Billy Moyer is ready to extend his early-season hot streak for the ages to ‘colossal’ proportions.
The 50-year-old racing legend from Batesville, Ark., continued to roll on Friday night, setting a new track record and winning a heat race to kick off the third annual Circle K Colossal 100 weekend at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
A winner of four World of Outlaws Late Model Series events in six starts entering the weekend’s action, Moyer began his pursuit of the tour’s richest first-place prize with a flawless performance. His lap of 14.672 seconds in the 69-car time-trial session erased Steve Shaver’s 2007 standard of 14.905 seconds, and he built up one of the night’s biggest victory margins in winning the first of eight 10-lap qualifying heats.
Driving his vaunted Victory Circle M1 Chassis for the first time at The Dirt Track, Moyer served notice that he’s a major threat to end his longtime rival Scott Bloomquist’s stranglehold on Victory Lane in the $50,000-to-win Colossal 100, which is set for Saturday night. Mooresburg, Tenn.’s Bloomquist, who won the event in both 2006 and 2007, was the last driver to arrive at the track on Friday and finished second to Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., in the hotly-contested sixth heat.
Moyer’s track-record qualifying lap marked the second time in three weeks that he’s established a new speed standard at a major WoO LMS event. He also set a NTR record on April 4 during time trials for the ‘Illini 100’ at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway – and then went on to win the inaugural event in dramatic fashion.
Joining Moyer and Frank as heat winners were Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, Wis.; Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich.; Vienna, W.Va.’s Shaver, who passed Ray Cook of Brasstown, W.Va., for the lead on the final lap of the fourth prelim; 20-year-old Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va.; Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who held on to win despite racing with a broken left-front shock and deflating right-rear tire; and John Gill of Mitchell, Ind.
The night’s most memorable battle was waged between Frank and Bloomquist. The dirt Late Model veterans raced side-by-side for the lead in the closing laps of the sixth heat, with Frank powering off the outside of turn four to nip Bloomquist at the finish line by less than a half car length.
The second heat saw 2006 WoO LMS champion Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., drive the Valvoline No. 15 of reigning tour titlist Steve Francis to a second-place finish – just ahead of Ashland, Ky.’s Francis, who earned the final transfer spot in Dale Beitler’s Reliable Painting No. 19.
It was a tough evening for WoO LMS regulars Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., and Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., who both dropped out of the sixth heat, and Rookie of the Year contender Vic Coffey of Leicester, N.Y., who retired from the seventh qualifier after his Sweeteners Plus car suffered damage in a scramble.
Friday night’s 24 heat-race qualifiers will redraw on Saturday night for starting positions 1-10 and 12-25 in the Circle K Colossal 100. The 11th starting spot is reserved for Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., who finished fourth in the fifth heat but moved on to the 100 because he was guaranteed the 11th position by virtue of being the highest-finishing driver in last October’s Jani-King Southern Showdown at The Dirt Track who entered the Colossal 100 by Feb. 23.
Action continues on Saturday night (April 19) at The Dirt Track with last-chance B-Mains and the running of the Circle K Colossal 100. Racing begins at 7 o’clock.
A special autograph session in the grandstand area with all drivers entered in the event kicks off Saturday’s activities at 4:30 p.m. Fans must have tickets and an empty Full Throttle can from Circle K to gain entry to the affair.
Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 14.672 (NTR)
2. 9s-Dan Schlieper/Sullivan, WI 14.727
3. 99-Donnie Moran/Dresden, OH 14.758
4. 2R-Dennis Franklin/Gaffney, SC 14.822
5. 44M-Chris Madden/Gaffney, SC 14.945
6. 44s-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.033
7. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN 15.040
8. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 15.089
9. 34-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 15.124
10. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 15.129
11. 28M-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 15.147
12. 30-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 15.170
13. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.179
14. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 15.180
15. 25th-Ricky Weeks/Rutherfordton, NC 15.213
16. 24M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 15.220
17. 6-Steve Lucas/Cross Lanes, WV 15.244
18. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.252
19. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 15.287
20. 97-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 15.312
21. i4-Damon Eller/Crumpler, NC 15.321
22. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 15.326
23. 5-Eric Jacobsen/Sea Cliff Beach, CA 15.348
24. 00H-Chuck Harper/Beverly, WV 15.349
25. 4B-Jackie Boggs/Grayson, KY 15.350
26. 15-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.358
27. 07G-Ed Gibbons/Manning, SC 15.379
28. 53-Ray Cook/Brasstown, NC 15.394
29. 22*-G.R. Smith/Huntersville, NC 15.407
30. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.411
31. 39-Vic Coffey/Leicester, NY 15.432
32. 1G-John Gill/Mitchell, IN 15.441
33. 44P-Earl Pearson Jr./Jacksonville, FL 15.443
34. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 15.444
35. H2-Stacy Hholmes/Munford, AL 15.463
36. 92-B.J. McCammon/Danville, IL 15.478
37. 46-Doug Horton/Bruceton Mills, WV 15.479
38. 3s-Brian Shirley/Chatham, IL 15.493
39. 17-Tim Allen/Kannapolis, NC 15.499
40. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.507
41. 75-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 15.527
42. 70-Jeff Smith/Gastonia, NC 15.527
43. 31-Bob Gordon/Keyser, WV 15.534
44. 50-Shanon Buckingham/Morristown, TN 15.536
45. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 15.538
46. 2b-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 15.552
47. 27J-Danny Johnson/Phelps, NY 15.626
48. 8-Norman Short Jr./Georgetown, DE 15.671
49. 21R-Luke Roffers/Concord, NC 15.692
50. 45-Ricky Elliott/Seaford, DE 15.704
51. 49-Mark Pettyjohn/Milton, DE 15.711
52. 56-Rob McLaughlin/Stanley, NC 15.741
53. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 15.767
54. 28-Eddie Carrier Jr./Salt Rock, WV 15.806
55. 41-Brad Neat/Dunnville, KY 15.845
56. 15D-Dean Bowen/Whiteville, NC 15.917
57. F1-Mike Duvall/Cowpens, SC 15.925
58. 7J-Joe Isabell/Pennellville, NY 15.944
59. C4-Cody Sommer/Mooresville, NC 15.972
60. 14-April Farmer/Livingston, TN 16.113
61. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 16.150
62. 215-Al Shawver Jr./Hampstead, MD 16.221
63. 22B-Randall Chupp/Troutman, NC 16.243
64. NO7-Jason Dupont/Cyclone, PA 16.272
65. 18$-Sean Beardsley/Central Square, NY 16.281
66. 10-Chris Knight/Lawsonville, NC 16.308
67. 8H-Ronny Lee Hollingsworth/Northport, AL N/T
68. 3R-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA N/T
69. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Moyer, Boggs, Pearson, Lucas, Marlar, Davenport, Beardsley, Duvall, Roffers
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Schlieper, McCreadie, Francis, Eckert, Blankenship, Elliott, J. Smith, Isabell, Knight
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): VanWormer, Mars, Gordon, Sommer, Gibbons, Moran, Holmes, Pettyjohn (DNS) Hollingsworth
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Shaver, Cook, McDowell, Buckingham, Franklin, McCammon, McLaughlin, Farmer (DNS) Robinson
Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Richards, Madden, Lanigan, Babb, Eller, Horton, Clanton, Bland, G.R. Smith
Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Frank, Bloomquist, Carrier, B. Smith, Shawver, George, Shirley, C. Smith
Heat No. 7 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Owens, Weeks, Chupp, Jacobsen, Allen, D. Johnson, Neat, Coffey
Heat No. 8 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Gill, J. Miller, Birkhofer, Fuller, Harper, Short, Dupont, Bowen
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the series, they can experience the excitement of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.