Moyer Triples-Up with Bill Cheesbourg Memorial Win at the Wild West Shootout
Ryan Neuharth Tucson, Ariz (January 16, 2011) A year ago at the Wild West Shootout at USA Raceway, Terry Phillips swept past Billy Moyer on the final lap in turn three of the Wednesday night show in lapped traffic to steal the win. In post-race interviews, Moyer stated “I guess he wanted it more for $3,000 than I did” to which Phillips responded “He’s right there, I was wanting it pretty bad.”
In Sunday’s Bill Cheesbourg Memorial Finale at the Wild West Shootout, Moyer returned the favor grabbing the lead from Phillips as the duo raced to the white flag claiming his third win of the week for the second consecutive year.
“Terry did a great job,” Moyer said from Element 7 Victory Lane following the triumph. “We were just trying to pick our line and find out where the racetrack was best like he was. We caught the lapped cars right and it work out for us again.”
Phillips, the winningest driver in series history (he now leads Moyer nine to seven) not only lost the lead to Moyer, but also was overtaken by RC Whitwell on the final lap and ultimately had to settle for third. “I chose the wrong line on the last lap and it cost me,” said Phillips. “I need to do a better job.”
Leading away from the pole, Phillips worked the preferred high line to open up a six car length advantage on Moyer as Mike Johnson and Billy Moyer, Jr., settled in third and fourth. The top four broke away from the remainder of the field where an intense two and three wide fight for position was taking past from fifth on back.
Jeremy Payne and Jesse Stovall swapped fifth on numerous occasions allowing the triumvirate of Bub McCool, RC Whitwell and Pat Doar to join the in the fun creating a five way free-for-all until disaster struck on lap fifteen.
As McCool slowed and pulled off into the infield, Dylan Smith made contact with Ronnie Lee Hollingsworth entering turn three sending him careening into the fence. Smith’s car began to flip and was struck my Frank Heckenast, Jr. and came to rest upside down in the middle of the racetrack while Heckenast sat perched halfway up the retaining wall.
On the restart Phillips again led away as Moyer, Jr., snuck past Johnson and pulled even with his Father before settling into third. That began a free-fall for Johnson which saw him drop from third to tenth in just five laps before ultimately finishing in the twelfth spot.
Just past the halfway point Whitwell came to life after switching from the top to the bottom which began another splendid charge to the front. The four time USA Raceway Modified Champion leapt from seventh to fourth igniting a battle with Payne that momentarily included Moyer, Jr. The current and former Tucsonians dropped the younger Moyer into the clutches of a surging Jimmy Mars before Whitwell claimed sole possession of third on lap twenty-six.
Phillips continued to lead through lapped traffic as Moyer lurked, searching for the fastest way around the immaculate USA Raceway. As Whitwell closed on the two leaders, Phillips approached slower traffic entering turn three coming to the white flag. Finding his preferred low line occupied, Phillips tried to tip-toe around the outside leaving the door open for Moyer. That small opening was all Moyer need and he immediately pounced pulling even at the exit of turn four.
Moyer was able to use his drive off the bottom to become only the races second leader with one to go. As the only one of the three leaders running the low line on each end, Whitwell also took advantage of Phillips broken momentum to steal the runner-up spot heading down the backstretch for the final time.
Whitwell than pulled to Moyer’s rear deck entering turn three but was unable to get along-side and had to settle for his third runner-up of the week.
Moyer’s win was his biggest of the series as he cracked the bank for the $10,000 Bill Cheesbourg Memorial victory. “That’s what it’s all about, getting the last one, that’s the one that helps pay the bills,” Moyer said of the win.
The win also marked Moyer’s seventh in Wild West Shootout competition and number 741 for his career