RICHMOND, Va. – Troy Doggett started on the pole and led all 50 laps to claim his first victory of the season in the 50-lap Top Dog feature for Arena Racing USA’s Pro Series, the headlining event of Saturday evening’s program at the Richmond Coliseum.
Doggett and Francis Jarrelle III occupied the front row for the start, while Tyler Hughes and Scott Prillaman launched from row two and Tommy Jackson Jr. and Dylan Loving made up row three.
On the first try at a start, Doggett rocketed ahead of Jarrelle. Officials weren’t satisfied with the takeoff, though, and the first caution flag flew as the field slowed for a complete restart.
On the second attempt, Doggett and Jarrelle stayed door-to-door until they reached turn two. Heading onto the backstretch, Doggett surged ahead and brought Hughes and Jackson along with him. Prillaman slipped into the fourth spot in line as Jarrelle tumbled down the running order.
At lap five, Doggett and Hughes were nose-to-tail for the lead, separated from Jackson and Prillaman by three car-lengths. Loving was up to fifth, but a straightaway down to the top four.
The second caution flag appeared on lap eight when Tripp Thurston and Dystany Spurlock spun in turns three and four.
On the double-file restart, Doggett got the better of Hughes off turn two and left the door open for Jackson. Before that battle could take shape, however, the third yellow flag waved as Thurston plowed into the inside barricade near turn one.
Back under green, Doggett shot ahead of Hughes as the field rolled into turn one. Again, Jackson motored to the inside of Hughes. The two went door-to-door for nearly two laps with Hughes retaining the runner-up spot off turn four on lap 10. The tussle allowed Doggett to extend his advantage to four lengths.
On lap 19, Prillaman swiped the third spot from Jackson. He was able to make the move when Jackson got trapped behind a slower car on the top side of the track, leaving the inside lane wide open.
The last of the race’s four yellow flags was displayed on lap 21 when Robbie Davis spun in turn four. After studying the replay, officials determined that Jackson was involved in the incident and he joined Davis at the back of the pack.
The green flag reappeared at the start of lap 30. As the race resumed, Doggett zoomed ahead of Hughes, who quickly had his hands full with Prillaman. Prillaman edged into the second spot on lap 32, but Hughes battled back on lap 34, regaining the spot for good.
While Hughes and Prillaman tussled, Doggett dashed away to a half-straightaway lead. Once Hughes and Prillaman calmed down and got into single-file formation, though, they began to close in on the leader.
Working around a slower machine, Doggett nearly the race slip through his fingers on lap 45 when he got crossed up off turn four. Hughes and Prillaman pounced on Doggett’s miscue, narrowing the gap to just two car-lengths with a handful of circuits to go.
Doggett quickly regained his composure, though, and was in firm command over the closing laps to nail down the win. At the finish, he was 0.498-second ahead of runner-up Hughes. Prillaman was third, followed by Jackson and Davis. Spurlock was sixth to the line, while Pete Hunt, Jason Manes, John Alford and Loving rounded out the top 10. Cayton Hornberger, Jarrelle, Jason Styron and Thurston completed the rundown.
Scott Prillaman assumed the lead on lap 44 and sailed to the victory in the 50-lap Insurance Doctor A Main. The win was his fifth overall and fourth straight in A Main competition.
Robbie Davis drew the pole for the start of the event and paced the first 43 circuits with Prillaman and Tyler Hughes in tow. On lap 44, though, Tyler Daniels and Dylan Loving tangled in Turn 4, just ahead of the leaders. As the race’s fourth caution flag waved, Davis and Prillaman came to a halt to avoid contact.
Reviewing the incident, officials determined that Davis didn’t stop quite quickly enough to stay out of the melee and he was directed to the rear of the field, handing the top spot to Prillaman. Hughes lined up in second place, followed by Cody Carlton and Pete Hunt.
For the ensuing restart, Carlton opted to launch from the outside lane, alongside Prillaman. Back under green, Prillaman made short work of Carlton and left the inside lane open for Hughes. Exiting Turn 2, Hughes pinched Carlton into the outside wall, causing extensive suspension damage on Carlton’s #94 machine. Carlton slowed to a crawl in Turns 3 and 4, prompting the last of the race’s five yellow flags. Carlton was eliminated from the contest, while Hughes was relegated to the back of the pack.
On the final restart, Prillaman easily outdistanced Jason Styron and won by 1.108 seconds — better than half a straightaway. Styron was second to the line, followed by Davis, who rebounded from his earlier misfortune to take third. Pete Hunt and Troy Doggett rounded out the top five. Hughes, Loving and Cayton Hornberger were sixth, seventh and eighth, in that order, and joined the top five in advancing to the Top Dog finale. Daniels, Carlton and Lin O’Neill finished outside the front eight and missed Top Dog starting spots.