PONTOON BEACH, Ill. — Billy Moyer took the gloves off and took home the trophy for the Battle of the Beach 50 at Tri-City Speedway.
He led the first 17 laps of the race until O’Neal powered ahead of him, coming from his 12th starting spot to take the lead on lap 18. O’Neal then led Moyer until his left-rear tire went flat on lap 27.
Moyer and polesitter Jimmy Owens paced the field for the first 13 circuits of the race. The first caution of the race came out for Billy Moyer Jr. on lap 13, and momentarily halted a good battle for the lead in traffic between and the defending series champion, Owens and Moyer.
On the restart, O’Neal, who was up to fifth place, shot to the bottom of the track and took over second on lap 14.
With O’Neal’s demise from the lead Moyer paced the field over the last 22 laps of the race. He saw a green-white-checkered finish when Tyler Reddick brought out the final caution with two laps remaining. Moyer then held off Owens for his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series triumph of 2012 and his 15th career LOLMDS victory.
“We always like coming here, ever since they reconfigured the race track a few years ago. It’s just the perfect size, and to win here again is just tremendous! Kevin (Gundaker) and his staff do a great job here,” said Moyer.
Moyer also took notice when O’Neal passed him for the lead.
“I knew he started way back, but he must have come up through the field awfully fast! The next thing I knew, he was in the lead. I thought I saw his tire starting to go down, don’t know if he ran over something or what, and then he slowed in front of me,” said the 54-year-old Moyer, who had to take evasive action when O’Neal slowed in front of him.
For Moyer, it was his 14th overall win of the season, which tops all dirt late model drivers in the country.
Owens maintains the points lead with his second place finish in the Reece Monument Company, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bloomquist Race Cars Ford.
Pearson edged Steve Francis for third with 15-year-old Bobby Pierce coming home fifth.
In preliminary action, Brian Birkhofer set the Red Buck Cigars Fast Time amongst the 30 entrants with a lap of 14.552 seconds.
Billy Moyer, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Steve Francis, Bobby Pierce, Chris Simpson, Scott Bloomquist, Don O’Neal, Wendell Wallace, Eric Wells, Jonathan Davenport, John Blankenship, Dennis Erb Jr., Tyler Reddick, Dustin Griffin, Jared Landers, Will Vaught, Brian Birkhofer, Craig Smith, Kevin Cole, Billy Moyer Jr., Rodney Melvin, Brad Neat, Randy Korte, Tim Rivers.
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