WAUSEON, Ohio (July 11) — It wasn’t that long ago that Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., was questioning the future of his Dirt Late Model Racing career. But his decision to stick with the sport has paid off in a big way.
Starting third in Saturday’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals 60-lap finale, Moyer Jr. charged past front row starters Dona Marcoullier of Houghton Lake, Mich., and Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Mich., on the opening lap, leading flag-to-flag for a $10,000 victory in Oakshade Raceway’s annual Birthday Race.
“We just got lucky and hit that sweet spot right then,” Moyer said of a pass that had him sliding between the two front row starters on the first lap. “I think Jeep (Van Wormer) slipped his tires a little bit. It was a good move. But I’ve lost them like that and I’ve spun out in front of the field before. It was pretty fun that time, but it’s always one or the other. You can’t get too high and you can’t get too low.
“I hate to get too greedy on the first lap, but man, we had to rock then I think. We didn’t have to rub on anybody … I’ve got a lot of respect for a lot of people here and try to run as clean as I can. They left me room and we kind of went through there.”
Entering Saturday’s program, Moyer Jr. rested just 30 points behind leader Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., in the series standings. While his victory wasn’t enough to clinch the Summernationals title (falling short by 10 points), the Arkansas driver is glad to be running up front. He closed his 2015 Summernationals campaign with two tour victories.
“We tried really hard and we had a good hot rod tonight,” Moyer Jr. said. “Ten points shy, it is what it is. Bobby (Pierce) done a good job and we’re just glad to be winning races and running up front. People at least know we’re there … it’s no fun running seventh and 10th every night and we’ve been there too. So we’re just glad to be up front.
“I hate to even think about the points, but you know, you have to. It pays a lot of money. I want my name on that deal. But we’re gonna get it on there … we’re gonna work really hard and come back and hopefully do it again next year if all my support and everything stays the same. It sucks to get beat, but man, to win $10,000 here in Ohio with a huge crowd, I’m happy.”
Sixth-starting Casey Noonan of Sylvania, Ohio, advanced four spots to finish runner-up, with Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., holding on to his third-place starting spot. Polesitter Dona Marcoullier slipped to finish fourth, with Bobby Pierce charging from the 12th starting position to round out the top five.
“He was definitely on a rail,” Noonan said of Moyer Jr.’s run. “All props to him, he had his car hooked up for sure … a little better than us everywhere I think. We had a pretty good car, had a good night.”
Along with his third-place finish, Feger also finished third in the final series points standings behind Pierce and Moyer Jr.
“I’ve never really been that good here,” Feger said of Oakshade. “I think the best I’ve ever done was like eighth or ninth, maybe. So I’m pretty happy. The car was really good and I know what I can do to make it a little bit better. To come run good at a place you’ve always struggled at feels pretty good.”
The race was slowed by two cautions. A yellow flag waved for Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., on lap 28 when he spun in turn four. Dusty Moore of Swanton, Ohio, drew a caution on lap 41 when he went over the turn-two berm.
Finish (top two transfer): Steve Kester, Matt Westfall, Scott James, Phil Ausra, Brad Eitniear, Andrew Reaume, Rob Anderzack, Kevin Reeve, Brad Harden, Bob Mayer, Jerry Bowersock, Ken Hahn, Matt Lindsey, Curtis Deisenroth, Ron Miller, Devin Shiels
(12 laps; top two transfer)
Row 1: Phil Ausra, Steve Kester
Row 2: Matt Lindsey, Matt Westfall
Row 3: Rob Anderzack, Curtis Deisenroth
Row 4: Brad Eitniear, Scott James
Row 5: Ken Hahn, Bob Mayer
Row 6: Brad Harden, Devin Shiels
Row 7: Kevin Reeve, Andrew Reaume
Row 8: Ron Miller, Jerry Bowersock
Finish (top two transfer): Andrew Reaume, Jerry Bowersock, Larry Kingseed, Scott Fisk, Hillard Miller, Nick Kurtz, Josh Haynes, Cody Houston, Pat Ehlert
Finish (top two transfer to B-Main): Kevin Reeve, Ron Miller, Steve Miller, Jacob Rendel, Bobby Hutchins, Paul Stubber, Kelly Wahl, Herb Reich, Brad Wade, Doug Baird, Chas Sentel
Jeep Van Wormer led all 10 laps to win the fourth heat. After a close battle, Brian Ruhlman outdueled Bobby Pierce to finish runner-up. Pierce ran third, with Steve Casebolt besting Matt Westfall to grab the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Jeep Van Wormer, Brian Ruhlman, Bobby Pierce, Steve Casebolt, Matt Westfall, Scott James, Devin Shiels, Andrew Reaume, Hillard Miller, Josh Haynes, Pat Ehlert
Second-starting Jason Feger and third-starting Duane Chamberlain zipped past polesitter Mason Zeigler on the opening lap, with Chas Sentel spinning in turn four to draw a caution. A yellow flag waved for Jacob Rendel on the seventh lap when he spun in turn four. Jason Feger commanded the entire 10-lap distance, with Duane Chamberlain taking the second-place spot. After a side-by-side battle, Mason Zeigler edged Ryan Unzicker for the third-place spot. Unzicker finished fourth to transfer to the main event.
