TAMPA, FL (February 8, 2008)-For the first time in the last eleven Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events at East Bay Raceway Park there was a repeat winner as Batesville, AR’s Billy Moyer led all 50 laps grabbing his second DART Machinery Winternationals victory of the week. By no means was Moyer’s 17th career win at the East Bay Raceway Park an easy one, as Brady Smith finished second, by just one car length. Eric Jacobsen finished third followed by Donnie Moran and John Blankenship.
Moyer drew the number two starting position among the six heat race winners and with the largest field of cars (88) on hand all week long; the 25 feature starters definitely had to earn their way into the main event.
Matt Miller started on the pole alongside Moyer as the 50 lap journey began when chief starter Julian Mullis waved the green flag to start the event that was witnessed by the largest crowd of the week. Moyer took the lead in turn number one with Miller moving to second followed by Brady Smith, Josh Richards and Bart Hartman.
Richards would pull even with Miller as the two drivers battled around the 1/3rd mile oval. Miller would fight to regain the second slot by the third lap. With Moyer stretching his lead out, it was a torrid battle for positions among the rest of the top ten cars.
Chuck Harper started to gain ground on the frontrunners as he was using the top groove on the track and was hounding Hartman for fifth. Harper cleared Hartman on lap nine to take the fifth position just as the top cars were entering some heavy traffic.
Miller was starting to gain on Moyer when he suddenly slowed in turn number four to bring out the first caution of the race. With Miller now out of the race, the Delaware double file restart would see Moyer out in front by himself with Richards and Smith paired up behind him.
When the race went green again Moyer would have to fight off the aggressive Smith who would now pick up the challenge for the lead when Miller went pit side. With 15 laps in the record books there would be two straight caution flags to come out, one for Scott James and the other for fellow Hoosier State driver, Don O’Neal both of whom stopped on the track.
The race would then see a stretch of seven caution free circuits, with Moyer and Smith opening up a straightaway margin over the rest of the field. Moyer and Smith were in control of the top two spots; Richards was still in third with Steve Francis and Terry Casey gaining strides in the race.
At the halfway mark of the race Francis would gain a spot passing Richards for third and started to make up even more time than he had on Moyer and Smith. With 30 laps scored Eric Jacobson started to become a player and was on the prowl as he and Donnie Moran were blazing through the pack and stalking down the leaders.
Jacobsen had climbed all the way at this point with Moran, who at one time in the early stages of the race had fallen from his 12th starting spot to around 20th place.
Jacobsen and Moran were chasing down the wake of Moyer and Smith as the two leaders were again involved in heavy traffic with only 15 circuits remaining. Smith would see an opportunity that he had been waiting on for the last several laps as Moyer was being held up by some lapped cars, he tried to go around on the inside coming out of turn one, but Moyer shut the door on him time and time again.
Just as Smith was about to reel in Moyer, who was battling traffic as the yellow would wave for the stalled car of Dan Schlieper on lap 39. That would set up the final 11 lap shootout to determine the race winner.
On the restart Moyer and Smith would fire off of turn four to begin the final laps of the race, but what looked like to be another Moyer runaway in the waning laps did not turn out that way as Smith would make it tough on the veteran driver.
Moyer and Smith would both close in on traffic before the end of the race and Smith was going to take one last stab at Moyer on the final lap. Smith did just that and as the two headed into turn three Moyer would take a new line on the track, which opened the door for Smith to try the inside route coming off of turn number four.
As they raced to the checkered flag, Smith would get to the left rear of Moyer’s quarter panel but he could not muster enough traction to pass him at the line falling one car length short of the winner’s circle. Jacobson’s third place was his best ever in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition with Moran right on his bumper at the finish and Blankenship recording a strong finish after starting in 20th coming home in fifth.
For the second time this week Moyer took his Moyer Victory Circle Chassis to victory lane at East Bay Raceway Park and he addressed the huge crowd afterwards. “That was a good race there, we made a few adjustments after the heat and starting on the outside front row was a big advantage, but my car really did well all over the track, we kind of searched there a little bit to see what groove to run and it actually got faster there towards the end,” said the 50-year-old National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer.
“That yellow there while I was in traffic was a huge help, I didn’t know how much left rear tire I had left and that cleared the way up and we ran back into more traffic with a few laps to go and I thought Brady might get by me there for a moment, I want to thank the guys at Victory Circle they’ve really worked hard on these cars and I’ve taken a lot of my own ideas in building these and I very happy to get a second win here this week.”
Moyer’s number 21 is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and 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.
Smith in his first appearance of the week at East Bay Raceway Park earned the runner-up slot in his AMSOIL/Vic Hill Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS with Jacobson in his VP Racing Fuels/Pro Power Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS, Moran in his Custom Cutters/Vic Hill Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo SS and Blankenship in the Don Blankenship/Busch Beer/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS completing the top five.
The remainder of the top ten in the finishing order were 19th starting Mike Marlar, Steve Francis, 22nd starting Ray Cook, Terry Casey and Tim McCreadie.
