TUCSON, Ariz. (January 15) – If you haven’t yet made your way to USA Raceway in Tucson for the 4th Annual Wild West Shootout only one question comes to mind, where have you been? After Wednesday night’s thrilling finish that saw Terry Phillips steal a last lap win from Billy Moyer, what ensued on Friday not was nothing short of spectacular!
While Phillips would lead the first 27 laps of the 30 lap main, when his motor went south with less then three to go, his victim on Wednesday night pounced on the opportunity to exact a little revenge. After battling his way from the 15th starting spot, Moyer took full advantage of Phillips misfortune and parked his L&D Trucking, Banner Valley Hauling, Cooley Transportation, Universal Concrete, Performance Rod & Custom, New Vision Graphics, Watters Auto Land, Victory Circle M1 chassis in victory lane for the second time this week, this third overall Wild West Shootout win, and 716th of his career.
Polesitter Steve Drake and Lance Matthees would pace the field to green with Matthess getting the advantage to lead lap one. Fourth starting Phillips was quickly up to second down the backstreatch followed by Jeremy Payne, Drake, Billy Moyer, Jr, Nick Bartells, John Anderson, John Lowry and Greg Walters.
Phillips wasted little time, pulling even with Matthees into turn three on lap two as the duo was even at the flagstand. Phillips used the low line to grab the lead in turn one and immediately began to put distance between himself and the rest of the field. Anderson would move past Bartells for sixth as Moyer, Jr jumped two spots to third. That move was negated by the spinning Joey Moriarty on lap three to bring out the races first yellow.
Chris Shannon, hoping to capitalize on his strong performance from two-night previous, only found disaster as he struck and infield yuk tire on the restart and brought out the yellow for the second time on lap three.
On the restart Phillips again lead away as Payne moved by Matthees to make it a frozen custard domination at the front of the field. Moyer Jr. and Drake began a side by side fight for the fourth spot on lap five before Moyer Jr. would finally dispatch of Drake on lap eight. The elder Moyer was also making his way to the front, after starting 15th he was up to ninth with just 10 laps complete as Mike Kirby and 24th starting Randy Korte dueled side by side just behind Moyer for 10th.
Lap traffic began to affect the leader Phillips on lap eleven, and just like Wednesday night he was making quick work of the slower cars as Payne tried to close on his teammate. Bad Luck would strike Payne again on lap twelve was he slowed on the top side of turn one to bring out caution number three. Payne’s DNF would mark his fourth consecutive event with a finish of 12th or worse.
Phillips again lead away on the Delaware double file restart as Moyer, Jr took second from Matthees, Anderson jumped from sixth to fourth, and Drake round out the top five. Will Vaught, who started 18th and cracked the top ten just before the yellow found himself now sixth followed by Pat Doar, Moyer, Moore, Korte and Eddie Kirchoff.
Position swapping was becoming a lap after lap occurrence all around the beautifully groomed 3/8th mile oval as Matthess retook second from Moyer Jr. while Vaught was now charging even harder on the low side, jumping from sixth to fourth. Moyer would then pick off Doar for seventh on lap 16 as the battle for fifth suddenly became a three way dance between Vaught, Moyer and Drake. The trio would be three wide at the flag stand to complete lap 17 as Anderson moved Moyer Jr. back to fourth.
Moyer would win the triple threat match for fifth and soon went to work on his son for the fourth spot. While Phillips continued to master lapped traffic up front, the race for sixth was again the one to watch as Drake, Doar, Vaught and Korte swapped spots high and low, lap after lap with just 10 to go.
With Phillips still out front and Matthess locked into second, Anderson began to close on the frontrunners as Moyer slipped underneath Moyer, Jr on lap 21 for the fourth spot as the two-wide, two-deep fight for sixth continued to rage. Moyer, Jr would bring out the races final yellow on lap 23 with a flat right rear, setting up an epic run to the checkered that will not soon be forgotten.
On the Delaware double file restart, Phillips would again take the point as Anderson moved to second, pushing Matthess back to third as Drake moved around Moyer for fourth. Doar jumped from eighth to sixth, Vaught stuck in seventh followed by Korte, Kirchoff and Moore.