Finish (top four transfer): Jason Feger, Duane Chamberlain, Mason Zeigler, Ryan Unzicker, Matt Lindsey, Brad Eitniear, Brad Harden, Kevin Reeve, Paul Stubber, Jacob Rendel, Doug Baird, Chas Sentel
Jumping to the lead at the drop of the green flag, polesitter Dona Marcoullier led all 10 laps to win the second heat. Casey Noonan held on to the second-place spot. Chris Keller finished third, with Rusty Schlenk advancing one spot to finish fourth and transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Dona Marcoullier, Casey Noonan, Chris Keller, Rusty Schlenk, Steve Kester, Curtis Deisenroth, Bob Mayer, Jerry Bowersock, Larry Kingseed, Nick Kurtz, Scott Fisk, Cody Houston, Daniel Gehring
Second-starting Billy Moyer Jr. charged to the front of the field, with Phil Ausra spinning on the backstretch to draw a caution on the first lap. A second yellow flag waved on the third lap when Ron Miller and Herb Reich tangled in turns three and four; Miller drew another caution on the ensuing restart. Another yellow flag fell on lap five when Kelly Wahl spun in turn four. Brad Wade drew a caution on lap nine. Moyer Jr. led all 10 laps, with third-starting Matt Miller finishing runner-up. Jon Henry advanced from the sixth-starting spot to finish third, with Dusty Moore grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Billy Moyer Jr., Matt Miller, Jon Henry, Dusty Moore, Rob Anderzack, Ken Hahn, Herb Reich, Brad Wade, Ron Miller, Kelly Wahl, Bobby Hutchins
Heat race lineups
Row 1: Dusty Moore, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 2: Matt Miller, Rob Anderzack
Row 3: Ken Hahn, Jon Henry
Row 4: Phil Ausra, Ron Miller
Row 5: Herb Reich, Steve Miller
Row 6: Bobby Hutchins, Kelly Wahl
Row 7: Brad Wade
Row 1: Dona Marcoullier, Casey Noonan
Row 2: Chris Keller, Curtis Deisenroth
Row 3: Rusty Schlenk, Bob Mayer
Row 4: Steve Kester, Nick Kurtz
Row 5: Jerry Bowersock, Larry Kingseed
Row 6: Scott Fisk, Daniel Gehring
Row 7: Cody Houston
Row 1: Mason Zeigler, Jason Feger
Row 2: Duane Chamberlain, Ryan Unzicker
Row 3: Brad Eitniear, Matt Lindsey
Row 4: Kevin Reeve, Brad Harden
Row 5: Jacob Rendel, Chas Sentel
Row 6: Paul Stubber, Doug Baird
Row 1: Jeep Van Wormer, Brian Ruhlman
Row 2: Bobby Pierce, Steve Casebolt
Row 3: Scott James, Andrew Reaume
Row 4: Devin Shiels, Matt Westfall
Row 5: Hillard Miller, Josh Haynes
Row 6: Pat Ehlers, Derek Thebo
With Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., capturing a victory in Friday’s series stop at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals tour moves to Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio, for its $10,000-to-win finale.
