East Bay Raceway Park
Moyer overtakes Francis late for East Bay victory
By Andy Savary and Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com
GIBSONTON, Fla. (Feb. 11) — Standing in Winternationals victory lane for the 22nd time at East Bay Raceway Park on Tuesday evening, Hall of Fame driver Billy Moyer briefly evaluated his success at the third-mile oval: “We’ve run decent here.”
Moyer is far too modest, and with apologies to Ryan Delph, might need a new publicist. | Complete Speedweeks coverage
Stalking race-long leader Steve Francis late in the 25-lap Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, the fourth-starting Moyer grabbed the lead on lap 22, then won a three-lap shootout to the checkers for a $5,000 payday in the second round of the 38th Winternationals.
The 56-year-old from Batesville, Ark., notched his 777th career victory overall and his 19th career Lucas Oil Series victory in an event three years to the day since his previous checkered flag at East Bay.
“It’s really an elbows-up place and I don’t know if it’s always been my style, but for just some reason, we’ve run decent here,” Moyer said. “So we’re happy for sure.”
Francis, the Ashland, Ky., driver who owns 10 Winternationals victories, settled for the second spot while polesitter Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., was third as a substitute for an ailing Josh Richards in the Rocket Chassis house car.
Monday night winner Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va. — who had a side-by-side duel with Sheppard at the same time Francis and Moyer battled wheel-to-wheel ahead of them late in the race — was fourth and third-starting Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., a 15-time East Bay winner, rounded out the top five in a race where the top three winningest Winternationals drivers started among the first two rows.
Moyer took the second spot from Sheppard on the 10th lap and took up his chase of Francis, slowing reeling him in during the second half of the race as both drivers survived bouts with rough patches that sometimes sent their cars briefly airborne.
“He was running real good,” Moyer said of Francis. “Maybe it’s a little bit of a benefit to be behind at times to try to figure different things out.”
Moyer had some things to figure out after he ran as high as second in Monday’s opening feature, but faded to seventh at the finish.
“We had a good hot rod all night. Last night, we missed it, and it really made me mad, so I just tried to stay on top of the game more tonight. I just can’t say enough about these guys helping me, and that engine under the hood,” Moyer said with a laugh. “It’s a little hard on things when it’s off the ground sometimes there. I just hope she hangs together the rest of the week.”
Francis, making his first start of the week, knew he’d have to set a quick pace to outrun his pursuers.
“Between (Moyer) and O’Neal, that’s probably the two you don’t want right behind you here,” Francis said. “We didn’t run last night, and we just left it a little bit too loose tonight. I kinda knew I was a sitting duck there and hoping the race would get over.”
Bouncing around a bit didn’t bother Francis, who hopes to figure things out with his Clint Bowyer Racing Barry Wright Race Car in the Lucas Oil Series action that continues nightly through Saturday.
“That gives East Bay a little character. If this place is perfectly smooth, it kind of gets the condition it gets last night. A bump or two don’t hurt this place,” Francis said. “We’ve gotta do a little work to it and maybe come back and have something for Billy tomorrow night.”
The feature was slowed by five cautions, the most serious for a turn-two scramble that involved Jared Landers, John Mollick, Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie, Brian Shirley and Davey Johnson.
Other yellows appeared for a slowing Bobby Pierce on the second lap, a spinning Chad Hollenbeck on lap five, Devin Moran’s lap-15 spin and a lap-22 caution for Gregg Satterlee hitting the wall exiting turn two, which dropped just after Moyer’s winning pass.
Winternationals action continues Wednesday with a $7,000-to-win program. The series announced it will start an hour later than scheduled with hot laps at 7 p.m.
Notes: The winning Moyer Xtreme by Longhorn is powered by a Clements Automotive Engine and sponsored by Banner Valley Hauling, Crop Production Services, Henderson Motorsports, Watters Autoland, Carquest Auto Parts and Sunoco. … The checkered flag fell at 9:03 p.m. … Brandon Sheppard notched his second straight third-place finish. … Jason Riggs of Harrisburg, Ill., rallied from 21st to 11th. … Seventeen of 26 starters finished on the lead lap. … Dan Stone start on the tail after going to a backup car; he had engine problems in his primary entry.
