PONTOON BEACH, IL (July 20, 2007)-National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR took the lead on the 15th lap and led the remaining 35 circuits to pick up his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of ’07 on Friday Night at Tri-City Speedway. The “Miller-Lite 50” win earned Moyer $10,000 for his fifth career series win. Moyer had to hold off a hard charging Don O’Neal for the win. Trailing Moyer and O’Neal to the stripe were Shannon Babb, 23rd starting Terry English and Earl Pearson, Jr. The cameras of SPEED Channel were on hand to tape the event, which will be shown at a date and time to be announced in the future.
O’Neal and Babb would take the front row starting spots after the draw for the three heat race winners. O’Neal would rocket to the point at the drop of the green as he was hooked up around the brand new 3/8ths mile high banked track. Moyer, who started third, would run second for one lap until Babb got by him on the second lap of the race.
With five laps in the books O’Neal had a good lead over Babb, Moyer, Dewayne Kiefer and Dan Schlieper. The first caution of the race came out after five laps were complete for Terry English’s flat tire. English, who had to take a series provisional, started 23rd in the field, but had made his way into contention early on in the race until he suffered the flat. English quickly pitted under caution and rejoined the field at the back before the green came back out again to restart the race.
On the Delaware double file restart O’Neal was still the top dog as he continued to show the way as a three wide battle for third saw Schlieper split Moyer and Kiefer to move into the third slot. Schlieper was not done yet as he pulled alongside Babb and passed him for second on lap nine. The second caution would come out for a slowing Randy Korte as the defending UMP Late Model Champion went pit side giving up a top run he had going.
On this restart O’Neal kept the lead, as Schlieper would develop a problem with his left front suspension, which caused him to loose several spots on the restart. Babb then slide back into second with Moyer, who had fallen as far back as fifth, was now in the hunt as he climbed back to third on lap ten.
Mark Faust would bring out caution number three with 13 laps scored as he suffered severe front end damage on his race car forcing him from competition as he stopped up against the wall coming out of turn number four. On the restart O’Neal started to receive a serious challenge from none other than Moyer who jumped by Babb on lap 14 and made a daring pass for the lead on lap 15 to become the new leader of the race.
A car that was posing a threat to steal the win was defending Tri-City Speedway track champion, Bryan Collins. Collins who started 18th on the grid steadily climbed through the field picking off cars lap by lap. Collins first entered the top five back on lap ten then overhauled Kiefer for fourth as 15 laps were complete, just as Moyer passed O’Neal for the lead.
Moyer, once he got the lead started to pull away from O’Neal and Collins as the fourth caution would fly for Billy Drake who came to a stop on the racetrack on lap 18. Drake, who started in a backup car for the event came from the tail of the field to race inside the top ten when he fell out of the race.
On the restart Moyer lead O’Neal, Collins, Babb and Pearson to the green flag to begin lap 19. Babb went side by side with Collins in the race for third, but then took the spot away from Collins on lap 23. At the halfway mark, Moyer opened up some more distance between himself and O’Neal as Babb was starting to pick up steam as he closed in right on O’Neal’s heels.
Collins and Pearson put on a nice race for the large contingent of fans that were on hand to watch the race, as Pearson finally got by Collins on lap 26 to take over the fourth position.
The fifth and final caution came out for Scott James, who stopped in the middle of the backstretch. The final restart of the race saw the race go 21 consecutive laps of green flag racing until the final checkers flew.
Moyer had almost an eight car length advantage over O’Neal after the final restart, but Moyer was about to pick up some heavy traffic just ahead of him because with just ten laps left in the race O’Neal started to gain ground on Moyer as Moyer was negotiating lapped traffic and had to change his running line on the track a few times.
O’Neal closed the lead to just two car lengths at one point with five laps to go as he took a shot at the lead heading into turn number three, but O’Neal could not keep his momentum up as Moyer split between two cars and that gave him just enough clearance to have enough breathing room over O’Neal as the duo took the white flag, but Moyer had enough of a lead and he made it stand up as he crossed the finish line first to take his first Lucas Oil Series win since March at Brownstown (IN).
