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March 31st (FRI) - Chase for the Cup
ARENA RACING USA
at Richmond (Va.) Coliseum
Chase for the Cup 200
Friday, March 31, 2017
RICHMOND, Va. (Mar. 31) -- Camden Testerman of Sandston, Va., moved out front on lap 4 and showed the way to his fifth victory of the season in the 50-lap Pro Series Top Dog race, the headlining event of Fridayevening's Chase for the Cup 200 for Arena Racing USA at the Richmond Coliseum. It was Testerman's second win in Top Dog competition. He has also posted three A Main wins as he seeks a second straight Pro championship.
Mark Clements was the pole-sitter the event, sharing the front row with Chase Burrow. Todd Meredith and Testerman made up Row 2. Branden Sanders was slated for the fifth spot, but dropped to the rear of the field during the parade laps and ceded the position to Tyler Warriner.
On the initial start, Burrow motored ahead of Clements off Turn 2 to take the lead. Before the lap was in the books, though, the first caution flag flew as championship contender Garrett Manes and his left-front wheel parted company in Turn 4, sending him into the outside wall.
On the second attempt at a start, Burrow again slipped ahead of Clements to grab the top spot. Testerman advanced to second, while Clements dropped to third. Savannah Nickens and Chase Butler emerged in fourth and fifth, in that order.
Testerman pushed his machine to the point on the fourth circuit. He drove underneath Burrow at the end of the backstretch, pulled even in the middle of the corner and completed the pass off Turn 4. Five laps later, he had already opened a half-straightaway margin over Burrow. Behind the top two, Nickens and Butler were on the move, scooting past Clements to take over third and fourth.
The second yellow flag flew on lap 14 when Clements smacked the outside wall and came to a halt in Turn 2. During the caution period, officials noticed fluid on the racing surface. After a bit of investigation, attention focused on the machine of fifth-place Scott Prillaman, who had similar issues in the B Main earlier in the program. Clements and Prillaman were both relegated to the infield as the attrition list began to build.
On the double-file restart, Testerman quickly dispensed with Burrow, who settled back into second. Behind them, Nickens and Butler battled for third with Butler coming out on top on lap 16. Nickens tried to return the favor on lap 20, but came up empty in Turns 3 and 4.
The third caution flag flew on lap 24 for debris in Turn 1.
The ensuing restart was an off-kilter affair as Butler ducked to the inside of Testerman, making it three-wide as the field came to the green flag. To top it off, Matt Sanders and Meredith scuffled in Turn 2. The fourth caution flag made a quick appearance and the field was brought back under control.
The next restart, to begin lap 33, saw two more cars added to the DNF (did not finish) roster as Matt and Branden Sanders and Meredith piled up in the middle of Turns 1 and 2. Matt Sanders and Meredith were unable to continue, while Branden Sanders rejoined the tail of the field.
Caution #5 waved on lap 36 when third-place Butler clipped the outside wall along the frontstretch and ground to a stop in Turn 2. Gathering for what would be the final restart, five drivers remained on the track -- Testerman, Burrow, Nickens, Shane Zupo and Branden Sanders.
Back under green with 11 laps to go, Testerman powered ahead of Burrow and left the inside lane open for Nickens, who slipped by for second. Burrow wasn't about to give up the second spot that easily, though, as he fell in line on Nickens' rear bumper.
At the finish, Testerman was up by nearly a full straightaway, taking advantage of the joust between Nickens and Burrow that lasted all the way to the end. Nickens was second, fighting off Burrow's late charge to wrap up the position. Zupo and Branden Sanders were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Butler headed the list of early retirees, in sixth. He was followed by Meredith, Matt Sanders and Tyler Warriner, while Clements completed the top 10. Prillaman and Manes were credited with 11th and 12th, in that order. Nate Thomas qualified for the race, but pulled aside after the pre-race festivities. He was credited with 13th. John Nickens also claimed a Top Dog starting spot, but couldn't make it out for driver introductions.
Arena Racing USA brings down the curtain on its 2016-17 campaign on
Friday, Apr. 28, with Double Points Night. Doors open at 6 p.m. for
the pre-race meet-and-greet and racing gets under way at 7.
The event should serve as a worthy leadoff for a big race weekend in Virginia's capital city. NASCAR's Monster Energy Cup Series and Xfinity Series will be in action on Saturday and Sunday at the nearby Richmond International Raceway.
