Phoenix, AZ — Dirt Late Model legend Billy Moyer will roll into Manzanita Speedway for this weekend’s Barnett Harley Davidson Nationals at the top of his game.
And after spending an enjoyable week off-roading in the California desert, he’ll also be recharged from a long, successful season of competition.
That promises to be a scary combination for Moyer’s rivals to deal with during the famed Phoenix track’s blockbuster program, which includes non-point DIRTcar Late Model racing on the sprawling half-mile oval and Barnett Harley DIRTcar Modified action on the inner one-third-mile layout.
An open practice is scheduled for Thursday night (Nov. 13), followed by a preliminary-feature program on Friday night (Nov. 14) and the grand finale for both divisions ($6,000 to win for Late Models, $5,000 to win for Mods) on Saturday night (Nov. 15).
The rejuvenated Moyer, 51, of Batesville, Ark., will be looking for his 20th overall victory of 2008 this weekend, giving him extra incentive during a rare appearance in front of the Grand Canyon State’s fans. It would be the first 20-win season since 2001 for the superstar driver, whose nearly 700 wins over 32 years of racing include virtually every major dirt Late Model event in existence.
A six-time UMP DIRTcar Racing Summer Nationals champion and three-time World of Outlaws Late Model Series titlist, Moyer jumped out of the 2008 starting gate with six victories during February’s Speedweeks activities in Florida and hasn’t let up. Among his 19 wins to date are four in WoO LMS action (including two $20,000-to-win specials) and last month’s $15,000-to-win Cotton Pickin’ 100 at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss.
Moyer’s sparkling resume would be lengthened further by a victory in the Barnett Harley Davidson Nationals, which sports co-sanction from DIRTcar Racing Western Region’s Southwest DIRTcar Late Model Series and Western Allstars DIRTcar Late Model Series. Moyer owns one career Western Allstars DIRTcar triumph but has none with the SWDLMS, which ran under the Southwest Dirt Racing Association (SWDRA) name from 2001 until coming under the World Racing Group’s DIRTcar Racing banner this season.
The driver known as ‘Mr. Smooth’ will enter Manzanita’s doubleheader after taking a week-long break from the daily grind of his self-owned racing program. He’s spent the past few days at the Glamis Sand Dunes, a well-known recreation area in Southern California near the borders of Arizona and Mexico that Moyer annually visits with friends to do some off-roading behind the wheel of his dune-buggy.
Moyer will drive his customized motorhome just over 200 miles from the Glamis Sand Dunes to Manzanita, where he’ll meet up with his crew on Thursday. Moyer’s familiar Banner Hauling Victory Circle No. 21 will be waiting for him after being hauled out to Phoenix – a 1,360-mile trip lasting nearly 21 hours – by Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., an up-and-coming dirt Late Model racer who agreed to put Moyer’s machine in his team’s rig.
Stovall will be one of several Barnett Harley Davidson Nationals entrants running a car built by Victory Circle Chassis, the Bakersfield, Calif.-based shop that Moyer has helped push into the national dirt Late Model limelight this season. Moyer began collaborating with Victory Circle in 2007 to produce experimental cars chock full of ideas from his vast reservoir of knowledge.
Moyer’s visit to Manzanita will provide him an opportunity to talk setup ideas with several Victory Circle campaigners from the West Coast who plan to compete in the event, including 2008 Western Allstars DIRTcar Late Model Series champion Chris Shannon of Merced, Calif., Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas, Calif. (the winningest Western Allstars driver in ’08), A.J. Kirkpatrick of Castroville, Calif. (a five-time Western Allstars victor this season) and Rob Mayea of Bend, Ore.
Racing is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Manzanita Speedway, which is located on the corner of 35th Avenue and Broadway Road in Phoenix.
For more information, visit www.manzanitaspeedway.us or call 602-276-7575.
Manzanita’s blockbuster doubleheader won’t end the DIRTcar Racing Western Region action in Arizona for the 2008 campaign. The two-day Bill Cheesbourg Memorial – a non-point Southwest DIRTcar Late Model Series program – will be contested on Nov. 22-23 at USA Raceway in Tucson. More information is available at www.usadirttrack.com.
Additional info on all of the series, sanctioning and member tracks of DIRTcar Racing is available at www.DIRTcar.com.