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Volusia Speedway Park

Moyer tops O'Neal for $10,000 in Volusia finale

February 25, 2012, 5:15 pm
From series and staff reports
Billy Moyer picked up $10,000 in Volusia's DIRTcar Nationals finale. (stlracing.com)
Billy Moyer picked up $10,000 in Volusia's DIRTcar Nationals finale. (stlracing.com)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 25) – Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., capped the 41st UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment with a stirring victory in Saturday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature at Volusia Speedway Park.

The 54-year-old Dirt Late Model legend grabbed the lead in memorable fashion on lap 32, bursting past Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., with a power move down the inside of the backstretch. He then turned back a brief late-race challenge from O’Neal en route to collecting the race’s $10,000 top prize. | Complete Speedweeks coverage

Moyer became the lone two-time winner during the six-race Late Model portion of the 2012 UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit. He also won Tuesday night’s 30-lap DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned feature.

“I made some adjustments on the hot rod today that I should’ve made a couple days ago,” Moyer said of his Clements-powered Victory Circle Chassis. “It was right back where it should’ve been.”

O’Neal settled for a runner-up finish – 2.850 seconds behind Moyer – after leading laps 3-31 driving Larry Moring’s MasterSbilt car. Clanton advanced one position to finish third in the Kennedy Motorsports Capital Race Car, while seventh-starter Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., placed fourth in a Rocket to remain the WoO points leader and polesitter Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who led laps 1-2, was fifth in the Barry Wright Race Cars house car.

Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., finished seventh and was crowned the Late Model points champion of the 2012 UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit, earning him a unique gator-shaped trophy. He won the week’s first WoO event on Thursday night.

Moyer, who started ninth, mastered a track surface that he said “couldn’t have been more racy.”

“Earlier in the night I thought it was going to be one of those married-to-the-top deals because it looked like there was a treacherous berm,” said Moyer. “It turned out that, when we put the harder tires on, we were able to run everywhere on it, wherever you felt the car was the best at. I think I run the top, the bottom, the middle – a little bit everywhere.”

It was Moyer’s strength running the inside groove that proved key to his division-leading ninth win at Volusia since 1998. When he approached battling frontrunners O’Neal and Clanton, he simply stuck low and drove by them.

“Them guys were racing hard up there,” said Moyer. “I could tell Shane just wanted to give (O’Neal) a slide job and get on by him, (but) I don’t think anyone could circle around the bottom like I could. I just stayed with what I was doing and it worked out for us.”

Moyer’s win was the 38th of his career on the WoO tour, including 22 he registered in 1988-89 during the first incarnation of the national tour run under the auspices of late WoO Sprint Car Series founder Ted Johnson. He moved back into a tie for the alltime WoO LMS victory lead with Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who finished a quiet 16th in Saturday night’s race.

Finishing in positions 6-10 was Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who made a solid charge forward from the 18th starting spot; Erb, who slipped backward from the fifth starting slot; Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga.; Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who started 21st; and John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., who won the previous night’s 40-lap UMP DIRTcar Late Model feature.

Three caution flags dotted the event, all for slowed cars: Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa. (lap two), Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y. (lap six) and Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis. (lap 16).


UNOH DIRTcar Nationals: (1) Billy Moyer, (2) Don O’Neal, (3) Shane Clanton, (4) Darrell Lanigan, (5) Steve Francis, (6) Jimmy Owens, (7) Dennis Erb Jr, (8) Dale McDowell, (9) Tim McCreadie, (10) John Blankenship, (11) Scott Bloomquist, (12) Rick Eckert, (13) Frank Heckenast Jr., (14) Clint Smith, (15) Bobby Pierce, (16) Josh Richards, (17) Brady Smith, (18) Vic Coffey, (19) Chub Frank, (20) Tim Fuller, (21) Brandon Sheppard, (22) Bub McCool, (23) Morgan Bagley, (24) Donnie Moran, (25) Jason Feger, (26) Jimmy Mars, (27) Dennis Franklin, (28) Pat Doar, (29) Dan Stone. Fast qualifier (among 54 cars): Francis, 16.024 seconds. Heat race winners: Francis, Clanton, Mars, Erb, O’Neal. Consolation race winners: McCreadie, Sheppard. Provisional starters: Fuller, Coffey, McCool, Frank, Bagley.

