Moyer revisits Muskogee success, collects $5,555
By Bryan WimberleyDirtonDirt.com correspondent
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (April 6) — Earning his first victory at the half-mile fairgrounds track in 14 years, sixth-starting Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., grabbed a $5,555.55 payday Friday at Thunderbird Speedway for his 15th career victory on the MARS DIRTcar Series. | Slideshow
The 54-year-old Moyer outdueled polesitter Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., for the Charlie Fulton Memorial victory as the revived track honored a former track owner. Moyer's last victory at Muskogee came in 1998 in the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series-sanctioned Octoberfest.
Moyer inherited the lead on the eighth lap when outside front-row starter Duke Whiseant of Texarkana, Texas, and Stovall made contact in turn two. Stovall charged back, working his way past Wallace and taking advantage of lapped traffic to take command on lap 27 after Moyer struggled getting past Leroy Johnson. Stovall went ahead on lap 29 of the 55-lapper. Moyer regained the lead several laps later and led the rest of a race wjere tore wear and high attrition played a part. A late caution slowed the action on lap 51, but Moyer outran Stovall for his seventh victory overall in 2012.
Stovall, the MARS points leader, settled for second while Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., was third. Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., who captured the series opener at Clarksville, Tenn., rallied from 19th to finish fourth and David Turner of Creighton, Mo., rounded out the top five. Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., a two-time winner at Muskogee last fall, started fifth and was running third late in the race before pulling his smoking race car out of the event.
Notes: Moyer's Victory Circle Chassis has a Clements Racing Engine and sponsorship from Henderson Motorsports, L&D Trucking, Banner Valley Hauling, Car City, New Vision Graphics, Sweet Mfg., Watter's Autoland and Cooley Transport. ... Moyer also won Muskogee's Octoberfest in 1992 and '95, back when the track was called Muskogee Speedway. ... The 40-minute feature wrapped up at 11:25 p.m.; six cautions slowed the action and six cars finished on the lead lap. ... Besides Will Vaught, Terry Phillips and Brad Looney were among drivers exiting with engine woes. ... Jesse Stovall rallied from sixth to win his heat and top the passing points to earn the pole position for the main event. ... Wendell Wallace picked up $555.55 for his dash victory. ... In the most serious accident of the evening, Billy Moyer Jr. crashed head-on into theï¿½ frontstretch wall just past the flagstand in the first heat race; Moyer and Dustin Mooneyham made contact to trigger the accident that also included Tony Jackson Jr. and Garrett Alberson. ... Former Muskogee winner Raymond Merrill of Sallisaw, Okla., drove Jack Sullvan's backup car. ... Jeff Roth of Bentonville, Ark., borrowed his brother Randy'ys No. 26 car in taking a provisional. ... Among other drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Dillon Rupe, Steve Johnson and Brookin Stephens along with New Mexico visitors Garrett Alberson and Dave Deetz. ... Rupe won last weekend's season opener at Thunderbird. ... Next up for MARS competitors is an April 13 visit to Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., paying $3,000-to-win.
Charlie Fulton Memorial: (1) Billy Moyer, (2) Jesse Stovall, (3) Wendell Wallace, (4) Tony Jackson Jr., (5) David Turner, (6) Brandon Morton, (7) Morgan Bagley, (8) Tommy Weder Jr., (9) Justin Asplin, (10) Chris Morelock, (11) Leroy Johnson, (12) Jason Rauen, (13) Will Vaught, (14) Raymond Merrill, (15) Jeff Roth, (16) Duke Whiseant, (17) Brad Looney, (18) Terry Phillips, (19) Jason Redman, (20) John Anderson, (21) Dustin Mooneyham, (22) R.C. Whitwell. Heat race winners (among 36 cars): Stovall, Wallace, Merrill, Vaught. Dash winner: Wallace. Consolation winners: Weder, Asplin. Provisional starters: Morelock, J. Roth.
Correction: Fixes lap counts, dash payout.