Winternationals: (1) Billy Moyer, (2) Steve Francis, (3) Brandon Sheppard, (4) Eddie Carrier Jr., (5) Don O'Neal, (6) Scott Bloomquist, (7) Dennis Erb Jr., (8) Jared Landers, (9) Jimmy Owens, (10) John Blankenship, (11) Jason Riggs, (12) Kenny Pettyjohn, (13) Brian Shirley, (14) Booper Bare, (15) Tim McCreadie, (16) Dan Stone, (17) Chad Hollenbeck, (18) Bobby Pierce, (19) Gregg Satterlee, (20) Devin Moran, (21) John Mollick, (22) Davey Johnson, (23) Jason Hughes, (24) Billy Moyer Jr., (25) Kevin Weaver, (26) Randy Weaver. Fast qualifier (among 47 cars): Blankenship 13.854 seconds). Heat race winners: Sheppard, O'Neal, Francis, Moyer. Consolation winners: Hughes, Satterlee. Fast-qualifier provisional: Billy Moyer Jr. DirtonDirt.com Strawberry Dash winner: Moran.
Brandon Sheppard starts on the pole of the 25-lap feature and is seeking is first career East Bay victory; Steve Francis starts alongside and is gunning for his 11th career win at the Clay by the Bay. ... Dan Stone switched to a backup car following heat race action and will forfeit his 12th starting spot to tag the tail. ... Billy Moyer Jr. received the fast-time provisional and will start 25th, alongside DirtonDirt.com Strawberry dash winner Devin Moran.
DirtonDirt.com Strawberry Dash
Finish: Devin Moran, Ricky Weiss, Nick Davis, Jay Brunson, Adam Bowman, Mike Benedum, Chad Stapleton, Jason Papich.
Consolation race results
High-running Gregg Satterlee won an early side-by-side battle with low-running Kevin Weaver to capture the final consolation race. Satterlee pulled away slightly over the second half of the race, while Weaver settled second. Fourth-starting Davey Johnson took third from fellow second-row starter Ricky Weiss at the outset and held it for the remainder of the 12-lap race. Bobby Pierce finished in the fourth and final transfer spot in a race plagued by only one caution, when Bob Geiger tagged the wall and spun in between turns three and four on the fourth lap.
Finish: Gregg Satterlee, Kevin Weaver, Davey Johnson, Bobby Pierce, Ricky Weiss, Devin Moran, Mark Whitener, Jason Papich, Jay Brunson, Chad Stapleton, Billy Moyer Jr., Bob Geiger. Scratched: Billy Moyer Jr., Andy Bond, Jim O'Hara, Dustin Mitchell.
Second-starting Jason Hughes bested polesitter Tim McCreadie for a 12-lap victory. Jason Riggs started and finished third will Booper Bare steadily worked his way from seventh to claim the final transfer spot. Justin Ratliff slowed on the fifth lap to bring out the race's only caution.
Finish: Jason Hughes, Tim McCreadie, Jason Riggs, Booper Bare, Dennis Franklin, Jay Morris, Mike Benedum, Nick Davis, Adam Bowman, Allen Murray, Justin Ratliff. Scratched: Vic Coffey, Joe Denby, Don Young, Ray Cook, Eric Jacobsen.
Consolation race lineups
(12 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Tim McCreadie, Jason Hughes
Row 2: Jason Riggs, Dennis Franklin
Row 3: Mike Benedum, Justin Ratliff
Row 4: Booper Bare, Jay Morris
Row 5: Vic Coffey, Allen Murray
Row 6: Adam Bowman, Nick Davis
Row 7: Joe Denby, Don Young
Row 8: Ray Cook, Eric Jacobsen
Row 1: Kevin Weaver, Gregg Satterlee
Row 2: Ricky Weiss, Davey Johnson
Row 3: Bobby Pierce, Mark Whitener
Row 4: Devin Moran, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 5: Jason Papich, Jay Brunson
Row 6: Andy Bond, Chad Stapleton
Row 7: Bob Geiger, Jim O'Hara
Row 8: Dustin Mitchell
Heat race results
Billy Moyer won an early side-by-side battle with fellow front-row starter Jared Landers to pick up the victory in the final heat race. Moyer pulled away from the field over the second half of the race, while Landers held off fourth-starting Dan Stone for second. Kenny Pettyjohn crossed the finish line fourth and will also transfer to the main event. Chad Stapleton spun alone in turn four and drew the race's only caution.
