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Volusia Speedway Park

Moyer races to $7,000 victory in Volusia opener

February 14, 2011, 5:17 pm
From staff and series reports
Billy Moyer (21) stalks Earl Pearson Jr. (44) (thesportswire.net)
Billy Moyer (21) stalks Earl Pearson Jr. (44) (thesportswire.net)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 14) — Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., kicked off the Late Model portion of the 40th annual DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH in triumphant fashion, capturing Monday night’s 30-lap UMP feature event

The 53-year-old Hall of Famer steered his Victory Circle by Moyer machine forward from the fifth starting spot to grab the lead from polesitter Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., on lap 13. He never looked back en route to a $7,000 payday, pulling away from the field after a lap-23 caution period to defeat Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., by 1.978 seconds. | Complete Speedweeks coverage

It marked the second time in the last four years that Moyer emerged victorious in the opener of the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. He also topped the DIRTcar UMP lidlifter in 2008 on his way to dominating that year’s action with three wins in five starts, including the week-ending World of Outlaws Late Model Series event.

“They got a good racy racetrack, big and wide,” Moyer said of the half-mile Volusia oval, where he’s won six times since 1998. “We like coming here for sure.”

Pearson, who won the UMP opener of the 2007 DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, started from the outside pole and led laps 1-4 before briefly falling to third place. He regained second from Madden on lap 16 and closed within striking distance of Moyer before the race’s lone caution flag — on lap 23 for a flat left-rear tire on West Virginia driver Eddie Carrier Jr.’s car — extinguished his bid.

Madden, who led laps 5-12, lost touch with the leaders late in the distance and settled for a third-place finish. Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., advanced from the eighth starting spot to place fourth and 11th-starting Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., finished fifth after nipping Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., by .039 of a second with a last-lap move.

Coming off a spectacular 2010 campaign that saw him sweep the prestigious $100,000-to-win Dream and World 100 events at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway, Moyer showed no signs of slowing down in ’11 with a masterful performance against a star-studded field of 71 cars. He calmly ran down Pearson and Madden, both former feature winners at Volusia, to seize control of the race.

“It was like ice out there, so slick,” Moyer, who has five 2011 victories in 10 feature starts. “I was just trying to take care of the car, the tires, everything on there, and was waiting for them (Pearson and Madden) to make a little bobble. They got to moving around on the racetrack a little bit and I had my old hot rod where it could stay on the bottom pretty good, and it worked out for us.”

Fuller finished sixth after starting third and running in the top five for the entire distance. Teenager Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., slipped from the fourth starting spot to a seventh-place finish, while two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., placed eighth, Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., charged from the 20th starting spot to take ninth and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., rounded out the top 10.

Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., registered the fastest overall qualifying lap at 16.477 seconds, but he ran into trouble in his heat race and didn’t transfer to the main event.

The DIRTcar Nationals continue Tuesday with another $7,000-to-win UMP feature. — Kevin Kovac

Notes: Moyer's Victory Circle Chassis is sponsored by L&D Trucking, Banner Valley Hauling, New Vision Graphics and Henderson Motorsports. ... Moyer is the first multiple winning during Georgia-Florida Speedweeks. ... He has at least one Speedweeks victory each season since first bringing a Victory Circle to the winter racing in 2008. ... Moyer hadn't driven the winning car since last October. ... Chub Frank won the first Bulrush Dash, a $300-to-win race for 15 drivers who failed to make the feature lineup. ... Sixth-place finisher Tim Fuller has been at all five Georgia-Florida Speedweeks tracks but hadn't raced in a feature event until Volusia's opener. ... Besides Fuller, five other drivers have entered events at every Speedweeks track: Pearson, Vic Coffey, Austin Hubbard, Steve Francis and Josh Richards. ... Scott Bloomquist and Brad Neat are among drivers expected to join that list with their first Volusia starts.

Finish: (1) Billy Moyer, (2) Earl Pearson Jr., (3) Chris Madden, (4) Vic Coffey, (5) Jimmy Mars, (6) Tim Fuller, (7) Austin Hubbard, (8) Josh Richards, (9) Brady Smith, (10) Don O'Neal, (11) Steve Francis, (12) Tim McCreadie, (13) Rick Eckert, (14) Billy Ogle Jr., (15) Frank Heckenast Jr., (16) Clint Smith, (17) Ryan Unzicker, (18) Tyler Bruening, (19) Will Vaught, (20) Jason Feger, (21) Dan Stone, (22) Casey Roberts, (23) John Blankenship, (24) Eddie Carrier Jr., (25) Wendell Wallace. Fast qualifier (among 70 cars): Mike Marlar, 16.477 seconds. Heat race winners: Fuller, Moyer, Pearson, Hubbard, O'Neal, Madden. Consolation winners: C. Smith, B. Smith, Wallace. Non-qualifiers' race winner: Chub Frank.

