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April 28th (FRI) - RVA Heroes 200 (2016-17 Season Finale)
ARENA RACING USA
at Richmond (Va.) Coliseum
RVA Heroes 200 (2016-17 Season Finale)
Friday, April 28, 2017
RICHMOND, Va. (Apr. 28) -- Camden Testerman of Sandston, Va., took the lead with a slick three-wide pass on lap 37 of the 50-lap Pro Series Top Dog feature and rolled on to his seventh victory of the season as Arena Racing USA dropped the curtain on its 2016-17 campaign with Friday evening's RVA Heroes 200 at the Richmond Coliseum.
The win was Testerman's third in Top Dog competition and, when combined with his A Main triumph earlier in the program, was enough to sew up his second straight Pro Series crown.
Branden Sanders drew the pole for the evening's finale, starting alongside Garrett Manes. Nate Thomas and Scott Prillaman made up Row 2. After some pre-race shuffling, Chase Butler started fifth with Testerman on the outside of Row 3.
As the season's last race got under way, Sanders and Manes sped side-by-side into Turn 1. Exiting the second corner, Manes got a good run off the top side of the track and surged into the lead. Prillaman tagged along and took over the second spot, followed by Testerman. Sanders slipped to fourth with Butler rounding out the top five.
By lap 4, the top three had opened a half-straightaway advantage over Sanders. On the next lap, Travis Wall poked a fender underneath Butler and completed the pass for fifth on the sixth circuit. Three laps later, Wall picked off Sanders to take over fourth. By then, though, Manes, Prillaman and Testerman were up by almost half a lap.
The leaders ran up on slower traffic on lap 13. On lap 15, they
endured an anxious moment as Chase Burrow went on a brief
off-the-track excursion at the entrance to Turn 1 just as they
approached. No damage was done, though, and Manes broke into the
clear on lap 23 with a full-straightaway lead.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 24 when John Nickens, Sanders and Burrow got together in Turns 1 and 2. Nickens got the worst of the exchange as he overturned and whacked the outside wall, bringing his night to a premature end.
After two more green-flag laps, the second yellow flag flew when Savannah Nickens and Thomas locked horns off Turn 4 and careened into the inside barricade along the frontstretch. A photographer in the infield took the brunt of the incident as the large foam blocks that make up the inside wall clipped his legs out from under him. Both drivers and the photographer were able to continue.
On the ensuing double-file restart, Prillaman struggled mightily to stay alongside Manes. At the end of lap 26, Manes was ahead by a nose and he cleared Prillaman at the end of the backstretch on lap 27. Almost immediately, Prillaman dropped off the pace, giving way to Testerman and Wall. On lap 30, Prillaman finally found an escape route and made his way to the sidelines. Meanwhile, at the front, Testerman had closed to within striking distance of Manes.
The move of the race came on lap 37 when Manes cut across the edge of the infield in Turns 1 and 2 to bypass slower cars in his path. Manes' brief off-track adventure killed his momentum and left an opening right in the middle of the track off Turn 2. Testerman was more than happy to thread the needle, rocketing into the lead.
The third yellow flag waved on lap 41 for a multi-car jumble in Turn 2. Burrow, Butler and Shane Zupo ended up on the sidelines, reducing the field to seven.
Back under green, to begin lap 46, Testerman nosed ahead of Manes to retain the top spot and gained the clear-cut edge on lap 47.
The fourth, and final, yellow flag was unfurled on lap 48 when Thomas and Todd Meredith tangled in Turn 2. The incident set up a "green-white-checkered" sprint to the finish.
On the last restart, Testerman bolted ahead of Manes before they reached the green flag. As Testerman pulled away, Wall rushed to fill the opening to the inside of Manes, launching a door-to-door tussle for second. Manes regained control of the second spot on lap 49. By then, though, Testerman had already established a comfortable margin.
At the finish, Testerman was the winner by two car-lengths over Manes. Wall was third to the line, followed by Savannah Nickens and Branden Sanders. Thomas was credited with sixth, followed by Meredith, Zupo, Butler and Burrow. Prillaman and John Nickens were 11th and 12th, in that order. After encountering mechanical problems during the parade laps, Matt Sanders dropped out and was shown in 13th.
In the final Pro Series points tally, pending official verification, Testerman ended up with 348 to 335 for Manes. Burrow was third with 314, followed by Prillaman with 309 and Butler with 304.
Camden Testerman grabbed the lead on the opening circuit and showed the way to his sixth win of the season in a caution-free 50-lap Pro Series A Main. It was his fourth A Main victory.
Garrett Manes and Testerman shared the front row for the start of the event. Fast qualifier Scott Prillaman and former Pro Series champ Travis Wall were in Row 2, while Chase Burrow, Savannah Nickens and John Nickens completed the lineup.
As the race got going, Testerman edged ahead of Manes to lead lap 1 by half a car-length. The two stayed door-to-door until the end of lap 5 when Testerman surged out front at the flagstand.
Prillaman immediately went after Manes for the runner-up spot and snagged the position on lap 7.
At lap 10, Testerman enjoyed a four-length advantage, but Prillaman was closing the gap. After Testerman bobbled in Turn 2 on lap 13, his early edge had vanished completely as Prillaman pulled up on his rear bumper.