O’Neal’s late race bid netted him second place at the payoff with Babb finishing in third. English, earned the Edelbrock Hard Charger of the Race as he tore through the field passing Pearson in the late stages to finish fourth after pitting for a flat tire on lap five. Pearson’s fifth place finish kept him atop the championship points standings after the race at Tri-City Speedway.
In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane, the 49 year-old Moyer was happy with his win, which came in a MasterSbilt Chassis “Everything worked well on the car, the engines and the tires held up, I am glad we finally got another one of these TV shows. The crew did a great job, we’re really happy with this race car, every time we roll out of the race shop we feel like we have the equipment to win each time, we have the greatest sponsors and I just feel this four link setup works well at a lot of tracks.”
“I was surprised to see the white flag, because there for a while my guys were telling me I had a good lead and then all of a sudden it went away. The car started to push a little and slow down and I figured he (O’Neal) was right there, he went with a different tire combination and I thought maybe my tires were starting to seal over, so I got on it and it took off better in the last few laps.”
Moyer’s win about his MasterSbilt Impala SS was powered by Pro Power Engine and sponsored by Car City, Banner Valley Hauling, J&J Steel, Karl Chevrolet, New Vision Graphics, Platinum Motors and RV’s, Watters Autoland and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating and Air.
O’Neal’s return to the series was aboard the Jerry Jones/Jones Core/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo SS with Babb snatching third in the Bill Moyer/Car City/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo. English was driving the Triple AAA Fence/ARC Racing Engines entry and Pearson was aboard the Bobby Labonte Racing/LifeLong Locks/MasterSbilt Dodge Charger.
Completing the top ten were Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Bryan Collins, Mark Voigt and Scott James.
Dan Schlieper was the LifeLong Locks Fast Qualifier for the 31 entrants on hand with a lap of 14.774 seconds. Shannon Babb, Don O’Neal and Billy Moyer grabbed the Hawk Brake and Quarter Master sponsored heat races and the Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno B-Main went to Mark Faust.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, July 20, 2007
Tri-City Speedway-Pontoon Beach, IL
LifeLong Locks Fast Qualifier: Dan Schlieper 14.774 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 6 Advance): Shannon Babb, Jimmy Mars, Dan Schlieper, Randy Korte, Scott James, Steve Myers, Denny Woodworth, Mark Faust, Mark Voigt, Tom Seets, Sr.
Quarter Master Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 6 Advance): Don O’Neal, Dewayne Kiefer, Justin Rattliff, Donnie Moran, Damon Eller, Tim Manville, Scott Bloomquist, Rick Rhoades, John Mason, Michael Kloos
Hawk Brake Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 6 Advance): Billy Moyer, Billy Faust, Earl Pearson, Jr., Billy Drake, Steve Casebolt, Chris Smyser, Bryan Collins, Mark Oller, Terry English, Brad Neat, Freddy Smith
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno B-Main (12 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Mark Faust, Bryan Collins, Denny Woodworth, Mark Oller, Mark Voigt, John Mason, Rick Rhoades, Tom Seets, Sr., Brad Neat, Terry English, Freddy Smith
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series “Miller-Lite 50” Feature Finish: Billy Moyer, Don O’Neal, Shannon Babb, Terry English, Earl Pearson, Jr., Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Bryan Collins, Mark Voigt, Scott James, Mark Oller, Chris Smyser, Dewayne Kiefer, Damon Eller, Steve Myers, Freddy Smith, Mike Wallace, Billy Faust, Justin Rattliff, Tim Manville, Denny Woodworth, Billy Drake, Dan Schlieper, Mark Faust, Randy Korte, Jimmy Mars
Caution Flags: 5
Lap Leaders: Don O’Neal 1-14, Billy Moyer 15-50
Edelbrock Hard Charger of the Race: Terry English (Started 23rd and Finished 4th, Advanced 19 Positions)
K&N Clean Pass of the Race: Billy Moyer
Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Donnie Moran
COMP Cams Rookie of the Race: Damon Eller
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Terry English and Freddy Smith
Track Provisionals: Mark Voigt and Mike Wallace