Drivers Focused on Wins Halfway Home

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CONCORD, N.C. – June 29, 2015 – Ask any driver and they’ll tell you they’re not worried about points. It’s no different on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour.

 

While Mother Nature has somewhat naturally watered down this year’s running of what’s become known as the “Hell Tour” with 28 races scheduled over 32 days, two very different drivers with impressive Summer Nationals lineages have emerged atop the championship standings while a third racer is seeking a bit of history.

 

As the series prepares for its final two weeks of action beginning on Tuesday at I-96 Speedway’s NAPA Auto Parts Summer Rumble in Lake Odessa, Mich., Bobby Pierce, 18, finds himself leading the overall championship chase with wins at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway and Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill. Pierce’s father, Bob, is a two-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion and crew chief for the younger Pierce’s #32 ride.

 

At the other end of the pits is Billy Moyer Jr., 27, who is second in the championship with a victory at Farley (Iowa) Speedway and the son of six-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Billy Moyer, who is still a threat to win every time he signs in to race.

 

Lurking behind the two young stars that are seeking their first DIRTcar Summer Nationals title is four-time champion Shannon Babb, who is tied with the elder Moyer atop the all-time win list and on a mission to win his fifth championship.

 

None of the drivers, though, is focused on the championship, although it’s definitely on their minds.

 

“The whole thing with the ‘Hell Tour’ is to stay consistent, that’s the key,” said Pierce, the 2014 DIRTcar Late Model national champion from Oakwood, Ill. “If you can just keep getting top-fives every night the point situation will fall your way eventually, and that’s what it’s been doing for us so far. There are still a lot of races to go so we’re just going to try to stay consistent and pick off a few wins along the way. It’s a good confidence booster too.”

 

Pierce’s father has been through the battles many times, and he’s also focused on winning races.

 

“Somebody asked me, ‘How many points are you up?’ I said I don’t even know,” the elder Pierce said. “I don’t look at it. We’re doing the best we can and if it happens it happens. We know every time we pull into the racetrack it’s a points race. Yeah, you want to win every race, but like the other night when Babb passed us, I told him second is points and you didn’t tear anything up. We probably could have went for it, but who knows what would have happened. Or you could have driven harder earlier so he wouldn’t have caught you, but the way it was looking he wasn’t going to catch us anyway. Then all of a sudden he got a couple of good laps in a row and went by us. It’s kind of what it is. You’re trying to win the races but yet you know it’s points, so I can’t say you be careful but you get your best finish and the rest will come.”

 

Although his dad is a racing legend, Moyer Jr. calls his own shots with his team. He also tries to figure out how he’s going to make it up and down the road. After all, surviving 5,453 miles from Brownstown through Oakshade is no easy feat, so winning races helps to ensure he’s able to fund his quest to join his dad as a Summer Nationals champion.

 

“My dad’s not here every night helping me, my dad’s racing himself, so I make all the decisions on this thing, figuring out how I’m going to pay for everything,” said Moyer Jr., of Batesville, Ark. “Right now I’m just trying to win races, trying to run in the top three or five. If that comes then points will follow. We’re trying to keep up as far as if we’re running in the back, but if you start in the back you can’t really put an old tire on if you’re points racing. It would be awesome to win it.”

 

Then there’s Babb. He knows how to get it done. He’s won 89 Summer Nationals races in his career to go with the four crowns. His “Drive for Five” has been anything but ordinary after he missed the opener because of truck trouble, but was then fortunate enough to have a rainout on the day his daughter was born.

 

“No matter who it is or what you’re doing, you’re going to have a little hiccup here or there,” said Babb, 41, of Moweaqua, Ill. “We had ours right at the very beginning and got it out of the way. We’re rolling along. We’ve been prepared for this. We worked on it all winter, and summertime got here and it’s time to race so that’s what we’re doing.

 

“We’re racing each night. I always have. I approach each night like it’s a new night. All these races pay good money, to collect the check that night is what we’re trying to do. The point deal, how it turns out it turns out. If we did win it and got the money for the points, we’d probably freshen our motors up and go again, it’s something we wouldn’t have to ask our sponsors for. We could pick our own pockets. Everybody wants to win the points, but I want to win the races.”

