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March 11th (SAT) - RVA Sports 200
ARENA RACING USA
at Richmond (Va.) Coliseum
RVA Sports 200
Saturday, March 11, 2017
RICHMOND, Va. (Mar. 11) -- Garrett Manes of Powhatan, Va., scored his eighth win of the season in the 50-lap Pro Series Top Dog race, the featured event of Saturday evening's RVA Sports 200 for Arena Racing USA at the Richmond Coliseum. The victory was his fourth in Top Dog competition, to go along with four A Main wins, including one earlier in Saturday's program.
Todd Meredith drew the pole for the start of the night's final event. Battling outside pole starter Chase Burrow on the opening circuit, Meredith overturned in Turn 4 to bring out the first yellow flag and prompt a complete restart.
Lining up for another try at a start, Branden Sanders replaced Meredith on the pole. Finally under green, Burrow grabbed the early advantage, powering ahead of Sanders along the backstretch. Scott Prillaman moved up to second, while Sanders slipped to third. Manes and Chase Butler emerged from the break in fourth and fifth, respectively.
The second yellow flag flew on lap 3 when Mark Clements overturned
in Turn 4. The mishap chased Clements to the sidelines. Sanders
also retired during the ensuing caution period.
Just to reiterate how tricky Turn 4 was proving to be, Savannah Nickens overturned there on lap 4 to bring out the third caution flag. Before another lap was completed, Caution #4 was in the air for debris. On the next restart, Burrow jumped the green flag and was sent to the back of the pack, passing the lead to Prillaman.
For the next restart, Prillaman picked the outside lane, putting Manes on the inside of Row 1. The decision paid off as he quickly cleared Manes and left the runner-up to tussle with Camden Testerman.
The sixth yellow flag appeared on lap 11 when Nate Thomas spun in Turn 2 while jousting for position with Shane Zupo and Nickens. For the restart, Prillaman again opted for the outside lane.
Back under green, Prillaman jumped out front and left an opening for Chase Butler, who pulled to the outside of Manes. The green-flag run ended on lap 18, though, when Burrow smacked the outside wall on the frontstretch, bringing his night to a sudden end.
As the race resumed, Prillaman set the pace, while Manes and Testerman renewed their duel. Manes eventually claimed the upper hand on lap 22. By then, however, Prillaman had opened a full-straightaway advantage.
The complexion of the event took a wild swing on lap 31 when Prillaman tangled with a lapped machine on the frontstretch. Manes was snared in the incident as the eighth yellow flag was unfurled. As Prillaman and Manes headed toward the back of the lineup, Testerman, who started shotgun on the 13-car grid, assumed the lead.
Returning to green, to start lap 41, Testerman quickly cleared Butler, who was lined up to his inside. Zupo motored to the outside of Butler in a bid for second and the two tangled off Turn 2, careening into the inside barrier along the backstretch to bring out the ninth yellow flag.
On the next restart, with five laps to go, Testerman faced off against Prillaman, who had cycled back up to the second position. Back under green, the two went door-to-door for a couple laps with Testerman maintaining a slim edge. Coming around to complete lap 47, though, the two locked horns and slammed the outside wall in Turn 4, bringing out the 10th caution flag and whittling the field to six.
With Prillaman and Testerman on the sidelines, Manes moved atop the leaderboard for the first time. Nickens lined up second, followed by Thomas, Zupo and Butler.
Coming back to the green flag, Manes shot into Turn 4 and up the track in front of Nickens. The disjointed restart prompted the last of the race's 11 caution flags. At first, it looked like Manes would be sent to the back of the pack, putting Nickens in line for her second Top Dog win. That call was reversed, however, and Manes was returned to the lead for the final restart.
Under green for the final time, Manes easily cleared Nickens as they sped toward Turn 1. By the finish, he had extended his winning margin to half a straightaway. Nickens was second to the stripe, followed by Meredith, Thomas and Zupo. Butler headed the second five, in sixth.