Redraw and mid-event notes

In a redraw among heat race winners, Steve Francis drew the pole for tonight’s 50-lap main event. He’ll be joined on the front row by Jimmy Mars while Don O’Neal and Shane Clanton will share the second row. Dennis Erb Jr. drew the fifth-starting position. ... Tim McCreadie wasn’t very happy about losing the final transfer spot on a final-lap restart in the second heat race. McCreadie was solid in the fourth position before Kent Robinson, who was running back in the pack, slowed in turn two after taking the white flag. McCreadie had a pretty strong gripe that the race should have finished rather than restarting and allowing Clint Smith to take the position. Race winner Shane Clanton was clearly beyond the finish line with the checkered flag waving before the caution was waved. ... Don O’Neal is glad to be starting up front after a so-so week so far at Volusia. “We haven’t been close to that redraw all week,” O’Neal said just before drawing the third-starting position. “Maybe we can end the week with a win here and go home on a good note.” ... After swapping engines during the afternoon Bub McCool had more engine woes tonight, dropping a cylinder during qualifying. The WoO rookie contender hopes to earn a provisional to start from the back in the feature and limp around to pick up positions.

Second consolation

World of Outlaws rookie contender Brandon Sheppard held on to a slim lead in the final preliminary race to earn the victory and a feature starting spot. Bobby Pierce trailed just behind Sheppard for the entire distance, but had to fend off Greg Johnson's late charge. Johnson dove under Pierce entering turn one on the final lap, but slid high in turn two, allowing Pierce to pull away and earn the final transfer spot.

Finish: Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Greg Johnson, Shannon Babb, Jack Sullivan, Billy Decker, John Lobb, Eric Wells, Lance Matthees, Tyler Bruening, Phil Ausra.

First consolation

Tim McCreadie cruised to the victory in the first consy, leading every lap to finish ahead of Jason Feger and Jared Hawkins. Feger will join McCreadie in the main event while Hawkins will fall short of transferring by one position.

Finish: Tim McCreadie, Jason Feger, Jared Hawkins, Chub Frank, J.R. Hotovy, Billy Moyer Jr., Vic Coffey, Charlie Sandercock, Hunter Peacock, Mike Hammerle.

Fifth heat

Charging forward from the fourth-starting spot, Don O'Neal cleared polesitter Dan Stone for the lead on lap two and pulled to a comfortable advantage in leading the entire distance. Stone held off second-starting Donnie Moran for the runner-up finish in another caution-free. Brady Smith finished fourth to grab the final heat race transfer.

Finish: Don O'Neal, Dan Stone, Donnie Moran, Brady Smith, Mason Zeigler, Jack Sullivan, Billy Decker, Lance Matthees, Tyler Bruening, Chad Hollenbeck.

Fourth heat

Third-starting Dennis Erb Jr. pulled alongside polesitter Billy Moyer on the opening lap and outdueled Moyer in a side-by-side battle that lasted for two circuits. Moyer settled for second as Erb pulled away in the caution-free race. Rick Eckert moved by Josh Richards late in the race to finish third. Richards was fourth and will join the top three in making the feature lineup.

Finish: Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer, Rick Eckert, Josh Richards, Bradon Sheppard, Greg Johnson, John Lobb, Eric Wells, Jason McBride.

Third heat

After losing an opening-lap battle with second-starting Dennis Franklin, polesitter Jimmy Mars battled back and retook the lead midway through the 10-lapper. After starting last in a backup car, Darrell Lanigan charged through the field and edged Franklin in a photo finish for the second spot. Franklin settled for third while Jimmy Owens was just behind in fourth. The top four transfer to the feature.

Finish: Jimmy Mars, Darrell Lanigan, Dennis Franklin, Jimmy Owens, Bobby Piece, Billy Moyer Jr., Hunter Peacock, Shannon Babb, Phil Ausra, Mike Marlar.

