Farmer City Raceway
Which car? Moyer must choose at Farmer City
By Kevin KovacWorld of Outlaws Late Model Series
FARMER CITY, Ill. (April 3) — Billy Moyer is shooting for a World of Outlaws Late Model Series hat trick this weekend. And the Dirt Late Model legend couldn’t pick a better place to go for three straight tour wins than Farmer City Raceway, a quarter-mile bullring that is high on his list of favorite tracks.
“I love Farmer City,” said Moyer, who began prepping for this weekend’s inaugural Illini 100 by participating in the oval’s open practice session on Thursday night. “It’s a neat, racy place. You start out (the night) hammer-down on the cushion against the wall and by the (feature) race it’s like an ice cube out there and you’re running everywhere, and that’s what I like."
Moyer, 50, of Batesville, Ark., was among a group of more than two dozen early-arriving drivers on hand for Thursday's Illini 100 warmup. Hot laps stretched for over an hour-and-a-half before rain began to fall, ending the session early.
The WoO winner in 2006 at Farmer City, Moyer was clocked turning some of the fastest practice circuits. He made all his laps behind the wheel of a Victory Circle M1 Chassis that he has raced only once previously this season, in a UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned event that he won on March 14 at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway.
Moyer also has brought his battle-tested Victory Circle mount — the car he’s driven to seven wins already this season, including the last two WoO LMS events — to Farmer City. He hasn’t ruled out running it in the $20,000-to-win Illini 100, which kicks off with time trials and heat races on Friday and concludes with last-chance events and the 100-lap headliner on Saturday.
“I’m still debating which car I want to run,” Moyer said after climbing from his Banner Valley Hauling No. 21 amid raindrops. “This (newer) car felt pretty good and I’m already thinking of things I want to change on it, but that other car — man, I know that one’s good. This race pays $20,000 to win, so I gotta have my best artillery.”
Moyer certainly has a pair of superb options for the richest Dirt Late Model event ever in Illinois. The cars he’s developed with the Bakersfield, Calif.-based Victory Circle shop have proven to be hot commodities.
“This car has been awesome ever since we unloaded it (this year),” said Moyer, who also credits his new Clements engines as a major factor in his ’08 success. “We just keep tweaking it with little things every week. That’s what makes it so much fun for me again. I know the car is good, so it makes me be able to concentrate on tires and stuff, instead of worrying about trying to have the right setup on the car as I have in the past. It’s awesome — it kinda lets me watch the racetrack more and worry about picking the right tires.
“The phone’s ringing off the hook with people wanting to buy these things,” continued Moyer, who plans a trip to California next week to visit with the Victory Circle gang. “I’m gonna have to draw the line here somewhere because I don’t have the time to do it all. We’re still working on things to make ‘em better, believe it or not.”
Other drivers fast on the clock included Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., who won last year’s WoO event at Farmer City; Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va.; defending WoO LMS champ Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky.; Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill.; and Rick Eckert of York, Pa. ... Eckert looked strong behind the wheel of a brand-new Rayburn car owned by Raye Vest… Sweeteners Plus Racing teammates Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., and Vic Coffey of Leicester, N.Y., spent time dialing in their mounts. Coffey is driving one of McCreadie’s No. 39 cars. ... A car-destroying flip last Saturday night at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, Miss., didn’t force teenage WoO LMS Rookie of the Year contender Joe Isabell home to Pennellville, N.Y. Isabell and his JIR Motorsports teammate, Danny Johnson of Phelps, N.Y., were in the pits for Thursday’s hot laps. Isabell was behind the wheel of a Rayburn car that his father, Jeff, purchased on Tuesday from an Illinois team. The younger Isabell and the JIR crew dropped a motor in their new car and hung a body on it during the week. ... Lisa Shickel of Bloomington, Ill., saw her practice night end in rough fashion. Just as the final hot-lap session was waved off because rain was making the track surface too slick, Shickel slid over the berm between turns one and two and executed a slow rollover. She wasn't injured.