Tag Archives: Arena Racing USA

Cody Carlton Wins Top Dog in Hampton – Prillaman and Midget Winners in Mains

a-mainHampton, VA – Arena Racing USA made its return to the Hampton Coliseum for the first time several years this past weekend to an awesome crowd. This, of course, coming on the heels of the announcement that Langley Speedway was set to re-open in 2017. Either way, it was great to see racing return back to Hampton with some of the original Arena Racing drivers also making their return to the high bank aluminum track.


Chase Burrows jumped out to an early lead when the green flag waved on the A-Main feature of the Hampton 200 this past Saturday night at the Hampton Coliseum. Savannah Nickens, who become the first female driver to win the Top Dog feature last race, got stranded on the outside lane pushing her toward the back. She would eventually bring out the nights first caution in turn three after going for a spin. Officials seemed to have thought she had some help from Prillaman as they both went to the rear of the field.

Burrows, who was the control car for the first restart of the night, elected to restart on the inside line to last years Pro champion Camden Testerman. Testerman uses the momentum that comes with running the highline and lead lap number two. The two would get tangled up out of two – both able to gather the cars back up and keep going.

The caution flag would wave once more on lap three for Nickens, she goes around and slides on her lid out of four. Manes gets caught up with things as well which will put him to the rear of the field for the restart.

Burrows with another great restart on the low side but it doesn’t take long to get back under yellow. Cody Carlton, a man on a mission, comes flying through the field and some contact is made in three. We did not see who initiated the contact but we did see Jackson Jr is nose first in the outside wall with just nine laps on the board.

Back to green flag racing on lap fifteen and the field was almost immediately back under yellow. Garret Manes with issues this time in turn one. He finds himself facing the wrong way on the racing surface after going for a loop. With nowhere to go and not enough time to check up Tommy Jackson Jr. plows into his nose causing damage to both, neither were able to continue.

Testerman was the control car on the following restart and elected to take the bottom. Last years champion made the low line work for him and took over sole procession of the lead with twenty-five laps on the board. Carlton immediately started applying pressure on the 00 of Burrows with just 20 to go.

Carlton takes a peak under Burrows on lap thirty-five and Burrows does not give an inch. They both hit the concrete. Carlton gets pushed down into the tough blocks, both are able to continue with no caution on the field.

With one of the longest green flag segments of the night the leaders start working through lap traffic with under ten laps to go but find themselves back under yellow for a spin of four – we find that it is Savannah Nickens once more.

With Testerman the leader he elects to take the final restart on the bottom – Scott Prillaman and Cody Carlton try their luck on the high side. Once the green flag was in the air Scott Prillaman wasted not time and gets the jump off four and uses the momentum to peak his nose out to the lead, Testerman right there.

The two sail it into one – they touch off two. It’s a drag race down the backstretch, Prillaman with a slight advantage. They enter turn three door to door with ample contact from both coming off four, Scott Prillaman with the advantage off the corner and wins the A-Main.


A-Main Results

1.#83 Scott Prillaman
2. #17 Camden Testerman
3. #94 Cody Carlton
4. #00 Chase Burrow
5. #11 Chase Butler
6. #48 Brandon Sanders
7. #71 Savannah Nickens
8. #07 Shane Zuppo
9. #1 Garret Manes DNF
10. #14 Tommy Jackson Jr. DNF


B- Main

Scott Allen takes the green flag for the B-Main here at the Hampton Coliseum from the pole position after the redraw. Matt Sanders, however, uses the top side and the momentum that comes with it to take the lead. Allen falls back to the third position before the first caution of the race. Grady Jr, Thomas Jr and Burnham all make contact in turn four and come to a halt in the outside wall.

Sanders elects to take the low line on the restart with Shonk the only to try his luck on the outside – seems to work out for him as he takes the lead on lap six. Sanders falls back to second and watches Allen and Warriner battle it our for third. Warriner, however, with some trouble off four. He has to chase the car down to the concrete, keeps it straight, and immediately looking to track Allen back down.

