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
Wild West Shootout Event
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 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.
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, #1 Jack Sullivan, and another driver race for
position before both ducked out of competition. (Steve
"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
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