Shirley outduels Moyer in Friday feature
From track and staff reports
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Sept. 28) — Brian Shirley won a back-and-forth battle with Billy Moyer in the Friday night semifeature of the fourth annual Lucas Oil Knoxville Late Model Nationals, giving the Chatham, Ill., driver $6,000.
Afterward, Shirley tried to explain his success at the historic half-mile track where last year he pocketed $35,000.
"We don't have a secret or anything like that, it's just been some luck for us, and things falling our way," he said. "Obviously we enjoy running here, it's one place that we really love coming, but to say that we've got it figured out is too much. We could come out tomorrow and go the other way too. We'll just see what happens, but we're real comfortable in the car right now."
Moyer started on the pole and led early, but Shirley dogged him through the middle stages of the 25-lapper. Shirley's key pass on lap 14 was enough to get him out front and he fought off challenges from Moyer and Brady Smith, who finished third ahead of Scott Bloomquist and Shannon Babb. Brian Birkhofer, the previous night's semifeature winner, was sixth.
Sept. 28 semifeature: (1) Brian Shirley, (2) Billy Moyer, (3) Brady Smith, (4) Scott Bloomquist, (5) Shannon Babb, (6) Brian Birkhofer, (7) Steve Shaver, (8) Jimmy Mars, (9) Rick Eckert, (10) Darrell Lanigan, (11) Eric Jacobsen, (12) Donnie Moran, (13) Chad Simpson, (14) Terry Casey, (15) Scott James, (16) Matt Miller, (17) Jeep Van Wormer, (18) Denny Eckrich, (19) Randy Korte, (20) Kerry Hansen, (21) Chris Madden, (22) Darren Miller, (23) Jay Johnson, (24) Eddie Kirchoff.
Moyer, Shirley set for front row of main event
After points were tabulated from Thursday and Friday's sessions, Billy Moyer and Brian Shirley will start on the front row for Saturday's $35,000-to-win finale at Knoxville. The top 24 drivers in points accumulated are locked into the event with the remainder being forced to run consolation races. A look at the lineup:
Making the most of track time
Knoxville's unique format of points accumulated on Thursday and Friday might've lessened the importance of Friday's racing for some, but Billy Moyer was still fully focused.
"We plan on doing more than I think a lot of guys usually do Friday night of this deal just because we weren't that good yesterday, and I think we can improve a lot," Moyer said after setting fast time Friday. "We've got basically a new race car out here, and it's important for us to keep getting better with it."
Confidence-building 101 with Brian Shirley
Last year's Knoxville winner Brian Shirley knows his Ed Petroff-backed team has the equipment to get the job done.
"At the World (100 at Eldora Speedway) we ran a Rayburn car, and kind of stepped away from what we typically do with the Rocket (Chassis), but either way, we just feel confident in no matter what we're driving right now. ... and not confidence that you think you're going to go out and win every race, but confidence that when you get in the car, you and the car are going to be clicking, and you're going to have a chance to run near the front when the night is over."