Flag-to-flag Moyer Jr. nabs Charleston victory

Flag-to-flag Moyer Jr. nabs Charleston Cictory

By Alli Collis

DirtonDirt.com staff writer

CHARLESTON, Ill. (June 27) — Tuesday’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals stop at Charleston Speedway was a perfect night for Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., who lead every lap of the $5,000-to-win feature after clocking the evening’s overall fast time and winning his heat race.

Redrawing to start on the pole of the 40-lap main event, Moyer Jr. charged to the front of the field at the drop of the green flag, never seriously challenged as he outran Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., for his second Summernationals victory of the season.

“We had a good car tonight,” Moyer Jr. said after the race. “We had a tough group. When you look up and it’s me and dad and (Shannon) Babb and Bobby (Pierce), you can’t get any tougher than that. We had fast time and won the heat and that’s how you’ve got to start the night.

“I’ve done that a couple of times, been good, and then I’ve sucked in the feature. Or I haven’t qualified good and then run good in the feature, but when you start in the back it’s hard. The past couple of nights we’ve been decent, but not good enough to win. We finally put an entire night together.”

As the race neared the halfway mark, Moyer Jr. held as much as a straightaway lead over second-running Unzicker. But as the track moved to one groove in the final few laps, the Illinois driver was able to close the gap on the race leader.

“I think we were a little maneuverable,” Moyer Jr. said. “Then the track kind of cleaned up about 15 to go really bad. It was kind of difficult to get out of that spot. But the track was really good before that.

“I’m glad to get a win. The guys behind me ran me clean. The lapped cars did me quite a bit of favors. (Ryan) Unzicker, he got close. I think he could have roughed me up and didn’t. The big thing is to keep on staying in the top five.”

Charging from the sixth starting spot to run in second on the second lap, Unzicker finished runner-up at the checkers. Fourth-starting Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., finished third, with Rusty Schlenk improving four positions to run fourth. Advancing from the 10th starting spot, Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., rounded out the top five.

“I watched the B-main of the modifieds and they were rolling that little brown up top,” Unzicker said of his early move to the front. “The car, we just snugged it up enough to roll up there and get some good bite and a good run. We rolled in to second there pretty early. (Moyer Jr.) was good tonight, but all in all, to roll out of here second, we’re tickled to death with it.”

After slipping back a few spots in the early running, Pierce said he was happy to come away with a third-place finish.

“I was really kicking my butt there at the beginning,” Pierce said. “I got stuck behind (Bob) Gardner a little bit. Right when I moved down to try to pass him he moved down and that whole outside lane went by us. I was able to get back up.

“The top was the place to be the first 20 laps or so. I was trying really hard to work my way through there. But everyone was rolling around the top and the only way you could make it work was a slider. It was a lot of fun though. I wish we raced here more.”

Notes: Moyer Jr. notched his seventh career Summernationals victory. His last came at Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio, on July 11, 2015. … The raced marked Moyer Jr.’s fourth victory on his 2017 campaign. … The 40-lap feature ran caution-free. … Suffering water pump issues early in the night, Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., was hopeful to start the feature. But unable to make the repairs, he was the lone entry failing to start Tuesday’s main event. … Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., was the winner of the UMP modified feature.

FEATURE: 1. Billy Moyer Jr.; 2. Ryan Unzicker; 3. Bobby Pierce; 4. Shannon Babb; 5. Rusty Schlenk; 6. Billy Moyer; 7. Tanner English; 8. Jose Parga; 9. Bob Gardner; 10. Gordy Gundaker; 11. Brent Larson; 12. Dustin Nobbe; 13. Brian Ligon; 14. Paul Stubber; 15. Paul Stubber; 16. Blaze Burwell; 17. Jeff Riddell; 18. Russ Adams; 19. Bob Adams; 20. Adam Tischauser; 21. Rusty Griffaw; 22. Jeremy Sneed; 23. Rick Standridge.