ROSSBURG, Ohio — As the World 100 kicked off Thursday night at Eldora Speedway, 61-year-old Billy Moyer showed he still has what it takes to win at the legendary half-mile race track.
Moyer claimed the first of two 25-lap features, banking $5,000 for his night’s work.
In contrast, 19-year-old Hudson O’Neal won the nightcap.
Starting from the pole, Moyer immediately grabbed the lead and took off, working his way through multiple segments of lapped traffic near flawlessly through the first 22 laps before the caution came out with just three laps remaining.
This put two-time World 100 winner Jimmy Owens on his rear bumper for the restart.
“Jimmy gets around here awfully good too,” Moyer said. “I knew he’d pass some cars to get where he was at, so I knew he’d be good.”
Both Moyer and Owens got a good jump on the restart, but Owens was unable to hold the top side through turns one and two and slipped back a few spots. Moyer, however, stayed strong in his turn one charge and was able to fend off a hard-knocking Kent Robinson for the win in the final circuits.
“I just tried to hit my marks and not mess up in the last three laps,” Moyer said.
When he pulled the black-and-white No. 21m onto the victory lane stage after clearing the scales, “Mr. Smooth” got out and gave a simple wave to the crowd as the pyro lit up on either side of him. He said he wasn’t exactly “beating on this chest” after the checkers were thrown because “everything went [his] way.” After winning this event six times, Moyer knows that to do well at Eldora, a few breaks have to go your way and starting each race up front is crucial. And for good reason.
“These cars are so air-sensitive now that when you’re in the front, you have all the clean air on you, and it makes a huge difference,” he said.
Feature (25 laps): 1. 21M-Billy Moyer; 2. 7R-Kent Robinson; 3. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens; 5. 28-Dennis Erb, Jr.; 6. 18X-Michael Page; 7. 7W-Ricky Weiss; 8. 17D-Zack Dohm; 9. 3S-Brian Shirley; 10. 17M-Dale McDowell; 11. OM-Chris Madden; 12. 29-Darrell Lanigan; 13. 5-Don O’Neal; 14. 2S-Stormy Scott; 15. 25C-Shane Clanton; 16. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 17. 1T-Tyler Erb; 18. 12D-Doug Drown; 19. 1-Chad Simpson; 20. 17J-Greg Johnson; 21. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr.; 22. 4G-Kody Evans; 23. 23-Cory Hedgecock; 24. 1B-Josh Rice