SERIES: HAT HEADLINE: Too Much Moyer in Batesville BATESVILLE,AR - RIS - Billy Moyer became the first driver on the HAV-A-TAMPA Dirt Racing Series to visit victory lane for the second time in 1997 with a tremendous display of power during the...
SERIES: HAT HEADLINE: Too Much Moyer in Batesville
BATESVILLE,AR - RIS - Billy Moyer became the first driver on the HAV-A-TAMPA Dirt Racing Series to visit victory lane for the second time in 1997 with a tremendous display of power during the inaugural "ARKANSAS 100" Saturday afternoon at Batesville Speedway. Moyer earned over $15,000 for the triumph and moved into second place in the National Championship points chase for the tour, closing the gap on current points leader Freddy Smith to 38 markers. Moyer's win is his fourth career HAV-A-TAMPA victory and moves him to the top of the series in money winnings through the first seven races of the season.
Moyer, who started fourth, made a move around fellow Batesville native Wendell Wallace on the 25th lap and never slowed down on his torrid path to the checkered flag. The pass for the lead came as the pair battled through lapped traffic, with Moyer using a back marker as a pick to get around Wallace, then motoring away for the final 75 laps. It was a popular win for the hometown hero who used a brand new chassis combination provided by Larry Shaw Race Cars to outrun the field.
"The car was awesome. We knew in practice on Thursday that we would be strong, but I don't think any of us thought we would be that dominant," said Moyer, who is seeking his first HAV-A-TAMPA title in 1997. "The guys on the crew did a wonderful job of setting this car up and I just did all I could do to outrun a tough field of competitors. We're really happy to win like this at home."
The event, slowed by 10 cautions, was filled with crashes among the series' top points contenders, including a 60 crash involving Freddy Smith and Ronnie Johnson as the pair battled for second spot behind Moyer. Smith and Johnson each the incident differently as both of the veteran drivers stated they were battling for position and were not willing to give in to the other. Johnson suffered sufficient damage to end his day just five laps later, but Smith was able to continue in his battered Camaro and to hang on to the lead lap. The incident with Johnson would not be the only yellow flag period that defending series champion Smith would be a part of, as on lap 70 he tangled with Kenny Merchant, Clint Smith and Wendell Wallace. The four slammed together hard on the backstretch causing the eighth caution of the day. None of the involved parties were completely eliminated, but none were competitive following the incident. In fact, Wallace's car suffered damage that would result in a race-ending crash for he and Willie Kraft just eight laps later.
Moyer did have to fend off a hard-charging Dale McDowell during the final 30 laps, before he was able to motor away from the field on the final restart and secure the win. McDowell was able to draw along side Moyer on several occasions in the battle for the lead until the final restart just seven laps from the finish. McDowell held on to second, while a pair of young guns, Ray Cook and Marshall Green, finished third and fourth respectively. Rounding out the top five was Johnny Virden. In sixth through tenth were Johnny Stokes, Terry Phillips, Steve Russell, Robbie Starnes, and David Gibson.
The Arkansas appearance for the nation's prestigious dirt series was the first of two stops in the state, as they will return to Little Rock, AR's I-30 Speedway in just two short weeks on Friday and Saturday April 25 & 26.
The HAV-A-TAMPA series now heads north to historic Brownstown Speedway in Indianna for the eighth sanctioned race of the season. The Brownstown event will be held on Friday and Saturday nights, April 18-19, with a special open practice date on Thursday.
This week's televised HAV-A-TAMPA action will include a rebroadcast of the Crossville, TN event on FOX Sports Southwest on Wednesday at Noon (CDT), broadcasts of the Super Bee event on FOX Sports South on Wednesday at 4:00PM (CDT) and again that night at 1:00AM; plus Tuesday at 5:00PM (CDT) on FOX Sports Southwest.
OFFICIAL FINISH ORDER 1. Billy Moyer Batesville, AR 100laps $15500 2. Dale McDowell Rossville, GA 100 $9000 3. Ray Cook Murphy, NC 100 $5000 4. Marshall Green Dalton, GA 100 $3500 5. Johnny Virden Russellville, AR 100 $3650 6. Johnny Stokes Columbus, MS 100 $2750 7. Terry Phillips Springfield, MO 100 $2500 8. Steve Russell Pontotoc, MS 100 $2750 9. Robbie Starnes Houston, TX 100 $2000 10. David Gibson Ash Flat, AR 100 $1750 11. Rex McCroskey Springfield, MO 100 $1500 12. Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN 100 $2050 13. Donnie Moran Dresden, OH 100 $1700 14. Kenny Merchant Ruston, LA 100 $1100 15. Ronnie Poche Natochitoches, LA 100 $1000 16. Clint Smith Griffin, GA 99 $1475 17. Willie Kraft Lakefield, MN 88 $950 18. Les Essary Crane, MO 85 $925 19. Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR 78 $1500 20. Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 64 $900 21. Bob Pierce Danville, IL 53 $900 22. Mark Miner Stockbridge, GA 36 $900 23. Rex Richey Ringgold, GA 5 $900 24. Donnie Barnhart N Little Rock, AR 1 $900
OFFICIAL POINTS 1. Freddy Smith 1117 2. Billy Moyer 1079 3. Wendell Wallace 1009 4. Dale McDowell 947 5. Clint S,ith 945 6. Johnny Virden 933 7. Donnie Moran 882 8. Steve Russell 878 9. Skip Arp 858 10. David Gibson 843 11. Marshall Green 833 12. Bill Frye 819 13. Gar Dickson 774 14. Robbie Starnes 754 15. Ray Cook 734 16. Steve Francis 705 17. Ronnie Johnson 697 18. Mark Miner 692 19. Kenny Merchant 678 20. Jason Smith 670
John (Bubba) Kaiser RIS/AL