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Cedar Lake Speedway

Young Moyer fights off Brians at Cedar Lake

June 15, 2012, 5:51 pm
By Todd Turner
DirtonDirt.com managing editor
Brian Shirley (3s) couldn't quite overtake winner Billy Moyer (21jr). (DirtonDirt.com)
Brian Shirley (3s) couldn't quite overtake winner Billy Moyer (21jr). (DirtonDirt.com)

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (June 15) — Outside front-row starter Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., withstood challenges from a pair of Brians on Friday at Cedar Lake Speedway for a flag-to-flag victory in the third leg of the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals.

The 24-year-old Moyer, who entered the season without a series victory, notched his second triumph in three nights in pocketing $5,000 at the 3/8-mile oval that wasn’t among his favorites — until now. | Complete Summernationals coverage

“That’s the most fun I’ve ever had inside a car. Don’t get me wrong, I looked beside me sometimes ... but that’s the most fun. If I’d have run second, I promise I’d be just almost as happy,” Moyer said after his fifth victory overall in his last 10 starts. “That was just so much fun. The car was perfect. ... all the people on my car just do so much, I can’t thank ‘em enough.”

Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, who made an outside move to take second from the polesitting Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., on the 26th lap, finished second in the 30-lapper while Shirley was third. Billy Moyer, the winner’s Hall of Fame father, was fourth and Jimmy Mars of nearby Menomonie, Wis., rounded out the top five in the caution-free event that lasted less than nine minutes.

The younger Moyer added the Cedar Lake victory to Wednesday's flag-to-flag triumph at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway in the series opener and solidified his position in the $25,000 series points chase. He entered the event in fourth and should move up among the top two when official points are released Saturday morning.

Shirley started on the pole but Moyer got the jump, touring the middle of the track most of the way around in controlling the first 10 laps. But Shirley moved up to challenge before the midway point, pulling alongside more than once and edging ahead one time through turns three and four although Moyer swept back around at the start-finish line.

“I actually felt like I had the better car, he was in really the best spot. He had a good car too — I’m not saying he didn’t have a good car,” Shirley said. “I was a good race. We tried the best we could to get by him. I had maybe one shot I think I could’ve drove it in pretty hard to get him, but it just leaves the mutual respect good between us. He’ll remember it when the roles are reversed.”

Shirley’s pursuit of Moyer was joined by Birkhofer in the race’s late stages, and Birkhofer made an outside pass of Shirley on the 26th lap to reach the second spot. He staying within striking distance of Moyer but couldn’t find away past in the closing laps.

“He did a helluva job. His car’s good ... he drove an excellent race. I just, we needed to be a little bit better obviously. We’ll work on our stuff and go tomorrow and congratuations to him,” Birkhofer said. “He’s smooth. He never let the guy in second get that clean enough to where that guy could dictate where he had to be. He always kept the lead to that point ... and Shirley raced him clean, too. Obviously he did a good job.”

Notes: Moyer's Victory Circle Chassis has a Pro Power engine and sponsorship from Banner Valley Hauling, Henderson Motorsports, Imperial Motors and Car City. ... Twenty of 22 starters completed 30 laps. ... Dennis Erb Jr. pulled pitside after 11 laps and Bobby Pierce retired on lap 23. ... Ninth-place finisher Shannon Babb drove most of the race without power steering. ... The series remains at Cedar Lake on Saturday for a $10,000-to-win event that caps the Masters weekend; USMTS-sanctioned modifieds will be in action again, too.

UMP DIRTcar Summernationals @ Cedar Lake: (1) Billy Moyer Jr., (2) Brian Birkhofer, (3) Brian Shirley, (4) Billy Moyer, (5) Jimmy Mars, (6) Brandon Sheppard, (7) Brady Smith, (8) Don O'Neal, (9) Shannon Babb, (10) Jason Rauen, (11) A.J. Diemel, (12) Chad Simpson, (13) Jason McBride, (14) Jason Feger, (15) Tim Isenberg, (16) Mike Spatola, (17) Frank Heckenast Jr., (18) Terry Casey, (19) Andrew McKay, (20) Ryan Unzicker, (21) Bobby Pierce, (22) Dennis Erb Jr. Fast qualifier (among 37 cars): Shirley, 14.200 seconds. Heat race winners: Shirley, Moyer Jr., Birkhofer, Moyer Sr. B-main winner: Erb. C-main winner: Jon Henry. Provisional starters: Feger, Unzicker, Diemel, Spatola.

