TAMPA, FL (February 9, 2008) - National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR fought through a three way battle for the lead taking the top spot for good on lap 31 as he pulled away to take the final night of the 2008 DART Winternationals for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at East Bay Raceway Park. Moyer earned $12,000 for his 18th career win at the Tampa area facility as he also clinched the DART Machinery points fund, which earned him an additional $7,500. Earl Pearson, Jr. earned a series provisional and came from the 23rd starting spot to finish second followed by Terry Casey, Steve Francis and 12th place starter Shannon Babb.
Josh Richards and Terry Casey would start on the front row of the 75 lap event which was taped before the cameras of SPEED, for the first time EVER, in High-Definition. Casey, who had a strong week at East Bay Raceway Park took the lead from the get go with Richards running second followed by Chuck Harper, Steve Francis and Billy Moyer.
The first change inside the top five occurred on the second lap as Francis would squeeze by Harper to take over third as Matt Miller would drop Moyer to sixth a lap later. The first caution of the race would come out on lap five with the cars of Josh McGuire and Steve Casebolt collected in turn number four.
On the restart Casey was still showing the way with Francis around Richards for second as Francis was making his car work well on the top groove of the 1/3rd mile oval. Francis’ high flying action would pull him side by side with Casey as the race for the lead got interesting by the ninth circuit.
Francis was able to clear Casey taking the lead on lap ten as Casey fell to second with Richards, Miller and Brian Shirley the top five with a dozen laps scored. Francis looked like he was going to pull away from the pack as he started to stretch his lead out by the 19th circuit, but Francis was starting to pick up the tail end of the field by the point of the race.
In traffic is where Francis would lose his lead back to Casey as the Wisconsin driver retook the point on lap 21. Richards then moved into second in a nifty move in traffic as Francis fell to third place. With 25 laps complete Casey was out in front with Richards and Francis making it three-wide for the lead.
While the race leaders were battling it out in heavy traffic the second caution would come out for a slowing Dan Schlieper. On the restart Moyer benefitted the most as he looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he came out of nowhere to third with 30 laps complete as Moyer got in between Casey and Francis as they went three-wide for the top spot.
A spectacularly run race so far was getting even better as Moyer would grab the lead on lap 31. Casey and Francis would then go side by side for two laps as Casey fought back into the runner-up slot two circuits later. Scott James would slow in turn two on lap 34 bringing out the third and final caution of the race.
On the restart Moyer was quite powerful as he bolted away from the field as he immediately put distance between himself and Francis who had fought his way back around Casey for second with Richards and Brady Smith, who had started 22nd up to fifth.
With 30 laps remaining Moyer was in complete control of the race with Francis, Richards and Casey putting on a show for the fans as the tight race for second continued, but they were about to be joined by Pearson, who had to use a series provisional and after starting 23rd worked his way into the top five on lap 50.
Moyer’s lead continued to be just a little more than a straightaway over the pack of cars trying to track him down. However as the laps clicked off Casey was ever so slowly cutting Moyer’s lead down as he whittled Moyer’s lead to half a straight in heavy traffic.
Moyer got behind a couple of cars he was having some difficulty in negotiating as his car looked to be loosening up as the race wore down. Casey was having some issues in traffic as well, when Pearson burst into third, now having run down Casey.
Pearson was all over Casey for second and with five laps to go he made the pass that earned him the second position, but with just a handful of laps left in the race Moyer had a big enough lead that Pearson was not going to be able to chase him down.
Moyer would move up on the track late in the race and that seemed to help him conserve his tires just enough to bring his Moyer Victory Circle Chassis Impala SS to the finish line for the third time in the final four nights of racing at East Bay.
Moyer’s dominance at East Bay Raceway Park in this year’s 32nd Annual DART Winternationals not only earned him $32,000 in winnings but also backed that up with capturing the DART Machinery point’s fund, which gave him another cool $7,500 for his work. Moyer had entered the night’s activities tied with Matt Miller atop the DART points, but his convincing victory in Saturday Night’s final clinched it for him.