Finish: Billy Moyer, Jared Landers, Dan Stone, Kenny Pettyjohn, Gregg Satterlee, Davey Johnson, Mark Whitener, Billy Moyer Jr., Jay Brunson, Chad Stapleton, Jim O'Hara.
Steve Francis out-dueled fellow front-row starter John Blankenship in the first corner and went on to lead every lap of the caution-free third heat. Third-starting Dennis Erb Jr. followed Francis past Blankenship on the first lap to finish second, while Blankenship held on to finish third. Reigning Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Jimmy Owens claimed the final transfer spot. Tenth-starting Jason Papich got airborne coming down the backstretch on first lap after contact with Andy Bond exiting turn four but was able to continue, ultimately finishing eighth.
Finish: Steve Francis, Dennis Erb Jr., John Blankenship, Jimmy Owens, Kevin Weaver, Ricky Weiss, Bobby Pierce, Devin Moran, Jason Papich, Andy Bond, Bob Geiger.
Second-starting Don O’Neal fought off polesitter John Mollick for a victory in a caution-free second heat. O’Neal led every lap, but faced heavy pressure from Mollick throughout, with Mollick pulling alongside multiple times. Second-row starters Randy Weaver and Chad Hollenbeck secured the final two transfer spots and ran unchallenged for the 10-lap race.
Finish: Don O’Neal, John Mollick, Randy Weaver, Chad Hollenbeck, Jason Hughes, Dennis Franklin, Justin Ratliff, Jay Morris, Allen Murray, Nick Davis, Don Young. Scratched: Eric Jacobsen.
Brandon Sheppard got the jump on Eddie Carrier Jr. at the outset and held off repeated challenges from the Winternationals opening night winner to win claim the first heat race. Scott Bloomquist and Brian Shirley followed Sheppard and Carrier across the finish line to claim the final two transfer spots. Adam Bowman spun in turn four on the sixth lap to bring out the race’s only caution. Ray Cook scratched from the heat after losing a motor in qualifying.
Finish: Brandon Sheppard, Eddie Carrier Jr., Scott Bloomquist, Brian Shirley, Tim McCreadie, Jason Riggs, Mike Benedum, Booper Bare, Vic Coffey, Adam Bowman, Joe Denby. Scratched: Ray Cook.
Just one day after Salt Rock, W.Va., driver Eddie Carrier Jr. lowered the track record and became the first driver under the 14-second mark, fellow West Virginia driver John Blankenship of Williamson, lowered it once again, blazing to a 13.854-second lap and besting second-group qualifiers. Though he lost the track record, Carrier was plenty fast once again, breaking the 14-second barrier again and notching a 13.931-second lap to top the first-group charts.
Blankenship and Carrier will each start from the pole from a 10-lap heat race, along with John Mollick of Toronto, Ohio, and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., who became the third driver ever to qualify under the 14-second mark with a 13.943-second lap.
John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., and Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., are making their first competitive laps of the week at East Bay. … Monday entrants Bob Gardner of Creve Couer, Ill., and Mike Stadel of Rapid City, S.D., have loaded up and retired for the week. ... Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., and Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., each experienced engine troubles Monday and swapped powerplants prior to Tuesday’s action. ... Chad White of Coloma, Mich., broke a motor before even hitting the track Monday. The team dropped a Vic Hill powerplant in Tuesday and should be in action Wednesday. … Dan Stone only had a few competitive laps Monday after a flat tire in the pits forced him to miss his heat race, then a chunk of mud hit his wheel and forced him into the frontstretch fence on the second lap of his consolation race. “The racing gods weren’t with me last night,” he said. … John Mollick of Toronto, Ohio, spectated at East Bay for a few years and decided he’d make his sole racing journey to Florida for 2014. “This is a one-shot deal,” said Mollick, whose goal is to make every feature. He was an early dropout in Monday’s main. … Lucas Oil Series marketing director Wayne Castleberry, dazed and bruised by a rock that struck him outside turn two during Monday’s first consolation, is patched up and no worse for wear (he made it back for victory lane Monday night). But he’s taking a little ribbing in the pits for holding up Monday’s program. “How’s it going bruiser?” driver John Blankenship asked him with a friendly pat on the back. ... Eric Jacobsen of Santa Cruz, Calif., scratched for the evening after sustaining left-side damage in a hot laps incident. ... Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., will likely be sidelined for the rest of the evening after his MasterSbilt house car team found shavings in the Oberg filter.