Matt Miller of Whitehouse, Ohio, has captured victories in the last two Summernationals events held at Oakshade. Other track regulars on hand for Saturday’s event include defending track champion Rusty Schlenk of McClure, Ohio, and current track points leader Brian Ruhlman of Clark Lake, Mich.
Entering Saturday’s finale, Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., has nearly clinched his first Summernationals title, topping Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., in the standings.
The program will be made up of hot laps, time trials, heat races consolation races and a 22-car main event.
Several Summernationals regulars have elected to forgo Saturday’s Oakshade finale, including defending champion Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., and Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La. Babb made the trip to Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., for the Diamond Nationals, while Culp will compete in Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway’s $2,000-to-win program. … John Hahler and Jim Moon, both of New Florence, Mo., are among other Hell Tour regulars not on hand for Saturday’s program. … Should 18-year-old Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., clinch his first career Summernationals title, he will be the youngest driver to ever do so. … Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., is among Saturday’s entrants following a rollover in last week’s Lucas Oil Series event at Portsmouth Raceway Park. … Current track points leader Brian Ruhlman of Clark Lake, Mich., was the winner of last week’s feature at Oakshade. He’s on hand for Saturday’s event.
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown
Dusty Moore (75), Swanton, Ohio, 15.030
Billy Moyer Jr. (21JR), Batesville, Ark., 15.058
Matt Miller (3), Whitehouse, Ohio, 15.213
Rob Anderzack (8), Metamora, Ohio, 15.300
Ken Hahn (27H), Gibsonburg, Ohio, 15.338
Jon Henry (15H), Ada, Ohio, 15.401
Phil Ausra (15A), Dowagiac, Mich., 15.511
Ron Miller (35), Lambertville, Mich. , 15.801
Herb Reich (34), Ann Arbor, Mich., 15.836
Steve Miller (95M), Toledo, Ohio, 16.212
Bobby Hutchins (66), Wauseon, Ohio, 16.591
Kelly Wahl (92), Pemberville, Ohio, 16.969
Brad Wade (23), Dundee, Mich., 17.656
Dona Marcoullier (6M), Houguton Lake, Mich., 15.343
Casey Noonan (1N), Toledo, Ohio, 15.521
Chris Keller (00), Adrian, Mich., 15.543
Curtis Deisenroth (2D), Oak Harbor, Ohio, 15.555
Rusty Schlenk (11), Weston, Ohio, 15.656
Bob Mayer (42*), Holland, Ohio, 15.963
Steve Kester (77K), Holland, Ohio, 15.992
Nick Kurtz (79), Greenville, Mich., 15.998
Jerry Bowersock (95J), Wapakoneta, Ohio, 16.046
Larry Kingseed (21K), Attica, Ohio, 16.091
Scott Fisk (12), Saranac, Mich., 16.183
Daniel Gehring (31G), Pettisville, Ohio, 16.409
Cody Houston (7H), Bryan, Ohio, 16.866
Mason Zeigler (25Z), Uniontown, Pa., 15.441
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 15.504
Duane Chamberlain (20C), Richmond, Ind., 15.576
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 15.631
Brad Eitniear (B4U), Wauseon, Ohio, 15.658
Matt Lindsey (49L), Adrian, Mich., 15.822
Kevin Reeve (4), Hanover, Mich., 15.948
Brad Harden (52X), Onid, Mich., 16.169
Jacob Rendel (06), Adrian, Mich., 16.200
Chas Sentel (02), Pioneer, Ohio, 16.611
Paul Stubber (31), Bunbury, WS, 16.667
Doug Baird (69R), Aluada, Ohio, 16.944
Jeep Van Wormer (55), Pinconning, Mich., 15.260
Brian Ruhlman (49), Clark Lake, Mich., 15.508
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.510
Steve Casebolt (C9), Richmond, Ind., 15.537
Scott James (83), Bright, Ind., 15.600
Andrew Reaume (88), Blenheim, ON, 15.742
Devin Shiels (51S), Britton, Mich., 15.898
Matt Westfall (54), Pleasant Hill, Ohio, 15.958
Hillard Miller (53H), Defiance, Ohio, 16.201
Josh Haynes (5J), Fostoria, Ohio, 16.515
Pat Ehlert (71E), Ovid, Mich. , 17.223
Derek Thebo (21T), Ionia, Mich., no time