Hagerstown, MD - The two winningest drivers on the 1997 HAV-A-TAMPA National Dirt Tour thrilled the capacity crowd at the 50th Anniversary of Hagerstown Speedway as they dueled for the point in the closing laps of the Maryland Silver Cup...

Hagerstown, MD - The two winningest drivers on the 1997 HAV-A-TAMPA National Dirt Tour thrilled the capacity crowd at the 50th Anniversary of Hagerstown Speedway as they dueled for the point in the closing laps of the Maryland Silver Cup Nationals. Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH started from the rear of the field and caught leader Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR with less than ten laps left. The two proceeded to duel side-by-side for for the lead with Moran eventually taking the point and claiming the $10,000 winner's check.

The evening started off on the wrong foot for Moran, who posted a mediocre qualifying time and then after finishing fifth in his heat race was forced to try and make the feature by running in the Consolation event. Moran finished second in that race and earned the 20th starting spot on the grid. To add insult to injury Moran was then penalized by HAV-A-TAMPA officials for being late to the starting grid and he was banished to 23rd position of the 24 car field.

Moyer, on the other hand, set the fastest time in qualifying and started from the pole for the 100 lap feature event. As the cars took the green flag Moyer jumped into the lead and seemed to be cruising towards another victory and an even bigger spread at the top of the points battle. Moran had other ideas, and in the first 18 laps he was solidly entrenched in the top ten and by the halfway mark he was into the top five.

Moran changed his line through the corners for the second half of the race as he built up momentum by coming out of turn four low and blasting down the straightaways. By lap 90 he was hot on Moyer's rear bumper and on lap 96 he and Moyer crossed the line almost side-by-side with Moran credited with the lead by a scant two feet. The two cars continued their door handle-to-door handle battle through the entire 97th lap and it was not until Moyer slid high in turn two on lap 98, causing the two cars to slam together, that Moran was able to take the lead for good. Moran's GM Performance Parts Chevrolet Camaro then was able to stretch out a five car lead by the time the checkered flag flew. Moran held on to the second spot, protecting his point lead, and fellow Batesville, AR driver Wendell Wallace took the third finishing spot. Gary Stuhler of Greencastle, PA was fourth with Griffin, GA ace Clint Smith rounding out the top five.

"We knew we had a strong car, and the penalty only cost us a couple of more spots," Moran said from a joyous Victory Lane. "Toma, Casey and the crew worked hard to get us here tonight; it's just a total team effort."

For Moyer, the second place finish rounded off a successful weekend as he had won the previous evenings 50 lap feature by leading flag to flag despite charges from Stuhler and Wallace for a $5,100 payday. Bart Hartman and Booper Bare rounded out the top five in that event. Moran, the fast qualifier, suffered ignition trouble just 7 laps from the end and was forced to retire. For Moyer it was his fourth win of the 1997 season.

HAGERSTOWN 50 RESULTS pos Driver Hometown Laps Money 1. Billy Moyer Batesville, AR 50 5,100 2. Gary Stuhler Greencastle, PA 50 3,000 3. Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR 50 2,450 4. Bart Hartman Zanesville, OH 50 1,750 5. Booper Bare Rockridge Baths,VA 50 1,500 6. Nathan Durboraw Hagerstown, MD 50 1,250 7. Clint Smith Griffin, GA 50 1,200 8. Marshall Green Dalton, GA 50 1,050 9. Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN 50 1,100 10. Dale McDowell Rossville, GA 50 700 11. David Gibson Ash Flat, AR 50 650 12. Rick Eckert York, PA 50 575 13. Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 50 550 14. Roy Deese Jr Odenton, MD 49 525 15. Steve Russell Pontotoc, MS 49 500 16. John Mason Millersburg, OH 49 475 17. Jeff Robinson McConnellsburg,PA 47 450 18. Rick Workman Stewartstown, PA 47 425 19. Kenny Pettyjohn Belvidere, DE 46 400 20. Donnie Moran Dresden, OH 43 400 21. Rodney Combs Harrisburg, NC 28 400 22. Frankie Plessinger Hagerstown, MD 24 400 23. Rodney Franklin Cross Junction,VA 19 400 24. Les Hare Gerrardstown, WV 19 400 25. Skip Arp Georgetown, TN 19 400 26. Brent Smith Mercersburg, PA 15 400

MARYLAND SILVER CUP NATIONAL 100 RESULTS

1.  Donnie Moran     Dresden, OH        100     10,600
2.  Billy Moyer      Batesville, AR     100     6,600
3.  Wendell Wallace  Batesville, AR     100     3,950
4.  Gary Stuhler     Greencastle, PA    100     2,500
5.  Clint Smith      Griffin, GA        100     2,700
6.  Ronnie Johnson   Chattanooga, TN    100     1,800
7.  Rodney Franklin  Cross Junction,VA  100     1,600
8.  Rick Eckert      York, PA           100     1,400
9.  Bart Hartman     Zanesville, OH     99      1,200
10. Booper Bare      Rockbridge Baths,VA 99     1,100
11. C.S, Fitzgerald  Lexington, VA      99      1,000
12. Ray Cook         Murphy, NC         99      1,000
13. Freddy Smith     Knoxville, TN      99      1,650
14. Rodney Combs     Harrisburg, NC     99      875
15. Steve Shaver     Parkersburg, WV    98      850
16. Brent Rhebergen  Clymer, NY         95      825
17. Marshall Green   Dalton, GA         92      1,250
18. Skip Arp         Georgetown, TN     81      700
19. Roy Deese Jr     Odenton, MD        72      750
21. Nathan Durboraw  Hagerstown, MD     29      700
22. Jim Daversa      Chambersburg,PA    27      700
23. Dale McDowell    Rossville, GA      25      1,200
24. Earl Pierson, Jr Jacksonville, FL   17      700

1997 HAV-A-TAMPA SEASON POINT STANDINGS 1. Billy Moyer 2075 2. Wendell Wallace 1996 3. Freddy Smith 1876 4. Donnie Moran 1832 5. Clint Smith 1753 6. Dale McDowell 1703 7. Skip Arp 1582 8. Steve Russell 1560 9. Marshall Green 1544 10.David Gibson 1524

John Kaiser, Racing Information Systems

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Series General
Drivers Freddy Smith , Donnie Moran , Rick Eckert , Steve Russel