TAMPA, FL (February 4, 2009) – Looking to repeat his dominating performance from the 2008 DART Winternationals, Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR won the 30 lap $5,000 to win Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series on Wednesday Night at East Bay Raceway Park by recording his 19th career win at “The Clay by the Bay” as the 51-year-old Hall of Famer withstood a furious challenge from both Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN and Terry Casey of New London, WI to take the victory. Last year Moyer took three out of six races at East Bay and he was coming off of a second place in the opener for 2009 on Tuesday Night.
Donnie Moran led the field for the first scored lap which ended with a caution when fourth-place starter Dan Schlieper slowed in turn number two. On the restart, Josh Richards began applying the heat to Moran and the 20-year-old was looking for his first ever East Bay victory on this night. Richards continued to turn up the wick on Moran, but the wily veteran held his is what was developing into an exciting start of the race.
Moran held the point over Richards, Moyer, who started third, Rick Eckert and Casey in the early stages of the race with saw the second caution for Dennis Erb, Jr. who was turned around going the wrong direction with eight laps scored. On the restart Richards had a deflating tire which cost him several spots in the running order as Richards would slow on the track to bring out the third caution of the event. Richards went pitside to change the tire and returned on the tail of the field for the ensuing restart.
With the Delaware double-file restart in effect for Wednesday Night’s main event Moran would restart all by himself on the point with Moyer and Casey lined up side-by side behind him. Moyer and Casey would race side-by-side for two circuits until Moyer finally cleared him to take over the second spot in the running order as Casey fell to third with Dale McDowell running in fourth followed by 13th starting Jimmy Owens.
As the drivers approached the half-way mark of the race (15 laps) Moyer was all over Moran in the race for the lead as the two drivers who have combined to win a total of nine World 100 titles raced side-by-side for two laps until Moyer was able to snatch the lead from Moran.
Moyer then quickly built his lead over Moran who had to contend with Casey for second. Moran was in jeopardy of losing the spot as each lap clicked off but the Hall of Famer held his own against Casey holding firm to the second spot with less than ten laps to go in the race.
Dan Stone would slow in turn four on lap 22 which brought out the fourth caution of the race. On the restart Moyer was out in front seeking to extend his East Bay Winternationals win total as it looked secure for the owner of 701 career wins. Casey then resumed his battle with Moran grabbing the second spot on lap 23 as Owens would unseat Moran for third two laps later climbing up to third.
The fifth and final caution of the race turned into a red flag as Steve Casebolt and Jesse Stovall made hard contact along the front straightaway as Casebolt was able to driver away from the incident, but Stovall’s Moyer Victory Circle car suffered heavy damage in the wreck as he was towed off by a wrecker.
This set up a three-lap shootout between the cars of Moyer, Casey and Owens was looking for the checkered flag first. Owens got a great run into the first turn pulling alongside Moyer for the race lead. It looked like Owens was going to pull off a late-race victory charge but Moyer was not going to be denied as he maintained his pace and was able to pullback in front of Owens in the last couple of laps. Casey then came charging hard on the outside and for a glimpse of a second it appeared as if Casey was going to run past both of them.
But one thing about Billy Moyer and East Bay Raceway Park is that he without a doubt the toughest driver to beat head-to-head on any given night at the facility and once again he proved his case by repelling both Owens and Casey to take his 19th career win at the track as he registered his tenth career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win.
In a familiar place for Moyer in victory lane at East Bay he commented afterwards that he was a little wary of the finish and that he might have given one away. “That yellow with just a couple of laps to go, I knew if I made a mistake he (Owens) he was going to pass us, so I picked it up a little bit, the car felt good and I didn’t know who was behind me, I didn’t know I had there, but I just wanted to make sure I didn’t leave the door open.”
Moyer, who in 2008 took 21 feature wins, took note of all of the sponsors and his crew led by crew chief Steve Norris. “We started with this car a year and a half ago (the Victory Circle Chassis) and we’ve done real well with it obviously, but the competition is so tough you have to constantly be on top of your game and we really, but it couldn’t be possible without all of sponsors.”
Moyer’s sponsors on his car include Clements Racing Engines, Banner Valley Hauling, J&J Steel, Watters Auto Land, Karl Chevrolet, Cooley Transport, Inc., Minx Show Palace, M&S Concrete, Red Line Oil, PRC, New Vision Graphics, CarCity.com and Sunoco Race Fuels.
Owens finished in second in the Mike Reece, Gantte Appraisals, and Bloomquist Race Cars Ford Fusion with Casey having other strong East Bay finish in his Arnie Ranta Motorsports, Pro Power Engines. C.J.Rayburn North Monte Carlo SS as he crossed the stripe in third followed by Eckert in the Raye Vest, Raye Vest Excavating, Bloomquist Race Cars Cadillac as Moran in the Tim Hall Racing, Eddie’s Sunoco, C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo SS rounded out the top five.
Leading the next five to the finish was PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race Steve Francis, who placed sixth after starting 24th, Dale McDowell, Tim Dohm, Josh Richards and Josh McGuire.
