Wall Bounces Back For Arena Score
RICHMOND, Va. – One week removed from his worst showing of the season, Travis Wall rebounded with his best, notching his third and fourth victories with a sweep of the featured 50-lap AmeriGas Top Dog race, as well as the A Main, as Arena Racing USA’s Pro Series hit the track inside the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday.
Competing in just his second Arena Racing USA meet, Matt Ashworth drew the pole for the start of the Top Dog finale. He was unable to answer the bell, though, and the pole passed to Camden Testerman, the youngest member of the Pro Series driver corps. Testerman, however, opted to drop to the rear of the field, moving Wall up to the prime starting spot. Jason Manes was also a scratch from the Top Dog field, while Conner Medeiros and Lin O’Neill joined Testerman in retreating to the back of the pack.
In the reconfigured lineup, Wall and Jason Styron made up the front row, followed, in row two, by Wesley Givens and Tommy Jackson Jr. Francis Jarrelle III and Tripp Thurston occupied row three.
As the race got under way, Styron initially got the drop on Wall and pulled ahead as the field motored toward turn one. Exiting turn two for the first time, though, Wall charged back to the front and led lap one. Behind the leaders, things quickly got testy with a couple of three-wide scrambles at mid-pack. Series points leader Scott Prillaman was a beneficiary of the early jousting, advancing from ninth to fifth.
By lap 15, Wall had pulled away from second-place Styron by almost a full straightaway. A couple laps later, Prillaman overtook Jarrelle for fourth. He was soon followed by Tyler Hughes, who moved into the top five.
On lap 20, Wall ran up on a side-by-side battle between Testerman and Thurston. Wall waited patiently while those two settled their differences, then swiftly moved past, maintaining his commanding advantage. Meanwhile, Prillaman scooted around Givens for third, bringing Hughes with him, to fourth.
While Wall held a firm grip on the top spot, Prillaman and Hughes were closing the gap between themselves and second-place Styron. By lap 42, Prillaman had erased a half-straightaway margin and was parked on Styron’s rear bumper. Behind them, Jackson had crept up on Hughes and was looking to take fourth.
At the end of the caution-free race, which was completed in less than seven minutes, Wall was the winner by a straightaway over Styron, who held off Prillaman to snag second. Hughes fought off Jackson for fourth.