Garrett Manes Back-to-Back Top Dog Wins in Movement Mortgage 200
Did not take long for things to get wild in the B-Main. Pole sitter Johnny Shonk crossed the line on the first lap on his lid! Coming out of four the car got on two wheels and on her lid she goes. Shonk able to return to the race, however, to the rear he goes which moves John Alford to the point.
Jim Grady, your outside pole sitter, with the better run on the top side on the start is able to take the lead early. Of course though, cautions breed cautions as just two laps the #71 of Savannah Nickens goes around in two. John Alford comes to a stop on the apron in turn one. Reports from the infield are saying the chain has come off the engine, ultimately causing him to retire early from the event.
After quite a few more cautions the racing really started to pick up when Jordan Wood, who started shotgun on the field, was now just a couple feet off the lead with a little under twenty laps to go. Wood eventually peaks his nose under J. Nickens coming to lap 32. The two go door to door for a lap with Wood coming out on top and leading lap 33 while slowly putting distance on the field.
Wood, with about a half straighaway lead puts Shonk a lap down with 10 laps to go and that was all she wrote for the B-Main as Jordon Wood crosses the finish line first to move on to the Top Dog. John Nickens would cross the line second followed by Brad Davis, Jim Grady and Matt Sanders would round out the top five and transfer to the top dog.
Practice and qualifying took place earlier in the afternoon with Branden Sanders winning the pole position Cody Carlton – your defending Arena Racing champion – with a much better weekend from his last outing rolled off the grid second tonight. Two wide and three three deep they go into turn one at the drop of the green – credit lap one to Sanders – He and Carlton make a little bit of contact at the stripe causing a massive pile up behind them.
First caution of the night coming from “Calamity Corner” – aka turn two after Manes is air lifted up and onto Testerman’s car. Officials able to get every separated and all cars are able to continue. Garrett Manes – your A-Main & Top Dog winner from the last race in February – comes down facing the wrong way forcing officials to bring out the yellow.
Front row on the restart stays the same – Carlton on the outside. Carlton with a great jump will clear the field out of two and takes the lead on lap two. Sanders is left in the wake to deal with Murphy
Problems with DiSavino, however on lap 3, creates some havoc out of two. DiSavino gets pushed up into the wall. This puts a big halt on Mederios’ run. Officials see no reason to throw the yellow – we stay green flag racing.
Manes, the man on a mission, puts the bumper to Cullen Roberts on lap six to take the fourth spot. Roberts shoved up the track and shuffled back to the seventh position. Meanwhile a battle for second position heats up with thirteen laps on the board – Sanders has it Murphy wants it.
With 15-laps on the board, Garrett Manes now challenging hard for third. Murphy trying hard to get back around Sanders – Sanders really holding the field up.
Manes rides the tuff blocks on the front stretch – Field starts wrecking in turn two – Murphy goes around in two and cannot continue (chain). Manes regulated back to P6. Carlton was about to lap the field. Testerman takes the cone on lap 17 restart restarting on the top side. Carlton back to the lead with Testerman hot on his bumper – Sanders with a bad restart hold up Carlton and it allows for Manes to get by.
Carlton not able to jump out to such a big lead this time. Testerman applying the chrome horn a few time on corner entry from about the half way mark of the feature. Battle for fifth with just fifteen to go – Sanders slow to get off turn four and Roberts gives the #18 just a little tap and goes for a loop bringing out yet another yellow
Testerman elects to stay low on Carltons bumper – Medeiros goes high. Two by two for the lead. Three wide with 5 to go. Mederios takes the lead. Testerman trys to turn down on Carlton in one but is not able to stall his progress.
Testerman trys one more time to get under Carlton at the white flag and takes the position into as they dive into one. Manes sent through the blocks again on the backstretch as they as they come to the checkered flag. Connor Mederios able to come away with the win in the A-Main followed by Testerman, Carlton, DiSavino and Garret Manes rounding out the top five.
Starting position for the Top Dog done by a pill draw after the mains are complete. Branden Sanders, the pole sitter from the A-Main feature, lucked out and drew the top starting position. However, it didn’t fair to well as Sanders gets a horrbile start and jacks the entire field up behind him giving the lead over to Wood. Sanders is shuffled back to fourth while the cars bounce off one another. First caution comes early on lap two as Carlton has a problem and is not able to continue.
Restarts are a little different here in the top dog, leader gets to pick the top or the bottom, Jordan Wood elects to restart on the bottom and it pays off big – out to a 10+ car lead by lap 8 before we go back under yellow. John Nickens up on two wheels through turn two and hits the outside wall hard. Not a lot of damage and is able to return to the race. Roberts and Sanders both get a piece of the pie and have to go to the rear.
Wood able to get yet another great restart but we are placed under the red flag soon after. DiSavino and Medeiros get together out of two and block the track. Savannah Nickens comes hauling into the pile eventually tearing her right front tire off. Father John Nickens gets a little piece of the action but is able to return. Medeiros out of the running, looking at some damage in the right front.
On the ensuing restart Wood elects yet again to stay down low forcing Testerman to take the top spot. Green flag back in the air and the battle for the lead was on. Testerman trying to make the top side work gets a bit of a push coming out of turn two, the trouble turn of the series, grabs a piece of the wall and is shuffled back to the third spot. Jordan Wood looking pretty stout until the field is slowed yet again around lap twenty for trouble in turn four.
With Testerman getting a piece of the wall, Garrett Manes would take over the second spot, allowing him to restart on the top side of Wood when officials dropped the green flag. The two would battle door to door for just a few laps until Garret Manes powers his way around on the outside to take the lead with just a little more than fifteen laps to go. The race would be halted on lap thirty-seven after Testerman goes in two off the nose of Cullen Roberts.
Manes, electing to take the low line on the restart… No seriously, he took the cone with him! Getting caught under the left side skirt Manes drags the orange cone along with him for two laps before officials throw the yellow. He is able to retain his starting position. Take two much better and Manes clears Wood out of two and leaves him to the dog pound. Zupo, however, gets up on two wheels and flips to bring the yellow back out with ten to go.
Incrediable start from Manes propels him to an easy three car lead as the top four settle down pretty quickly leaving Davis and Grady to fight for the fifth spot. By fight I literally mean bumper to bumper as the two almost wreck it going into turn one. Roberts able to get by the all but wrecked Grady for position. Grady, however, on the following lap looked to get into the rear quarter of Roberts out of four sending him into the inside blocks. The troubles multiplied from there for Roberts as he turned into a pinball with Branden Sanders – he would express his displeasure after the race with a nudge after the race.
Looking back at the front of the field, Garrett Manes hangs on to win his second Top Dog feature in a row. We spoke with Manes after the race who gave much of the credit to his father for setting the car up. “The car was actually really good in the A-Main,” Manes tells us. “We just got jacked up so many times in the race. We didn’t really have to change to much with the car.” The team will be back at it again the following night – Satuday March 19th for the series second to last race of the season. “We have the car in one piece,” Manes expressed. “We will be back tomorrow and not have to change much.”
1) #1 Garrett Manes
2) #28 Jordan Wood
3) #17 John Nickens
4) #54 Matt Sanders
5) #4 Brad Davis
6) #17T Camden Testerman
7) #74 Jim Grady
8) #18 Branden Sanders
9) #27 Cullen Roberts
10) #07 Shane Zupo
11) #55 Howie DiSavino
12) #11 Conner Medeiros
13) #71 Savannah Nickens
14) #94 Cody Carlton