Billy Moyer slips under a
high running Shannon Babb before claiming another "Illini 100" win at Farmer City Raceway. (Mike Ruefer)
Moyer Outduels Former Protege' Babb Again For Farmer City
By Kevin Kovac
FARMER CITY, Ill — April 10. Billy Moyer still has Shannon Babb's number in the "Illini 100" at Farmer City
For the second time in three years the veteran star denied his former protégé's bid for an emotional
hometrack victory, taming the tricky fairgrounds quarter-mile oval on Saturday night to capture the third annual
World of Outlaws Late Model Series event before a standing-room-only crowd.
Moyer, 52, of Batesville, Ark., remained undefeated in the Illini 100 with a $20,175 triumph that closely mirrored
his thrilling win over Babb in the inaugural race in 2008. While his victory margin wasn't quite as narrow as two
years ago, Moyer grabbed the lead on lap 72 when Babb slipped over the turn-one berm while negotiating lapped
traffic and then had to repel several frantic late-race challenges from the hard-charging Moweaqua, Ill.,
Tim McCreadie battles his
way past Illinois ace Jason Feger at Farmer City. McCreadie's third place finish continued an impressive
trend of top fives for the still winless driver, while Feger's highly touted appearance with the World of Outlaws
regulars yielded a very respectable sixth place. (Mike Ruefer)
"That was a lot of fun," said Moyer, who became the seventh different winner in as many WoO LMS A-Mains this
season. "I like the kind of racetracks that you gotta chase like I did tonight. It was slick, and I think I ran
every inch of it out there, every groove there was. That makes it fun for a driver, rather than just running in
that one little spot."
Babb, 36, was a deeply disappointed runner-up after leading on three separate occasions during the
highly-competitive event. Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who started 17th, joined the lead battle with Moyer and
Babb late in the distance but settled for third place, while Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, slipped to fourth
at the finish after leading briefly before a mid-race caution flag and sixth-starter Don O'Neal of Martinsville,
Ind., placed fifth.
"That's pretty ironic I guess, to run one-two like that again (with Babb)," said Moyer, who did not enter last
year's Illini 100. "He's a good kid. We sat here (Moyer and Babb were parked side-by-side in the pit area) and shot
the s--- all weekend. I like him from back in the day when he ran for us (Babb drove cars owned by Moyer's father)
and we're still good friends."
Moyer, who started seventh, had his Victory Circle by Moyer car up to third place when the race's first caution
flag flew on lap 46 for the engine problems
Still trying to get his
program back on track following some early season surgery, #25 Shane Clanton put in his best showing to date with
eighth place at Farmer City, while #1 Chub Frank continued to struggle with his, taking a dismal 20th place, one
lap down. (Mike
suffered by Rick Eckert of York, Pa. Then Birkhofer, who had become the first driver to supplant Babb as the
leader when he slipped in front on lap 44, got off slowly on the restart, allowing Babb and Moyer to move into the
top-two spots as lap 47 was scored.
Babb built nearly a straightaway edge over Moyer by lap 52, but less than a dozen circuits later the two drivers
were in a battle for the lead. Moyer surged ahead to assume command on lap 64, but Babb split Moyer and a lapped
car in turn three to regain the lead on lap 68.
The lead changed hands for the fifth and final time in the event on lap 72 after Babb ran out of racing room as he
attempted to go around a lapped car and slid over the turn-one berm in his Sheltra Construction Rocket, handing the
top spot back to a shocked Moyer.
"He'd done that twice before and he saved it," Moyer said of Babb's momentum-killing misstep. "Shannon drove the
wheels off that thing every lap – you got to give the kid credit for that – but he just missed it that time. He was
just trying so darn hard I guess.
"When I seen him slip there, I wanted to get in there and close the door before he could get back down. But when I
went by he still had two wheels out there (over the berm), so I was in the clear."
Not for long, however. By lap 80 Moyer was being challenged by McCreadie, whose charge from deep in the field in
the Sweeteners Plus Rocket car reached
Josh Richards battles #25
Jason Feger and Dan Schlieper back in the field before taking tenth place at Farmer City. (Mike Ruefer)
second place when Babb slipped out of the groove,
and Babb was regrouping for another assault.
