Volusia Speedway Park
Moyer dominates for $10,000 Volusia victory
BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 18) — Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., became the first repeat winner during the Dirt Late Model portion of the 40th DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH with a powerful performance in Friday night’s 40-lap UMP-sanctioned finale at Volusia Speedway Park.
Backing up his victory in the opener of the full-fender meet on Monday night, Moyer inherited the lead on lap 12 when Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., pulled up lame with a broken rear axle tube and dominated the remainder of the distance. The 53-year-old Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer pocketed $10,000, pushing his earnings for the week over the $20,000 mark. | Complete Speedweeks coverage
Moyer steered his Victory Circle Chassis under the checkered flag 3.664 seconds ahead of York, Pa.’s Rick Eckert, who registered his best Florida Speedweeks finish.
Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who won Wednesday's Volusia feature, advanced from the ninth starting spot to finish third and Thursday's World of Outlaws winner Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., placed fourth after starting from the seventh position. Nineteen-year-old Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., completed the top five in Dale Beitler’s car, falling one spot from his fourth-place start.
Moyer recorded his seventh triumph in DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH competition since 1998. It marked the second time that he’s won the mid-winter racing spectacular’s marquee UMP Late Model event, six years to the day since his first victory in the race.
This score came in convincing fashion. Moyer swiftly moved to the front from the fifth starting spot, reaching second with a lap-nine pass of Eckert and then running down Feger to begin challenging for the lead just as the race-long pacesetter’s car stopped with mechanical woes on lap 12 to bring out the race’s lone caution flag.
“The plan wasn’t to shoot right to the front,” said Moyer, who enters Saturday's Volusia finale trailing only Mars in the battle for the event points crown. “You just do it by instinct, do what you can do. It just so happened that the doors opened up and I got up there pretty quick.
“Rick had a good car, but he got a little bit free there for a lap or two and I was able to get by him. I was glad I did because the track tightened up there about halfway through.
“We’re real happy,” he added. “One night we were off this week (his only run worse than sixth is a 16th-place finish on Wednesday), so all in all we’ve had a pretty good Speedweek.”
Eckert, 45, made his visit to the Sunshine State much more enjoyable with a breakout runner-up outing. His hopes for victory, however, were effectively dashed when Moyer overtook him for second place.
“When we fired off the start there was a little bit of rubber down the back straightaway all the way out by the wall,” said Eckert, who needed just five laps to move from the sixth starting spot to second. “I struggled off (turn) two for traction, so I would just chase myself out there to the wall and then I could get a run down the backstraightaway — not realizing, though, that (the track) was starting to pick up on the bottom.
“Billy slipped by me on the bottom and then I moved down and there was traction. Once I moved where he was I figured out his groove was much better than the one I was running. It was my own fault that I didn’t go down there sooner. I just didn’t search around.”
Despite falling short of a five-figure win, Eckert was pleased with the speed he flashed with his Team Zero by Bloomquist mount.
“My car’s been good, but the track’s been hammer-down to the cushion and that’s made it tough for me,” said Eckert, who finished 13th, 24th, 17th and 13th in the week’s first four events. “Tonight the track finally got to where I could make some time off that cushion and keep up with them or pass them.
“I wish (tonight) was the Outlaw race. I hope we run this good tomorrow night. But it’s good that we had a run like this no matter what. I thought I was gonna become a Florida resident. Until tonight, I about didn’t make enough money to buy diesel fuel to get back home.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was 10th-starter Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va.; 11th-starter Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla.; John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., whose advance from the 22nd starting position made him the hard-charger of the race; 15-year-old Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif.; and Tuesday's winner Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind. — Kevin Kovac
Finish: (1) Billy Moyer, (2) Rick Eckert, (3) Jimmy Mars, (4) Scott Bloomquist, (5) Austin Hubbard, (6) Josh Richards, (7) Earl Pearson Jr., (8) John Blankenship, (9) Tyler Reddick, (10) Don O'Neal, (11) Will Vaught, (12) Jonathan Davenport, (13) Brady Smith, (14) Dennis Erb Jr., (15) Dan Stone, (16) Russ King, (17) Eric Wells, (18) Clint Smith, (19) Brandon Sheppard, (20) Ryan Unzicker, (21) Ricky Weiss, (22) Steve Francis, (23) Pat Doar, (24) Dan Schlieper, (25) Chub Frank, (26) Jason Feger, (27) Dale McDowell, (28) Tim McCreadie. Fast qualifier (among 60 cars): Hubbard, 16.145. Heat winners: O'Neal, Davenport, Feger, Eckert, Hubbard, Moyer. Consolation race winners: McDowell, Erb, B. Smith. Provisional starters: Francis, McCreadie, Unzicker, Sheppard. Non-qualifiers' race winner: Billy Ogle Jr.