Correction: Fixes Moyer Jr.'s age to 24 sted 25.

Preliminary results:

Consolation finishes

B-main: Dennis Erb Jr., Bobby Pierce, A.J. Diemel, Jason Feger, Nick Bartels, Jerry Lierly, Ryan Unzicker, Mike Spatola, Chris Simpson, Mark Voigt, Jon HenryJeff Larson, Mike Fryer, Steve Isenberg.

C-main: Jon Henry, Chris Simpson, Jeff Larson, Charlie McKenna, Justin Hirt, Caley Emerson, Leon Henderson, Bryan Wennen, Kathy Jarvis.

Consolation lineups

B-main
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Bobby Pierce
Row 2: Mark Voigt, Nick Bartels
Row 3: Jason Feger, A.J. Diemel
Row 4: Mike Nutzmann, Jerry Lierly
Row 5: Mike Spatola, Steve Isenberg
Row 6: Mike Fryer, Ryan Unzicker
Row 7: C-main transfers
Row 8: C-main transfers
C-main
Row 1: Jeff Larson, Jon Henry
Row 2: Bryan Wennen, Chris Simpson
Row 3: Caley Emerson, Charlie McKenna
Row 4: Kathy Jarvis, Justin Hirt
Row 5: Leon Henderson

Fourth heat

Polesitter Billy Moyer got the jump and ran unchallenged for a 10-lap victory over fellow front-row starter Jimmy Mars, who dueled with third-starting Chad Simpson on the first lap. Simpson settled into third, where he finished, and Andrew McKay got the fourth and final transfer spot after getting a little heat from Nick Bartels the first few laps of the caution-free prelim. There was little passing and Ryan Unzicker (seventh) and Chris Simpson (eighth) had disappointing finishes.

Finish: Billy Moyer, Jimmy Mars, Chad Simpson, Andrew McKay, Nick Bartels, Jerry Lierly, Ryan Unzicker, Chris Simpson, Justin Hirt.

Third heat

Winning a two-car breakaway, Billy Moyer Jr. topped fellow front-row starter Don O'Neal in the 10-lap prelim. O'Neal diamonded the corners in working Moyer, but couldn't find a way past. Jason McBride was fourth, although he held third until Frank Heckenast Jr. stole it at the white flag. Heckenast and Mark Voigt battled for the fourth spot most of the way with Voigt slipping ahead at the midway point, but Heckenast got the high side working to reclaim the final transfer spot and overtake McBride in the late going. The first start was called back when Moyer Jr. jumped in turn four and another yellow appeared on the second lap when Kathy Jarvis was facing the wrong way on the backstretch.

Finish: Billy Moyer Jr., Don O'Neal, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jason McBride, Mark Voigt, Mike Nutzmann, Mike Fryer, Bryan Wennen, Kathy Jarvis.

Second heat

Outside front-row starter Brian Birkhofer pedaled hard through turns one and two on the first lap, sweeping past polesitter Shannon Babb on the backstretch of the first lap on his way to thrilling victory. Babb never gave up, pressuring Birkhofer high and low the rest of the way in an entertaining — but apparently contact-free battle — that saw them side-by-side the complete sixth lap. Birkhofer edged ahead on the ninth lap, but Babb nearly snuck by in trying to nose Birkhofer at the checkers. Jason Rauen was further back in third while Terry Casey got the fourth and final transfer spot. Charlie McKenna slowed and pulled to the infield on the third lap.

Finish: Brian Birkhofer, Shannon Babb, Jason Rauen, Terry Casey, Bobby Pierce, A.J. Diemel, Steve Isenberg, Jon Henry, Charlie McKenna.

First heat

Getting a big jump at the outset, fast qualifier Brian Shirley cruised to an easy victory in the first 10-lap heat race. Fellow front-row starter Brady Smith was five lengths behind entering turn one and never recovered, although he was able to keep Brandon Sheppard at bay thorughout the race in finishing second as most of the cars stuck with the low groove. Sheppard got the third spot in a top-three breakaway while Tim Isenberg got the fourth and final transfer spot over Dennis Erb Jr., who moved up two spots early but settled into fifth. Jason Feger wasn't a factor in sixth.

Finish: Brian Shirley, Brady Smith, Brandon Sheppard, Tim Isenberg, Dennis Erb Jr., Jason Feger, Mike Spatola, Jeff Larson, Caley Emerson, Leon Henderson.