But even a final caution flag on lap 93 – for WoO LMS rookie Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., who stopped along the
backstretch – couldn't stop Moyer from recording his WoO LMS alltime-best 36th career win. He took advantage of the
paint-trading race for second between Babb and McCreadie to open up some breathing room before reaching the
checkered flag ahead of Babb with about four car lengths to spare.
"I just told myself, 'Don't make a mistake,'" Moyer said of the final restart. "You just can't bobble. I feel like
I made two of them in those last seven laps, but it turned out good for us I guess.
"We've raced against each other a lot and I know how (Babb) drives, so I just had to drive defensively," added
Moyer, who registered his 14th WoO LMS win since 2004 and first since April 15, 2008, at Lernerville Speedway in
Sarver, Pa. "That's just part of being around as long as I have. On that last lap I was ready for anything because
I knew he was eager and he'd be right there, so I kinda drove three and four a little differently to make sure
Babb couldn't hide his dejection after falling short in his homestate's biggest and richest dirt Late Model event.
He was terse with his post-race assessment of his defeat, complaining about his problems dealing with lapped
"We had a really good car on that restart (on lap 46)," said Babb, who started from the outside pole. "We got by
Billy and Birkhofer, and got the lead."
But Babb's grip on the race was ripped away when he couldn't safely overtake a slower machine entering turn one on
lap 72. He described his struggles trying to rally: "I lost four positions (before regaining speed) and had to try
and come back, while those guys (lapped cars) are out there running that quarter-midget line from top-to-bottom.
All in one lap they run the whole racetrack…I don't know, it's frustrating."
McCreadie, meanwhile, twice appeared that he might be in position to win, but circumstances dive-bombed his
"We ran (Moyer) down (with 20 laps remaining) and I thought we might just roll right by him," said McCreadie, who
turns 36 on April 21. "But then all of a sudden I kind of stalled out, and that was it.
"Then, when that yellow fell with about 10 to go, I thought, This is about the only chance I got. I knew we were
gonna be good for about six laps, but I just never really got a chance to do anything."
That's because Babb darted to the inside of McCreadie on the lap-93 restart, stopping McCreadie's move on Moyer
before it even started. McCreadie was able to nose underneath Moyer a couple times rounding turn two during the
next two laps, but he ultimately spent too much time battling – and trading paint – with Babb to mount a last-ditch
bid for the win.
"The only thing I can think is that Shannon laid back about five or six car lengths (coming to the restart) to get
the type of a run he did down the homestretch," McCreadie said of the final restart. "I never saw him until we went
into one. I looked over and he was there, and that pretty much killed the run I had on Moyer.
"I wish we could've had more fun racing for the lead rather than letting Billy get away from us like he did," added
McCreadie, who took over the WoO LMS points lead. "Us racing together like that for the last five laps probably
cost both of us a shot at the win."
Defending DIRTcar UMP Late Model national champion Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., finished sixth, falling short
of a coveted victory in his hometrack's marquee event. Polesitter Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., gradually
slipped backward during the 100 and placed seventh. Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., who used an 'emergency' WoO
LMS provisional to start from the 25th spot, finished eighth despite running the final 60 laps with a broken
'dummy' shock on his car's left-rear corner; Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersvlle, Ill., was a steady ninth; and Josh
Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., completed the top 10 after starting fourth.
McCreadie and Tim Fuller captured Saturday night's pair of 20-lap B-Mains. Ironically, both WoO LMS regulars hail
from Watertown, N.Y., and starred in the Northeast's DIRTcar big-block ranks before moving on to the full-fender
Tim Lance of Brimfield, Ill., captured the 25-lap Non-Qualifiers' Race. He pocketed $1,000 as a consolation prize
for missing the Illini 100.
Non-Qualifiers Race Finish (25 laps): 1. Tim Lance ($1,000); 2. Ryan Unzicker ($700); 3. Steve Lance
Jr. ($500); 4. Joe Harlan ($400); 5. Eric Smith ($325); 6. Scott Schmitt ($275); 7. Brent Robinson ($250); 8. Jimmy
Dehm ($225); 9. Kerry Hansen ($200); 10. Jill George ($175); 11. Bret Sievert ($150); 12. Mike Glasscock ($150);
13. Charles Hess ($150); 14. Denny Eckrich ($150); 15. Steve Sheppard Jr. ($150); 16. Matt Lux ($150); 17. Tyler
Reddick ($150); 18. Donny Walden ($150); Chris Simpson - DNS