Rick Eckert won his heat race, but he wasn’t happy with his engine’s performance. “It’s not running like it’s gonna blow up, just isn’t running up to par,” Eckert said. Without enough time to perform an engine swap, he’ll run the engine in the feature and hope for the best. ... A frustrating week got even more frustrating for Shane Clanton when he blew an engine in time trials. He missed his heat race while swapping the engine and made it to the track just in time for his consolation race. But he only advanced to fifth in the race that transferred the top two finishers. ... Steve Francis made heavy contact with the inside wall in a heat race accident and will go to his backup car after receiving a provisional starting spot for the feature. ... Mike Marlar had oil temperature issues in his heat race and didn’t start the consolation race. He hopes to have the issues remedied for Saturday. ... Jonathan Davenport and Jason Feger will start from the front row of the feature by virtue of the redraw.
First consy: Brady Smith, John Blankenship, Eddie Carrier Jr., Tim Fuller, Larry Wight, Tommy Kerr, Brandon Thirlby, John Mason, John Garvin Jr., John Henderson, Jared Landers, Brandon Sheppared, Vic Coffey. Scratched: Mike Marlar, Steve Francis.
Second consy: Dennis Erb Jr., Clint Smith, Tim McCreadie, Ryan Unzicker, Billy Ogle Jr., Jack Sullivan, Tyler Bruening, John Lobb, Justin Rattliff, Jill George, Mike Hammerle, Jerry Perine, Lee Thomason, Jason McBride.
Third consy: Dale McDowell, Russ King Kent Robinson, Casey Roberts, Shane Clanton, Boom Briggs, Tyler Ivey, Eric Jacobsen, Jon Henry, Brian Reese, Mason Zeigler, Chad Hollenbeck, Ron Davies, Dillan White.
Billy Moyer started from the pole and led every lap to win the sixth heat race. Dan Stone finished second, while Ricky Weiss finished third to transfer to his first Speedweeks feature. The race's only caution appeared with four laps complete when Ron Davies slowed while running in the top five.
Finish: Billy Moyer, Dan Stone, Ricky Weiss, Russ King, Eric Jacobsen, Brian Reese, Jon Henry, Ron Davies. Scratched: Shane Clanton, Mason Zeigler.
Austin Hubbard moved by Dale McDowell on lap four of the fifth heat race and pulled away for the victory. McDowell, Dan Schlieper and Earl Pearson Jr. all battled for second in the closing laps. The three drivers went three-wide in turn four on the final lap with Pearson taking the position over Schlieper. McDowell finished fourth and will attempt to transfer for the feature through a consolation race.
Finish: Austin Hubbard, Earl Pearson Jr., Dan Schlieper, Dale McDowell, Kent Robinson, Casey Roberts, Boom Briggs, Dillan White, Tyler Ivey, Chad Hollenbeck.
Sixth-starting Rick Eckert charged to the front of the fourth heat race and passed polesitter Chub Frank for the lead on lap five. He pulled away in the closing laps to score the victory. Frank finished second while Eric Wells held off Dennis Erb Jr. for the third and final transfer position.
Finish: Rick Eckert, Chub Frank, Eric Wells, Dennis Erb Jr., Justin Rattliff, Billy Ogle Jr., Jack Sullivan, Jason McBride, John Lobb, Jill George.
Jason Feger scored a convincing victory in the third heat race, leading every lap from the pole. Jimmy Mars held off an early charge from Will Vaught to claim second in the caution-free race. Vaught finished third to also transfer to the feature.
Finish: Jason Feger, Jimmy Mars, Will Vaught, Clint Smith, Tyler Bruening, Tim McCreadie, Ryan Unzicker, Mike Hammerle, Jerry Perine, Lee Thomason.
Jonathan Davenport led every lap to win the second heat race after holding off an early challenge from Tyler Reddick. Reddick finished second after nearly hitting the wall midway through the race. Josh Richards passed Jared Landers for third on lap four and held on to the transfer position at the finish.
Finish: Jonathan Davenport, Tyler Reddick, Josh Richards, John Blankenship, Eddie Carrier Jr., Jared Landers, Tim Fuller, Brandon Sheppard, Vic Coffey, John Garvin Jr.
