PONTOON BEACH, IL (July 18, 2008) – Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR repelled the challenges of three other drivers during the nine-lap shootout near the end of the “Budweiser 50” on Friday Night at Tri-City Speedway. The record books will show the Hall of Famer leading all 50 laps, but the fans were on the edge of the seats until the checkered flag fell, with Moyer hanging on to the lead. The win would mark his fourth already in 2008 on the historic $2.9 million dollar LOLMDS tour, and 14th overall this year. Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL, local driver Billy Faust of Lebanon, IL and Billy Drake of Bloomington, IL all had a shot at stealing the win from Moyer in the closing laps, but the trio came up short in their bids to defeat Moyer. Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA finished fifth but was several car lengths behind the top four finishers.
Brian Shirley and Moyer would start on the front row of the 50 lap main event which was taped in front of the cameras of SPEED Channel. Shirley would get a good jump on Moyer and lead him through turns one and two and down the backstretch, but Moyer would rebound quickly passing Shirley coming off of turn number four to lead the opening lap of the race.
Moyer saw Shirley fall to second with Faust, Pearson and Drake holding the top five spots early on. Moyer opened up a slight advantage over the field as a three-car tussle for second between Shirley, Faust and Pearson would see the trio go three-wide for two laps on laps five and six.
Moyer, who set a track record in qualifying at Tri-City two weeks ago, entered lapped traffic on lap nine as his five car length advantage began to take a hit by Shirley. The driver of the #3s machine would start to close the gap between the two. With Moyer fighting his way through traffic Shirley and then Faust, Pearson and Drake would close to Moyer’s decklid as the top four ran nose to tail with no lapped cars between them.
As all eyes were on the developing race for the lead, the first caution came out for a slowing Wayne Chinn that would halt the action for the first time with 15 laps complete. On the restart, Moyer would fire off of turn four as Shirley, Faust, Pearson and Drake were racing hard as each was using a different route around the 15 degree banking on the 3/8ths mile track.
Moyer, with a clear track in front of him would again open up his lead over the torrid battle for second. At the halfway mark it appeared Moyer still had the car to beat as Shirley remained in second with a three-wide race continuing for third between Faust, Pearson and Drake with 18th starting Kevin Claycomb now in the hunt as he was up to sixth place.
On lap 27 the race for second would get even tighter with Shirley receiving pressure from the three drivers behind him as Pearson would pass Faust for third on lap 28. Pearson would switch to the top groove and that would give him the advantage over Shirley after trying for at least five laps to pass him as Pearson finally was able to get around him on lap 34.
Pearson’s momentum gained by running the very top of the track saw him gain of Moyer in a hurry with 38 laps in the books. But Pearson also had to contend with Drake who used the very bottom of the racing surface to pull even with Pearson for three consecutive laps starting with lap 39.
Steve Casebolt would slow on the track with 41 laps recorded and that would bring out the final caution of the race which would set up a nine-lap dash to the finish. Moyer got another great restart as Pearson, Drake and Faust would be his main contenders in the closing circuits.
With five laps to go, Pearson would go again to the outside and it looked like he would have an avenue to pass Moyer on the outside with five laps to go. Pearson would pull alongside Moyer twice in the final five laps, but he could never clear Moyer to take the lead. Both Moyer and Pearson then had to worry about Faust as the local hotshoe was picking up the pace as he was making a late race bid to take an upset win.
With the crowd on its feet, Faust, with two laps to go, looked like he could do coming off of turn number two but his car would not stick into turn three and he slide up the track just enough to lose the momentum he had built up as Moyer and Pearson would lead him to the finish line as he would miss out on a chance to win his first ever LOLMDS event.
In the Lucas Oil victory lane Moyer would do a quick interview for SPEED and then breathed a sigh of relief that the race was over. “If they didn’t like that, then they don’t like racing,” said the 50-year-old. “I was all for making this track shorter, you can race anywhere on it and Kevin (Gundaker) has done a great job here,” said Moyer who didn’t change anything on the car after track prep was done on the racing surface before the feature. “Sometimes you change things and you outsmart yourself so Steve (Norris) and the crew kept the same setup on the car and it worked out great.”
