Moyer Jr. Captures MLRA Fall Nationals Finale

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Moyer Jr. Captures
Billy Moyer Jr. and his crew in victory lane Saturday night. (Greg Stanek photo)

WHEATLAND, Mo. – Billy Moyer Jr. turned a back-and-forth battle into a runaway, capturing the seventh annual Lucas Oil MLRA Fall Nationals on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway.

In the other main event on the program, Tony Jackson Jr. outran his cousin Kris Jackson to win the B-Mod Clash of Champions III Presented by RacinDirt.com.

The double-dose of action capped the oval-track season at Lucas Oil Speedway.

Moyer Jr., of Batesville, Ark., took home the $5,000 Lucas Oil MLRA prize with his first victory of the season.

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series regular beat runner-up Jason Papich, who charged from 20th at the start to second. Jeremiah Hurst was third and took over the series points lead.

“It’s nice to finally win, man. We haven’t won in a long, long time,” Moyer Jr. said. “It gets real tiring to go up and down the road. To finally get into victory lane, it’s nice for my guys. This is a phenomenal facility. Hopefully we put on a good show for the fans.”

Moyer Jr. and Mason Oberkramer started on the front row and Moyer got the early jump, opening a two-second advantage by lap 10. But Oberkramer began to reel him in and took over the lead with a pass in turn three on lap 16, as the two sliced through lapped traffic.

The race’s first caution, on lap 18, bunched the field and following Oberkramer and Moyer on the restart were Hurst, Chad Simpson and Garrett Alberson.

Oberkramer and Moyer Jr. again broke away from the rest over the next few laps and traded the lead three times, with Moyer working the inside to go in front on lap 24, Oberkramer using the outside groove to take it back one lap later and Moyer again wrestling it away again on lap 27.

“We had a real good Capital Race Car,” Moyer said. “(Oberkramer) ran me real clean. It was a heck of a race between us. Hopefully all the fans appreciated it.”

At that point Ryan Gustin, the winner of Friday’s feature, slowed on the front stretch to bring out the race’s second caution. Hurst was running third with Alberson fourth and Billy Moyer Sr. in fifth.

It was all Moyer Jr. from there, as the race remained caution free over the final 23 laps.

The 32-year-old pulled away and won by 5.7 seconds over Papich, who moved into second with three laps to go. Hurst wound up third with Moyer Sr. fourth and Alberson finishing fifth.

Oberkramer faded over the final few laps to finish sixth.

Moyer said his spotters did a good job of showing him the glow sticks, lap after lap to relay the margin of his lead. Realizing he had a comfortable margin made it easier to conserve his right rear tire.

“I couldn’t figure out how to get off turn four,” Moyer said. “If the sticks didn’t close up any, I kind of felt like going into the middle high and turning down and being very patient on the throttle was the trick, I guess.”

Papich, of Nipomo, Calif., was ecstatic with his charge through the field.

“Obviously the race track was racy and we have a good piece here,” Papich said. “We qualified fourth overall and were light on the scale, didn’t have enough fuel in it. We made a mistake. That’s racing. We made up for it I guess.”

Hurst’s third-place finish was enough to vault him into the Lucas Oil MLRA points lead. Also the Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader, Hurst is eight points in front of Payton Looney for the series crown.

Looney started 11th and wound up 12th. Chad Simpson finished one position behind Looney and is 30 behind Hurst in the championship battle.

“We’re clicking along here pretty good,” Hurst said. “I just hope the rest of the season finishes out the way it’s going. I can’t thank all my guys. They bust their butt. I can’t ask for a better crew.”

The MLRA Series has three events remaining – Oct. 16-17 at Tri-City Speedway and Oct. 18 at Randolph County Raceway.

In the other main event on the program, Tony Jackson Jr. outran his cousin Kris Jackson to win the B-Mod Clash of Champions III Presented by RacinDirt.com.

Jackson Jr., who finished 10th in the MLRA Late Model feature, made the most of a rare appearance behind the wheel of a B-Mod.

Jackson rallied from his 10th starting position, took over the lead on lap 27 and beat Kris Jackson – the defending Clash of Champions winner – by 2.8 seconds.

Dillon McCowan of Urbana charged from 13th at the start to finish third. Like the top two, McCowan was driving a Rage chassis.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Jackson Jr. said, holding an oversized check for $3,000 and a championship belt. “Kris does all the stuff to these cars. I don’t touch this thing. It just shows you what kind of work he puts in. This thing drove itself.”

The finish:

1. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr. [2]; 2. 91P-Jason Papich [20]; 3. 58-Jeremiah Hurst [3]; 4. 21-Billy Moyer Sr. [5]; 5. 59-Garrett Alberson [10]; 6. 93-Mason Oberkramer [1]; 7. 86B-Kyle Beard [15]; 8. 43G-Jeremy Grady [7]; 9. 14J-Jake Neal [17]; 10. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr. [8]; 11. 19-Ryan Gustin [13]; 12. 15L-Payton Looney [11]; 13. 25-Chad Simpson [4]; 14. 1X-Aaron Marrant [9]; 15. 15-Justin Duty [14]; 16. 91T-Tony Toste [6]; 17. 21F-Johnny Fennewald [21]; 18. 5-Austin Vincent [16]; 19. 62Z-Justin Zeitner [12]; 20. 6N-NIck Whitehead [19]; 21. 29B-Blonde Bomber Mitchell [22]; 22. 99M-Cliff Morrow [24]; 23. 13-Joey Smith [18]; 24. 3X-Skip Frey [23]; 25. F15-Jeremy Conaway [25].