SERIES: HAT BROWNSTOWN, IN - RIS - As the HAV-A-TAMPA Dirt Racing Series national tour headed to historic Brownstown Speedway this weekend, Billy Moyer was looking for a path to the top of the title chase in his attempt to reel in defending...
BROWNSTOWN, IN - RIS - As the HAV-A-TAMPA Dirt Racing Series national tour headed to historic Brownstown Speedway this weekend, Billy Moyer was looking for a path to the top of the title chase in his attempt to reel in defending series champion Freddy Smith. Moyer left no doubt as to his intentions Saturday night as he visited Victory Lane for the third time this season on the HAV-A-TAMPA tour. The win at the Jackson County Fairground facility in southern Indiana earned Moyer over $15,000 and moved the Batesville, AR driver into the points lead by 18 markers over Smith, with a quarter of the 1997 season completed.
Moyer, who became the first driver this season to score more than one win last weekend, continued the torrid pace as he became the first driver this season to win from the pole. The driver of the Bazooka Bass Tube/Big Johnson Chevrolet Camaro lead the field from the start of the race until lap 59 of the HAV-A-TAMPA/PHILLIES CIGAR 100, by holding off the persistent challenges that were thrown at him and working his way quickly and efficiently through lapped traffic. at the famed quarter-mile track.
"We're just tickled to death to put it in victory lane. That's what we are supposed to do," commented Moyer during winner's circle celebrations. We enjoy racing here, it's a really competitive race track. The competition doesn't seem to get any easier in this deal."
Moyer had to work for this win, with his main challenger being Donnie Moran.
"Donnie (Moran) was real good," said Moyer. "I started driving the car a little bit different and a little more aggressive when he got by me and started watching where he was racing on the track."
Early in the race Moyer had to fend off challenges from Bob Pierce and C.J. Rayburn, who were both looking for their first HAV-A- TAMPA career win. but it was Moran who really put the pressure on Moyer halfway through the event. Moyer and Moran crossed the finish line in a dead heat on lap 59, with Moran taking the lead and holding it until lap 76. The talented pair of dirt pilots battled furiously as they worked through lapped traffic with moran able to stave off the challenges of Moyer until he had a brush with a couple of lapped cars on lap 77 that allowed Moyer to retake the lead for the final 24 laps and complete his fifth career HAV-A-TAMPA win. It was Moran's second brush with disaster during the evening as he had been tagged earlier by a lapped car and spun completely around on the back stretch.
"Those two guys got together and I had to lock it completely up to miss them," Moyer said of the incident that cost him the lead. "That let Billy get by and that was about the end of the race." Moran was able to hang on for a second place finish, his best this season on the HAV-A- TAMPA tour.
By finishing in second, Moran was able to make a jump upwards in the points standings in the chase for the National Championship of Dirt late model racing. Wendell Wallace posted his 7th top ten of the season by finishing in third. Bart Hartman took home fourth and rounding out the top five was Clint Smith. Finishing in sixth through tenth were Steve Barnett, Billy Frye, Dale McDowell, Jack Boggs and IRL Indy Car driver Tony Stewart.
Entering the weekends action, Freddy Smith held a 38 point bulge in the point standings, but after being forced to change an engine in his Camaro on Saturday, he never was able to find the right combination and finished in thirteenth, a lap down to the leaders. Smith now trails Moyer by 18 points with Wendell Wallace in the third spot. Clint Smith is fourth in the points chase and Dale McDowell is sitting in fifth.
The race was slowed by only three cautions, with the most significant being coming on lap 57 when Rayburn, running in third at that time, blew a left rear tire and slowed dramatically. Bill Frye and Bob Pierce were coming hard and had no place to go. Frye slammed into the rear of Rayburn and in turn was hit by Pierce. Of the three, only Frye was able to continue, eventually managing to finish seventh.
A packed house was on hand for the fiercely competitive event and they were thrilled when Tony Stewart, who spent most of Friday and Saturday practicing at an hour away at the famed Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, jumped into one of C.J. Rayburn's house-cars and went on to win his consolation race and finish tenth in the feature. Defending event champion Scott Bloomquist made his 1997 series debut, but was unable to make the field.
The Brownstown event will air on FOX Sports South on May 10th at 2:00 pm (EST) and May 13th at Midnight (EST)
The $2 Million HAV-A-TAMPA tour now heads to Little Rock, AR and I-30 Speedway this coming Friday and Saturday nights for another $15,000- to-win 100 lap event.
FINISH ORDER 1. Billy Moyer Batesville, AR 100 laps $15000 2. Donnie Moran Dresden, OH 100 $9100 3. Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR 100 $6100 4. Bart Hartman Zanesville, OH 100 $3500 5. Clint Smith Griffin, GA 100 $3700 6. Steve Barnett Franklin, IN 100 $2750 7. Bill Frye Greenbrier, AR 100 $2600 8. Dale McDowell Rossville, GA 100 $2750 9. Jack Boggs Grayson, KY 100 $2000 10. Tony Stewart Columbus, IN 100 $1750 11. Terry Phillips Springfield, MO 100 $1500 12. Marshall Green Dalton, GA 99 $1300 13. Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN 99 $1950 14. Ray Cook Murphy, NC 99 $1100 15. Tony Izzo Jr Bridgeview, IL 99 $1100 16. Steve Russell Pontotoc, MS 98 $1500 17. Rohn Moon Whiteland, IN 98 $975 18. Deion Deason Indianapolis, IN 97 $950 19. Rick Aukland Fargo, ND 88 $925 20. Bob Pierce Danville, IL 57 $900 21. C.J. Rayburn Whiteland, IN 57 $900 22. James Huff Milton, KY 57 $900 23. Kevin Claycomb Vincennes, IN 29 $900 24. Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI 28 $900 25. Johnny Virden Russellville, AR 23 $1550
OFFICIAL POINTS STANDINGS after 8 of 32 events 1. Billy Moyer 1259 2. Freddy S,ith 1241 3. Wendell Wallace 1174 4. Clint Smith 1100 5. Dale McDowell 1089 6. Donnie Moran 1062 7. Johnny Virden 1030 8. Steve Russell 993 9. Bill Frye 965 10. Marshall Green 960
John (Bubba) Kaiser, Racing Information Systems