With the Top Dog feature being set by a random pill draw, B-Main runner-up Branden Sanders would be tasked with leading the field to green. Once it was time to get going Sanders car had other ideas and did not get a good start. Manes, however, was ready for the green and jumped out to the lead.
Scott Prillaman, who has been strong in these cars since Arena Racing started, gave him a run for his money on the inside. Prillaman was able to lead a couple laps, beating Garrett to the line by just inches. Manes took a play out of basketball coaches playbook and used the slower back markers as a pick to take sole possession of the lead.
Matt Sanders, who had some issues before the start of the race, fell a lap down early to Manes while Prillaman and Testerman picked up their A-Main battle for a few short laps.
Savannah Nickens and Chase Burrow had a nice little battle for the fourth spot on the racing surface just after lap twenty. Burrow looked to take the position from her when his car snapped loose on corner exit forcing him to chase his machine up the track, losing about five or six car lengths. Burrow regroups and charges back to the rear bumper of Nickens and makes the pass for fourth on lap 25
It wasn’t easy sailing for Manes, however, having to work through some pretty heavy traffic towards the end of the race. A scary moment for the leader while working around some slower traffic, the car broke loose allowing Prillaman to close the gap he had created. With a great recovery, Manes was able to hang onto it and cross the line first to grab his second victory of the night.
We caught up with Garret after the race in victory lane. We asked Garrett about taking the lead in the A-Main when Prillaman and Testerman got into it.
“Honestly I can’t say that I knew they were going to wreck,” Manes told us. “I had a really good idea, though. I kind of just took it easy there in third and ran around there. I was in the right place at the right time.”
Prillaman didn’t make things easy for Manes throughout the night though and really ran him down in the Top Dog.
“Scott was just so much faster than me tonight it wasn’t funny,” Manes said. “He would chase me down from half a track to being right there in ten laps so I knew it was time to go. The top dog race though my guys made an adjustment and the car was wicked loose. I would pull two car lengths and then Scott would be right there again. I would come off the wall and kind of slam into him because I couldn’t hold it. We were just in the right place at the right time.”
Tonight’s sweep was Garrett’s second A-Main & Top Dog sweep of the season. Arena Racing will be back in action next weekend here at the Richmond Coliseum on February 4th then they will return to the Hampton Coliseum for the first time in years on February 18th.
Top Dog UNOFFICIAL:
1 #1 Garret Manes
2. #83 Scott Prillaman
3. #17 Camden Testerman
4. #00 Chase Burrow
5. #71 Savanah Nickens
6. #51 Mark Clements
7. #63 Matt Sanders
8. #48 Branden Sanders
9. #7 Nate Thomas Jr
10. #74 Jim Grady Jr
11. #24 Allen Booth – DNS
12. #70Johnny Shonk – DNS
Camden Testerman, your defending season champion, qualified on the pole earlier in the afternoon at the Richmond Coliseum, rolled off the A-Main on the outside of Scott Prillaman’s #83 due to the pill draw during the fan meet and great. When the green flag flew Testerman and Prillaman went to work racing door to door for the lead. Camden using the topside and the momentum to his advantage, holding off the Prillaman by almost a full car length. Took just seven laps for Testerman to grab sole possession of the race lead with Scott Prillaman hot in his tire tracks.
Just three laps later Prillaman makes contact with Testerman coming to lap ten which sends Testerman around and into the inside wall. Both would have to restart from the rear of the field per Arena Racing rules giving the lead to Manes on the ensuing restart. With little to no challenge on the restart, Manes immediately drove away from the field – Testerman and Prillaman were back up to third by lap 20.
Prillaman was able to get around Testerman with twenty-one laps on the board to take over the third position and immediately sets his sights on Savannah Nickens. Prillaman ultimately is able to get around Nickens to for the second position just seven laps later. It was easy sailing from there on for eventually race winner Garrett Manes as he lapped all but the top four drivers.
A Main Feature:
1 #1 Garret Manes
2 #83 Scott Prillaman
3. #71 Savannah Nickens
4. #17 Camden Testerman
5. #74 Jim Grady Jr
6. #51 Mark Clements
7. #07 Shane Zupo
8. #70 Johnny Shonk
The B-Main once again witnessed a two-car invert has pole winner Chase Burrow was forced to start outside of Chase Butler. Burrow, who actually qualified within the top five in time, had to start in the B-Main due to Arena Racing rules after moving up from the Youth division to Pro division earlier than normal. Outside or inside, it did not prove to be a problem for Burrow who immediately took the lead using that outside groove.
The yellow flag waived early in this one when the #15 of Blaine Schumann experienced some mechanical issue stalling out of turn two causing the leader and the rest of the field to stack up. At just about the same time the #7 of Nathan Thomas Jr. goes for a spin and lands in the inside retaining tough blocks. Schumann needed a tow off the racing surface – the #92 of Todd Meredith would also need assistance off the racing surface and would not continue.
The B-Main seemed to be the race of attrition as cars started dropping like flies. The best battle of the race was short lived between Buttler, Matt & Branden Sanders. The three would make contact in turn four sending Butler into the wall and both the Sanders into him – Chase Butler was the only one who could not continue.
On the ensuing restart, Nathan Thomas was the only car to take the cone. He was able to hang onto second till lap twenty-six when he got loose off four, he was able to hang onto it but it allowed Matt Sanders to catch his rear bumper. Thomas gets loose again in turn four coming to lap twenty-seven and goes around in front of Matt Sanders – officials moved Matt to the rear, guessing they thought he helped the 7 around – Thomas Jr pulls down pit road unable to continue.
With only three cars to finish out the final twenty laps of racing, Chase Burrow is able to go three for three with B-Main wins and punches his spot into the night’s Top Dog feature.
1. #00 Chase Burrow
2. #48 Branden Sanders
3. #63 Matt Sanders
4. #7 Nathan Thomas Jr.
5. #11 Chase Butler
6. #24 Allen Booth
7. #15 Blaine Schumann
8. #92 Todd Meredith