Qualifying

Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., rebounding from a spin in Thursday’s series race at Kankakee, Ill., topped 37 qualifiers Friday at Cedar Lake Speedway on the third leg of the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals.

Shirley tripped the clock at 14.200 seconds at the 3/8-mile oval to earn a pole starting spot for a heat race. Other heat race polesitters after group qualifying: Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill.; Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark.; and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.

Four drivers apiece will transfer from four heat race followed by a C-main and B-main that sends two drivers to the main event. Four provisional starters will round out the 22-car field.

Six-time series champ Moyer Sr., with a pair of third-place finishes, leads the series with 140 points followed by reigning series champ Babb (129), Thursday’s winner at Kankakee, Ill. The rest of the top five is Terry Casey (125), Moyer Jr. (123) and Jason Feger (120).

Cedar Lake, the only track to host multiple Summernationals races, has a $10,000-to-win event set for Saturday.

Pre-race notes

Jason Rauen holds the track record at 12.972 seconds set in 2011. ... Jason Feger pulled off the track with problems in hot laps and the team swapped batteries to solve the issues. ... With recent rains that cancelled Thursday’s non-Late Model racing program at Cedar Lake, there’s plenty of moisture in the track. During Friday afternoon track prep, Billy Moyer Jr. sat above turn one on his four-wheeler watching. “These guys better have their seat belts on tight,” the Brownstown, Ind., winner said, expecting a hammer-down surface. ... Hollywood stuntwoman turned Late Model driver Kathy Jarvis of Park City, Utah, has been plagued by steering problems the first two nights, but she has worse problems at Cedar Lake. Her rented RV has major engine problems that appear terminal. “I just want to cry today,” Jarvis said, frustrated with her first three days of the Hell Tour. ... UMP series director Sam Driggers clarified a second-lap yellow flag that flew Thursday night at Kankakee when Ryan Unzicker was restored to his running position. Driggers said Unzicker never stopped on the track after a spin and said officials “prematurely threw the caution flag,” the reason Unzicker didn’t go to the tail. ... Besides UMP’s usual LM20, LM30 and LM40 Hoosier Tires, the WRS55 tire (a near-identical compound to the LM40) is also legal. It’s a tire run by many non-UMP regional drivers on hand at Cedar Lake. ... The two-division program also includes the United State Modified Touring Series, which runs a pair of $2,000-to-win events on the weekend. There are 40 modifieds in action.

Time trials (unofficial)

(Heat races start straightup by time)
First group
Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 14.200
Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 14.313
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 14.441
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 14.448
Tim Isenberg (9T), Marshfield, Wis., 14.450
Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., 14.485
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.532
Caley Emerson (15E), Grand Rapids, Minn., 14.959
Jeff Larson (36), Freeport, Ill., 15.227
Leon Henderson (10), Laurel, Miss., 15.302
Second group
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 14.530
Brian Birkhofer (15B), Muscatine, Iowa, 14.538
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 14.686
Jason Rauen (98), Farley, Iowa, 14.730
Charlie McKenna (22), Clear Lake, Iowa, 14.770
Steve Isenberg (9I), Marshfield, Wis., 14.774
Terry Casey (42), New London, Wis., 14.779
A.J. Diemel (58), Navarino, Wis., 14.806
Jon Henry (15), Ada, Ohio, 14.934
Third group
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.622
Don O’Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 14.680
Jason McBride (77), Carbondale, Ill., 14.864
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 14.971
Mark Voigt (30), Marine, Ill., 14.973
Bryan Wenne (40), Lindstrom, Minn., 15.237
Mike Fryer (5m), Freeport, Ill., 15.558
Kathy Jarvis (30), Park City, Utah, 15.566
Mike Nutzmann (2), New Richmond, Wis., 16.394
Fourth group
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 14.625
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 14.830
Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, 14.856
Nick Bartels (27), El Segundo, Calif., 14.893
Andrew McKay (71), Edina, Minn., 14.917
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 14.939
Jerry Lierly (7L), Camp Point, Ill., 15.036
Justin Hirt (27), Tigerton, Wis., 15.138
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 15.201

Feature lineup

Row 1: Shirley, Moyer Jr.
Row 2: Birkhofer, Moyer Sr.
Row 3: B. Smith, Babb
Row 4: O'Neal, Mars
Row 5: Sheppard, Rauen
Row 6: Heckenast, Chad Simpson
Row 7: T. Isenberg, Casey
Row 8: McBride, McKay
Row 9: Erb, Pierce
Row 10: Feger, Unzicker
Row 11: Diemel, Spatola
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