latemodelamerica.com - Oct. 2 - Knoxville (Ia.) Raceway Late Model Nationals
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Billy Moyer - Knoxville Late Model Nationals winner

 

Billy Moyer - Scott Bloomquist - Knoxville Late Model Nationals

After starting outside pole and slipping back to third early in the race, Billy Moyer rallied past Scott Bloomquist early in Saturday's "Late Model Nationals" and raced to the $40,000 win at Knoxville Raceway, completing a three-night sweep that netted him $54,000. (Mike Ruefer photos)

Moyer Sweeps Weekend With Win in "Late Model Nationals" Final at Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Ia. - Oct. 2. It can be said that, after taking title to Eldora Speedway the previous month, Billy Moyer owned Knoxville Raceway - at least for a weekend - as the Batesville, Arkansas veteran competed a sweep of all three events held at the storied track, including Saturday's $40,000 final that brought the Iowa-born racer a total of $54,000 in winnings for the weekend.

On Saturday, Moyer started on the outside of polesitter Scott Bloomquist and seemed to content to size up the big track as Bloomquist shot out front and Moyer dropped back to second. An early caution flew on lap one for Jason Utter, and again on the restart for a tangle involving Kentucky drivers Brad Neat and Steve Francis, along with Jason Rauen, Darren Miller, and Rick Eckert.

Shannon Babb - Josh Richards - Knoxville Late Model Nationals

Using the cushion to race from his 21st place start, #18 Shannon Babb comes calling on Josh Richards to reach as high as second during the last half of the race. (Mike Ruefer) 

Darrell Lanigan - Billy Moyer - Knoxville Late Model Nationals

Eighth starting Darrell Lanigan reels in Bill Moyer to take a brief lead on lap 19 at Knoxville. (Mike Ruefer) 

Back under way, Bloomquist continued to lead Moyer and Earl Pearson, Jr., while Darrell Lanigan had already pushed his #29 from his eighth place start to fourth by lap five.  By lap 12, however, Moyer was up to speed as he raced by Bloomquist to take the lead in the 100-lap affair.

With a full head of steam, Lanigan passed Pearson, who was losing steam after pounding the turn two wall. Lanigan then moved inside of Bloomquist to battle for second until taking that spot.  The World of Outlaws regular then reeled in leader Moyer to nudge ahead for the top spot on lap 20.  Moyer quickly found a little more gas to return to the lead after one lap, a lead he would not relinquish for the next 80 circuits.

Kelly Boen - Ryan Newman - Knoxville Late Model Nationals

Launching his #07 inside of Ryan Newman, Kelly Boen proves that 12th place doesn't have to be boring. (Mike Ruefer)

Leaving a scrappy field to dice their way around a worn race track, Moyer stayed as smooth as silk while 11th starting Josh Richards and 15th starter Jimmy Owens made their way past Pearson into the top five. Richards' next move was to get by Bloomquist for third.

After a caution for the slowing cars of Utter and Miller a quarter of the way into the race, Lanigan appeared to have played his best hand as Richards took over second on lap 25 and Bloomquist briefly worked his way past Lanigan, back to third. With a lap 37 yellow flag for Denny Eckrich, Bloomquist retook second as Lanigan began to fade back to fifth. At that point, Pearson ducked into the pits to check for damage to his mount.

Tim McCreadie - Brady Smith - Knoxville Late Model Nationals

After dueling in and out of the top five all night, #39 Tim McCreadie would hav to be content to hold off #2 Brady Smith's advance for eighth place. (Mike Ruefer)

As the race went green through the halfway point, second through fifth became a shell game between Bloomquist, Richards, Owens, Lanigan, and emerging Shannon Babb, who started 21st and worked his #18 into the top five, before Bloomquist slowed and pitted to change rubber under a lap 57 caution. Bloomquist lost a lap in the pits before he could return to the track.

Babb continued his charge until reaching second with a pass on Richards on lap 65. With the number of caution laps, the red flag was waved for a fuel stop for the remaining cars two laps later. With the field realigned, Moyer led former protege' Babb, Richards, and Lanigan.  Over the next few laps, Richards would fight his way back under Babb into second, while Owens was next to pit with a flat tire under one of a series of caution flags on laps 69, 70, and 71.

Earl Pearson - Jimmy Mars - Knoxville Late Model Nationals

After starting third and playing with the leaders for a few short laps, a fading Earl Pearson, Jr. is passed by 25th starting Jimmy Mars (#28), who advanced to seventh. (Mike Ruefer)  

During the next stretch of green flag racing, Moyer, Richards, and Lanigan were able to build some breathing room, but with ten to go, Moyer had put several lapped cars between himself, Richards, and Lanigan.

Babb's surge had played out and he faded back to fourth. A consistent Steve Francis took over that position after starting sixth and racing outside of the top five for most of the laps. 22nd starting Will Vaught rolled by Babb in the closing laps to claim fifth. 

Babb dropped back to sixth, while 25th starting Jimmy Mars finally got Tim McCreadie to take seventh.  McCreadie, who raced just inside and outside of the top five all night, fell to eighth, while Brady Smith and Austin Hubbard rounded out the top ten.

Billy Moyer - Victory Lane at Knoxville Raceway

Billy Moyer is joined by runner up Josh Richards (left) and third place Darrell Lanigan (right).  (Mike Ruefer)

In the $2,000 to win modified feature, Todd Shute looked to be on his way to a 25-lap victory. He led laps 2-21, but his ride began to smoke at about lap 18. When the yellow flew on that 21st circuit, the smoke became thicker and he had to pull pitside with a sick engine.

Three cautions later found second running Darin Duffy inheriting the lead and the Hazelton, Iowa driver held on to take the win. Brian Mullen, Rich Smith, Jeremy Mills and Richie Gustin formed the top five finishers. ~ Bob Wilson

Knoxville Late Model Nationals Final
1. Billy Moyer, 2. Josh Richards, 3. Darrell Lanigan, 4. Steve Francis, 5. Will Vaught, 6. Shannon Babb, 7. Jimmy Mars, 8. Tim McCreadie, 9. Brady Smith, 10. Austin Hubbard, 11. Jimmy Owens, 12. Kelly Boen, 13. Chad Simpson, 14. Earl Pearson Jr., 15. Rick Eckert, 16. Matt Miller, 17. Brian Shirley, 18. Dan Schlieper, 19. Scott Bloomquist, 20. Brad Neat, 21. Ryan Newman, 22. Jack Sullivan, 23. Denny Eckrich, 24. Jason Rauen, 25. Jason Utter, 26. Chris Simpson, 27. Darren Miller, 28. Brian Birkhofer, 29. Rob Moss, 30. Bub McCool, 31. Scott James

Sat. B-Feature winner: Mars 

Mike Ruefer photo

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