HAV-A-TAMPA DIRT RACING SERIES Plateau Thunder 100 CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (Friday and Saturday) Billy Moyer Jr. outdueled polesitter Ronnie Johnson in the first dozen laps, then held on for his third career Hav-A-Tampa victory despite the eruption...
HAV-A-TAMPA DIRT RACING SERIES Plateau Thunder 100
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (Friday and Saturday) Billy Moyer Jr. outdueled polesitter Ronnie Johnson in the first dozen laps, then held on for his third career Hav-A-Tampa victory despite the eruption of an underground spring beneath Crossville Speedway that shortened the Plateau Thunder 100 to 65 laps.
Moyer collected $15,400 in a crash-filled race slowed 13 times by caution and eventually ended 35 circuits shy of the scheduled distance because of spring water leaking onto the racing surface at the 1/3-mile oval.
Series points leader and defending champion Freddy Smith finished second, followed by Bill Frye, Johnson and Dale McDowell. Steve Francis, Steve Smith, Wendell Wallace, Wade Knowles and Mike Head finished sixth through 10 in the fourth series event of the season.
The moisture from the underground spring caused several cars to spin out of control on the backstretch. The red flag was thrown after 45 laps when United Dirt Track Racing Association and track officials supervised temporary repair of the problem, then declared the race would end after 20 more laps.
"We had a really strong car for the race," said Moyer, whose last Hav-A-Tampa victory came June 22, 1996, in Huntsville, Tenn. "It's a shame that the race had to be stopped, but it may have been for the best.... I know the folks here did everything they could to try and make this a quality racetrack. Sometime, some things can't be helped."
CAR COUNT: 68 late models.
FAST QUALIFIER: Jeff Treece, Knoxville, Tenn., 12.938 seconds.
FIRST HEAT (top three transfer): Ronnie Johnson, Scott Sexton, Steve Francis, Mark Miner, Jeff Treece, Gar Dickson, Brad Coffey, Herman Goddard, Pete Broughton, Jeff Sanborn, Steve Russell.
SECOND HEAT: Billy Moyer Jr., Freddy Smith, Wade Knowles, Mike Head, Rick Eckert, C.S. Fitzgerald, Bill Reed, Skip Arp, Mark Vineyard, Bryan Rice (Buddy Morris scratched).
THIRD HEAT: Bill Frye, Wendell Wallace, Rex Richey, David Moyer, Clint Smith, Mark Martin, Tommy Kerr, Jeff Walker, Randy Korte, Billy Ogle Jr., Larry Cory.
FOURTH HEAT: Marshall Green, Anthony White, Jimmy Mars, Johnny Virden, Jack Boggs, Randy Weaver, Kenny Merchant, Patrick Duggan, Jason Smith, Greg Knight, Tony Jeffers.
FIFTH HEAT: Donnie Moran, Dale McDowell, Clayton Christenberry, Eddie Carrier Jr., Ray Cook, David Gibson, John Jones, Lamar Winkle, Zeke Buchanon, Dewayne Johnson (Rick Williams scratched).
SIXTH HEAT: Robbie Starnes, Steve Smith, Donnie Barnhart, Kevin Weaver, Randle Chupp, Roger Best, Paul Tims, David Payne, Earl Pearson Jr. (Mike Hill scratched).
FEATURE (With driver, car no., hometown, chassis, laps completed and winnings) 1. Billy Moyer Jr. (21), Batesville, Ark., MasterSbilt, 56, $15,400 2. Freddy Smith (00), Knoxville, Tenn., GRT, 65, $9,350 3. Bill Frye (66), Greenbrier, Ark., GRT, 65, $5,250 4. Ronnie Johnson (5), Chattanooga, Tenn., MasterSbilt, 65, $3,600 5. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., GRT, 65, $3,050 6. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., Rocket, 65, $3,100 7. Steve Smith (3), Powell, Tenn., MasterSbilt, 65, $2,600 8. Wendell Wallace (6m), Batesville, Ark., GRT, 65, $2,700 9. Wade Knowles (66), Tyrone, Ga., Rayburn, 65, $2,250 10. Mike Head (54), Ellenwood, Ga., GRT, 65, $2,000 11. Mark Martin (9), Baxter, Tenn., TNT, 65, $1,750 12. Johnny Virden (1v), Russellville, Ark., GRT, 65, $1,950 13. Donnie Barnhart (11), North Little Rock, Ark., GRT, 65, $1,200 14. Jimmy Mars (28), Elk Mound, Wis., MasterSbilt, 65, $1,100 15. Rex Richey (201), Ringgold, Ga., Warrior, 64, $1,000 16. Clint Smith (1), Griffin, Ga., GRT, 64, $1,275 17. Clayton Christenberry (cv3), Knoxville, Tenn., GRT, 64, $950 18. Gar Dickson (60), Flintstone, Ga., Barry Wright, 63, $925 19. Scott Sexton (52), Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Stinger, 45, $900 20. Steve Russell (G1), Pontotoc, Miss., Rayburn, 45, $1,200 21. Marshall Green (89), Dalton, Ga., Warrior, 41, $1,000 22. Anthony White (2), Clinton, Tenn., Barry Wright, 31, $900 23. Skip Arp (31), Georgetown, Tenn., GRT, 31, $1,200 24. Robbie Starnes (77), Houston, Texas, Larry Shaw, 30, $900 25. Mark Miner (7), Stockbridge, Ga., MasterSbilt, 29, $900 26. Donnie Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, MasterSbilt, 24, $1,200 27. Tommy Kerr (4T), Rockford, Tenn., Stinger, 12, $900
NOTES: Moyer is the fourth series winner in four season events .... he's also the sixth different winner in six Hav-A-Tampa trips to Crossville .... surprising fast qualifier Jeff Treece started on the pole of the first heat, but Ronnie Johnson blasted past him on the first lap .... Jimmy Mars rallied in the final laps of the fourth heat to pass Jack Boggs and Johnny Virden for the final transfer spot .... Boggs has qualified for just two of the four series events, finishing 21st at the Gator 100 and 24th at the series opener in Cordele, Ga.
HAV-A-TAMPA POINT STANDINGS (top 10; points behind in parentheses): Freddy Smith 665; Wendell Wallace (-45); Billy Moyer Jr. (-58); Clint Smith (-102); Steve Francis (-120); Donnie Moran (-137); Johnny Virden (-149); Skip Arp (-161); Steve Russell (-166); Dale McDowell (-173).
NEXT HAV-A-TAMPA RACES: March 28-29, Super Bee Speedway, Chatham, La., $5,000 to win on Friday night, $10,000 to win on Saturday night.
CREDIT: Ozzie Altman <VctoryLane@aol.com> of Hav-A-Tampa. -------------------------------------------------------------
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