 

Heading to Michigan on Tuesday, Pierce is in the driver’s seat. He has two wins and the championship lead. He’s been through this before, having finished second to Brandon Sheppard during 2013’s tour. This time around he’s as ready for the task at hand as he can be.

 

“It’s tough, you can do all you can to prepare for it but there’s always going to be something you’re not prepared for,” Pierce said. “Whether it’s something on the car, something with your rig, something with you, you just never know. It takes a toll on you, it takes a toll on all your equipment, too. You’ve got to make sure everything is maintenanced and it’s hard in the summer heat, too. Right now things have been going pretty good for us. I’ve been looking forward to the next day every single day when I wake up, ready to race again. When things go bad, it can be tough.”

 

Follow the Summer Nationals and DIRTcar Summit Modified Nationals on Twitter @SummerNationals or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SummerNationals, or visit the series’ websites at www.TheHellTour.com and www.ModifiedNationals.com.

 

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Championship Top 20

Pos.

Car

Driver

Points

1

32

Bobby Pierce

630

2

21JR

Billy Moyer Jr

573

3

18

Shannon Babb

559

4

24

Ryan Unzicker

530

5

25

Jason Feger

505

6

8C

Timothy Culp

461

7

1M

Jim Moon

392

8

21

Billy Moyer

304

9

124

John Hahler

292

10

28E

Dennis Erb, Jr

238

11

89

Mike Spatola

199

12

6K

Michael Kloos

193

13

8K

Levi Kissinger

184

14

99JR

Frank Heckenast Jr

180

15

B12

Kevin Weaver

175

16

4G

Bob Gardner

154

17

10S

Scott Schmitt

152

18

96

Tanner English

139

19

45

Kyle Hammer

136

20

7R

Kent Robinson

130

20T

27M

Rodney Melvin

130


2015 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule

June 10

Wednesday

Brownstown Speedway

Dennis Erb. Jr.

June 11

Thursday

Kankakee Co. Speedway

Frank Heckenast Jr.

June 12

Friday

Cedar Lake Speedway

Jimmy Mars

June 13

Saturday

Cedar Lake Speedway

Jason Feger

June 14

Sunday

Wilmot Speedway

Rain

June 15

Monday

Off

 

June 16

Tuesday

Jacksonville Speedway

Bobby Pierce

June 17

Wednesday

Farley Speedway

Billy Moyer Jr.

June 18

Thursday

Spoon River Speedway

Rain

June 19

Friday

Tri-City Speedway

Rain

June 20

Saturday

Fairbury Speedway

Shannon Babb

June 21

Sunday

Quincy Raceways

Rain

June 22

Monday

Off

 

June 23

Tuesday

Peoria Speedway

Shannon Babb (2)

June 24

Wednesday

Belle-Clair Speedway

Bobby Pierce (2)

June 25

Thursday

Clarksville Speedway

Levi Kissinger

June 26

Friday

Paducah Int. Raceway

Rain

June 27

Saturday

Federated I-55 Raceway

Rain

June 28

Sunday

Lincoln Speedway

PPD rain to July 6

June 29

Monday

Off

 

June 30

Tuesday

I-96 Speedway

Lake Odessa, MI

July 1

Wednesday

Daugherty Speedway

Chase, IN

July 2

Thursday

LaSalle Speedway

LaSalle, IL

July 3

Friday

Fayette Co. Speedway

Brownstown, IL

July 4

Saturday

Highland Speedway

Highland, IL

July 5

Sunday

Tri-State Speedway

Haubstadt, IN

July 6

Monday

Lincoln Speedway

Lincoln, IL

July 7

Tuesday

Vermilion Co. Speedway

Danville, IL

July 8

Wednesday

Florence Speedway

Union, KY

July 9

Thursday

Macon Speedway

Macon, IL

July 10

Friday

Farmer City Raceway

Farmer City, IL

July 11

Saturday

Oakshade Raceway

Wauseon, OH

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” is brought to fans across the country by many important partners including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Provider), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tire), Racing Electronics (Official Communications Provider), VP Racing Fuel (Official Fuel); in addition to these fine Contingency Partners: Beyea Headers, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Mobil 1, MSD, QuarterMaster, Superflow Dynos, Summit Racing Equipment and Wrisco Aluminum; Promotional Partners include: Chevy Performance Parts, Indiana Decal and Petroff Towing.