Wall Scores Arena Top Dog Victory
RICHMOND, Va. – Travis Wall moved out front on a restart at lap 29 and led the rest of the way for his sixth win of the season in the 50-lap AmeriGas Top Dog race, the featured event of Friday evening’s HDL 200 for Arena Racing USA’s Pro Series at the Richmond Coliseum.
Three of Wall’s six victories have come in Top Dog competition.
Jason Styron, the Top Dog winner on March 29, drew the pole position for the evening’s grand finale, sharing the front row with Scott Allen. Arena Racing newcomer Brian Henderson was due to start third, but chose to drop to the rear of the field. As he retreated, Tyler Daniels assumed the third slot on the grid, alongside Jason Manes. Wall launched from fifth.
On the start, Styron motored ahead of Allen off Turn 2 to grab the lead on the opening circuit. Allen settled into second, while Wall slipped past Manes for third on lap three.
The first of the race’s six caution flags flew on lap four for a multi-car jumble in Turn 2.
On the double-file restart, Styron quickly cleared Allen and brought Wall along with him, to second. Dylan Loving moved up to third, followed by Scott Prillaman, as Allen tumbled down the running order. On lap 13, Loving poked a fender underneath Wall in a bid for second. Wall retained the position, but the brief scuffle allowed Styron to pull away by four lengths.
The second caution flag appeared on lap 15 when Francis Jarrelle III spun in turn two. The third yellow flag was unfurled when John Alford and Daniels tangled at the end of the backstretch on the ensuing restart. With the yellow flags beginning to mount, officials began scoring the caution laps to help the event along toward its conclusion.
On the next restart, Wall got the jump on Styron and nosed ahead as lap 29 went on the board. He cleared Styron on lap 30. Two laps later, the fourth caution flag appeared when Daniels’ battered machine ground to a halt on the backstretch.
The following green-flag stint was short-lived as Wesley Givens spun off turn four on lap 38, slowing the field once more. Lining up for the restart, Wall and Styron occupied the front row, followed by Loving and Prillaman in row two, while Carlton and Manes made up row three.
Back under green, Wall bolted ahead of the pack, bringing Loving and Carlton along with him. Styron slid back to fourth with Prillaman rounding out the top five.
The sixth, and final, caution flag waved on lap 48 when Daniels and Alford got together for a second time. The incident set up a “green-white-checkered” sprint to the checkers.
On the last restart, Wall pulled ahead of Loving as they rolled into turn one. As Wall eased away, the scramble was on behind him. Carlton scooted past Loving to take second on lap 49, while Prillaman snagged the third spot on the white-flag lap.
At the finish, Wall was the winner by nearly half a straightaway over Carlton. Prillaman was third, followed by Loving and Styron. Manes headed up the second five, in sixth, while Jarrelle, Allen, Camden Testerman and Givens completed the top 10, all on the lead lap. Henderson was 11th, a lap down, in his first Top Dog outing. Alford, Daniels and Tommy Jackson Jr. were 12th, 13th and 14th in the final rundown.