- Fe. 18 - Volusia Speedway Park by Sam Holbrooks


Billy Moyer - VL2 - Volusia Speedway Park

(Gary Shrey photo)

UMP: Win Number Two: Moyer Makes It Two in DIRTcar Nationals

Kevin Kovac

BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 18. Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., became the first repeat winner during the dirt Late Model portion of the 40th DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio with a powerful performance in Friday's 40-lap UMP-sanctioned finale at Volusia Speedway Park.

Backing up his victory in the opener of the full-fender meet on Monday, Moyer inherited the lead on lap 12 when Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., pulled up lame with a broken rear axle tube. Moyer dominated the remainder of the distance and pocketed $10,000, pushing his earnings at VSP for the week over the $20,000 mark.

Moyer steered his Victory Circle Chassis machine under the checkered flag 3.664 seconds ahead of York, Pa.,s Rick Eckert, a World of Outlaws Late Model Series regular who registered his best finish of the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.

Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who won Wednesday's UMP Late Model A-Main, advanced from the ninth starting spot to finish third and Thursday night WoO LMS winner Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., placed fourth after starting from the seventh position. Nineteen-year-old Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., completed the top five. 

Moyer recorded his seventh triumph in DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH competition since 1998. It marked the second time that he's won the mid-winter racing spectacular's marquee UMP Late Model event - exactly six years to the day since his first victory in the race.

This score came in convincing fashion. Moyer swiftly moved to the front from the fifth starting spot, reaching second with a lap-nine pass of Eckert and then running down Feger to begin challenging for the lead just as the race-long pacesetter's car stopped with mechanical woes on lap 12 to bring out the race's lone caution flag.

"The plan wasn't to shoot right to the front,"”said Moyer, who enters the DIRTcar Nationals finale, a WoO LMS event, on Saturday trailing only Mars in the battle for the event points crown.

"Rick (Eckert) had a good car, but he got a little bit free there for a lap or two and I was able to get by him," Moyer explained. "I was glad I did because the track tightened up there about halfway through".

"We're real happy",”he added. "One night we were off this week (his only run worse than sixth is a 16th place finish on Wednesday), so all in all we've had a pretty good Speedweek"".”

Eckert, 45, made his visit to the Sunshine State much more enjoyable with a breakout runner-up outing. His hopes for victory, however, were effectively dashed when Moyer overtook him for second place.

"When we fired off the start there was a little bit of rubber down the back straightaway all the way out by the wall",”said Eckert, who needed just five laps to move from the sixth starting spot to second. "I struggled off (turn) two for traction, so I would just chase myself out there to the wall and then I could get a run down the backstraightaway - not realizing, though, that (the track) was starting to pick up on the bottom.

"Billy slipped by me on the bottom and then I moved down and there was traction. Once I moved where he was I figured out his groove was much better than the one I was running. It was my own fault that I didn't go down there sooner. I just didn't search around".”

Despite falling short of a five-figure win, Eckert was pleased with the speed he flashed with his Team Zero by Bloomquist mount.

"My car's been good, but the track's been hammer-down to the cushion and that's made it tough for me",”said Eckert, who's failed to finish better than 13th in the week's first four A-Mains. "Tonight the track finally got to where I could make some time off that cushion and keep up with them or pass them".

"I wish (tonight) was the Outlaw race," Eckert added. "I hope we run this good tomorrow night. But it's good that we had a run like this no matter what. I thought I was gonna become a Florida resident. Until tonight, I about didn't make enough money to buy diesel fuel to get back home".”

Sixty-one cars entered Friday night’s program.

In the group qualifying sessions that set the starting lineups for the evening’s six heat races, Hubbard registered the overall fastest time with a lap of 16.145 seconds.

Other group fast-timers were O’Neal (16.610 seconds), Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga. (16.734), Feger (16.481), Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa. (16.361) and Moyer (16.307).

Heat winners were O’Neal, Davenport, Feger, Eckert, Hubbard and Moyer. The B-Mains were captured by Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga.

Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., was victorious in the 12-lap ‘Bulrush Dash’ that closed the night. He earned $300 for topping the short sprint reserved for drivers who didn’t qualify.

Feb. 18 - UMP DirtCar Nationals
1) Billy Moyer, 2) Rick Eckert, 3) Jimmy Mars, 4) Scott Bloomquist, 5) Austin Hubbard, 6) Josh Richards, 7) Earl Pearson, Jr., 8) John Blankenship, 9) Tyler Reddick, 10) Don O'Neal, 11) Will Vaught, 12) Jonathan Davenport, 13) Brady Smith, 14) Dennis Erb, Jr., 15) Dan Stone, 16) Russell King, 17) Eric Wells, 18) Clint Smith, 19) Brandon Sheppard (prov.), 20) Ryan Unzicker (prov.), 21) Ricky Weiss, 22) Steve Francis (prov.), 23) Pat Doar, 24) Dan Schlieper, 25) Chub Frank, 26) Jason Feger, 27) Dale McDowell, 28) Tim McCreadie (prov.)
Fast Time (61 entries): Austin Hubbard (16.145 secs.); Heat winners: O'Neal, Davenport, Feger, Eckert, Hubbard, Moyer; B-Main winners: Brady Smith, Erb, McDowell; "Bulrush Dash" Billy Ogle Jr.

Gary Shrey photo


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