Moyer’s Victory Circle Chassis Monte Carlo SS is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Banner Valley Hauling ,BSB Manufacturing, J&J Steel, Car City, Watters Auto Land, Karl Chevrolet, Redline Oil, PRC, Universal Concrete, Minx Show Palace and Imperial Motors/
Pearson in the Bobby Labonte Racing/LifeLong Locks/MasterSbilt Dodge Charger said afterwards his car was good in turns one and two, but Moyer was able to hold the advantage in three and four. “Billy did what he had to do, the track was just super you could race anywhere on it, so congratulations to Billy he knows what he’s doing and to run second to him is no shame.”
Faust in the Kehrer Racing/Kehrer Farms Rocket almost had enough to pull the upset but settled for third. “I just got too excited there, we had two laps to go and I thought I had the car to pass them on the outside, but I slide up in three and that cost me, when you run against these guys you can’t make any mistakes and I learned a valuable lesson out there, but we’re happy with third against this field of cars.”
After a strong run all night long, Drake finished 4th in his Executive Homes/Mullvain Motors/MasterSbilt GTO with his fourth place finish and Brian Birkhofer took fifth in his Simon Trucking/Pro Power Engines/Rocket Monte Carlo SS.
Completing the top ten were Brian Shirley; Scott Bloomquist, who managed to fight his way up to 7th after having to start on the tail due to a pre-race rules infraction; Kevin Claycomb; Bart Hartman; and Freddy Smith.
In preliminary action Dan Schlieper would be the PRC Fast Qualifier with a 15.266 second lap in time trials. Heat race winners were Billy Faust, Brian Shirley, Billy Drake and Billy Moyer. Chad Zobrist and Kevin Claycomb won the B-Mains.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be in action on Saturday Night, July 19th at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO for the “CMH Late Model Showdown” with the O’Reilly MLRA Late Models. For more information on the $10,000 to win event, log onto www.LucasOilSpeedway.com and www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
To find out more about the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log on to www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, July 18, 2008
Tri-City Speedway – Pontoon Beach, IL
PRC Fast Time: Dan Schlieper/15.226 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Billy Faust, Randy Korte, Dan Schlieper, Scott James, Bryan Collins, Mark Voigt, John Mason, Dewayne Kiefer, Lee Thomason, Claude Walker
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Brian Shirley, Earl Pearson Jr., Brian Birkhofer, Mike Marlar, Chad Zobrist, Tim Manville, Ryan Dauber, Chad Smyser, Michael Kloos
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Billy Drake, Steve Casebolt, Terry Casey, Freddy Smith, Mark Oller, Kevin Cole, Wayne Chinn, Steven Unterbrink, Reid Millard, Chris Fetter
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Billy Moyer, Bart Hartman, Scott Bloomquist, Justin Rattliff, Kevin Claycomb, Rodney Melvin, Rusty Griffaw, Billy Laycock, Denny Eckrich
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Chad Zobrist, Bryan Collins, Mark Voigt, Tim Manville, John Mason, Michael Kloos, Dewayne Kiefer, Chris Smyser, Claude Walker, Ryan Dauber, Lee Thomason
Quarter Master Second B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Kevin Claycomb, Rodney Melvin, Kevin Cole, Denny Eckrich, Mark Oller, Billy Laycock, Wayne Chinn, Reid Millard, Steven Unterbrink, Rusty Griffaw, Chris Fetter
“Budweiser 50” Feature Finish (50 Laps): Billy Moyer, Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Faust, Billy Drake, Brian Birkhofer, Brian Shirley, Scott Bloomquist, Kevin Claycomb, Bart Hartman, Freddy Smith, Dan Schlieper, Scott James, Terry Casey, Justin Rattliff, Steve Casebolt, John Mason, Mark Voigt, Mike Marlar, Wayne Chinn, Bryan Collins, Rodney Melvin, Chad Zobrist, Rusty Griffaw, Randy Korte, Kevin Cole
Caution Flags: 3
Lap Leaders: Billy Moyer 1-50
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Wayne Chinn, John Mason
Tri-City Speedway Track Provisional: Rusty Griffaw
PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Kevin Claycomb (Started 18th and finished 8th—advanced 10 positions)
Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Billy Faust
K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Freddy Smith
Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Terry Casey
ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Scott Bloomquist
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Carri Mason (John Mason)
Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
Time of the Race: 25 minutes
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings
1) Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, FL) 4530
2) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 4155
3) Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH) 4135
4) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL) 3870
5) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY) 3795
6) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 3720
7) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 3650
8) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN) 3605
9) Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 3355
10) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 3030
Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 3650
2) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 3030
3) John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 745
4) Tony Knowles (Tyrone, GA) 425
5) Eric Jacobsen (Seacliffe Beach, CA) 245