Racing will continue on Saturday Night, February 9th for the 2008 DART Machinery East Bay Winternationals with a $12,000 to win show. The event will be broadcast live via the Internet at www.racetalklive.com.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, February 8th, 2008
East Bay Raceway Park-Tampa, FL
PRC Fast Time: Terry Casey (14.264 seconds)
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 advance): Matt Miller, Shannon Babb, Dan Schlieper, Mike Marlar, Damon Eller, Brian Shirley, Chris Hackett, Rick Eckert, Scott James, Jackie Boggs, Donald Beyers, Ronnie Whitt, Wendell Wallace, DNS: Scott Riggs, Ky Harper
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Bart Hartman, Chuck Harper, Earl Pearson Jr., John Blankenship, Darren Miller, Danny Johnson, Tyler Boggs, Doug Blashe, Joe Isabell, Mark Andersen, Rick Auckland, Kurt Owens, Doug Horton, Bryan Barber, DNS: Clint Coffman
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Billy Moyer, Terry Casey, Steve Shaver, Steve Casebolt, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Freddy Smith, Billy Faust, JR Hotovy, Keith Nosbisch, Eric Wells, Bob Geiger, Jason Riggs, Jim Borden, Joe Denby
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Brady Smith, Eric Jacobsen, Steve Francis, DJ Wells, Ray Cook, Jeep Van Wormer, Rohn Moon, Chris Wall, John Mason, Jason McBride, Peyton Taylor, Vic Coffey, Butch McGill, Dennis Erb, Bryan Collins
Hawk Brake Fifth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Dave Tyrchniewicz, Wayne Chinn, Tim McCreadie, Clint Smith, Don O’Neal, Tim Dohm, Justin Rattliff, Jared Hawkins, Billy Drake, Rodney Melvin, Jeff Beyers, Tony Knowles, Chris Madden, DNS: Russ Adams
Hawk Brake Sixth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Josh Richards, Donnie Moran, Shane Clanton, Terry English, Dan Stone, Eddie Carrier Jr., Kellen Chadwick, Marshall Austin, Austin Hubbard, Tyler Ivey, Anthony White, Josh McGuire
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps- 1 Advance): Mike Marlar, Brian Shirley, Rick Eckert, Darren miller, Jackie Boggs, Jimmy Owens, Tyler Boggs, Joe Isabell, Billy Faust, Doug Horton, Ronnie Lee Whitt, Rick Auckland, Steve Casebolt, Keith Nosbisch, Bob Geiger, Jim Borden, Clint Coffman, DNS: Scott Riggs
Quarter Master Second B-Main (12 Laps- 1 Advance): John Blankenship, Scott Bloomquist, Scott James, Doug Blashe, Damon Eller, Joe Denby, Danny Johnson, JR Hotovy, Donald Beyers, Chris Hackett, Mark Andersen, Ky Harper, Wendell Wallace, Freddy Smith, Eric Wells, Jason Riggs, DNS: Kurt Owens, Bryan Barber
Quarter Master Third B-Main (12 Laps- 1 Advance): Tim Fuller, DJ Wells, Don O’Neal, Terry English, Billy Drake, Dennis Erb, Justin Ratliff, Jeep Van Wormer, Eddie Carrier Jr., Chris Wall, Jeff Beyers, Jason McBride, Vic Coffey, Tyler Ivey, Marshall Austin, DNS: Chris Madden, Josh McGuire
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno Fourth B-Main (12 Laps- 1 Advance): Ray Cook, Clint Smith, Rohn Moon, Dan Stone, Jared Hawkins, John Mason, Rodney Melvin, Tim Dohm, Kellen Chadwick, Butch McGill, Tony Knowles, Peyton Taylor, DNS: Kevin Cole, Austin Hubbard, Anthony White, Russ Adams, Brian Collins
PRC Strawberry Dash: (8 Laps- Winner Advanced to Feature): Don O’Neal, Justin Ratliff, Kevin Cole, Vic Coffey, Billy Faust, Dennis Erb, Tyler Boggs, Tony Knowles, Terry English, DNS: Jason Riggs
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series DART Machinery East Bay Winternationals Feature Finish: (50 Laps): Billy Moyer, Brady Smith, Eric Jacobsen, Donnie Moran, John Blankenship, Mike Marlar, Steve Francis, Ray Cook, Terry Casey, Tim McCreadie, Steve Shaver, Josh Richards, Scott James, Wayne Chinn, Steve Casebolt, Dan Schlieper, Chuck Harper, Bart Hartman, Tim Fuller, Earl Pearson Jr., Shane Clanton, Don O’Neal, Matt Miller, Shannon Babb, Dave Tyrchniewicz
Caution Flags: Lap 12 (Matt Miller), Lap 15 [2 Cautions] (Scott James) & (Don O’Neal), Lap 22 (Steve Casebolt), Lap 39 (Dan Schlieper)
Lap Leaders: Moyer 1-Finish
PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: John Blankenship (Started 20th and finished fifth-advanced 15 positions)
Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Mike Marlar
K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Eric Jacobsen
Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Eric Jacobsen
ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Steve Francis
Integra Crew Chief of the Race: Ritchie Davis (Ray Cook)
Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Clements
Time of Race: 27 Minutes Started: 10:12pm Ended: 10:39
2008 DART Machinery Winternationals Points Standings (After 2/8/08)
1) Billy Moyer – 1170
1) Matt Miller – 1170
3) Don O’Neal – 1080
4) Donnie Moran – 1040
5) Steve Francis – 1035
6) Josh Richards – 1015
7) Terry Casey – 980
8) Tim McCreadie – 945
9) Dan Schlieper – 915
9) Justin Rattliff – 915
2008 Championship Points Standings (After 2/8/08)
1) Billy Moyer – 480
2) Terry Casey – 455
3) Donnie Moran – 400
4) Mike Marlar – 385
5) Tim McCreadie – 380
6) Josh Richards – 375
7) Steve Francis – 370
8) Steve Casebolt – 365
9) Matt Miller – 345
9) Eric Jacobsen – 345
9) Ray Cook - 345