CORONA, CA – Hall of Famer Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR claimed his 20thcareer win at East Bay Raceway Park on Wednesday Night during the 34thAnnual DART Winternationals. Moyer and Josh Richards of Shinnston, WV exchanged the lead four times in the final six laps in a stirring race that had the fans on their feet. Moyer’s win was the 718thof his illustrious career. Moyer managed to hold off Richards with some of the smoothest driving of his career for the $5,000 win. Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, IL finished third, followed by Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN and Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN.
Moyer and Richards started on the front row of the 30 lap main event. A multi-car pileup took place in turn two on the initial lap, delaying the green and ending the night for Chris Wall. On the restart Richards took the lead followed by Moyer, Babb, Owens, and O’Neal.
Richards stretched his lead to five-car lengths by the fourth lap. Moyer and Babb raced side-by-side for two laps with Moyer vying to hold off the high-side charging Babb. Moyer pulled to within a half a car length at the start-finish line of Richards on lap ten. At the time, Owens managed to displace Babb for third at the same time. The race for the lead continued to be heated between Richards and Moyer as they lapped Brandon Thirlby. Thirlby lost a right front wheel, bringing out the next caution. The race restarted with Richards in front, with Moyer and Babb restarting side-by-side.
The race went green for two laps until Tim Isenberg spun in turn two, bringing out the final caution on lap 17. This set up a 13 lap final run for the drivers; Richards led the pack to green for the restart. Babb jumped back to the topside, squeezing by Moyer to take second place away from him. Moyer fought back two circuits later to regain the runner-up spot. Moyer then picked up the pace and began to challenge Richards in the battle for the lead. Moyer gained ground each lap on Richards and with six laps to go, the two were dead even for the lead.
Moyer got by Richards for the lead with five laps to go. However, Richards was not done; he went to the outside of Moyer to regain the point on lap 27. The duo went at it tooth-and-nail in a clean battle for the lead. Moyer went underneath Richards and barely got a nose on him as the duo took the white flag lap.
Moyer held the lead heading into turn three. Richards made a wide sweep to the outside and gave it everything his Rocket Chassis had to earn the win, but Moyer had the momentum off of turn four as the two headed to the finish line. Moyer won the event by one car length over Richards in an exciting finish.
Richards was driving the Ernie and Connie Davis/Ernie D’s/Rocket Impala SS; followed by Babb in the Sheltra and Sons Construction/Clements Racing Engines/Rocket Chassis. Fourth went to O’Neal in Superior Cleaning/Jay Dickens Racing Engines/MasterSbilt; with Jimmy Owens winding up fifth in the Reece Monument Company/Cornett Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Ford.
In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane, Moyer had a wide smile as he exited his car to the cheering fans that quite possibly saw one of his last appearances in victory lane at East Bay. Moyer picked up his 20th career win at the “Clay by the Bay”. “Retirement is a lot closer than people think, “said the 52-year-old dirt racing superstar. “That was a heck of a good race out there with Josh, he raced me clean and I gave him room as well, the track was excellent tonight as I had said earlier. I’ve got to thank Leon enderson for getting me down here, we weren’t going to come as of the first of the year, but he called and we got this deal together and I am glad to get this win for him. also thanks to the fans for coming out here tonight I am sure that was exciting for them to watch,” said Moyer who recorded his 13thcareer win on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series tour.
Moyer’s Henderson Motorsports entry is sponsored by L&D Trucking/Cooley Transport/Banner Valley Hauling/Sunoco
Race Fuels/Redline Oil/PRC/New Vision Graphics and Watters Auto Land. The Moyer Victory Circle M1 Chassis Ford Mustang
GT is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine.
For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log on to www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.