“Early on the car was pushing a little bit and we dropped back there a few spots, but I knew it was long race and I was trying to keep the tires in good shape,” said the driver who began his racing career in motorcycles several years ago. Moyer’s big break was the caution for Schlieper on lap 27 and the ensuing restart.
“Yeah that obviously was a key there, the fired real well off of turn number two and we went in there and it stuck and I was right between Casey and Steve and none of us were letting off and I was able to keep my momentum and a couple of laps later were in front, then we had another yellow, but the car felt real good there and took off on the restart and we were able to pull away,” as Moyer was joined in victory lane with his crew chief Steve Norris and the other Moyer Race Team members.
“I got into traffic there and with no yellow flags this time I was glad there weren’t any cautions because I going real well and didn’t want to see one, I moved up the track a little bit there and I was just hoping the tires would hold up to the end, with this sand in the track it can get abrasive and wear out the tires, but they held up and we’re extremely happy with the week we’ve had,” said Moyer as there was indications that the right rear quarter panel had been rubbing on the right rear Hoosier for several laps.”
Moyer’s Clements Powered is sponsored by Banner Valley Hauling, BSB Manufacturing, J&J Steel, Karl Chevrolet, Watters Auto Land, Redline Oil, Performance Rod and Custom, Universal Concrete and Minx Show Palace. Moyer’s win also completed a week long sweep for Sunoco Race Fuels.
Pearson had his best finish of the week as the three-time and defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion finished second in the Bobby Labonte Racing/Lifelong Locks/MasterSbilt Dodge Charger. Casey finished off a great ending to the week of racing placing third in the Arnie Ranta Motorsports/Pro Power Engines/C.J. Rayburn North Monte Carlo.
Completing the top five were Francis in the Dale Beitler Enterprises/Cornett Racing Engines/Rocket GTO and Shannon Babb in the Clint Bowyer Racing/Clements Race Engines/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo SS.
Rounding out the top ten were Brian Shirley, Josh Richards, Matt Miller, Brady Smith and Terry English. Of the 25 starters 22 finished the race.
In preliminary action Josh Richards was the PRC Fast Timer in qualifications with a lap of 14.418 seconds. The heat races were won by Steve Francis, Matt Miller, Chuck Harper, Billy Moyer, Josh Richards and Terry Casey. The B-mains were taken by Steve Casebolt, Wayne Chinn, Dan Schlieper and Brady Smith. Josh McGuire won the PRC Strawberry Dash to earn the 25th stating spot in the feature.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competitors will now take more than a month until the next scheduled event on Saturday Night, March 29thpaying $10,000 to win at the Brownstown Speedway in Brownstown for the “Indiana Icebreaker.” For more information on this race you can visit www.brownstownspeedway.com.
For the latest news and information regarding the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feel free to log onto www.lucasdirt.com.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, February 9th, 2008
East Bay Raceway Park-Tampa, FL
PRC Fast Time: Josh Richards (14.418 seconds)
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 advance): Steve Francis, Jeep Van Wormer, Clint Smith, Bryan Collins, Wayne Chinn, Tyler Boggs, Bart Hartman, Chris Hackett, Bryan Barber, Jason McBride, Rick Eckert, Shane Clanton, John Blankenship, Jeff Beyers
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Matt Miller, Brian Shirley, Eric Jacobsen, Tyler Ivey, Rick Auckland, Freddy Smith, Eric Wells, Marshall Austin, Don O’Neal, Clint Coffman, Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist, DNS: Russ Adams
