SARVER, PA – April 15, 2008 – Billy Moyer didn’t take long to get back on track.
After seeing his three-race World of Outlaws Late Model Series win streak snapped four days earlier, the short-track legend from Batesville, Ark., roared back into the tour’s limelight with a convincing victory in Tuesday night’s 50-lap ‘Showdown in Sarvertown’ at Lernerville Speedway.
The 50-year-old Moyer, who started third, overtook polesitter Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., for the lead on lap four and never looked back. He raced virtually unchallenged to his fourth win in six WoO LMS events this season, erasing memories of his rare loss on April 11 at Virginia Motor Speedway.
“We all know that you can’t win them all,” said Moyer, thinking back to his 17th-place VMS run that was dulled by a blown left-rear tire as he battled for the lead. “We had a tire problem (at Virginia Motor), but I don’t know if I’d have beat (eventual winner Jeremy Miller) anyway because he did a heckuva job.
“We just chalked it up as one of those nights, then went back to work and tweaked on the car a little more before coming here. We just keep making some small changes, playing with the whole chassis part of it, and keep getting it a little bit better.
“I think for the condition here tonight,” he added, “it felt pretty good.”
There’s no doubt that Moyer’s Banner Valley Hauling-sponsored Victory Circle M1 Chassis looked good on the four-tenths-mile oval, which opened its 2008 season with the mid-week WoO LMS event. He pulled away following restarts on laps 21, 33 and 34 and handled late-race lapped traffic with ease en route to a victory margin of 1.663 seconds over Clanton, whose runner-up finish in the RSD Enterprises Rocket was his season-best on the WoO LMS.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., marched forward from the 10th starting spot to place a close third in his Lester Buildings Rocket. Defending WoO LMS champion Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., started and finished fourth in Dale Beitler’s Reliable Painting/Valvoline Rocket, and Rick Eckert of York, Pa., advanced from the seventh starting position to complete the top five in Raye Vest’s GRT.
Once in command, Moyer seemed to have his car, which he famously helped develop in collaboration with the Bakersfield, Calif.-based Victory Circle shop, set on cruise control.
“It’s a big tire game, a tire war going on out there, so I was trying to make sure I had (some tires) left if I really had to get after it,” said Moyer, who used Hoosier rubber on his Clements-powered car. “The car was good enough that I could run around there at 70, 80 percent and have something left if somebody got to pressuring me with 10, 15 laps to go.
“I didn’t want to run too hard and have my tires all sealed up if somebody challenged me. I was trying to keep that in mind.”
Of course, there was no true challenger to Moyer’s throne. Clanton, 32, led the first three laps of the race, but, while he put up a good fight, he wasn’t a match for Moyer’s speed.
“When you get to a place like this it’s easier to follow than it is to lead,” said Clanton. “(Moyer) followed me for three laps, saw where my weak spots were, and then he went by me.
“When I changed my line and started driving in as hard as he was, it didn’t seem like he pulled me that bad. But he was a little bit better than I was – and on every restart, it took my car four of five laps to get going.”
Moyer pocketed $10,150 for the victory, his 10th overall of the young 2008 season. It tied him with Frank for fourth on the modern-era (2004-present) WoO LMS win list, with 13 victories, and was his alltime-best 35th career WoO LMS win (including the original 1988-89 seasons).
In addition, Moyer registered his second career WoO LMS win at Lernerville. He previous triumph came in a rain-shortened event on April 29, 2005 – early in a season that saw him capture his third tour title.
“Everything’s going good and we’re making the right decisions,” bottom-lined Moyer, who leads the WoO LMS points standings and has already earned $64,000.
Clanton knows that Moyer is on top of his game, but he doesn’t see the veteran driver as being unbeatable.
“I think he’s just got momentum and confidence,” said Clanton, who beat Frank to the finish line by less than half of a second. “Confidence is so important. I know, because my confidence is building. I’m finishing races now – and finishing up front.
“Maybe I can carry some confidence to Charlotte this weekend (for the $50,000-to-win Circle K Colossal 100 at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway) and run up front. I know that’s what Billy is gonna do.”
Frank, 46, nearly swept around the outside of both Francis and Clanton to snag second off turn four on lap 35, but Clanton held on to the position. That might have been the end of Frank’s hopes for a victory at his favorite track.
“I was going by Clanton, and then (Francis) shoved him out of the way and (Clanton) took my lane away,” quipped Frank. “I got into Clanton a little bit on the frontstraightaway when I slid up.
“Maybe if I would’ve gotten by Clanton there (for second) I would’ve had something for Moyer. I don’t know, but I would’ve liked to try. With clear racetrack, my car was good.”
