BARBERVILLE, FL – Feb. 18, 2011 – Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., became the first repeat winner during the dirt Late Model portion of the 40 th DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio with a powerful performance in Friday night’s 40-lap UMP-sanctioned finale at Volusia Speedway Park.
Backing up his victory in the opener of the full-fender meet on Monday night, Moyer inherited the lead on lap 12 when Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., pulled up lame with a broken rear axle tube and dominated the remainder of the distance. The 53-year-old Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer pocketed $10,000, pushing his earnings for the week over the $20,000 mark.
Moyer steered his Victory Circle Chassis machine under the checkered flag 3.664 seconds ahead of York, Pa.’s Rick Eckert, a World of Outlaws Late Model Series regular who registered his best finish of the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.
Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who won Wednesday night’s UMP Late Model A-Main, advanced from the ninth starting spot to finish third and Thursday-night WoO LMS winner Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., placed fourth after starting from the seventh position. Nineteen-year-old Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., completed the top five in Dale Beitler’s car, falling one spot from his fourth-place start.
Moyer recorded his seventh triumph in DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH competition since 1998. It marked the second time that he’s won the mid-winter racing spectacular’s marquee UMP Late Model event – exactly six years to the day since his first victory in the race.
This score came in convincing fashion. Moyer swiftly moved to the front from the fifth starting spot, reaching second with a lap-nine pass of Eckert and then running down Feger to begin challenging for the lead just as the race-long pacesetter’s car stopped with mechanical woes on lap 12 to bring out the race’s lone caution flag.
“The plan wasn’t to shoot right to the front,” said Moyer, who enters the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH finale – a WoO LMS event on Saturday night (Feb. 19) – trailing only Mars in the battle for the event points crown. “You just do it by instinct, do what you can do. It just so happened that the doors opened up and I got up there pretty quick.
“Rick (Eckert) had a good car, but he got a little bit free there for a lap or two and I was able to get by him. I was glad I did because the track tightened up there about halfway through.
“We’re real happy,” he added. “One night we were off this week (his only run worse than sixth is a 16th-place finish on Wednesday), so all in all we’ve had a pretty good Speedweek.”
Eckert, 45, made his visit to the Sunshine State much more enjoyable with a breakout runner-up outing. His hopes for victory, however, were effectively dashed when Moyer overtook him for second place.
“When we fired off the start there was a little bit of rubber down the back straightaway all the way out by the wall,” said Eckert, who needed just five laps to move from the sixth starting spot to second. “I struggled off (turn) two for traction, so I would just chase myself out there to the wall and then I could get a run down the backstraightaway – not realizing, though, that (the track) was starting to pick up on the bottom.
“Billy slipped by me on the bottom and then I moved down and there was traction. Once I moved where he was I figured out his groove was much better than the one I was running. It was my own fault that I didn’t go down there sooner. I just didn’t search around.”
Despite falling short of a five-figure win, Eckert was pleased with the speed he flashed with his Team Zero by Bloomquist mount.
“My car’s been good, but the track’s been hammer-down to the cushion and that’s made it tough for me,” said Eckert, who finished 13th, 24 th, 17th and 13th in the week’s first four A-Mains. “Tonight the track finally got to where I could make some time off that cushion and keep up with them or pass them.
“I wish (tonight) was the Outlaw race – I hope we run this good tomorrow night. But it’s good that we had a run like this no matter what. I thought I was gonna become a Florida resident. Until tonight, I about didn’t make enough money to buy diesel fuel to get back home.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was 10th-starter Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va.; 11th-starter Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla.; John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., whose advance from the 22nd starting position made him the hard-charger of the race; 15-year-old Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif.; and Tuesday-night UMP Late Model winner Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind.
Sixty-one cars entered Friday night’s program.
In the group qualifying sessions that set the starting lineups for the evening’s six heat races, Hubbard registered the overall fastest time with a lap of 16.145 seconds.
Other group fast-timers were O’Neal (16.610 seconds), Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga. (16.734), Feger (16.481), Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa. (16.361) and Moyer (16.307).
Heat winners were O’Neal, Davenport, Feger, Eckert, Hubbard and Moyer. The B-Mains were captured by Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga.
Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., was victorious in the 12-lap ‘Bulrush Dash’ that closed the night. He earned $300 for topping the short sprint reserved for drivers who didn’t qualify.
The curtain is set to come down on the 40th DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH on Saturday night (Feb. 19). A huge doubleheader featuring twin 50-lap features – one for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and one for the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds – will serve as the grand finale of 12 consecutive evenings of competition.
Gates open at 5 p.m. and race time is 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information on the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, log on to www.DIRTcarNationals.com.