With fifteen laps on the board Johnny Shock looked to have things going pretty good for him at the front of the pack. Sanders hanging tough though as the two started working through lap traffic. Sanders would look to peak his nose under Shonk just five laps later, trying to take the lead, the two make contact and Shonk almost looses his rear bumper cover. He is able to keep going and hold onto the lead.

Takes Sanders just six laps to catch and pass the 70 bringing Allen along with him. Shonk makes another circuit around the speedway and pulls it down pit road – he goes down several laps before the caution comes out with twenty laps to go for debris on the back stretch. Arena Racing official put tape on the rear bumper cover of Shonk, he is able to return to the racing surface.

With the ensuing restart Matt Midget is the first to take the cone – he goes toe to toe with Sanders and leads lap thirty-one. Another eight seconds later and Midget is in sole procession of the lead before officials spot more debris in turn four which would bring out another yellow.

With ten laps to go Midget elects to take the restart on the high side and it worked out wonderful for the veteran. Sanders however not letting him get down to the bottom – the two battle door to door for the lead.

Sanders makes contact with Midget coming off four and takes the lead but major problems going on behind them, Shonk goes around and onto his lid to bring out the yellow flag once more. Josh Burnham the biggest loser in that one, he finds himself on pit road with a broken right front.

Midget takes the cone form the second position to restart on the high side. Sanders car didn’t get going once the green flag came out – not sure if he was trying to play games or if he just got caught sleeping on the start. Either way Sanders had to play catch up and that’s when things got a little ugly. He and Midget make contact down the backstretch and again in four sending Sanders on his side and making hard contact with the outside retaining wall. Officials and medics respond to Sanders to make sure everything was okay after hard contact from the outside wall and the roof of the car. Sanders was able to get out of the car and exit the track under his own power – his night unfortunately was over.

Midget takes the topside for the restart again and clears Grady Jr into one. With no pressure behind him Matt Midget grabs the checkered flag in an interesting B-Main.


B-Main Results

1.#97 Matt Midget
2. #74 Jim Grady Jr
3. #12 Tyler Warriner
4. #24 Allen Booth
5. #7 Nate Thomas DNF
6. #63 Matt Sanders DNF
7. #29 Scott Allen DNF
8. #92 Josh Burnham DNF
9. #70 Johnny Shonk DNF



Top Dog


It was the 2016 Youth Champion, Chase Burrow in the #00 ride that would lead the field of twelve to the green flag. Once the field was lined up correctly and the rag was dropped Burrows was able to jump out to the lead early. Holding his own in the presence of past Pro Series champions Cody Carlton and Camden Testerman, Scott Prillaman – the nights A-Main winner was right there in the mix as well.

The top four cars broke away from the rest of the pack and stayed nose to tail while they were just clicking off laps. The first caution of the race came for debris in the middle of one and two; just as Burrows was working to but the first car a lap down. Once clean up was complete officials gave the signal to double up just like they do in most short tracks around the area with a cone restart. Burrows elected to stay to keep his position at the front of the pack with Testerman behind him – Carlton and Prillam took their chances and started on the high side.

When Burrows entered the restart zone it was a drag race into one with Carlton to his outside. Using the momentum to his advantage Carlton was able to clear Burrows out of four to take over the lead leaving Chase to deal with the likes of last years champion and Scott Prilliman. The caution would wave once more for Allen Booth and the #24 car, which set up one of the longest green flag, runs on the following restart.

Carlton and Testerman got great restarts and left Burrows in third to deal with the likes of Prillaman. Working to click off laps and make it through lap traffic the #94 and #17 were in a class of their own. Fans were able to witness some great racing between Burrows and Prillaman however for the third spot as well as cars racing for position deeper in the field.