Francis, 40, was simply a bit off the fast setup for the A-Main.
“We gambled and went a little softer on tires than everybody else and it didn’t work out,” said Francis, who took second from Clanton on lap 23 before ceding the spot back a few circuits later. “That’s just the learning curve I have with the (American Racer) tires.”
Eckert, 42, grabbed fifth from 13th-starter Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., on lap 30 and held the position to the finish. But he felt fortunate to maintain the spot during the race’s late stages because he ran the final 16 laps without his car’s fifth-coil, which fell off his car during a lap-34 caution period and left him devoid of traction for the remaining distance.
Finishing in positions 6-10 were Lanigan, who climbed as high as third; Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who struggled with a push condition after five consecutive green-flag laps; Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., who ended a string of three straight finishes of 19th and worse; Mike Balzano of Parkersburg, W.Va., who earned the $500 WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ for being the highest-finishing driver who’s never won a tour event; and Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich.
Among the race’s casualties were Gypsum Racing teammates Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., and Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y.
Decker was the race’s first retiree, while Fuller’s promising run deteriorated quickly after his turn-four spin on lap 33 knocked him from eighth place. One circuit later Fuller ran into the back of the slowing Dave Hess Jr. of Waterford, Pa., on the backstretch, crushing his car’s nosepiece and forcing him out of further action.
Fifty cars entered the program, which was run on a cool but sparklingly clear evening.
Francis was fastest in time trials for the first time this season, rounding the track in 15.433 seconds.
Heat winners were Moyer, who pulled off a last-lap pass to nip Francis at the finish line by 0.032 of a second, Matt Lux of Franklin, Pa., Vic Coffey of Leicester, N.Y., and Clanton. The B-Mains were captured by Hess and John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va.
Following his B-Main triumph, Hess was honored trackside for winning the ‘Alltel DIRTcar All-Star’ contest. He received a check for $12,000 after coming out on top of on-line and text-message voting among all the drivers who won features during February’s Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.
The WoO LMS now heads south for the third annual Circle K Colossal 100 on Friday and Saturday (April 18-19) at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Showdown in Sarvertown’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (3) Billy Moyer/50 $10,150
2. (1) Shane Clanton/50 $5,100
3. (10) Chub Frank/50 $3,000
4. (4) Steve Francis/50 $2,500
5. (7) Rick Eckert/50 $2,000
6. (13) Darrell Lanigan/50 $1,700
7. (8) Josh Richards/50 $1,400
8. (9) Brian Shirley/50 $1,300
9. (12) Mike Balzano/50 $1,700
10. (16) Jeep VanWormer/50 $1,100
11. (2) Vic Coffey/50 $1,300
12. (19) Clint Smith/50 $1,000
13. (17) Dave Hess Jr./50 $950
14. (21) Mike Knight/50 $900
15. (6) Matt Lux/50 $850
16. (15) Shannon Babb/50 $800
17. (18) John Blankenship/50 $770
18. (5) Doug Horton/50 $750
19. (26) Gary Lyle/50 $730
20. (24) Danny Johnson/48 $700
21. (25) Alex Ferree/33 $700
22. (11) Tim Fuller/33 $700
23. (14) David Scott/29 $700
24. (23) Joe Isabell/22 $700
25. (20) Davey Johnson/21 $700
26. (22) Billy Decker/20 $700
Time of Race: 29 Mins., 21.635 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.663 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 3, 21, 33, 34)
Lap Leaders: Clanton (1-3); Moyer (4-50)
Provisional Starters: Isabell, Danny Johnson (WoO); Ferree, Lyle (track)
Rookie of the Race: Vic Coffey ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Mike Balzano ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race ($50): Chris Burton (Darrell Lanigan)
Chick Hawk Racing Hot Lap Award: Shane Clanton (half-off tire warmers)
Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 15.433
2. 5-Alan Dellinger/Hermitage, PA 15.571
3. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 15.608
4. 39-Vic Coffey/Leicester, NY 15.680
5. 99B-Rick Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 15.687
6. 21L-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 15.698
7. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 15.717
8. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.726
9. 40-Dutch Davies/Warren, PA 15.740
10. 9k-Mike Knight/Ripley, NY 15.743
11. 46-Doug Horton/Bruceton Mills, WV 15.751
12. 13-Steve Wilmoth/Clarksburg, WV 15.760
14. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.783
15. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 15.809
16. E1-Mike Balzano/Parkersburg, WV 15.843
17. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 15.849
18. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.871
19. 24M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 15.873
20. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 15.884
21. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.889
22. 17-Keith Barbara/South Park, PA 15.904
23. 2s-Sam Stile/Charleroi, PA 15.918
24. B22-Bump Hedman/Sugar Grove, PA 15.922
25. 33-Chris Hackett/Erie, PA 15.966
26. 3-David Scott/Garland, PA 15.997
27. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 16.007
28. 1J-Davey Johnson/Latrobe, PA 16.027
29. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 16.060
30. T8-Mark Banal/St. Clairsville, OH 16.116
31. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 16.126
32. 48-John Flinner/Zelionople, PA 16.146
33. 44H-Dave Hess Jr./Waterford, PA 16.148
34. 4-Alex Ferree/Saxonburg, PA 16.175
35. 1c-Lynn Geisler/Cranberry Twp., PA 16.196
36. 91-Billy Decker/Unadilla, NY 16.198
37. 22-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 16.278
38. 7J-Joe Isabell/Pennellville, NY 16.285
39. 67-Ken Schaltenbrand/Sarver, PA 16.286
40. 10-Gary Lyle/Hyde Park, PA 16.410
41. J4-John Garvin/Sarver, PA 16.481
42. H1-Jared Miley/South Park, PA 16.504
43. 8H-Sheetz McGarvey/Colport, PA 16.592
44. 27J-Danny Johnson/Phelps, NY 16.598
45. 1L-Dane Laraway/Irwin, PA 16.626
46. 4J-John Mollick/Toronto, OH 16.728
47. 18s-Sean Beardsley/Central Square, NY 16.802
48. 0-Ryan Scott/Garland, PA 17.161
49. 65-Jesse Smith/New Richmond, PA 18.490
50. 17T-Tom Kitchen/Indiana, PA 18.562
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Moyer, Francis, Shirley, Lanigan, C. Smith, D. Davies, Hess, Satterlee, Briggs, Hackett, Garvin, J. Smith, Laraway
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lux, Eckert, Frank, D. Scott, Knight, Dellinger, Ferree, Banal, Miley, Mollick, Barbara, Isabell (DNS) Kitchen
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Horton, Fuller, Babb, J. Miller, Blankenship, Stone, Stile, McGarvey, Schaltenbrand, Geisler, Beardsley
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Coffey, Richards, Balzano, VanWormer, Davey Johnson, Flinner, Decker, Lyle, Danny Johnson, R. Scott, Hedman, S. Wilmoth
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Hess, C. Smith, Knight, Ferree, Briggs, D. Davies, Hackett, Mollick, Garvin, Satterlee, Miley (DNS) Dellinger, Banal, Barbara, J. Smith, Isabell, Laraway, Kitchen
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Blankenship, Davey Johnson, Decker, Flinner, Lyle, Danny Johnson, Schaltenbrand, Beardsley, S. Wilmoth, R. Scott, Stone, Miller, Geisler, Stile, McGarvey (DNS) Hedman
2008 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of April 15 – 6 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/wins/top-5s/top-10s/earnings/points/deficit to leader):
1. Billy Moyer 4-5-5-$64,370-860 (-0)
2. Josh Richards 1-3-5-$22,200-834 (-26)
3. Steve Francis 0-4-5-$19,000-830 (-30)
4. Rick Eckert 0-2-5-$15,250-820 (-40)
5. (tie) Darrell Lanigan 0-0-5-$11,000-804 (-56)
5. (tie) Chub Frank 0-2-4-$14,550-804 (-56)
7. Shannon Babb 0-3-3-$20,650-782 (-78)
8. Clint Smith 0-2-2-$9,610-768 (-92)
9. Shane Clanton 0-3-3-$14,400-764 (-96)
10. John Blankenship 0-0-1-$6,760-718 (-142)
11. Tim Fuller 0-0-1-$6,940-714 (-146)
12. Brian Shirley 0-0-2-$7,120-702 (-158)
13. Vic Coffey 0-0-1-$4,120-524 (-336)
14. (tie) Joe Isabell 0-0-0-$1,910-514 (-346)
14. (tie) Danny Johnson 0-0-0-$2,300-514 (-346)
16. Billy Decker 0-0-0-$3,020-438 (-422)
17. (tie) Darren Miller 0-0-3-$5,700-404 (-456)
17. (tie) Jeep VanWormer 0-0-1-$3,020-404 (-456)
19. (tie) Eddie Carrier Jr. 0-0-2-$4,750-396 (-464)
19. (tie) Tim McCreadie 0-1-1-$7,050-396 (-464)
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
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The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including Advance Auto Parts – the official auto parts store of the WoO LMS – and contingency sponsors Wrisco Industries, Chicken Hawk Racing, Crane Cams, Ohlins Shocks, Quarter-Master, Eibach Springs, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts and Qwikliner.