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Farmer City Raceway

Moyer's bid for third Illini 100 off to impressive start

March 31, 2012, 5:07 am
By Kevin Kovac
World of Outlaws Late Model Series
Billy Moyer heads to a heat race victory Friday in Farmer City, Ill. (Jim DenHamer)
Billy Moyer heads to a heat race victory Friday in Farmer City, Ill. (Jim DenHamer)

FARMER CITY, Ill. (March 30) — Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., began his bid for a third Illini 100 triumph with a perfect performance during Friday night’s qualifying program at Farmer City Raceway.

The 54-year-old dirt Late Model legend was the evening’s fastest time-trialer and won the first of six 15-lap heat races, once again stamping him as the favorite to take home the 100-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series $20,000 top prize Saturday night. He is undefeated in two career Illini 100 appearances, winning the 2008 and 2010 events. | Video | Slideshow

“We’re not done yet, but it’s a good start,” said Moyer, who also set fast time for the inaugural Illini 100 in 2008. “The car felt good. It needs some adjustments, but being in the first heat, the track hadn’t really gone either way yet. We got some decisions to make about what we think it will do tomorrow.”

Moyer will start his Victory Circle No. 21 machine from a spot in the first three rows of Saturday night’s Illini 100, which is returning to the quarter-mile Farmer City oval after a year’s hiatus. He will redraw for the top six spots with Friday’s other heat winners: Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., and Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill.

Saturday night’s headliner could shape up as the third installment of a historic Moyer-Babb battle. Moyer held off Babb’s furious late-race charges to record both of his Illini 100 wins and knows the Land of Lincoln star will be gunning for him.

“I’m sure he’ll be one of the guys there at the end,” Moyer said of the 38-year-old Babb, who owns two runner-up and a fifth-place finish in three Illini 100 starts. “He gets around this place as well as anybody. He’ll be doing everything he can to win.

“If he does,” Moyer quipped, “at least he’s in one of my cars (a Victory Circle Chassis) this time.”

Moyer sees another typically hard-fought Illini 100 in the offing.

“It’s good old Midwest racing,” said Moyer. “There’s usually a three- or four-groove track and that makes it fun.

“I hope I don’t have to work as hard as I did in those other (Illini 100) — the fans like exciting races like that, but I sure don’t. We’ll just have to see where we draw and hopefully by the end we’ll be in position to make something happen.”

Moyer bested a 53-car field in Ohlins Shocks time trials, turning a lap of 13.307 seconds. The largest qualifying night crowd in the history of the Illini 100 packed the stands on Friday, setting the stage for a record-breaking evening on Saturday.

Saturday’s program, which begins with hot laps at 5 p.m., features consolation races and the Illini 100. The UMP modifieds will also run consolations and 50-lap, $5,000-to-win feature, and the track’s regular Crate Late Model and street stock classes will be in competition.

Illlini 100 heat race results

(15 laps; top three transfer to main event)

First heat: Billy Moyer, Brian Birkhofer, Mike Marlar, A.J. Diemel, Rich Bell, Bret Sievert, Mike Spatola, John Lobb, Jill George.

Second heat: Vic Coffey, Rick Eckert, Bobby Pierce, Chris Simpson, Chub Frank, John Gardner, Pat Doar, Ryan Unzicker, Jeff Larson.

Third heat: Jimmy Mars, Frank Heckenast Jr., Clint Smith, Eric Chandler, Eric Smith, Walker Arthur, Russ Adams, Mark Burgtorf, Don Rance.

Fourth heat: Shannon Babb, Steve Lance Jr., Greg Johnson, Jason Feger, Shane Clanton, Torin Mettille, Scott Bull, Shelby Miles, Jay Morris.

Fifth heat: Darrell Lanigan, Jack Sullivan, Kent Robinson, Tim McCreadie, Bub McCool, Kevin Weaver, Kyle Logue, Jeremy Hines, Bob Gardner.

Sixth heat: Brian Shirley, Josh Richards, Brandon Sheppard, Tim Fuller, Daren Friedman, Bill Moyer Jr., Greg Kimmons, Donny Walden.

Time trials

(Pos., car number, driver, hometown, time)
1. 21-Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark., 13.307
2. 24-Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 13.406
3. 99Jr-Frankie Heckenast Jr., Orland Park, Ill., 13.406
4. 25L-Steve Lance Jr., Cuba, Ill., 13.422
5. 29-Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 13.487
6. 3s-Brian Shirley, Chatham, Ill., 13.520
7. 15B-Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa, 13.557
8. 32P-Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, Ill., 13.572
9. 28M-Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis., 13.579
10. 18-Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, Ill., 13.587
11. B12-Kevin Weaver, Gibson City, Ill., 13.599
12. 1-Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 13.605
13. 5b-Mike Marlar, Winfield, Tenn., 13.614
14. 24U-Ryan Unzicker, El Paso, Ill., 13.627
15. 9-Eric Smith, Bloomington, Ill., 13.691
16. 83-Scott Bull, Fairbury, Ill., 13.740
17. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 13.747
18. 19-Tim Fuller, Watertown, N.Y., 13.753
19. 21b-Rich Bell, Sheffield, Ill., 13.754
20. 32c-Vic Coffey, Caledonia, N.Y., 13.755
21. 44-Clint Smith, Senoia, Ga., 13.758
22. 49-Greg Johnson, Bedford, Ind., 13.765
23. 7R-Kent Robinson, Bloomington, Ind., 13.794
24. b5-Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, Ill., 13.831
25. 58-A.J. Diemel, Bonduel, Wis., 13.840
26. 32s-Chris Simpson, Oxford, Iowa, 13.857
27. 35-Derek Chandler, Pontiac, Ill., 13.864
28. 25-Shane Clanton, Fayetteville, Ga., 13.867
29. 1s-Jack Sullivan, Greenbrier, Ark., 13.880
30. 1W-Donny Walden, Towanda, Ill., 13.882
31. 89-Mike Spatola, Manhattan, Ill., 13.896
32. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 13.937
33. 15-Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, Ill., 13.959
34. 25F-Jason Feger, Bloomington, Ill., 13.977
35. 57J-Bub McCool, Vicksburg, Miss., 14.023
36. 21Jr.-Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, Ark., 14.030
37. 5-Bret Sievert, Mukwanago, Ill., 14.120
38. 11-Pat Doar, New Richmond, Wis., 14.131
39. 87-Walker Arthur, Forest, Va., 14.157
40. 116-Torin Mettille, Cullom, Ill., 14.165
41. 4G-Bob Gardner, Peoria, Ill., 14.245
42. 27-Greg Kimmons, Pleasant Plains, Ill., 14.267
43. 22-Jill George, Cedar Falls, Iowa, 14.290
44. 38c-John Gardner, Peoria, Ill., 14.343
45. 74-Russ Adams, Princeville, Ill., 14.354
46. 76-Shelby Miles, Bloomington, Ind., 14.370
47. 5H-Jeremy Hines, Bloomington, Ind., 14.451
48. 89F-Daren Friedman, Forrest, Ill., 14.722
49. 28L-John Lobb, Frewsburg, N.Y., 14.904
50. 36-Jeff Larson, Freeport, Ill., 14.961
51. 16-Don Rance, DeMott, Ind., 15.276
52. 77M-Jay Morris, Watseka, Ill., no time
53. 21K-Kyle Logue, Cisco, Ill., no time
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