Heat race lineups
Row 1: Eddie Carrier Jr., Brandon Sheppard
Row 2: Brian Shirley, Scott Bloomquist
Row 3: Ray Cook, Mike Benedum
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, Vic Coffey
Row 5: Jason Riggs, Booper Bare
Row 6: Joe Denby, Adam Bowman
Row 1: John Mollick, Don O'Neal
Row 2: Randy Weaver, Chad Hollenbeck
Row 3: Justin Ratliff, Jason Hughes
Row 4: Dennis Franklin, Jay Morris
Row 5: Allen Murray, Nick Davis
Row 6: Don Young, Eric Jacobsen
Row 1: John Blankenship, Steve Francis
Row 2: Dennis Erb Jr., Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Kevin Weaver, Devin Moran
Row 4: Bobby Pierce, Ricky Weiss
Row 5: Andy Bond, Jason Papich
Row 6: Bob Geiger, Dustin Mitchell
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Jared Landers
Row 2: Kenny Pettyjohn, Dan Stone
Row 3: Billy Moyer Jr., Gregg Satterlee
Row 4: Davey Johnson, Mark Whitener
Row 5: Chad Stapleton, Jim O'Hara
Row 6: Jay Brunson
Time trial results (unofficial)
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 13.931
John Mollick (J4), Toronto, Ohio, 14.005
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 14.060
Don O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 14.216
Brian Shirley (81), Chatham, Ill., 14.245
Randy Weaver (116), Crossville, Tenn., 14.291
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 14.294
Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa., 14.309
Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C., 14.377
Justin Ratliff (16), Campbellsville, Ky., 14.378
Mike Benedum (25), Bristol, W.Va., 14.422
Jason Hughes (12), Westville, Okla., 14.424
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.425
Dennis Franklin (2), Gaffney, S.C., 14.430
Vic Coffey (32), Caledonia, N.Y., 14.458
Jay Morris (77m), Pittwood, Ill., 14.504
Jason Riggs (81jr), Harrisburg, Ill., 14.511
Allen Murray (2m), San Antonio, Texas, 14.531
Booper Bare (89), Rockbridge Baths, Va., 14.549
Nick Davis (92), Gumboro, Del., 14.658
Joe Denby (27), Tullahoma, Tenn., 14.889
Don Young (41), Hopkinsville, Ky., 15.323
Adam Bowman (77), Seymour, Ind., 15.399
Eric Jacobsen (5), Santa Cruz, Calif., no time
John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 13.854
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 13.943
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 14.077
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 14.078
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.081
Kenny Pettyjohn (38), Millsboro, Del., 14.119
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 14.134
Dan Stone (21d), Thompson, Pa., 14.138
Kevin Weaver (B12), Gibson City, Ill., 14.157
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.172
Devin Moran (99m), Dresden, Ohio, 14.193
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 14.276
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 14.287
Davey Johnson (1j), Latrobe, Pa., 14.338
Ricky Weiss (7w), Winnipeg, Manitoba, 14.404
Mark Whitener (58), Middleburg, Fla., 14.499
Andy Bond (1cj), Coolville, Ohio, 14.610
Chad Stapleton (32), Edinburgh, Ind., 14.794
Jason Papich (91), Nipomo, Calif., 14.972
Jim O’Hara (44), Moscow, Pa., 14.977
Bob Geiger (38), Laurel, Del., 14.999
Jay Brunson (23b), Dubberly, La., 15.122
Dustin Mitchell (D8), Pine Level, N.C., no time