Blog-style reports of Monday's preliminaries:

Third consolation

Wendell Wallace cleared polesitter Casey Roberts on the start of the third consolation race and led every lap for the victory. After losing the position on the start, Roberts chased Wallace the entire race. He pulled alongside Wallace a number of times, but faded late in the race. Roberts held on for the final transfer position.

Finish: Wendell Wallace, Casey Roberts, Wayne Chinn, Tyler Reddick, Kent Robinson, Jeff Beyers, Eric Jacobsen, Pat Doar, Aaron Ridley, Jason McBride, Freddie Carpenter, Mike Hammerle, Chad Hollenbeck, Jerry Perine.

Second consolation

Brady Smith led every lap of the caution-free second consolation race in a dominating performance. Smith won by nearly a straightaway over Jason Feger, who will also transfer to the feature.

Finish: Brady Smith, Jason Feger, Chub Frank, Dennis Erb Jr., John Mason, Lee DeVasier, Brandon Sheppard, Jack Sullivan, Jon Henry, Stacy Boles, Joel Callahan, Ryan Unzicker, Tommy Kerr, Mason Zeigler, Tyler Ivey, Jill George, Donald Beyers.

First consolation

Clint Smith passed polesitter Jared Landers midway through the first consolation race and pulled away in the closing laps to claim the victory. Landers faded near the end of the race as Will Vaught moved to challange for the position. Vaught beat Landers in a photo-finish to claim the final transfer position.

Finish: Clint Smith, Will Vaught, Jared Landers, Russ King, Shane Clanton, Eric Wells, Billy Moyer Jr., John Garvin Jr., Dillan White, Boom Briggs, Larry Wight, Ricky Weiss, Danny Mitchell.

Sixth heat

Chris Madden started from the pole and led every lap of the sixth heat race. Fourth-starting Billy Ogle Jr. ran second with John Blankenship finishing third to also transfer to the feature. The race ran caution-free.

Finish: Chris Madden, Billy Ogle Jr., John Blankenship, Wendell Wallace, John Lobb, Wayne Chinn, Pat Doar, Jeff Beyers, Freddie Carpenter, Aaron Ridley, Jerry Perine.

Fifth heat

Don O'Neal cleared Jimmy Mars for the lead on the second lap of the fifth heat race and ran away to the victory in the caution free race. Mars, making his 2011 Speedweeks debut, held on for second. Steve Francis finished in the third and final transfer position.

Finish: Don O'Neal, Jimmy Mars, Steve Francis, Casey Roberts, Eric Jacobsen, Tyler Reddick, Kent Robinson, Chad Hollenbeck, Jason McBride, Mike Hammerle.

Fourth heat

Austin Hubbard jumped to the lead from his pole-starting spot in the fourth heat and led every lap for the victory. Tyler Bruening ran second in the caution-free race, with Eddie Carrier Jr., finishing third to also transfer to the feature.

Finish: Austin Hubbard, Tyler Bruening, Eddie Carrier Jr., Brady Smith, Dale McDowell, Mason Zeigler, Dennis Erb Jr., Jon Henry, Joel Callahan, Tyler Ivey, Jill George, Brian Reese, Donald Beyers.

Third heat

Earl Pearson Jr. passed polesitter Frank Heckenast Jr., on lap five of the third heat race and led the remaining laps for the victory. After nearly losing the second position to Rick Eckert, Heckenast roared back to challenge Pearson on the highside. But Pearson pulled away on the final lap, forcing Heckenast to settle for second. Eckert finished third.

Finish: Earl Pearson Jr., Frank Heckenast Jr., Rick Eckert, Jason Feger, Chub Frank, John Mason, Lee Devasier, Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Unzicker, Jack Sullivan, Stacy Boles, Tommy Kerr.

Second heat

Billy Moyer took the lead over polesitter Jared Landers on the first lap of the second heat race and led every lap of the caution-free race. Vic Coffey ran second with seventh-starting Dan Stone taking the third and final transfer position. Landers faded to fourth.

Finish: Billy Moyer, Vic Coffey, Dan Stone, Jared Landers, John Garvin, Shane Clanton, Eric Wells, Brandon Thirlby, Danny Mitchell, Billy Moyer Jr., Boom Briggs, Roger Brickler.