A scary moment for the leaders as the laps wined down trying to work through some slower lapped cars. Carlton and Testerman both having to make wild moves off four. Carlton found himself in the middle of a Branden Sanders and Nate Thomas sandwich down the front stretch and into turn one – luckily for the Chesapeake native he was able to make it through no problem. Testerman on the other hand got the raw end of the deal and made contact with the #48 of Sanders. Both slowing down and coming off the racing surface. Both cars seemed to be okay on damage but it allowed for Prillaman to close the five car gap and pass Testerman for second.

Tyler Warriner would bring out the nights final caution for his spin off turn four. This would bunch the field up one last time with just five laps to go. Carlton would elect to give up his position at the front of the field to start on the outside line giving the number one spot to Prillaman on the track.

With Carlton being the control car it was up to him to restart the race in three. Chalk it up to the dirt karting but Carlton got the restart of a lifetime and had a five car lead on Prillaman out of two – Prillaman had to get up on the wheel though and defend his second position from a very hungry Testerman and Burrows.

Prillaman was able to drive back to the rear bumper of Carlton in those last five laps with some help of slower traffic but it was not enough to get around him and Carlton would take the checkered flag once more in the Top Dog. Prillaman, Testerman, Burrow and Butler would round out the top five finishers.

We caught up with Carlton after the race to talk about his win and his return to the Hampton Coliseum.

“I would have to say I’m very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to come back and put a show for a great home town crowd,” Carlton told The Weekly Racer. “To be able to get the Top Dog win was the icing on the cake. I have a huge group of guys that were behind me in making it possible.”

Carlton went on a tear back in 2015 winning five or six top dog features in a row. He would spend most of 2016 away from the Arena and took his talent to the dirt where he picked up right where he left off, in victory lane. He went on to tell us that getting back into the arena car was like riding a bike. He even mentioned that he would consider running more races this season if the series made more trips to Hampton.

“Yes, if they come back to Hampton I may consider running more races,” said Carlton. “I may even consider it in Richmond if I don’t have any other racing going on.”

Arena Racing will head back to Richmond, Virginia on Saturday March 11th for their next points race. For more information on times and tickets visit their website at http://www.arenaracingusa.com.


Top Dog Results

1) #94 Cody Carlton
2) #83 Scott Prillaman
3) #17T Camden Testerman
4) #00 Chase Burrow
5) #11 Chase Butler
6) #74 Jim Grady
7) #07 Shane  Zupo
8) #48 Branden Sanders
9) #12 Tyler Warriner
10) #97 Matt Midgett
11) #7 Nate Thomas
12) #24 Allen Booth III DNF
13) #71 Savannah Nickens DNF

Garrett Manes Sweeps A Main and Top Dog Feature in Dominion Payroll Services 200


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.

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


A Main

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


B Main

img_0362The 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.

B-Main Results:
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

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.

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Cody Carlton Extends Streak to Five at Movement Mortgage 250

Cody Carlton 5th Top Dog

Richmond, VA – A program that was started over 10 years ago in the Hampton Roads area and since moved to Richmond is a way for driver young and old to “learn” the ropes or hone their skills during the off season. Arena Racing, established in 2002 by Ricky Dennis is racing done in doors usually during the off-season of NASCAR and other local short track programs.

If you have never been to one of these events I highly recommend you taking the trip to Richmond and witness a race. These are half scale; rear engine cup style cars that run full roll cages along with racing slicks and coil over suspension. Races are run in a “heat style” format on a high-banked hockey rink sized aluminum track.

Due to a series of events we found ourselves in the Richmond area on the second night of a double-header event at the Richmond Coliseum for the Movement Mortgage 200.

Qualifying for the mains were held earlier in the afternoon where Cody Carlton found himself in yet another A-Main and looking to continue his winning streak to five. Because this is a points based racing series where drivers are competing for a $10,000 championship trophy here is how the points work. 30 points are given to the winner of the A, 27 points for the winner of the B, 25 for the C and 23 points if there is a D Main. The winner of the Top Dog race will receive 5 bonus points toward the championship.

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