Garrett Manes of Powhatan, Va., took the lead on lap 14 and rolled to his ninth victory of the season in the 50-lap Pro Series A Main. The win was his fifth in an A Main, to go along with four Top Dog triumphs.
Shane Zupo was scheduled to start from the pole position. During
the parade laps, however, he pulled aside to make some last-second
adjustments and rejoined the back of the pack. In the reconfigured
lineup, Matt Sanders assumed the pole slot, sharing the front row
with Chase Butler.
As the race got under way, Sanders nosed ahead to lead the opening circuit. On lap 2, Butler rallied to nose out front at the stripe. Butler cleared Sanders in Turn 1 on lap 3. Sanders settled into second, followed by Chase Burrow, Manes and Camden Testerman.
On lap 6, Manes bypassed Burrow to take over third. Testerman tagged along and snagged fourth. Three laps later, Manes picked off Sanders for second place. Testerman tried to follow Manes' cue. Instead, he and Sanders tangled in Turn 4 on lap 11 and Testerman overturned, bringing out the first caution flag.
Back under green, Butler quickly pulled ahead of Manes, who restarted to his outside. As Butler drove away, Burrow rushed to fill the void underneath Manes. The two went side-by-side for a couple laps with Manes gaining the upper hand on lap 12.
On lap 13, Manes took a run at the leader, driving under Butler in
Turn 2. Butler eked out a slim edge at the flagstand, but he
couldn't hold off Manes on the following circuit as Manes powered
to the point.
After the second yellow flag, at lap 17 for debris, the race resumed with Manes and Butler renewing their battle for the lead. Manes restarted from the outside lane and cleared Butler as they raced down the backstretch. Behind them, Testerman was creeping back into contention, moving up to third.
On lap 19, Testerman drove underneath Butler in a bid for second.
Before he could pull off the pass, though, the third yellow flag
flew as Sanders spun in Turn 2 off the nose of Burrow's machine.
For the next restart, Manes chose to stay in the inside lane, while Butler went high. The decision proved to be a good one for Manes as he motored ahead of Butler as they reached Turn 1.
The fourth caution flag appeared on lap 25 when Burrow and Sanders got together again. This time, it was Burrow going for a loop on the frontstretch.
On the ensuing restart, to begin lap 30, Manes again opted for the bottom groove. Once more, it was a good choice as he bolted ahead of Butler. As Manes eased away, Zupo drove underneath Butler, looking for the runner-up spot. With a door-to-door battle raging behind him, Manes was soon up by a full straightaway.
The last of the race's five yellow flags waved on lap 34 when Butler and Zupo locked horns off Turn 4, sending Butler for ride into the inside barricade along the front straightaway.
For what would turn out to be the final restart, to begin lap 40, Manes stayed on the inside, followed by the second- and third-place machines of Testerman and Savannah Nickens. Fourth-place Burrow was the first to pick the outside lane.
Back under green, Manes leaped ahead of Burrow at the flagstand and set sail. By the checkers, his winning margin had grown to half a straightaway. Testerman was second to the line, while Burrow, Nickens and Butler completed the top five. Sanders and Zupo were sixth and seventh, respectively. All seven starters ended the event on the lead lap.
Branden Sanders of Warsaw, Va., grabbed the lead on lap 33 and held on for his first win of the season in the attrition-heavy 50-lap Pro Series B Main.
Scott Prillaman, who wasn't on hand for qualifying, started the event from the pole and took the early lead. Sanders emerged from the opening shuffle in second, followed by Todd Meredith, Tyler Warriner and Nate Thomas.
The first caution flag was displayed on lap 3 when John Nickens overturned in Turn 2. As that was happening, Warriner and Thomas got locked together in Turn 4. Initially, all three were able to continue. Nickens, though, pulled to the infield when the next green flag waved.
For the restart, fifth-place Mark Clements was the only driver to choose the outside lane, coming away with the second spot, behind Prillaman.
The second caution flag came out on lap 7 when fluid was spotted on the racing surface. The field was brought to a halt along the frontstretch and the source of the leak was traced to Prillaman's machine, chasing him to the sidelines and handing the lead to Clements.
After a lengthy cleanup, the race resumed and Clements dashed away as the rest of the pack bunched up on Sanders' rear bumper. By lap 15, Clements' margin had swelled to a full straightaway. Meanwhile, a few laps later, Warriner pulled to the infield, joining Nickens and Prillaman and leaving only four drivers on the track.