Among the retirees, Testerman and Prillaman were credited with seventh and eighth, in that order, followed by Burrow, Branden Sanders and Clements. John Nickens and Matt Sanders rolled their machines to the grid, but were unable to take the initial green flag. They were credited with 12th and 13th, respectively. Johnny Shonk also qualified for the Top Dog race, but was unable to answer the bell for driver intros.
Arena Racing USA returns to action at the Richmond Coliseum next Friday, Mar. 17, with the St. Patty's 200. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the pre-race meet-and-greet and racing begins at 7.
Garrett Manes moved out front on the race's only restart and sailed to his seventh victory of the season in the 50-lap Pro Series A Main. The win was his fourth in an A Main.
After an inversion of the top five, Chase Butler was the pole-sitter for the event, sharing the front row with Scott Prillaman. Manes and Chase Burrow made up Row 2, while fast qualifier Camden Testerman lined up fifth.
As the race got under way, Prillaman stayed on Butler's outside
flank and nosed ahead at the end of the opening circuit. Entering
Turn 1 at the beginning of lap 2, Prillaman gained the clear-cut
edge. Butler slipped into second, followed by Manes, Testerman and
On lap 6, Testerman scooted by Manes to take over the third spot. Nine laps later, he overtook Butler for second. Manes followed Testerman's cue on lap 19, snagging third. Meanwhile, Prillaman had driven off by half a straightaway.
Testerman ran into some trouble on lap 36 when his machine skittered up the track in Turn 2. On the following circuit, he suddenly slowed on the backstretch and pulled to a halt in the infield between Turns 3 and 4, prompting the only caution flag.
Lining up for the restart, Prillaman opted for the inside lane,
while Manes went to the top side. Fourth-place Burrow also picked
the high lane, pulling alongside third-place Butler.
Under green for a quick sprint to the finish, Manes edged ahead of Prillaman to take the lead for the first time. The two remained door-to-door for three laps before Manes surged out front in Turn 1 on lap 41.
At the checkers, Manes had stretched his winning margin to a
straightaway over Prillaman, who held off a late charge by Burrow
to take second. Butler was fourth to the line, followed by Savannah
Nickens, Mark Clements and Shane Zupo. Testerman was the only
retiree and was credited with eighth. All eight starters advanced
to the evening's Top Dog finale.
John Nickens of Chesterfield, Va., grabbed the top spot on a restart at lap 7 and led the rest of the way for his first win of the season in the 50-lap Pro Series B Main.
Nickens was the pole-sitter for the event, but gave way to outside pole starter Todd Meredith on the first lap. Nickens droppped into second, followed by Matt Sanders, Branden Sanders and Nate Thomas.
The first yellow flag flew on lap 7 when fluid was spotted on the track. The leak was traced to Branden Sanders' machine. Officials remedied the situation to their satisfaction and Sanders was allowed to continue.
For the ensuing restart, Nickens chose the outside lane, pulling up next to Meredith. Back under green, he made the decision pay off, motoring ahead of Meredith on the backstretch. On the following circuit, Matt Sanders moved into second, while Meredith slid to the rear of the field.
The second caution flag appeared on lap 18 when Branden Sanders and Thomas tangled in Turn 4.
Lining up for the restart, Nickens chose the high lane, joined up top by Johnny Shonk and Meredith. As the race resumed, Nickens and Shonk bolted ahead of the pack, while Matt Sanders dropped into third.
On lap 26, Branden Sanders looped his car in Turn 2. As the yellow flag remained hidden, Sanders sped through the infield and tried to rejoin the fray in Turns 3 and 4. His re-entry caused something of a traffic jam in Turn 4, though, and the third caution flag waved on lap 28.
For the next restart, Nickens chose to remain in the bottom lane. Third-place Matt Sanders went to the high side.
Back under green, to begin lap 34, Nickens cleared Sanders as they
reached the flagstand. Sanders slid in line behind the leader,
swiping the runner-up spot from Shonk.
Matt Sanders' race came to an abrupt end on lap 38 when he slammed the outside wall off Turn 2 and rolled to a stop at the end of the backstretch.
Gathering for what would turn out to be the final restart, Nickens and Shonk, the first- and second-place drivers, both chose the outside lane, ceding the inside of the front row to Meredith.
