton 200 presented by the Pomoco Auto Group for Arena Racing USA at the Hampton Coliseum.
Saturday's racing program was the first for Arena Racing USA in Hampton since April 2, 2011, and attracted an enthusiastic crowd. Coming on the heels of Friday's announcement of the reopening of Langley Speedway, Hampton's longtime NASCAR facility, after a year of inactivity, Saturday's Arena show put the cap on a celebratory weekend for the Hampton Roads racing fraternity.
Chase Burrow was the pole-sitter for the Top Dog finale with Tyler Warriner starting alongside. Carlton started on the inside of Row 2, flanked by Nate Thomas. Defending Pro Series champ Camden Testerman lined up fifth.
The first caution flag flew before the opening lap was in the books as Savannah Nickens overturned in Turn 4. As the field regrouped, Nickens' car was pushed to the infield, prematurely ending her night.
On the second attempt at a start, Burrow motored ahead of Warriner as they approached Turn 1 to take the lead. Carlton moved up to second, followed by Testerman and Prillaman. As Warriner slipped to fifth, the front four began to set sail.
The second yellow flag waved on lap 6. On the double-file restart, Carlton stayed even with Burrow before grabbing the lead off Turn 4. His early success in the outside lane would play into his decision-making later in the race.
Caution #3 was unfurled on lap 7 when Allen Booth III ground to a halt in Turn 1. Lining up for the restart, Carlton opted for the top side.
Back under green, Carlton quickly cleared Burrow as they entered Turn 1. Testerman tagged along with Carlton and took over second. Deeper in the pack, Warriner flipped over off Turn 2 on lap 8, bounced off the outside wall and kept going.
Slower traffic became a factor on lap 14 as Carlton clung to a half-length lead over Testerman. Behind them, Prillaman was on the move, swiping the third spot from Burrow on lap 17. He faced a steep climb, though, as the lead duo was up by nearly a full straightaway.
Scrambling to catch up to the two leaders, Prillaman got an assist
on lap 26 when Testerman got caught up with a lapped machine in
Turns 1 and 2, allowing Prillaman to slip past and into second.
The fourth, and final, caution flag was unfurled on lap 29 when Warriner spun into the inside barrier at the start/finish line.
Once again, Carlton picked the outside lane for the restart, ceding
the inside to Prillaman. And, once again, Carlton made the decision
pay off, rocketing to a three-length advantage as the green went
back in the air. Prillaman tried to mount a late charge, but wasn't
having a great deal of success.
Nearing the end, slower traffic came into play again and Prillaman was able to close in on Carlton's rear bumper. Prillaman ran out of laps, though, as Carlton held on to win by a car-length. Testerman tailed Carlton and Prillaman to the stripe, in third, followed by Burrow and Chase Butler.
Jim Grady was sixth to the checkers, while Shane Zupo was seventh, the final driver to complete the entire distance. Branden Sanders was seventh, followed by Warriner, Matt Midgett, Thomas, Booth and Nickens. Matt Sanders qualified for the Top Dog event, but was unable to answer the bell after a hard crash in the B Main.
Arena Racing USA returns to its home base -- the Richmond (Va.) Coliseum -- next Saturday, Feb. 25, as the second half of the 2016-17 season gets under way. Doors open at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 7.
Former series champ Scott Prillaman of Suffolk, Va., took the lead on the final restart and held on for his first victory of the season in the 50-lap Pro Series A Main.
Savannah Nickens, fresh off her first career win in the Feb. 4 Top Dog race, started on the pole, sharing the front row with Chase Burrow. Fast qualifier Camden Testerman and Prillaman occupied Row 2, while Tommy Jackson Jr. started fifth.
As the race got under way, Burrow stayed alongside Nickens until
they reached Turn 3 for the first time. Heading into the corner,
Burrow nosed out front to take the early lead. Testerman moved up
to second and Garrett Manes grabbed third as Nickens looked for an
opening in the inside lane.
The first yellow flag appeared on lap 2 when Nickens and Prillaman tangled in Turn 4. Lining up for the ensuing restart, Testerman chose the outside lane, pulling alongside Burrow.
Back under green, Testerman edged ahead at the start/finish line to lead lap 2. Burrow battled back, though, reclaiming the top spot on lap 3.
The second caution flag waved on lap 4 when Manes spun in Turn 4, collecting Nickens, who overturned. The third caution flag followed quickly as Jackson went around in Turn 3 on the next restart.
As the race resumed, Testerman retook the lead from Burrow, nosing ahead at the flagstand. The green-flag run was short-lived, however, as Manes spun at the end of the frontstretch to bring out the fourth yellow flag.
Lining up for another restart, Testerman was out front, followed by Burrow, Prillaman and Cody Carlton. Prillaman picked the outside lane and launched alongside the leader.
Back under green, Testerman and Prillaman remained side-by-side for about a lap and a half before Testerman regained control. Prillaman settled into second, followed by Burrow, carlton and Chase Butler. By lap 30, the top four had distanced themselves from fifth-place Butler.
On lap 36, Testerman and Prillaman separated themselves from the pack when Burrow and Carlton locked horns on the backstretch and Carlton went for a ride into the inside barrier. With the yellow flag staying under wraps, the lead duo pulled away by nearly half a lap.
The last of the race's five yellow flags flew on lap 42 when Nickens spun off Turn 4. For the final restart, Prillaman and Carlton opted for the outside lane.