DIRTcar UMP Late Model 40-Lap A-Main Finish (Finish Pos./Start Pos./Driver):
1. (5) Billy Moyer
2. (6) Rick Eckert
3. (9) Jimmy Mars
4. (7) Scott Bloomquist
5. (4) Austin Hubbard
6. (14) Josh Richards
7. (11) Earl Pearson Jr.
8. (22) John Blankenship
9. (8) Tyler Reddick
10. (3) Don O’Neal
11. (15) Will Vaught
12. (1) Jonathan Davenport
13. (19) Brady Smith
14. (20) Dennis Erb Jr.
15. (12) Dan Stone
16. (24) Russell King
17. (16) Eric Wells
18. (23) Clint Smith
19. (28) Brandon Sheppard
20. (27) Ryan Unzicker
21. (18) Ricky Weiss
22. (25) Steve Francis
23. (13) Pat Doar
24. (17) Dan Schlieper
25. (10) Chub Frank
26. (2) Jason Feger
27. (21) Dale McDowell
28. (26) Tim McCreadie
Lap Leaders: Feger (1-12); Moyer (13-40)
Provisional Starters: Francis, McCreadie, Unzicker, Sheppard
Heat No. 1 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Don O’Neal, 2. Scott Bloomquist, 3. Pat Doar, 4. Brady Smith, 5. Mike Marlar, 6. Tommy Kerr, 7. Brandon Thirlby, 8. John Mason, 9. John Henderson, 10. Larry Wight, 11. Steve Francis
Heat No. 2 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Jonathan Davenport, 2. Tyler Reddick, 3. Josh Richards, 4. John Blankenship, 5. Eddie Carrier Jr., 6. Jared Landers, 7. Tim Fuller, 8. Brandon Sheppard, 9. Vic Coffey, 10. John Garvin Jr.
Heat No. 3 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Jason Feger, 2. Jimmy Mars, 3. Will Vaught, 4. Clint Smith, 5. Tyler Bruening, 6. Tim McCreadie, 7. Ryan Unzicker, 8. Mike Hammerle, 9. Jerry Perine, 10. Lee Thomason
Heat No. 4 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Rick Eckert, 2. Chub Frank, 3. Eric Wells, 4. Dennis Erb Jr., 5. Justin Rattliff, 6. Billy Ogle Jr., 7. Jack Sullivan, 8. Jason McBride, 9. John Lobb, 10. Jill George
Heat No. 5 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Austin Hubbard, 2. Earl Pearson Jr., 3. Dan Schlieper, 4. Dale McDowell, 5. Kent Robinson, 6. Casey Roberts, 7. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 8. Dillan White, 9. Tyler Ivey, 10. Chad Hollenbeck
Heat No. 6 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Billy Moyer, 2. Dan Stone, 3. Ricky Weiss, 4. Russell King, 5. Eric Jacobsen, 6. Brian Reese, 7. Jon Henry, 8. Ron Davies (DNS) Shane Clanton, Mason Zeigler
B-Main No. 1 (10 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Brady Smith, 2. John Blankenship, 3. Eddie Carrier Jr., 4. Tim Fuller, 5. Larry Wight, 6. Tommy Kerr, 7. Brandon Thirlby, 8. John Mason, 9. John Garvin Jr., 10. John Henderson, 11. Jared Landers, 12. Brandon Sheppard, 13. Vic Coffey (DNS) Mike Marlar, Steve Francis
B-Main No. 2 (10 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Dennis Erb Jr., 2. Clint Smith, 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. Ryan Unzicker, 5. Billy Ogle Jr., 6. Jack Sullivan, 7. Tyler Bruening, 8. John Lobb, 9. Justin Rattliff, 10. Jill George, 11. Mike Hammerle, 12. Jerry Perine, 13. Lee Thomason, 14. Jason McBride
B-Main No. 3 (10 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Dale McDowell, 2. Russell King, 3. Kent Robinson, 4. Casey Roberts, 5. Shane Clanton, 6. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 7. Tyler Ivey, 8. Eric Jacobsen, 9. Jon Henry, 10. Brian Reese, 11. Mason Zeigler, 12. Chad Hollenbeck, 13. Ron Davies, 14. Dillan White
‘Bulrush Dash’ Finish (12 laps): 1. Billy Ogle Jr., 2. Tim Fuller, 3. Eddie Carrier Jr, 4. Larry Wight, 5. Kent Robinson, 6. Jack Sullivan, 7. Tyler Bruening, 8. Tyler Ivey, 9. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 10. John Lobb, 11. Jon Henry, 12. Jill George, 13. Brandon Thirlby, 14. Mike Hammerle, 15. John Henderson (DNS) Casey Roberts, Tommy Kerr, Eric Jacobsen, John Mason, John Garvin, Brian Reese, Justin Ratliff