Traffic, in the form of Chase Burrow, Savannah Nickens and John Nickens, came into play on lap 37. Testerman and Prillaman broke into the clear on lap 43. Manes, meanwhile, had fallen half a straightaway behind.
Over the final laps, Testerman eased away from Prillaman and won
by two car-lengths. Manes was third, followed by Wall, Savannah
Nickens, Burrow and John Nickens.
After starting shotgun on the field, Shane Zupo of Dinwiddie, Va., moved out front on a restart at lap 29 and rolled to his first victory in the 50-lap Pro Series B Main.
Branden Sanders drew the pole for the event, lining up alongside Todd Meredith. Nate Thomas and Matt Sanders occupied Row 2, followed by Chase Butler and Zupo in Row 3.
When the initial green flag dropped, Sanders claimed the early lead, motoring ahead of Meredith off Turn 2. Thomas moved up to second, tailed by Butler, as Meredith slid back to fourth.
On lap 11, Butler drove underneath Thomas in Turn 2 and nosed into second at the start/finish line. He cleared Thomas in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 12 and set off after Sanders, who had opened a three-length edge.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 17 when Sanders and Butler tangled in Turn 2 and Sanders spun, collecting fourth-place Meredith. Sanders and Butler retreated to the back of the pack, while Meredith was relegated to the sidelines, handing the lead to Thomas.
Back under green, Thomas eked out a slim advantage over Zupo, who had chosen to restart in the outside lane. Thomas gained the clear-cut lead on lap 18 and pulled away. Behind him, Butler had rumbled back up to third and was hounding Zupo for second.
The second yellow flag waved on lap 29 when Butler ducked under Zupo in Turn 2 in a bid for second. Instead, Butler looped his machine. Dodging past Butler, Matt Sanders smacked the outside wall along the backstretch, spelling an end to his race.
For the ensuing restart, Zupo again picked the outside lane. This time, though, he made the choice pay off as he inched ahead of Thomas to lead lap 29. Zupo cleared Thomas along the backstretch on lap 30.
The last of the race's three caution flags flew on lap 31 when Thomas got sideways in the middle of Turns 1 and 2 and Butler and Branden Sanders piled in. All three were able to continue.
On the final restart, Zupo quickly fashioned a two-length margin as Thomas and Butler dueled for the runner-up spot. On lap 37, Butler worked a fender underneath Thomas in Turn 4. Thomas regained command of the second position off Turn 2 on lap 38, though. The tussle allowed Zupo to extend his lead to better than half a straightaway.
Thomas and Butler continued to battle until lap 45 when Butler skittered up the track in Turns 1 and 2 and Thomas opened some breathing room.
At the checkers, Zupo was the winner by half a straightaway over Thomas. Butler spun in Turn 4 on the white-flag circuit and gave up the third spot to Branden Sanders. Butler was fourth, followed by Matt Sanders and Meredith.
Layton Harrison of Dinwiddie clinched the 2016-17 Future Stars Series title with a pole-to-checkers run for his ninth win of the season.
Harrison and Bryant Falk were the front-row starters, while Rachel Ingram, Fred Daniels and Morgan O'Neill completed the lineup.
The race was interrupted by caution flags on the initial start, lap 5 and lap 8. The last two incidents chased Ingram and O'Neill to the sidelines, leaving Harrison, Falk and Daniels in contention.
On what would turn out to be the last restart, Harrison gained a slight edge over Falk, then began to extend the advantage. By the finish, his winning margin had swelled to nearly half a lap. Falk was second, followed by Daniels. O'Neill and Ingram were credited with fourth and fifth, respectively.
Scott Prillaman of Suffolk, Va., bagged his third pole award of the season in Pro Series qualifying -- the combined results of three afternoon practice rounds. Prillaman clocked in at 7.814 seconds to best six-time pole winner Camden Testerman by 15-thousandths of a second. Garrett Manes, Travis Wall (subbing for Mark Clements) and Chase Burrow rounded out the top five.
In Future Stars time trials, Layton Harrison wrapped up a perfect record with his 10th pole in as many tries. Bryant Falk, Rachel Ingram and Fred Daniels completed the rundown.
APRIL 28 RACE RESULTS from Richmond Coliseum:
PRO SERIES TOP DOG (50 laps): 1. Camden Testerman; 2. Garrett Manes; 3. Travis Wall; 4. Savannah Nickens; 5. Branden Sanders; 6. Nate Thomas; 7. Todd Meredith; 8. Shane Zupo; 9. Chase Butler; 10. Chase Burrow; 11. Scott Prillaman; 12. John Nickens; 13. Matt Sanders. Pole: B. Sanders.
PRO SERIES A MAIN (50 laps): 1. Camden Testerman; 2. Scott Prillaman; 3. Garrett Manes; 4. Travis Wall; 5. Savannah Nickens; 6. Chase Burrow; 7. John Nickens. Pole: Manes.
PRO SERIES B MAIN (50 laps): 1. Shane Zupo; 2. Nate Thomas; 3. Branden Sanders; 4. Chase Butler; 5. Matt Sanders; 6. Todd Meredith. Pole: B. Sanders.
FUTURE STARS SERIES (30 laps): 1. Layton Harrison; 2. Bryant Falk; 3. Fred Daniels; 4. Morgan O'Neill; 5. Rachel Ingram. Pole: Harrison.