With the big money on the line, Billy Moyer
sailed to his third win in the final event of the "Wild West Shootout" mini-series in
Arizona. (K.C. Rooney)
Terry Phillips and West
Coast ace Mike Johnson. Phillips seemed to have the win in hand before getting bogged down in last lap
traffic and slipping to third and handing the win to Billy Moyer. (Ron
Wild West Shootout Event
Moyer Triples at USA Raceway In "Bill
Cheesbourg Memorial" Final
By Ryan Neuharth, event
|Billy Moyer on the final day of racing in Arizona before taking his booty back to
Batesville, Ark. (K.C. Rooney)
TUCSON, Ariz - Jan.
16. A year ago at the "Wild West
Shootout" at USA Raceway, Terry Phillips swept past Billy Moyer on the final lap in turn three of the
Wednesday night show in lapped traffic to steal the win. In post-race interviews, Moyer stated "I guess he
wanted it more for $3,000 than I did", to which Phillips responded "He's right there, I was wanting it pretty
In Sunday's "Bill Cheesbourg Memorial" final at the Wild West Shootout, Moyer returned the favor
grabbing the lead from Phillips as the duo raced to the white flag, claiming his third win of the week for the second consecutive
"Terry did a great job," Moyer said from Victory
Lane following the triumph. "We were just trying to pick our line and find out where the racetrack was best
like he was. We caught the lapped cars right and it work out for us again."
Phillips, the winningest driver in series history
(he now leads Moyer nine to seven) not only lost the lead to Moyer, but also was overtaken by RC Whitwell on
the final lap and ultimately had to settle for third. "I chose the wrong line on the last lap and it cost
me," said Phillips. "I need to do a better job."
New Yorker Dick Barton, joining the racing
snowbirds for the first time this year, races outside of Ronny Lee Hollingsworth before posting a tenth place
in the "Wild West Shootout" final. (K.C. Rooney)
With his seventh place finish, #14 Brad
Looney put in his second best showing of the mini-tour. Bub McCool was the first to pull his #57 off the
track in the main event, while race #2 winner Pat Doar (#11) had to settle for 11th. (Ron
Leading away from the pole, Phillips worked the
preferred high line to open up a six car length advantage on Moyer as Mike Johnson and Billy Moyer, Jr.,
settled in third and fourth. The top four broke away from the remainder of the field where an intense two and
three wide fight for position was taking past from fifth on back.
Jeremy Payne and Jesse Stovall swapped fifth on
numerous occasions allowing the triumvirate of Bub McCool, R.C. Whitwell and Pat Doar to join the in the fun
creating a five way free-for-all until disaster struck on lap 15.
As McCool slowed and pulled off into the infield,
Dylan Smith made contact with Ronnie Lee Hollingsworth entering turn three, sending him careening into the
fence. Smith's car began to flip and was struck my Frank Heckenast, Jr. and came to rest upside down in the
middle of the racetrack while Heckenast sat perched halfway up the retaining wall.
Billy Moyer, Jr. and Jesse Stovall in
Tucson. Moyer finished sixth in the final, while Missouri Modified standout Stovall grabbed eighth in the
Steve Rushin-owned #14. (K.C. Rooney)
On the restart Phillips again led away as Moyer,
Jr., snuck past Johnson and pulled even with his Father before settling into third. That began a free-fall
for Johnson which saw him drop from third to tenth in just five laps before ultimately finishing in the
Just past the halfway point Whitwell came to life
after switching from the top to the bottom which began another splendid charge to the front. The four time
USA Raceway Modified Champion leapt from seventh to fourth igniting a battle with Payne that momentarily
included Moyer, Jr. The current and former Tucsonians dropped the younger Moyer into the clutches of a
surging Jimmy Mars before Whitwell claimed sole possession of third on lap 26.
The strongest performer overall among the
California contingent, Rob Sanders leads a loose second generation Illinois racer Frank Heckenast,
Jr. (K.C. Rooney)
SWDRA foes Lonnie Parker, Jr. and Joey Moriarty warm `em up at USA Raceway. (K.C. Rooney)
Phillips continued to lead through lapped traffic
as Moyer lurked, searching for the fastest way around the immaculate USA Raceway. As Whitwell closed on the
two leaders, Phillips approached slower traffic entering turn three coming to the white flag. Finding his
preferred low line occupied, Phillips tried to tip-toe around the outside leaving the door open for Moyer.
That small opening was all Moyer need and he immediately pounced pulling even at the exit of turn
Moyer was able to use his drive off the bottom to
become only the races second leader with one to go. As the only one of the three leaders running the low line
on each end, Whitwell also took advantage of Phillips broken momentum to steal the runner-up spot heading
down the backstretch for the final time.
Disaster struck on lap 15 when Dylan
Smith's #6 car hit Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, then was struck by Frank Heckenast, Jr.'s #99
(below). (Ron Mitchell photos)
Whitwell than pulled to Moyer's rear deck
entering turn three but was unable to get alongside and had to settle for his third runner-up of the
Moyer's win was his biggest of the series as he
cracked the bank for the $10,000 Bill Cheesbourg Memorial victory. "That's what it's all about, getting the
last one, that's the one that helps pay the bills," Moyer said of the win.
The win also marked Moyer's seventh in Wild West
Shootout competition and number 741 for his career.
Billy Moyer with second and third finishing
R.C. Whitwell (left) and Terry Phillips (right) after the "Wild West Shootout" final. (Ron
Jan. 16 - USA Raceway Wild West Shootout
1) Billy Moyer, 2) R.C. Whitwell, 3) Terry Phillips, 4) Jimmy Mars, 5) Jeremy Payne, 6) Billy
Moyer, Jr., 7) Brad Looney, 8) Jesse Stovall, 9) Ray Moore, 10) Dick Barton, 11) Pat Doar, 12)
Mike Johnson, 13) Chris Wall, 14) Robert Sanders, 15) Nick Bartels, 16) John Kaanta, 17) Mike
Balcaen, 18) Mark Carrell, 19) Matt Aukland, 20) Jason Papich, 21) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, 22)
Dylan Smith, 23) Frank Heckenast, Jr. 24) Bub McCool
Heat Winners (49 entries): Payne, Smith, Looney, Moyer, Sr., Moyer, JR., Johnson; B-Main winners:
Moore, Heckenast, Wall.
K.C. Rooney photo