Matthees began to struggle and quickly fell back to ninth by lap 25 and the war was on for second. Moyer used the high side to charge past both Drake and Anderson on lap 26 as Doar, Vaught, Korte and Kirchoff resumed their own personal fight for fifth.
Disaster would strike the race leader on lap 27 as Phillips suddenly slowed in turn two and pulled into the infield handing the lead to Moyer, who secured the runner-up spot just moments before. Behind the new leader the scramble high and low continued on as Vaught rode the hub front fifth to third, slotting Drake in fourth while Korte rocketed to fifth from eight with just two to go.
Up front Moyer began to pull away from Anderson over the final two circuits to secure the win, his second of the week which were complimented by runner-up and fourth place finishes.
1 15 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR $3,000
2 11 2 John Anderson Omaha, NE 1,500
3 18 1 Will Vaught Crane, MO 800
4 1 11X Steve Drake San Luis Obispo, CA 600
5 24 00 Randy Korte Highland, IL 550
6 13 11 Pat Doar New Richmond, Wi 500
7 2 90 Lance Matthees Winona, MN 450
8 12 00K Eddie Kirchoff Gillette, WY 400
9 9 14M Dean Moore Grand Junction, CO 350
10 14 8 Lonnie Parker Jr El Mirage, AZ 300
11 10 8L John Lowrey Bakersfield, CA 300
12 21 1X Jack Sullivan Greenbriar, AR 300
13 22 5K Mike Kirby Torrance, CA 300
14 8 27 Nick Bartels El Segundo, CA 300
15 16 11M Paul Mueller Bismarck, ND 300
16 23 51 Joey Moriarty Tucson, AZ 300
17 7 F5 Greg Walters Portland, OR 300
18 4 75 Terry Phillips Springfield, MO 300
19 3 21JR Billy Moyer Jr Batesville, AR 300
20 5 74 Jeremy Payne Springfield, MO 300
21 17 12A Matt Aukland Fargo, ND 300
22 19 12S Brad Seng Grand Forks, ND 300
23 20 32S Chris Shannon Merced, CA 300
24 6 02 Eric Turner Hermitage, MO 300
Billy Moyer, John Anderson, Will Vaught, Steve Drake, Randy Korte, Dean Moore, Eddie Kirchoff, Dean Moore, Lonnie Parker, Jr, John Lowry, Jack Sullivan, Mike Kirby, Nick Bartells, Paul Mueller, Joey Moriarty, Greg Walters, Terry Phillips, Billy Moyer, Jr, Jeremy Payne, Matt Aukland, Brad Seng, Chris Shannon, Eric Turner
Lowry, Payne, Moyer, Jr, Junghans, McKay, Kehrer, R. Bartells, Henrickson, Mars
Phillips, Mueller, Seng, Anderson, Shannon, Heckenast, Jr, Sanders, Dietz, Tahtinan
Matthees, Moriarty, Moore, Parker, Balcaen, Nelson, B. Bartells, Doppler, M. Hussek
Walters, Kirchoff, Mayea, Carroll, Williams, Simper, Crippen, Boen
Drake, Doar, Turner, Reddick, Vaught, Biffle, Kirkpatrick, T. Hussek
N. Bartells, Aukland, Kirby, Moyer, Korte, Sullivan, Daly, Long
Matt Aukland, Brad Seng, Jack Sullivan, Joey Moriarty, Mike Balcaen, Darrell Nelson, Brad Williams, Rylan Long, Kelly Boen, Grant Junghans, Dan Henrickson, Mark Carroll, Dave Dietz, Jeff Biffle, Rob Sanders, Tyler Reddick-scratch, Mike Tahtinan – scratch
Will Vaught, Chirs Shannon, Mike Kirby, Randy Korte, Frank Heckenast, Jr, Jimmy Mars, Rob Mayea, Clay Daly, A.J. Kirkpatrick, Ron Bartells, Bill Bartells, Blaine Doppler, Andrew McKay, Grant Kehrer, Marty Hussek, Adam Crippen – scratch, Shane Simper – scratch, Tommy Hussek – scratch