Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SPORTS>>MSRA set for return to Beebe after rain

Leader sportswriter

The Mid South Racing Association will make another stop at Beebe Speedway on Friday.

It will be the second of three shows for the year at Beebe, a quarter-mile, sandy clay oval just off Highway 167. Batesville’s Billy Moyer, Jr., won the first MSRA race at Beebe in April over Dane Dacus of Memphis and Gary Christian.

The MSRA was in action two weeks ago with races at Malden Speedway in Missouri and Northeast Arkansas Speedway in Harrisburg.

The doubleheader put the grand total for MSRA races this year to six after rain washed out five events in the spring.

“We finally got in two shows,” MSRA series director Chris Ellis said. “They were really good races too, it was a good weekend.

The weather really got us in the spring.

“At one point, we had four races and five rainouts, but hopefully that’s behind us and we can get some more consistency.”

Dacus won at Malden while Trumann’s Kyle Beard claimed his first victory of the season at NEA Speedway. The 24-year-old known as “The Silent Assassin” also took the season points lead after that weekend.

Moyer was the early points leader after winning the first two events at Beebe and Riverside in early April. But while the MSRA weekend was under way two weeks ago, Moyer opted to race in the famed Dream 100 super late-model race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Moyer is beginning to make a name for himself on the national circuit after a pair of third-place finishes in the Lucas Oil series, including at the Show-Me 100. Moyer, known as “Kid Smooth”, is currently taking part in the UMP Summernationals

Hell Tour, which has 27 late-model races across the country in 30 days.

“He was ready to do that,” Ellis said. “He will come back and run some of our shows with us, but he was ready to go to the next level.”

Moyer tentatively plans to compete in the MSRA doubleheader at USA Speedway at Sterlington, La., and I-30 Speedway in Benton on Aug. 6-7.

Moyer’s absence has put Beard in position to capture his first series season-points title. Beard rose to regional prominence in 2007 when he won rookie of the year and was the points runner-up in the defunct AMP late-model series. Beard also won the
MSRA-sanctioned Mid South Dirt Track Championships held in Harrisburg that year.

Beard, who grew up racing at the Harrisburg track, also put his years of experience to good use when he claimed the most recent MSRA event in dominant fashion.

“He was in a different area code,” Ellis said. “He’s made 10 million circles around that place because his dad used to own it.

Dacus finished second there, he’s won a couple of our shows there, so he can get around that place. Bill Frye was third, and he’s good there, but Kyle just knows that place.”

The number of events on the MSRA season schedule will remain the same, but two races have changed locations.

Saturday’s race will be at Crawford County Speedway in Van Buren because of a cancellation at Southwest Arkansas Super Speedway in Nashville. Boothill Speedway in Shreveport, La., has picked up the open July 9 date originally scheduled for the recently closed track in Paris, Texas.

The Boothill date will be the first race in which the restart process is tweaked. The MSRA runs a regional double-file restart, which means the first-place car restarts out front with second and third behind in the next row, followed by fourth and fifth in the next row and so on throughout the field.

To this point, the second-place car has always been forced to restart on the inside, but will now have the choice between restarting inside or outside beginning with the Boothill race.

“They can get that strategy going now,” Ellis said. “You might have a guy out front who wants to run the outside, so you can restart on the top and force him to stay lower where he doesn’t want to race. It should make for an interesting race, and that’s all we’re really trying to do is put on the best show we can.”