Moyer Puts Struggles To Rest At Volusia

Billy Moyer (21), shown Wednesday night at Volusia Speedway Park, topped Friday night's World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature at the half-mile dirt track. (Hein Brothers photo)
Billy Moyer (21), shown Wednesday night at Volusia Speedway Park, topped Friday night’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature at the half-mile dirt track. (Hein Brothers photo)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Billy Moyer added to his alltime record win total in the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment, holding on for a hard-fought victory in Friday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature at Volusia Speedway Park.

Righting a frustrating week of action at the half-mile oval, Moyer passed WoO LMS rookie Eric Wells for the lead on lap 11 and never looked back. He repelled repeated late-race challenges from defending tour champion Darrell Lanigan to secure the $10,200 triumph.

“We’ve had a rough (week) down here,” said Moyer, whose forgettable outings leading up to Friday’s checkered flag included the WoO LMS A-Main the previous evening when he was forced out of action on lap one by a broken tie-rod. “It feels good to finally get this one under our belt.”

Moyer, 55, made the right moves in lapped traffic to put some critical space on Lanigan and crossed the finish line 1.368 seconds ahead of Rick Eckert, who slipped by Lanigan on lap 48 to earn the runner-up spot for the second consecutive night. Lanigan settled for a third-place finish after starting from the pole position, Dennis Erb Jr. started and finished fourth and Shane Clanton placed fifth for his fifth top-five run in seven WoO LMS events this season.

The 24-year-old Wells, meanwhile, faded to a sixth-place finish after racing off the outside pole to lead laps 1-10 — one night after pacing the first 36 laps in the week’s WoO LMS opener before settling for a tour career-best fourth-place finish — and World of Outlaws point leader Josh Richards rallied to finish seventh after stopping on the track while running fourth on lap 23 because he had run out of tear-offs and needed to pit to retrieve a new helmet.

Moyer’s 19th career victory during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit — more than double the total of Scott Bloomquist, who sits second on the event’s win list with nine triumphs — came after he turned back a spirited bid from Lanigan.

Lanigan, 42, swapped second place with Erb once after a lap-26 restart but secured the position on lap 29. After the race’s third and final caution flag flew on lap 29 for Bloomquist’s stopped car, Lanigan gradually ratcheted up the pressure on Moyer, catching the leader on lap 38 and using the outside lane to pull alongside Moyer several times during the ensuing circuits.

Lanigan came within inches of nosing out Moyer for the lead at the start/finish line on laps 40, 42 and 44, but Moyer hung tough in his preferred inside lane. Finally, after Moyer put the lapped car driven by Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio, between his Victory Circle machine and Lanigan’s Rocket on lap 46, he had the cushion to carry him to Victory Lane.

“I saw him out there a time or two and I heard him out there a lot,” said Moyer, who recorded his fourth career WoO LMS win at Volusia, his 17th on the tour since 2004 and his 39th overall on the series (including the tour’s original 1988-89 seasons). “I just was trying to run my little line there on the bottom. I moved up in the middle on the one end (turns three and four) a couple times and it didn’t feel too bad, but I kind of had the car set up a certain way where I just seemed like I was better right around the bottom.”

The victory marked the record 10th different year in which Moyer has won a dirt late model feature during the 42-year history of the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit at Volusia, a track that ranks high on his list of favorites.

“I said the first day we got here (Feb. 18) after hot laps, ‘Man, we’re at a race track finally,’” said Moyer, whose first-ever UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit win came in a STARS-sanctioned event in 1985. “We’ve been at these other ones down here in Florida (this month) and none of them come close to as racy as this place is. I’ve always liked this place. It’s a multi-groove deal.”

Wells was the quickest of 51 cars with a best lap of 16.164 seconds.

The finish:

Billy Moyer, Rick Eckert, Darrell Lanigan, Dennis Erb Jr., Shane Clanton, Eric Wells, Josh Richards, Tim McCreadie, Steve Francis, Scott James, Bub McCool, Earl Pearson Jr., Morgan Bagley, Billy Ogle Jr., Tim Fuller, Clint Smith, Scott Bloomquist, Donnie Moran, Ricky Weiss, Chub Frank, Tyler Reddick, Vic Coffey, Dale McDowell, Eric Jacobsen, Casey Roberts, Shannon Babb, Eddie Carrier Jr., Pat Doar.