- Feb. 14 - Volusia Speedway Park by Sam Holbrooks



If the early season is any indicator, Billy Moyer has shown no sign of letting up after a stunning 2010 season that left him as the nation's top DLM racer. In fact, he can already boast a 56% win record at three different venues that tops last year's marks. (Mike Ruefer)

UMP: Moyer Kicks Off "DIRTcar Nationals" With Season's Fifth Win

Kevin Kovac

BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 14. Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., kicked off the Late Model portion of the 40th annual DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH in triumphant fashion, capturing Monday's 30-lap DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned A-Main.

The 53-year-old full-fender legend steered his Victory Circle by Moyer machine forward from the fifth starting spot to grab the lead from polesitter Chris Madden on lap 13. He never looked back en route to a $7,000 payday, pulling away from the field after a lap-23 caution period to defeat Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., by 1.978 seconds.

It marked the second time in the last four years that Moyer emerged victorious in the opener of the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. He also topped the DIRTcar UMP lidlifter in 2008 on his way to dominating that year’s action with three wins in five starts, including the week-ending World of Outlaws Late Model Series event.

Earl Pearson - Chris Madden - Volusia Speedway Park

After slipping to third, Earl Pearson, Jr. (#44 inside) gained sight of Moyer with a late restart, but would have to settle for second place, his best showing to date after a poor East Bay Raceway Park start last week. Madden took third in his first outoing of the young season. (Mike Ruefer)

“They got a good racy racetrack, big and wide,” Moyer said of the half-mile Volusia oval, where he’s won six times since 1998. “We like coming here for sure.”

Pearson, who won the UMP opener of the 2007 DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, started from the outside pole and led laps 1-4 before briefly falling to third place. He regained second from Madden on lap 16 and closed within striking distance of Moyer before the race’s lone caution flag – on lap 23 for a flat left-rear tire on West Virginia driver Eddie Carrier, Jr.’s car – extinguished his bid.

Madden, who led laps 5-12, lost touch with the leaders late in the distance and settled for a third-place finish. Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., advanced from the eighth starting spot to place fourth and 11th-starter Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., finished fifth after nipping Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., by .039 of a second with a last-lap move.

Billy Moyer - Volusia Speedway Park UMP

Coming off a spectacular 2010 campaign that saw him sweep the prestigious UMP-sanctioned Dream and World 100 events at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway, Moyer showed no signs of slowing down in ’11 with a masterful performance against a star-studded field of 71 cars. He calmly ran down Pearson and Madden – both former feature winners at Volusia – to seize control of the race.

“It was like ice out there, so slick,” said Moyer. “I was just trying to take care of the car, the tires, everything on there, and was waiting for them (Pearson and Madden) to make a little bobble. They got to moving around on the racetrack a little bit and I had my old hot rod where it could stay on the bottom pretty good, and it worked out for us.”

Fuller finished sixth after starting third and running in the top five for the entire distance. Teenager Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., slipped from the fourth starting spot to a seventh-place finish, while two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., placed eighth, Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., charged from the 20th starting spot to take ninth and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., rounded out the top 10.

Group qualifying was utilized to set the starting lineups for six heat races in the first of four DIRTcar UMP Late Model programs during the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.

Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., registered the fastest overall qualifying lap at 16.477 seconds, but he ran into trouble in his heat race and didn’t transfer to the A-Main. Other group fast-timers were Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark. (16.824), Frankie Heckenast Jr. of Orland Park, Ill. (16.596), Hubbard (17.080), O’Neal (16.772) and Madden (17.075).

Feb. 14 - Volusia Speedway Park

1) Billy Moyer, 2) Earl Pearson, Jr., 3) Chris Madden, 4) Vic Coffey, 5) Jimmy Mars, 6) Tim Fuller, 7) Austin Hubbard, 8) Josh Richards, 9) Brady Smith, 10) Don O'Neal, 11) Steve Francis, 12) Tim McCreadie, 13) Rick Eckert, 14) Billy Ogle, Jr., 15) Frank Heckenast, Jr., 16) Clint Smith, 17) Ryan Unzicker, (prov.) 18) Tyler Bruening, 19) Will Vaught, 20) Jason Feger, 21) Dan Stone, 22) Casey Roberts, 23) John Blankenship, 24) Eddie Carrier, Jr., 25) Wendell Wallace

Fast Time (71 entries); Heat winners: Fuller, Moyer, Pearson, Hubbard, O’Neal, Madden. B-Main winners: Clint Smith, Brady Smith, Wallace; Dash: Chub Frank

Mike Ruefer photo


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