latemodelamerica.com - Jan. 16 - USA Raceway Wild West Shootout Race 6
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Billy Moyer - WW Shootout Final

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 - Mike Johnson - Wild West Shootout

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 Mitchell)

 

Wild West Shootout Event #6

Moyer Triples at USA Raceway In "Bill Cheesbourg Memorial" Final

  

 

Billy Moyer on the final day of racing in Arizona before taking his booty back to Batesville, Ark. (K.C. Rooney)
By Ryan Neuharth, event P.R.

 

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 bad."

 

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 year.

 

"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."

 

Hollingsworth - Barton - KC Rooney

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) 

 

Brad Looney - Bub McCool - Pat Doar

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 Mitchell)

 

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.

 

Jesse Stovall - Billy Moyer Jr - Wild West Shootout

 

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 twelfth spot.

 

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.

 

Rob Sanders - Frank Heckenast Jr - Wild West Shootout

The strongest performer overall among the California contingent, Rob Sanders leads a loose second generation Illinois racer Frank Heckenast, Jr. (K.C. Rooney)

 

Lonnie Parker Jr - Joey Moriarty - Wild West Shootout

Regular season 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 four.

 

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.

 

Dylan Smith - Ron Mitchell

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) 

 

Frank Heckenast wreck

 

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 week.

 

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 - R.C. Whitwell - Terry Phillips

Billy Moyer with second and third finishing R.C. Whitwell (left) and Terry Phillips (right) after the "Wild West Shootout" final. (Ron Mitchell)

 

Billy Moyer - Wild West Shootout winner race 6 Jan. 16 - USA Raceway Wild West Shootout #6
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

 

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