Billy Moyer lines up to run...
Billy Moyer lines up to run the Topless 100 race at Batesville Speedway. He has an impressive list of wins this season. In this installment we will analyze his style and offer suggestions on why it works so well.
The second half of our AMSOIL Great American Circle Track Tour of the Southeastern U.S. is now well under way and our next two stops are at two great dirt tracks-Batesville Motor Speedway for the annual Topless 100, and then on to Paducah International Raceway for the first race of a MARS-sanctioned double header weekend. We learned a whole bunch from these two races.
The trip, up to this point, was a long one and one not without adventure. We had so far traveled from our home in Ormond Beach, Florida, in our 40-foot motorhome pulling a 28-foot double stacker trailer, to Clarksville, Tennessee, and Highland Rim Speedway; then on to Columbus, Indianna, for the Salem USAC race; and on to an RV park in Paducah, Kentucky, overnight. The next race was the Topless 100 at Batesville and so we needed to break up the trip from Indiana.
Continuing on to Batesville, I chose a route from Paducah that would place me at a fuel stop on I-55 west of the Mississippi River and that required taking Kentucky and Mississippi highways 60/62 across the Ohio and Mississippi rivers near where they join. No big deal. But it was.
The racing at Batesville was...
The racing at Batesville was all good. We had a chance to observe first-hand the new style of setups being tried by the top teams. What we found was use of excessive rebound in the right front shocks and excessively stiff springs in the right rear. As is usually the case, teams find a good thing and take it beyond where it works well.
These two bridges are extremely high and long two laner's that were built around 1929 or so and only 20 feet wide from boiler plate to boiler plate. Where the right lane stripe is on a normal highway, these bridges had steel plating. Cross the line and scrape the steel. And, semi tractor trailers were coming at me from the opposite direction. Our mirrors were passing less than six inches apart. Talk about up on the wheel.
We stayed in an RV park up the road a bit from Batesville in Mountain View, Arkansas, and got a much needed rest. This part of Arkansas was wonderful with low mountains and lots of forests and farms. We drove the Jeep Wrangler all around the Ozark National Forest. Batesville Motor Speedway is right on the edge of this rolling hills country and itself, in a great location. No wonder Billy Moyer calls this place home.
Speaking of Moyer, we are going to tell a tale about Billy in this installment. Don't write us and tell us that we devoted excess print on him, because that is the plan. There are about 24 reasons why as of the date of this writing.
Batesville Motor Speedway
The heat races and B-main...
The heat races and B-main ran into the night and just before the A-main was to be run, mother nature turned on the faucet and the race was rained out. We had just made it back to the motorhome when the skies opened up. This forced the track to postpone the race until 2 p.m. the next day-Sunday. It would be much hotter and drier then, making for a very interesting race.
Every year, Batesville holds the Topless 100 race where the best DLM teams from across the country come to race with their roofs removed from the car. I first came here about 1997 and still think this is a neat way for fans to see the racers. Without the roofs, the drivers are clearly visible and it's fun to watch. Because of the rain delaying the running of the race until Sunday, the view was even better.
So far we had been to only two dirt races on this 2010 Tour, Carolina and Cherokee, and both were regular weekly race schedules. This time, we were treated to a race where most of the top Dirt Late Model teams in the country would be competing.
In preparation for this race, I remembered to look up the stats on Billy Moyer because this is his home track and because I have watched Billy and the way he races for some time. What I have preached as to driving style on dirt is what he has been doing his entire career. And it has paid off, but not quite as well as this year.
"Mr. Smooth," as he is called, races more straight ahead that most any other driver including Scott Bloomquist-and that has produced consistency in his race results. I remember seeing where he had won the Dream at Eldora this year, something I could relate to as I was part of a setup conspiracy in 1998 when Billy won the Dream and the World 100 that year with a crazy asphalt setup.