Second heat

Shane Clanton moved to the lead from the pole and led every lap for a convincing win in the 10-lap prelim. Outside polesitter John Blankenship was given a shot at Clanton on a restart with one lap remaining, but instead had to hold off a challenge from Frank Heckenast Jr. Blankenship held the second spot at the finish with Frank Heckenast Jr. third. Clint Smith overtook Tim McCreadie on the final lap to earn the fourth and final transfer spot. The caution with nine laps complete appeared when Kent Robinson slowed at the top of turn two. Clanton was nearly passed the flag stand before the caution came out, but race officials didn't count the lap.

Finish: Shane Clanton, John Blankenship, Frank Heckenast Jr., Clint Smith, Tim McCreadie, J.R. Hotovy, Chub Frank, Charlie Sandercock, Kent Robinson.

First heat

Polesitter Steve Francis outduled fellow front-row starter Jason Feger in a side-by-side battle for the first two laps, then turned back third-starting Scott Bloomquist late in the caution-free prelim. Francis crossed the finish line a few car lenghts ahead of Bloomquits in the 10-lapper with Dale McDowell third. Pat Doar passed a badly fading Feger on the final lap to finish in the fourth and final transfer position.

Finish: Steve Francis, Scott Bloomquist, Dale McDowell, Pat Doar, Jason Feger, Morgan Bagley, Jared Hawkins, Mike Hammerle, Jill George, Tim Fuller. Scratch: Bub McCool.

Time trials

Looking to cap off his superb Speedweeks with another victory at Volusia Speedway Park, Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., topped 54 qualifiers for Saturday night’s UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment.

Francis, who posted a lap of 16.024 seconds around the half-mile track, will start from the pole of one of five World of Outlaws Late Model Series heat races coming up. Other heat race polesitters: Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga.; Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis.; Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.; and Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa.

The top four finishers from each 10-lap heat race will transfer to the night’s 50-lap, $10,000-to-win main event, while two consolation races will each transfer two more drivers. Provisional starters will round out the 26-car starting field.

Current World of Outlaws points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., suffered a setback when his engine caught fire on his first qualifying lap. Lanigan pulled to the infield and climbed out of the car while safety crews put the fire out.

The first five races of the six-race Florida Speedweeks miniseries have produced five different winners. Francis won the UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned opener on Monday night while Moyer won Tuesday’s UMP race.

Rain forced Wednesday’s race to be postponed to Friday afternoon when Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., mastered a locked-day surface to pick up the win. Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., won the first World of Outlaws event of the week Thursday night, while John Blankenship won Friday night’s UMP finale.

Pre-race notes

There are quite a few empty spaces in the pit area as a number of drivers have ended their week early. Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., is among those not in action Saturday. His primary race car suffered heavy damage in a heat race accident Friday night, and the team decided to head home rather than pull out the backup car. Others not in action Saturday include: Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla.; John Garvin of Sarver, Pa.; Dillon Wood of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del.; and Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif. ... Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., is back in action Saturday after a wreck in Thursday's feature forced him to sit out Friday's doubleheader while his crew made repairs. ... Chub Frank’s crew swapped engines in his car prior to Saturday’s action, but it wasn’t because of an engine failure. The Bear Lake, Pa., driver wanted to test a different engine combination. ... WoO rookie contender Jared Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., is back in his primary car after giving his backup car a try Friday. ... Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., is debuting a new Pierce Race Car in Saturday’s event. ... Saturday marks the sixth event of the season for the World of Outlaws. Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., leads the national tour’s current standings with Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., second and reigning series champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., third. Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., and Chub Frank round out the top five.