First heat

Tim Fuller passed Josh Richards for the lead in turn one on the final lap of the first heat race and held Richards off in a side-by-side finish. Richards moved from third to the lead on lap three when race-leader Mike Marlar and second-running Jonathan Davenport got together in turn four. He finished second ahead of Tim McCreadie in the third and final transfer position. The race's only caution appeared after just one lap when Ron Davies and Larry Wight tangled in turn one.

Finish: Tim Fuller, Josh Richards, Tim McCreadie, Clint Smith, Dillan White, Will Vaught, Ricky Weiss, Mike Marlar, Jonathan Davenport, Russ King, Larry Wight, Ron Davies.

Time trials (unofficial)

Note: Drivers will heat race with their qualifying groups. Lineups will be straight up according to lap times.
First group

  1. Mike Marlar (36), Winfield, Tenn., 16.477
  2. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 16.484
  3. Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., 16.66
  4. Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 16.683
  5. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.745
  6. Ricky Weiss (7), St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba, 16.875
  7. Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 17.073
  8. Larry Wight (99L), Phoenix, N.Y., 17.145
  9. Ron Davies (71D), Warren, Pa., 17.155
  10. Russ King (56), Bristolville, Ohio, 17.255
  11. Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo., 17.346
  12. Dillan White (54), Crofton, Ky., 17.409

Second group

  1. Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 16.824
  2. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.86
  3. Vic Coffey (32c), Caledonia, N.Y., 16.893
  4. Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 16.931
  5. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.933
  6. Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 17.077
  7. Dan Stone (21D), Thompson, Pa., 17.239
  8. Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga., 17.244
  9. Brandon Thirlby (m14), Traverse City, Mich., 17.257
  10. John Garvin Jr. (J4), Sarver, Pa., 17.406
  11. Danny Mitchell (18D), Clarksburg, W.Va., 17.848
  12. Roger Brickler (82), Pana, Ill., 18.611

Third group

  1. Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 16.596
  2. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.683
  3. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 17.007
  4. Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 17.031
  5. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 17.128
  6. Jack Sullivan (1s), Greenbrier, Ark., 17.239
  7. Lee DeVasier (5), Midway, Ky., 17.28
  8. John Mason (72), Millersburg, Ohio, 17.318
  9. Brandon Sheppard (b5), New Berlin, Ill., 17.374
  10. Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 17.448
  11. Tommy Kerr (4t), Maryville, Tenn., 17.687
  12. Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 18.033

Fourth group

  1. Austin Hubbard (19), Seaford, Del., 17.08
  2. Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 17.081
  3. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 17.214
  4. Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 17.332
  5. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 17.423
  6. Tyler Ivey (47), Tallahassee, Fla., 17.485
  7. Jon Henry (15h), Ada, Ohio, 17.514
  8. Jill George (22), Cedar Falls, Iowa, 17.548
  9. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 17.648
  10. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalkhill, Pa., 17.779
  11. Donald Beyers (27D), Pana, Ill., 17.94
  12. Joel Callahan (40), Dubuque, Iowa, 18.018
  13. Brian Reese (33), Sharpsburg, Ga., 18.112

Fifth group

  1. Don O'Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 16.772
  2. Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 16.923
  3. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 17.197
  4. Eric Jacobsen (5), Seacliff Beach, Calif., 17.335
  5. Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., 17.435
  6. Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ill., 17.438
  7. Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga., 17.791
  8. Jason McBride (77), Carbondale, Ill., 18.342
  9. Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa., 18.931
  10. Chuck Julien (57x), Apopka, Fla., 19.13
  11. Mike Hammerle (16), St Charles, Mo., 20.005

Sixth group

  1. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 17.075
  2. John Lobb (1), Frewsburg, N.Y., 17.691
  3. Pat Doar (11D), New Richmond, Wis., 17.786
  4. Billy Ogle Jr. (201), Knoxville, Tenn., 17.837
  5. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 17.896
  6. Wendell Wallace (88), Batesville, Ark., 17.941
  7. Aaron Ridley (16), Chatsworth, Ga., 18.03
  8. Jeff Beyers (27), Pana, Ill., 18.249
  9. Wayne Chinn (15), Bradford, Ohio, 18.399
  10. Freddie Carpenter (c4), Parkersburg, W.Va., 18.548
  11. Jerry Perine (91), Cowell, Ohio, 19.183

