- Jan. 8 - USA Raceway Wild West Shootout Race 1 by Sam Holbrooks


Wild West Shootout - USA Raceway, Tucson

K.C. Rooney photo

Billy Moyer Jr. - Jeremy Payne - Wild West Shootout

Young Arkansas racer Billy Moyer, Jr. capitalizes on a late restart to overcome #74 Jeremy Payne and claim his first Wild West Shootout win in his sophomore year. (Steve Curtis)


Wild West Shootout Event #1

Moyer, Jr. Breaks Out As New Mini-Series Winner at Tucson Opener


By Ryan Neuharth, event P.R.


TUCSON, Ariz - Jan. 8 Capitalizing on momentum from his first appearance at USA Raceway's Wild West Shootout in 2010, Billy Moyer, Jr. used his patented line around the 3/8ths mile desert oval to steal the lead from Jeremy Payne on a late race restart and take his first career Wild West Shootout win.


Bub McCool - Jimmy Mars - Wild West Shootout

Bub McCool challenges third running Jimmy Mars at USA Raceway. (Steve Curtis)


"It's awesome to win out west like this, especially with all the Victory Circle people and Henderson Motorsports people here" Moyer said from victory lane.


Payne held a comfortable lead for 20 of the main event's 30 laps as Moyer, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Brad Looney, Bub McCool, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth and Jimmy Mars all diced for position. McCool and Moyer raced side by side for several early laps while Mars and Hollingsworth made it two row of two from fourth on back. Hollingsworth was making the most noise early, jumping from his 11th starting spot to run seventh on lap five and fourth two circuits later.


The early race storm was tempered when Dick Barton brought out the race's first caution on lap 12, sapping Hollingsworth momentum and trapping the Northport, Ala. driver on the outside line during the restart. Hollingsworth dropped back to eighth while Looney was also stumbling, losing power temporarily and falling to the tail before he could get back up to race pace.


Chris Wall - Jesse Stovall - Wild West Shootout

Sporint his new Appliance Zone sponsorship, Chris Wall races #14 Jesse Stovall before the pair finished 10th and 11th. (Steve Curtis)


Looney's power-failure bunched several drivers behind his slowing Victory Circle machine, leaving Heckenast with no place to go as Moyer, Mars and McCool would all advance two places closer to the front. Heckenast's misfortune turned into Moyer's golden opportunity as he pulled to the outside of Payne on lap 17, just as Rob Mayea would pull-up in turn one with a flat tire, bringing out the yellow and setting the stage for a dramatic late race pass for the win.


With Payne out front for the Delaware restart, Moyer lined-up on the inside of row two. When Payne slide across the racetrack in turn one on the restart, it opened the door for Moyer to grab the top spot and set sail towards the checkered.


Rob Mayea - Jack Sullivan - Wild West Shootout

Rob Mayea, #1 Jack Sullivan, and another driver race for position before both ducked out of competition. (Steve Curtis)


"I went to the top a little too early" Moyer said after the win. "That last restart fell just right, we lined up on the bottom and when (Payne) went high to try and block we drove right past." Quickly extend his lead to a full straightway, Moyer left Payne to fend off a hard charging Mars, McCool and a rebounding Hollingsworth.


And what was maybe a hint at things to come, and unlike 2010, the second generation driver will be racing in all six Wild West Shootout events in 2011. "I graduated and will be here all week."



Wild West Shootout Race #1 - USA Raceway
1) Billy Moyer, Jr., 2) Jeremy Payne, 3) Jimmy Mars, 4) Bub McCool, 5) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, 6) Billy Moyer, 7) Frank Heckenast, Jr., 8) John Lobb, 9) John Kaanta, 10) Chris Wall, 11) Jesse Stovall, 12) Ray Moore, 13) Rob Sanders, 14) John Lowry, 15) Mike Balcean, 16) Joey Moriarty, 17) Nick Bartels, 18) Pat Doar, 19) Rob Mayea, 20) Brad Looney, 21) Jack Sullivan, 22) Mike Johnson, 23) Dick Barton, 24) Matt Aukland (49 entries)
Steve Curtis photo



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