Heat race lineups

First heat
Row 1: Steve Francis, Jason Feger
Row 2: Scott Bloomquist, Dale McDowell
Row 3: Pat Doar, Morgan Bagley
Row 4: Jared Hawkins, Bub McCool
Row 5: Tim Fuller, Jill George
Row 6: Mike Hammerle
Second heat
Row 1: Shane Clanton, John Blankenship
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Frankie Heckenast Jr.
Row 3: J.R. Hotovy, Vic Coffey
Row 4: Clint Smith, Chub Frank
Row 5: Kent Robinson, Charlie Sandercock
Row 6: Don Gordon
Third heat
Row 1: Jimmy Mars, Dennis Franklin
Row 2: Jimmy Owens, Mike Marlar
Row 3: Shannon Babb, Gregg Satterlee
Row4: Bobby Piece, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 5: Hunter Peacock, Phil Ausra
Row 6: Darrell Lanigan
Fourth heat
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Josh Richards
Row 2: Dennis Erb Jr., Brandon Sheppard
Row 3: Jared Landers, Rick Eckert
Row 4: John Lobb, Eric Wells
Row 5: Greg Johnson, Jason McBride
Row 6: Ryan Unzicker
Fifth heat
Row 1: Dan Stone, Donnie Moran
Row 2: Billy Decker, Don O’Neal
Row 3: Mason Zeigler, Brady Smith
Row 4: Jack Sullivan, Tyler Bruening
Row 5: Lance Matthees, Chad Hollenbeck

Qualifying results (unofficial)

  1. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 16.024
  2. Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga., 16.117
  3. Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 16.219
  4. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.259
  5. Dan Stone (21D), Thompson, Pa., 16.338
  6. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 16.368
  7. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 16.375
  8. Dennis Franklin (37c), Gaffney, S.C., 16.397
  9. Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 16.418
  10. Donnie Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, 16.44
  11. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.466
  12. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.525
  13. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 16.531
  14. Billy Decker (91), Unadilla, N.Y., 16.553
  15. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 16.569
  16. Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 16.576
  17. Mike Marlar (5), Winfield, Tenn., 16.623
  18. Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 16.628
  19. Don O'Neal (1D), Martinsville, Ind., 16.636
  20. Pat Doar (11), New London, Wis., 16.667
  21. J.R. Hotovy (13), Covert, Mich., 16.671
  22. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 16.691
  23. Jared Landers (5), Batesville, Ark., 16.736
  24. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.742
  25. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 16.743
  26. Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 16.764
  27. Vic Coffey (32c), Caledonia, N.Y., 16.796
  28. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 16.841
  29. Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 16.846
  30. Jared Hawkins (37), Fairmont, W.Va., 16.848
  31. Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 16.854
  32. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 16.862
  33. John Lobb (28), Frewsburg, N.Y., 16.872
  34. Gregg Satterlee (22), Rochester Mills, Pa., 16.875
  35. Jack Sullivan (1s), Greenbrier, Ark., 16.877
  36. Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss., 16.900
  37. Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.908
  38. Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 16.934
  39. Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 16.938
  40. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 16.985
  41. Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., 16.986
  42. Lance Matthees (90), Winona, Minn., 17.012
  43. Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ind., 17.013
  44. Hunter Peacock (12), Macon, Ga., 17.095
  45. Greg Johnson (49), Bedford, Ind., 17.106
  46. Jill George (22), Cedar Falls, Iowa, 17.329
  47. Phil Ausra (15), Dowagiac, Mich., 17.45
  48. Charlie Sandercock (57), Belleville, Ontario, 17.545
  49. Jason McBride (77m), Carbondale, Ill., 17.556
  50. Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa., 17.611
  51. Mike Hammerle (16), St. Charles, Mo., 18.24
  52. Don Gordon (33), Chatham, Ontario, 21.278
  53. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., no time
  54. Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., no time

Feature lineup

Row 1: Francis, Mars
Row 2: O’Neal, Clanton
Row 3: Erb, Bloomquist
Row 4: Blankenship, Lanigan
Row 5: Moyer, Stone
Row 6: McDowell, Heckenast
Row 7: Franklin, Eckert
Row 8: Moran, Doar
Row 9: C. Smith, Owens
Row 10: Richards, B. Smith
Row 11: McCreadie, Sheppard
Row 12: Feger, Pierce
Row 13: Fuller, McCool
Row 14: Coffey, Frank
Row 15: Bagley

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