On the restart, Prillaman used the momentum off the top side to gain a slight advantage as the leaders returned to the start/finish line.
Banging doors all the way, Prillaman and Testerman battled to the checkers with Prillaman eking out the win by little more than a foot -- 33-thousandths of a second, according to the official results. Testerman was the runner-up, while Carlton, Burrow and Butler rounded out the top five.
Branden Sanders headed the second five, in sixth, while Nickens and Shane Zupo were seventh and eighth, respectively, claiming the final Top Dog transfer spots. Manes and Jackson were ninth and 10th, missing out on a starting position in the evening's finale.
Back in an Arena car for the first time in years, Matt Midgett of Kitty Hawk, N.C., took the lead for good with five laps to go and scored the win in the 50-lap Pro Series B Main.
Scott Allen was the pole-sitter, lining up to the inside of Matt Sanders. Johnny Shonk and Midgett made up Row 2, while Nate Thomas launched from the fifth spot.
On the start, Allen and Sanders dueled side-by-side with Sanders gaining a slim edge as they exited Turn 4 to complete lap 1. Sanders cleared Allen at the flagstand on the second circuit.
The first caution flag flew on lap 6 when Thomas spun in Turn 4, collecting Jim Grady and Josh Burnham.
Back under green, Johnny Shonk, who had restarted in the outside lane, eased ahead of Sanders to take the lead. Still running 1-2, Shonk and Sanders ran up on slower traffic on lap 21 and Shonk emerged with his rear bumper cover dangling. The damage eventually drew a black flag for Shonk and returned Sanders to the top spot.
The second yellow flag appeared on lap 31 for debris on the backstretch. Midgett was the first of three drivers to pick the outside lane for the ensuing restart and he made the decision pay off as he grabbed the lead for the first time.
The third yellow flag waved on lap 34 for more debris, this time in Turn 4. Back under green, Midgett stayed out front until lap 45 when Sanders regained the top spot.
The last handful of circuits were punctuated by four more caution flags. On a restart at lap 46, Midgett regained the lead from Sanders. Sanders battled back, though, and had just slipped past Midgett before overturning in Turn 4 on lap 48, slamming roof-first into the outside wall.
Back out front, Midgett survived three more restarts to win by a car-length over Grady. Tyler Warriner was third, followed by Allen Booth III. Nate Thomas was credited with fifth, while Sanders was shown in sixth, the last Top Dog transfer spot. Allen, Burnham and Shonk were seventh, eighth and ninth, in that order.
Layton Harrison of Dinwiddie, Va., started on the pole and cruised to his fifth straight victory in a 30-lapper for the Future Stars Series.
Jay Seward looked to keep pace with the leader in the early going, but two-wheeled his way out of Turn 2 on the second circuit and smacked the outside wall along the backstretch. The mishap chased Seward to the sidelines for the duration.
Back under green, Harrison bolted ahead of Rachel Ingram, the new second-place runner. By lap 7, the gap had swelled to a full straightaway.
For the remainder of the event, Harrison seemed content to maintain his straightaway advantage as he sailed to victory. Ingram was second to the line, followed by Fred Daniels. Seward was credited with fourth.
Camden Testerman of Sandston, Va., nabbed his fourth straight pole in Pro Series qualifying -- a compilation of lap times from three practice rounds. Testerman clocked in at 7.721 seconds to trim Chase Burrow by 16-thousandths of a second. Savannah Nickens, Scott Prillaman and Tommy Jackson Jr. rounded out the top five. Eighteen drivers posted times with 0.585-second separating the fastest and slowest.
In Future Stars time trials, Layton Harrison maintained his unblemished record, snagging his fifth pole in as many tries. Harrison's best lap -- 8.239 seconds -- was just good enough to clip Jay Seward by 7-thousandths of a second. Rachel Ingram and Fred Daniels were third and fourth, respectively, in the qualifying rundown.
FEBRUARY 18 RACE RESULTS from Hampton Coliseum:
PRO SERIES TOP DOG (50 laps): 1. Cody Carlton; 2. Scott Prillaman; 3. Camden Testerman; 4. Chase Burrow; 5. Chase Butler; 6. Jim Grady; 7. Shane Zupo; 8. Branden Sanders; 9. Tyler Warriner; 10. Matt Midgett; 11. Nate Thomas; 12. Allen Booth III; 13. Savannah Nickens. Pole: Burrow.
PRO SERIES A MAIN (50 laps): 1. Scott Prillaman; 2. Camden Testerman; 3. Cody Carlton; 4. Chase Burrow; 5. Chase Butler; 6. Branden Sanders; 7. Savannah Nickens; 8. Shane Zupo; 9. Garrett Manes; 10. Tommy Jackson Jr. Pole: Nickens (Top 3 inverted).
PRO SERIES B MAIN (50 laps): 1. Matt Midgett; 2. Jim Grady; 3. Tyler Warriner; 4. Allen Booth III; 5. Nate Thomas; 6. Matt Sanders; 7. Scott Allen; 8. Josh Burnham; 9. Johnny Shonk. Pole: Allen (Top 4 inverted).
FUTURE STARS SERIES (30 laps): 1. Layton Harrison; 2. Rachel Ingram; 3. Fred Daniels; 4. Jay Seward. Pole: Harrison.