Moyer Reels In Late Model Nationals Opening Night
Conrad Nelson photo
KNOXVILLE, Ia. - Sept. 30. Though Moyer won this 25-lap
Thursday qualifier, it was front row starter Tim
While #24 Rick Eckert and others inflict body damage on each
other, Jimmy Mars (#28) goes for a spin before getting hit by Jill George on the first lap of heat race five at
Knoxville. George and Mars spent the rest of the evening as spectators. (Conrad
McCreadie who claimed the first two laps on this Thursday night. He gave way the lead to pole sitter Josh
Richards on lap three and was content to follow till the first caution flag on lap eight. That slow down came about
when ninth running Steve Francis exited to become the first drop out of the event.
South Bend, Indiana's Ryan Newman passes Wisconsin driver Kerry Hansen on his
way to fourth place in the third heat race at Knoxville. Newman advanced to the main event through a
B-Feature. Hansen did not. (Conrad Nelson)
Richards led McCreadie, hard-charging Moyer, Earl Pearson, Jr. and race rookie Austin Hubbard back to the line
on the restart. A real tug of war ensued for that top spot and McCreadie gained it back at the five-mile mark from
Richards as that driver slowly drifted backwards to the finish. Pearson made a pass of Moyer at this point to grab
second and defending event champion Scott Bloomquist was now in fifth.
Brian Shirley races past #9 Dan Schlieper at Knoxville. A past winner of
the Knoxville Nationals final, Shirley mustered a 13th place in Thursday night's opener. (Conrad
On a track that began the evening as too wet, most of the front runners now circled the bottom as the quickest
way around this big half-mile oval. In fact, the track had come in so nicely that the leaders were running at or
near a track record pace. Only McCreadie experimented with the top at the cushion which was only two-thirds of the
way up the track in the turns.
McCreadie finally gave way the lead to Moyer on lap 17. The top was just not fast enough to hold off the hard
charge of Moyer who had started 11th. Behind those two Pearson continued to fend off all Bloomquist challenges.
Bloomquist would make that pass with just five laps to go.
Brian Birkhofer races toward a B-Main win after just missing the cut through his heat
race at Knoxville. (Conrad Nelson)
In the end, Moyer picked up the $7,000 to win event by a comfortable 20-car advantage over McCreadie.
Bloomquist, a fourth row starter was third and Pearson was fourth. Tenth starter Brady Smith claimed fifth. Top
point totals on this first night of qualifications went to Bloomquist, Pearson, McCreadie, Hubbard and Matt Miller.
Moyer was sixth.
Second man out, Jimmy Owens led all participants in qualifying time trials with a lap of 17.950. He was
the only driver to drop below eighteen seconds. Heat events went to Mark Burgtorf, Brady Smith, event rookie Bud
McCool, Jack Sullivan and Moyer. Will Vaught won the C Main in track record time and Brian Birkhofer took the B
Main. A field of 61 cars entered the pits on this night.
Sept. 30 - Knoxille Late Model Nationals Race
1. Billy Moyer, 2. Tim McCreadie,
3. Scott Bloomquist, 4. Earl Pearson Jr., 5. Brady Smith, 6. Austin Hubbard, 7. Josh Richards, 8. Brian
Birkhofer, 9. Kelly Boen, 10. Chad Simpson, 11. Matt Miller, 12. Scott James, 13. Brian Shirley, 14.
Rick Eckert, 15. Bub McCool, 16. Mark Burgtorf, 17. Ryan Newman, 18. Brad Neat, 19. Denny Eckrich, 20.
John VandenBerg, 21. Darren Miller, 22. Jack Sullivan, 23. Rob Moss, 24. Steve Francis
Fast Time (61 entries): Jimmy Owens (17.950); Heat winners: Burgtorf, Smith, McCool, Sullivan, Moyer;
B-Main winner: Birkhofer