The third yellow flag appeared on lap 25 when Meredith and Thomas tangled at the end of the backstretch. Thomas suffered suspension damage on the right-front of his car and became the fourth retiree. Lining up for the restart, Clements, Sanders and Meredith made up the running order.
Returning to green, to start lap 32, the three contenders bolted in nose-to-tail formation. On lap 33, Sanders slipped underneath Clements in Turn 2 and roared to the top of the leaderboard. Clements immediately began to slow and headed to the sidelines, reducing the field to only Sanders and Meredith.
As Clements exited the event, Sanders enjoyed a two-length edge over Meredith. By lap 41, though, Meredith had erased that gap and was pecking at Sanders' rear bumper.
The last caution flag came out on lap 47 when Sanders and Meredith tangled in Turn 4. Fortunately, both drivers were able to continue.
On the last restart, Sanders quickly fashioned a two-length lead.
By the finish, he had added another length to his winning margin.
Meredith was second. Clements, Thomas and Warriner were credited
with third, fourth and fifth, in that order, followed by Prillaman
Layton Harrison of Dinwiddie, Va., started on the pole and led all the way for his eighth victory of the season in the 30-lap Future Stars Series feature.
Harrison and Jay Seward made up the front row for the beginning of the event. Fred Daniels and Rachel Ingram were due to fill Row 2, but Daniels had problems during the parade laps and was forced to the infield. Morgan O'Neill moved up to join Ingram on the second row, while Bryant Falk completed the lineup.
The only caution flag appeared on the opening lap when officials weren't satisfied with the somewhat disjointed start.
On the second attempt at a start, Harrison and Seward motored into the first and second positions and began to distance themselves from the other three contenders.
By lap 11, Harrison and Seward had caught the tail of the field. With the lead duo bearing down on them, O'Neill, Ingram and Falk began to scramble. Falk came away with the third spot on lap 13.
Harrison, though, was still all over his rear bumper. Harrison finally made his way past Falk on lap 19.
Working lap 23, Harrison's lead stood at a full straightaway as Seward struggled to bypass Falk. The margin grew larger three laps later when Seward and Falk scuffled briefly off Turn 4.
At the finish, Harrison was the winner by nearly half a lap over
Seward. Falk was third, while Ingram and O'Neill were shown in
fourth and fifth, respectively.
Camden Testerman motored to his sixth pole of the season in Pro Series qualifying, touring the tenth-mile oval in 7.831 seconds. Garrett Manes was second-fastest, 74-thousandths of a second off Testerman's pace. Chase Burrow, Savannah Nickens and Matt Sanders completed the top five.
Time trial ace Layton Harrison bagged his ninth pole in Future
Stars Series qualifying, extending his perfect record. Harrison
turned in a 8.346-second effort to clip Jay Seward by only
4-thousandths of a second. Fred Daniels, Rachel Ingram and Morgan
O'Neill rounded out the rundown.
MARCH 31 RACE RESULTS from Richmond Coliseum:
PRO SERIES TOP DOG (50 laps): 1. Camden Testerman; 2. Savannah Nickens; 3. Chase Burrow; 4. Shane Zupo; 5. Branden Sanders; 6. Chase Butler; 7. Todd Meredith; 8. Matt Sanders; 9. Tyler Warriner; 10. Mark Clements; 11. Scott Prillaman; 12. Garrett Manes; 13. Nate Thomas. Pole: Clements.
PRO SERIES A MAIN (50 laps): 1. Garrett Manes; 2. Camden Testerman; 3. Chase Burrow; 4. Savannah Nickens; 5. Chase Butler; 6. Matt Sanders; 7. Shane Zupo. Pole: M. Sanders (Full field inverted).
PRO SERIES B MAIN (50 laps): 1. Branden Sanders; 2. Todd Meredith; 3. Mark Clements; 4. Nate Thomas; 5. Tyler Warriner; 6. Scott Prillaman; 7. John Nickens. Pole: Prillaman (Top 3 inverted).
FUTURE STARS SERIES (30 laps): 1. Layton Harrison; 2. Jay Seward; 3. Bryant Falk; 4. Rachel Ingram; 5. Morgan O'Neill. Pole: Harrison.
NEXT EVENT: Double Points Night. 2016-17 Season Finale. Friday, Apr. 28, at the Richmond (Va.) Coliseum. Doors open at 6 PM and racing starts at 7 PM.