Thursday, March 22, 2012
Arena Racing USA Teams Gear up for Friday's 'Night Race'
RICHMOND, Va. -- The goal will be to "Pack the Track and Stack the Shelves" this Friday, Mar. 23, when Arena Racing USA heads back to the Richmond Coliseum for the FeedMore 200 presented by Verizon Wireless and Interstate Batteries, the next-to-last event on the 14-race 2011-12 schedule.
To provide a unique "night race" look and feel, the Coliseum's ceiling lights will be turned off during this week's races and the track will be illuminated by portable units placed around the perimeter of the tenth-mile bullring. Also, four 12' x 20' video screens will be suspended above the infield, giving fans access to replays, driver interviews and other fun features.
Friday's Pro Series slate includes the Insurance Doctor A Main and the Pete Rose Landscape Products B Main, both 50 laps. The top finishers from those races advance to the 50-lap Machinery Movers & Erectors Top Dog feature, the evening's grand finale. A 30-lapper for the Youth Series, slotted between the B Main and Top Dog events, rounds out the lineup.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the pre-race fan festival, a prime opportunity to meet the drivers, snap some photos, collect a few autographs and get a close-up look at the half-scale stock cars. Opening ceremonies get under way at 7:30, immediately followed by the green flag for the A Main.
Adult (13+) tickets are $14 for reserved seating and $12 for general admission. A free kids (3-12) ticket is included with each adult general admission ticket purchase. Additional kids tickets are $7. Tickets for military personnel and senior citizens are $10. Tickets are available at the Coliseum box office, TicketMaster locations and online at TicketMaster.com. A service fee will be added to each purchase.
Friday's event will wrap up the Arena Racing USA/FeedMore food drive. Fans who donate a non-perishable food item will receive a voucher for a free Arena Racing USA ticket. To learn more about FeedMore and its hunger relief mission, through the Central Virginia Food Bank, the Community Kitchen and Meals on Wheels, fans may visit the organization's website, .
With a big win in last Friday's Top Dog race, Travis Wall extended his lead in the Pro Series standings to five over defending champ Jordan Wood. Cody Carlton is third, two behind Wood. Scott Prillaman, last week's A Main winner, is fourth, 14 points out of the lead.
CURRENT PRO SERIES TOP 10 (through 10 races): 1. Travis Wall, 366; 2. Jordan Wood, 361; 3. Cody Carlton, 359; 4. Scott Prillaman, 352; 5. Tyler Hughes (R), 312; 6. Mike Weddell, 303; 7. Matt Midgett, 292; 8. Daniel Thomas (R), 289; 9. Jason Styron, 287; 10. Tommy Jackson Jr., 282. (R) = Rookie contender.
At the season's end, each driver's two worst points nights will be tossed out before the final standings are tabulated. Looking at the "adjusted" standings, Wall hangs onto a seven-point lead over Prillaman and Carlton, while Wood slips to fourth, 11 behind Wall.
Macy Causey's premature exit from last Friday's Youth Series race allowed Savannah Cook to pad her points lead to six. Causey remains second in the rundown, followed by Jordan Valdes and Tripp Thurston. When the drivers' two worst outings are deducted, Cook's lead shrinks to four over Causey and Thurston, winner of the last two events, jumps to third, only seven out of the top spot.
CURRENT YOUTH SERIES STANDINGS (through 10 races): 1. Savannah Cook, 348; 2. Macy Causey, 342; 3. Jordan Valdes (R), 329; 4. Tripp Thurston, 315; 5. Devon Courtney (R), 260; 6. Gummy Cook, 156; 7. Marshall Cook (R), 100; 8. Brooke Causey (R), 26. (R) = Rookie contender.
With many first-time fans expected for this Friday's FeedMore 200 presented by Verizon Wireless and Interstate Batteries, let's take a moment for a brief primer on what goes on at an Arena Racing USA meet.
Before doors open to the general public, Pro and Youth Series drivers practice, then participate in two-lap time trials. The Pro Series time trials are used to divide the field into the A and B Mains -- A for the faster qualifiers and B for the slower ones. Both Pro and Youth Series drivers then draw for their starting spots in their respective features.
After the pre-race fan festival, which runs from 6:30 p.m. 'til 7:15, the program kicks off with the A Main. The winner of the A Main is awarded 30 championship points. Points decrease by one per position through the field (i.e. 2nd = 29 points, 3rd = 28 points, etc.). Also, the top eight A Main finishers move on to the Top Dog race and a chance to earn more points.
The B Main is second in the lineup. The B Main winner is awarded 27 points. As in the A Main, points decrease by one per position through the field (i.e. 2nd = 26 points, 3rd = 25 points, etc.). The top six B Main finishers advance to the Top Dog race.
After the B Main, there is a short intermission while the Pro Series cars exit the track. Then, it's time for Youth Series driver introductions and their race.
Following the Youth Series contest and Victory Lane ceremonies, the youngsters make their way to the pits and the stage is set for Top Dog driver intros, complete with spotlights, individualized theme music and, if Jason Manes is in the lineup, a few nifty dance moves.
The winner of the Top Dog race is awarded five points. The runner-up gets four, the third-place finisher gets three, the fourth-place finisher gets two and all other Top Dog qualifiers get one.
While the Top Dog race is the featured, and final, event at all Arena Racing USA programs, drivers pick up the bulk of their championship points in the A and B Mains.
After Friday's event, Arena Racing USA's Pro and Youth Series drivers and teams will take a week off to catch their collective breath before the 2011-12 season finale, slated for Saturday, April 7, at the Richmond Coliseum. Doors open at 6 p.m. and racing gets under way at 7.
To learn more about Arena Racing USA and its schedule of upcoming events, fans are invited to visit the series' website, www.ArenaRacingUSA.com.