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Chuck Harper, Terry English, Justin Rattliff, Steve Casebolt, Vic Coffey, Earl Pearson Jr., John Mason, Billy Drake, Rodney Melvin, Kurt Owens, Peyton Taylor, Dave Tyrchniewicz, Kellen Chadwick
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Billy Moyer, Tim Fuller, Tim Dohm, Dan Schlieper, Dan Stone, Tim McCreadie, Ray Cook, Damon Eller, Joe Denby, Donald Beyers, Ky Harper, Tony Knowles, DNS: Jared Hawkins
Hawk Brake Fifth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Josh Richards, Mile Marlar, Donnie Moran, Brady Smith, Darren Miller, Wendell Wallace, Chris Madden, Rohn Moon, Billy Decker, Bob Geiger, Jackie Boggs, Josh McGuire, DJ Wells
Hawk Brake Sixth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Terry Casey, Shannon Babb, Eddie Carrier Jr., Chris Wall, Steve Shaver, Scott James, Billy Faust, Dennis Erb, Keith Nosbisch, Butch McGill, Mark Andersen, Doug Horton, DNS: Anthony White
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps- 1 Advance): Steve Casebolt, Don, O’Neal, Earl Pearson Jr., Bryan Collins, Tyler Boggs, Billy Drake, Rick Auckland, Jason McBride, Eric Wells, Shane Clanton, Chris Hackett, Jeff Beyers, Dave Tyrchniewicz, Austin Hubbard, DNS: Kurt Owens, Scott Bloomquist
Quarter Master Second B-Main (12 Laps- 1 Advance): Wayne Chinn, Bart Hartman, Vic Coffey, Freddy Smith, Rodney Melvin, Rick Eckert, John Mason, Bryan Barber, John Blankenship, Tyler Ivey, Jimmy Owens, Clint Coffman, Marshall Austin, Peyton Taylor, DNS: Kellen Chadwick, Russ Adams
Quarter Master Third B-Main (12 Laps- 1 Advance): Dan Schlieper, Chris Wall, Tim McCreadie, Scott James, Darren Miller, Dennis Erb, Chris Madden, Billy Decker, Damon Eller, Donald Beyers, DJ Wells, Jackie Boggs, DNS: Butch McGill, Tony Knowles, Doug Horton
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno Fourth B-Main (12 Laps- 1 Advance): Brady Smith, Steve Shaver, Ray Cook, Wendell Wallace, Josh McGuire, Rohn Moon, Billy Faust, Keith Nosbisch, Ky Harper, Mark Andersen, Bob Geiger, Dan Stone, Joe Denby, DNS: Jared Hawkins, Anthony White
PRC Strawberry Dash: (8 Laps- Winner Advanced to Feature): Josh McGuire, Darren Miller, John Mason, Damon Eller, Chris Hackett, Keith Nosbisch, DJ Wells, Steve Shaver
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series DART Machinery East Bay Winternationals Feature Finish: (75 Laps): Billy Moyer, Earl Pearson Jr., Terry Casey, Steve Francis, Shannon Babb, Brian Shirley, Josh Richards, Matt Miller, Brady Smith, Terry English, Tim Dohm, Steve Casebolt, Tim Fuller, Eric Jacobsen, Clint Smith, Scott James, Justin Rattliff, Donnie Moran, Mike Marlar, Eddie Carrier Jr, Wayne Chinn, Chuck Harper, Jeep Van Wormer, Dan Schlieper, Josh McGuire
Caution Flags: Lap 5 (Steve Casebolt, Josh McGuire); Lap 27 (Dan Schlieper); Lap 34 (Scott James)
Lap Leaders: 1-9 (Terry Casey); 10-19 (Steve Francis); 20-30 (Terry Casey); 31-Finish (Billy Moyer)
PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr. (Started 23rd and finished second-advanced 21 positions)
Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr.
K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Billy Moyer
Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Eric Jacobsen
ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Josh Richards
Integra Crew Chief of the Race: Randall Edwards (Earl Pearson Jr.)
Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Clements
Time of Race: 32 Minutes Started: Ended:
Final 2008 DART Machinery Winternationals Points Standings
1) Billy Moyer – 1420
2) Matt Miller – 1360
3) Steve Francis – 1245
4) Josh Richards – 1220
5) Terry Casey – 1200
6) Don O’Neal – 1200
7) Donnie Moran – 1180
8) Shannon Babb – 1115
9) Justin Ratliff – 1060
10) Tim McCreadie – 1060
2008 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings (After 2/9/08)
1) Billy Moyer – 730
2) Terry Casey – 675
3) Steve Francis – 580
4) Josh Richards – 580
5) Donnie Moran – 540
6) Matt Miller – 535
7) Steve Casebolt – 535
8) Mike Marlar – 520
9) Eric Jacobson – 505
10) Earl Pearson Jr. - 500