Pre-race notes

Monday night’s race is the first of six events scheduled for the week at Volusia. The half-mile racetrack will host three $7,000-to-win UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned features Monday-Wednesday, followed by three $10,000-to-win features Thursday-Saturday. Thursday’s event is the season opener for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series while the Friday night feature is another UMP DIRTcar event. The Outlaws return for Saturday’s finale. ... Continuing a trend of high car counts at Speedweeks events, Volusia’s opening night has attracted 70 entries; it's the first time Volusia has drawn 70 entries since Feb. 10, 2009. ... There were at least five race cars in the pit area Monday afternoon that are not competing Monday night. ... Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., is taking the night off after finishing second on a rough-and-tumble racing surface Sunday night at Ocala Speedway. ... The race car of 2010’s opening night winner Darrell Lanigan is in the Volusia pit area, but the driver is not. Lanigan of Union, Ky., was planning to compete Monday night, but feeling ill, he flew home Monday. He hopes to recuperate at home and fly back down to Volusia for Thursday night’s World of Outlaws opener. ... After only making one of six features last week at East Bay Raceway Park, Dillan White of Crofton, Ky., has benched his new Rayburn chassis and will drive a MasterSbilt at Volusia. ... After the body of her race car did not meet rule specifications Monday afternoon, Jill George of Cedar Falls, Iowa enlisted the help of Senoia, Ga., driver Clint Smith and Tony Knowles who is serving as a crew member for Smith at Volusia. ... While Clint Bowyer Motorsports teammates Dale McDowell and Jared Landers have been competing elsewhere during Speedweeks thus far, team owner Clint Bowyer has represented the team well at Volusia. The NASCAR Sprint Cut Series regular has won three UMP DIRTcar Modified features in the past week at the half-mile and will compete in Monday night’s Gator Championship.

Group time trials order

First group
Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo.
Dillan White (54), Crofton, Ky.
Ron Davies (71D), Warren, Pa.
Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y.
Mike Marlar (36), Winfield, Tenn.
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga.
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va.
Larry Wight (99L), Phoenix, N.Y.
Ricky Weiss (7), St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba
Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga.
Russ King (56), Bristolville, Ohio
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y.
Second group
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark.
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa.
Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga.
Brandon Thirlby (m14), Traverse City, Mich.
John Garvin Jr. (J4), Sarver, Pa.
Roger Brickler (82), Pana, Ill.
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark.
Bily Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark.
Vic Coffey (32c), Caledonia, N.Y.
Dan Stone (21d), Thompson, Pa.
Danny Mitchell (18D), Clarksburg, W.Va.
Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky.
Third group
Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa.
Lee DeVasier (5), Midway, Ky.
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill.
Jack Sullivan (1s), Greenbrier, Ark.
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn.
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill.
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill.
Tommy Kerr (4T), Maryville, Tenn.
John Mason (72), Millersburg, Ohio
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill.
Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla.
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa.
Fourth group
Brian Reese (33), Sharpsburg, Ga.
Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis.
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va.
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill.
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga.
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalkhill, Pa.
Jill George (22), Cedar Falls, Iowa
Jon Henry (15h), Ada, Ohio
Tyler Ivey (47), Tallahasse, Fla.
Austin Hubbard (19), Seaford, Del.
Tyler Brevening (16), Decorah, Iowa
Donald Beyers (27D), Pana, Ill.
Fifth group
Mike Hammerle (16), St Charles, Mo.
Don O'Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind.
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky.
Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ill.
Chuck Julien (57x), Apaka, Fla.
Jimmy Mars (28), Elk Mound, Wis.
Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa.
Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga.
Eric Jacobsen (5), Seacliff Beach, Calif.
Jason McBride (77), Carbondale, Ill.
Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif.
Sixth group
Pat Doar (11D), New Richmond, Wis.
John Lobb (1), Frewsburg, N.Y.
Chirs Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C.
Aaron Ridley (16), Chatsworth, Ga.
John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va.
Wendell Wallace (88), Batesville, Ark.
Freddie Carpenter (c4), Parkersburg, W.Va.
Jeff Beyers (27), Pana, Ill.
Billy Ogle Jr. (201), Knoxville, Tenn.
Jerry Perine (91), Lowell, Ohio
Wayne Chinn (15), Bradford, Ohio

Correction: Fixes Moyer's 2011 victory total to five.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Madden, Pearson
Row 2: Fuller, Hubbard
Row 3: Moyer, O'Neal
Row 4: Richards, Coffey
Row 5: Heckenast, Bruening
Row 6: Mars, Ogle
Row 7: McCreadie, Stone
Row 8: Eckert, Carrier
Row 9: Francis, Blankenship
Row 10: C. Smith, B. Smith
Row 11: Wallace, Vaught
Row 12: Feger, Roberts
Row 13: Unzicker

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