Under green for the last time, Nickens and Shonk powered ahead of the pack. Meredith dropped into the third slot and tried to latch onto the top two.
In the waning laps, Nickens worked the high lane, leaving the bottom of the track open for Shonk. On the 43rd circuit, Shonk poked a fender underneath Nickens in Turn 4. He couldn't complete the pass, however, as Nickens eventually cleared him and pulled away.
Closing in on the finish, Shonk tried to rally. His charge came up
a car-length short, though, as Nickens held on for the victory.
Meredith was third, followed by Branden Sanders, Thomas and Matt
Sanders. Jim Grady, the first retiree, was shown in seventh and
missed out on a Top Dog starting spot.
Layton Harrison of Dinwiddie, Va., started out front and wired the field for his sixth win in a 30-lapper for the Future Stars Series.
As the race got going, Harrison, Conner Jones and Fred Daniels motored away from the field. Harrison quickly asserted himself and, by lap 13, his advantage had grown to a straightaway.
The first yellow flag flew on lap 14 when Jones overturned off Turn 2. As the field slowed, Rachel Ingram and Daniels tangled on the backstretch. Ingram and Daniels rejoined the field, while Jones retired to the sidelines.
Back under green, Harrison rocketed away from the pack, quickly opening a full-straightaway edge over Daniels. As the laps clicked off, third-place Bryant Falk, an Arena Racing newcomer, began to close in on Daniels.
The last of the race's two yellow flags was unfurled on lap 26 when debris was spotted in Turn 2.
On the final restart, Harrison grabbed a three-length lead and
began to ease away from the field. By the finish, his winning
margin had swelled to a full straightaway. Daniels was second,
followed by Falk and Ingram. Jones was credited with fifth.
Camden Testerman of Sandston, Va., nabbed his fifth pole of the season in Pro Series qualifying, lapping the tenth-mile oval in 7.782 seconds. Chase Burrow was second-quickest, just five-thousandths of a second off Testerman's mark. Garrett Manes and Scott Prillaman were third and fourth, followed by Chase Butler and Savannah Nickens. They were all within a tenth of a second of the pole time. Fifteen drivers posted a timed lap with the top 14 separated by just over four-tenths of a second.
In Future Stars Series time trials, Layton Harrison kept his
perfect record intact, capturing his seventh pole in as many
events. Harrison's pole-winning time was a season-best 8.171
seconds -- one-thousandth of a second better than his previous
standard. Conner Jones, Fred Daniels, Bryant Falk and Rachel Ingram
completed the rundown.
MARCH 11 RACE RESULTS from Richmond Coliseum:
PRO SERIES TOP DOG (50 laps): 1. Garrett Manes; 2. Savannah Nickens; 3. Todd Meredith; 4. Nate Thomas; 5. Shane Zupo; 6. Chase Butler; 7. Camden Testerman; 8. Scott Prillaman; 9. Chase Burrow; 10. Branden Sanders; 11. Mark Clements; 12. John Nickens; 13. Matt Sanders. Pole: Meredith.
PRO SERIES A MAIN (50 laps): 1. Garrett Manes; 2. Scott Prillaman; 3. Chase Burrow; 4. Chase Butler; 5. Savannah Nickens; 6. Mark Clements; 7. Shane Zupo; 8. Camden Testerman. Pole: Butler (Top 5 inverted.)
PRO SERIES B MAIN (50 laps): 1. John Nickens; 2. Johnny Shonk; 3. Todd Meredith; 4. Branden Sanders; 5. Nate Thomas; 6. Matt Sanders; 7. Jim Grady. Pole: J. Nickens (Top 4 inverted).
FUTURE STARS SERIES (30 laps): 1. Layton Harrison; 2. Fred Daniels; 3. Bryant Falk; 4. Rachel Ingram; 5. Conner Jones. Pole: Harrison.
NEXT EVENT: St. Patty's 200. Friday, Mar. 17, at the Richmond (Va.) Coliseum. Doors open at 6 PM and racing starts at 7 PM.