Moyer outduels Owens, McDowell to win Shamrock
By Kelley CarltonO'Reilly Southern All Star Series
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (April 4) — Fighting back after twice losing the lead, polesitter Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., captured the Shamrock 50 at Cleveland Speedway for a $5,000 payday. Moyer's victory was his first at Cleveland and first on the O'Reilly Southern All Star Series since the 1996 edition of the St. Patrick's Day Classic, delayed this year by rain. | Video | Slideshow
Moyer, running at Cleveland along with several other Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series regulars because of a race cancellation in Swainsboro, Ga., led the early laps but soon lost the point to Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn. Moyer regained the lead two laps later, and Owens spun trying to answer the move.
But Moyer's worries weren't over. Long-time Cleveland veteran Dale McDowell of Rossville, Ga., overtook Moyer just before the halfway point, and Moyer ended up briefly slipping back to third behind Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C.
But Moyer turned up the wick late, especially running the high groove in turns three and four, to get back into contention. He overtook McDowell exiting turn four on the 43rd lap and held on the rest of the way. McDowell and Madden chased him to the finish while Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Mich., and hometown driver Billy Mayo rounded out the top five.
"We set up for (the high groove) and its where the car was comfortable and definitely fastest," said Moyer, who was loudly greeted in victory lane by the track's huge crowd. "I just couldn't get my car to scotch over there off of turn two because the track kind of drops off on the top, so I would lose ground there. I finally started running about quarter throttle through there and then I wouldn't lose anything to Dale. The track was in great shape and I think the fans got to see a great race."
Notes: Moyer's Victory Circle Chassis has a Clements Racing Engine and sponsorship from Banner Valley Hauling, Minx Show Palace and Watter's Autoland. ... Chris Madden enjoyed the tight battles up front, saying it was such a good race he almost felt like he'd won. ... The night's most serious accident came in the consolation race when Eric Jacobsen of Seacliff Beach, Calif., got on his lid while leading. A broken right-rear shock triggered the accident; he wasn't injured. ... The race's 42 entrants represented 11 states. ... Besides Jacobsen, drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Don Jenkins, Anthony Hill, Tommy Weder Jr., Mark Vineyard, John Jones, David Payne, Dewayne Powell, Buster Goss, Derek Ellis, Brad Neat, J.J. Nye, Brandon Kinzer, Scott Hall, Kayne Hickman, Jeff Franklin, Jake Knowles and four-time World 100 winner Donnie Moran.
Shamrock 50: (1) Billy Moyer, (2) Dale McDowell, (3) Chris Madden, (4) Jeep Van Wormer, (5) Billy Mayo, (6) Scott James, (7) Jimmy Owens, (8) Johnny Chastain, (9) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (10) Josh McGuire, (11) Tony Knowles, (12) Ray Cook, (13) Ethan Hunter, (14) Jonathan Davenport, (15) Anthony White, (16) Ricky Arms, (17) Jamie Perry, (18) Kevin Gibson, (19) Joe Armes, (20) Skip Arp, (21) Brad Coffey, (22) Todd Morrow, (23) Randy Weaver, (24) Shawn Chastain. Fast qualifier (among 42 cars): Moyer, 13.346 seconds.