In preliminary action Terry Casey was the PRC Fast Qualifier with a lap of 14.247 seconds just edging out Josh McGuire by one one thousandth’s of a second. Heat race winners were Steve Shaver, Billy Moyer, Josh Richards, Donnie Moran, Dan Schlieper and David Breazeale. The B-mains were taken by Wayne Chinn, Terry English and Jesse Stovall. Darren Miller started dead last and came through to win the PRC Strawberry Dash over Brad Neat, Clint Smith, Davey Johnson and Tommy Weder.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will return to East Bay Raceway Park for night number three of the 2009 DART Winternationals on Thursday Night for a $10,000 to win race.
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 SeriesRace SummaryWednesday Night, February 4, 2009 East Bay Raceway Park – Gibsonton, FL
PRC Fast Time: Terry Casey/14.247 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Steve Shaver, Rick Erckert, Jimmy Owens, Wayne Chinn, Tommy Weder, Clint Smith, Tyler Ivey, Joe Janowski, Travis Varnadore, Danny Mitchell, Justin Rattliff, Scott Slay
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Billy Moyer, Dale McDowell, Matt Miller, Steve Casebolt, Mike Marlar, Don O’Neal, Chris Wall, Ray Cook, Chris Shannon, Mark Andersen, Scott James – DNS, Keith Nosbisch – DNS
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Josh Richards, Brady Smith, Tim Dohm, Jayme Zidar, Jordan Bland, Victor Lee, Earl Pearson Jr., Tim Isenberg, John Blankenship, Jason McBride, Bob Geiger, Dillan White – DNS
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Donnie Moran, Terry Casey, AJ Kirkpatrick, Rusty Schlenk, Bart Hartman, Jeep VanWormer, Terry English, Mike Collins, John Mason, Tyler Reddick, JR Hotovy, Darren Miller
AFCO Racing Products Fifth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Dan Schlieper, Josh McGuire, Eddie Carrier Jr., Steve Francis, Ricky Arms, Brad Neat, Eric Wells, Mark Pettyjohn, Clint Bowyer, Brandon Thirlby, Joe Loudin, Eric Jacobsen
AFCO Racing Products Sixth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): David Breazeale, Dennis Erb Jr., Dan Stone, Jesse Stovall, Tyler Bruening, Shon Flanary, Davey Johnson, Chad Madher, Jeff Beyers, Russ Adams, Butch Strait, Shanon Buckingham
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance): Wayne Chinn, Steve Casebolt, Chris Wall, Ray Cook, Mike Marlar, Tyler Ivey, Tommy Weder, Justin Rattliff, Travis Varnadore, Danny Mitchell, Chris Shannon, Clint Smith, Mark Andersen, Scott Slay, Don O’Neal – DNS, Joe Janowski – DNS, Scott James – DNS, Keith Nosbisch – DNS
Wiles Drive Shafts Second B-Main (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance): Terry English, Earl Pearson Jr., Victor Lee, Jayme Zidar, Mike Collins, Darren Miller, Tim Isenberg, Tyler Reddick, Jason McBride, Bob Geiger, Rusty Schlenk, John Mason, Bart Hartman, JR Hotovy, Jordan Bland, Jeep VanWormer – DNS, John Blankenship – DNS, Dillan White – DNS
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno Third B-Main (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance): Jesse Stovall, Steve Francis, Brad Neat, Davey Johnson, Eric Wells, Chad Madher, Shon Flanary, Jeff Beyers, Tyler Ivey, Tyler Bruening, Russ Adams, Butch Strait, Brandon Thirlby, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Arms, Joe Loudin – DNS, Eric Jacobsen – DNS, Shanon Buckingham – DNS
PRC Strawberry Dash (10 Laps – Winner Advances): Darren Miller, Brad Neat, Clint smith, Davey Johnson, Tommy Weder, Tyler Bruening, Shon Flanary, Butch Strait, Eric Wells, Scott Slay
33rd Annual Dart Winternationals Night 2 Feature Finish (30 Laps): Billy Moyer, Jimmy Owens, Terry Casey, Rick Eckert, Donnie Moran, Steve Francis, Dale McDowell, Tim Dohm, Josh Richards, Josh McGuire, Terry English, Brady Smith, Steve Shaver, Matt Miller, Dennis Erb Jr., Earl Pearson Jr., Darren Miller, Wayne Chinn, AJ Kirkpatrick, Eddie Carrier Jr., Jesse Stovall, Steve Casebolt, Dan Stone, David Breazeale, Dan Schlieper
Race StatisticsEntries: 72 Caution Flags: 5 Lap Leaders: Donnie Moran 1-14, Billy Moyer 15-30 PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Steve Francis (Started 24th and finished 6th – advanced 18 positions) Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Terry Casey K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Rick Eckert Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: David Breazeale Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Steve Norris (Billy Moyer) Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines Time of the Race: 27 minutes
33rd Annual DART Winternationals Points Standings
1. Billy Moyer 480
2. Jimmy Owens 440
3. Matt Miller 410
4. Steve Francis 405
5. Rick Eckert 390
6. Donnie Moran 360
7. Terry Casey 355
8. Josh Richards 350
9. Brady Smith 340
10. Wayne Chinn 335