Polesitter Don O'Neal took control of the lead on the start of the first heat race and led every lap for the victory. Pat Doar ran second for nine laps, but lost the spot to Scott Bloomquist on the final lap. Doar had to settle for the third and final transfer position. The race's first caution came on lap three when Larry Wight spun in turn four. John Henderson and Steve Francis got together on the restart, causing Francis to make contact with the inside wall.
Finish: Don O'Neal, Scott Bloomquist, Pat Doar, Brady Smith, Mike Marlar, Tommy Kerr, Brandon Thirlby, John Mason, John Henderson, Larry Wight, Steve Francis.
Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., was the fastest of 60 qualifiers during time trials for Friday night’s DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH event at Volusia Speedway Park.
Hubbard posted a lap of 16.145 seconds at the half-mile racetrack and will start from the pole of one of six heat races coming up. Unofficially the other heat race polesitters are: Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind.; Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga.; Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill.; and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.
The top three finishers from each heat race will transfer to the 40-lap UMP-sanctioned feature that pays $10,000 to the winner. Two drivers from each of three consolation races also transfer to the main event.
The first four nights of the six-race miniseries have produced four different feature winners. Moyer, O'Neal and Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., were the winners of the first three races, which were all $7,000-to-win UMP-sanctioned events. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., claimed a $10,000 victory in Thursday night’s feature, which was the season opener for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.
The pit area at Volusia is noticeably slimmer as Speedweeks has come to end for some drivers. The car count is down to 60 Friday night, after being as high as 74 earlier in the week. Some drivers left by choice, while others simply ran out of equipment. ... Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., is done for the week after blowing an engine Wednesday night. ... Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., was contemplating a run for the World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year in 2011, but that may not happen after he missed the series opener Thursday night. He had engine problems Wednesday night and is also done for the week. ... Wendell Wallace, Billy Moyer Jr., and Ken Schrader are among other drivers who have left Volusia. ... Tim McCreadie’s crew had a busy day Friday. The Watertown, N.Y., driver broke an axel tube on his primary car in his heat race Thursday night and had problems with the engine in his backup car in the feature. His crew replaced the axel tube and swapped the engine prior to Friday’s action. ... Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., is taking Friday night off. He plans to be back in action for Saturday night’s race.
Time trials results (unofficial)
Note: Heat race lineups will be done straight up based on qualifying results.
Don O'Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 16.61
Pat Doar (11D), New Richmond, Wis., 16.702
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.733
Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 16.746
Mike Marlar (36), Winfield, Tenn., 16.856
Tommy Kerr (4t), Maryville, Tenn., 17.106
John Mason (72), Millersburg, Ohio, 17.111
Brandon Thirlby (m14), Traverse City, Mich., 17.219
Larry Wight (99L), Phoenix, N.Y., 17.254
John Hendersin (2x), Aiken, S.C., 17.285
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 17.287
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 16.734
Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., 16.745
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 16.785
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 16.797
Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., 16.82
John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 16.947
Brandon Sheppard (b5), New Berlin, Ill., 16.967
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 17.047
Vic Coffey (32c), Caledonia, N.Y., 17.169
John Garvin Jr. (4), Sarver, Pa., 17.187
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 16.481
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 16.514
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.565
Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo., 16.693
Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 16.704
Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 17.361
Lee Thomason (53), Marion, Ill., 17.997
Jerry Perine (911), Lowell, Ohio, 18.239
Mike Hammerle (16), St Charles, Mo., 18.758
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., no time
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.361
Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 16.381
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.574
Jack Sullivan (1s), Greenbrier, Ark., 16.631
Justin Rattliff (16), Campbellsville, Ky., 16.707
Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 16.815
John Lobb (1), Frewsburg, N.Y., 16.883
Jason McBride (77), Carbondale, Ill., 16.998
Billy Ogle Jr. (201), Knoxville, Tenn., 17.086
Jill George (22), Cedar Falls, Iowa, 17.398
Austin Hubbard (19), Seaford, Del., 16.145
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 16.369
Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.416
Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ill., 16.492
Dan Schlieper (s9), Oak Creek, Wis., 16.643
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.649
Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga., 16.686
Dillan White (54), Crofton, Ky., 16.742
Tyler Ivey (47), Tallahassee, Fla., 16.75
Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa., 17.644
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.307
Ron Davies (71D), Warren, Pa., 16.325
Eric Jacobsen (5), Seacliff Beach, Calif., 16.582
Dan Stone (21d), Thompson, Pa., 16.619
Russ King (56), Bristolville, Ohio, 16.65
Ricky Weiss (7), St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba, 16.715
Brian Reese (33), Sharpsburg, Ga., 16.735
Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga., 16.767
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalkhill, Pa., 16.778
Jon Henry (15h), Ada, Ohio, 17.079