World Of Outlaws Late Model Series

Billy Moyer 'Beaten Up' After Violent Flip At Deer Creek Speedway

Billy Moyer 'Beaten Up' After Violent Flip At Deer Creek Speedway

Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer is 'beaten up' and recovering after a violent flip during the Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway.

Jul 9, 2024 by Brandon Paul
Billy Moyer 'Beaten Up' After Violent Flip At Deer Creek Speedway

SPRING VALLEY, Minn. — Not surprisingly for a driver considered one of Dirt Late Model racing’s all-time greats, Billy Moyer has rarely found himself in hellacious crashes over his nearly 50 years behind the wheel. 

So it was against that backdrop that the 66-year-old Hall of Famer from Batesville, Ark., went flipping wildly down the backstretch on Saturday at Deer Creek Speedway, riding out a horrifying series of tumbles that looked like, and probably was, one of the worst accidents he’s ever experienced in his career.

In fact, two days after escaping serious injury in the wreck that took place on the opening lap of the B-main for the World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series-sanctioned NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50, Moyer effectively confirmed its severity on his personal crash list in a text message to While noting Deer Creek marked just the third time in his career that he could recall flipping — years ago he rolled at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga., and went out of the ballpark at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. — it was a new lowlight for him.

“Lakeside was kind of hard. Dixie was just an easy one,” Moyer texted. “This one was pretty violent.”

That would actually be an understatement. The manner in which Moyer’s Todd Cooney Racing Longhorn Chassis shed parts as it gyrated through the air made it appear as rough as any crash in Dirt Late Model racing this season.

Starting seventh in Saturday’s consolation, Moyer surged forward quickly at the drop of the green flag with a strong run on the inside of turns one and two. But as he slid up the track off turn two while Chad Mahder of Bloomer, Wis., was angling down off the top side, the two cars appeared to sandwich Lance Hofer of Fountain City, Wis. Mahder lurched sideways in front of Hofer and nosed into the right side of Moyer’s No. 21, turning Moyer to the right while simultaneously lifting the rear wheels of Moyer’s car.

With Moyer hard on the gas in the middle of the backstretch, his left side dug into the track surface, sending him barrel-rolling at high speed as a backward Mahder and passing Cody Overton of Evans, Ga., made contact. Moyer’s car flipped four times before coming to rest perched precariously on its right side in the middle of turn three. Several other cars, including the machine driven by Jordan Yaggy of Rochester, Minn., slid to a stop to avoid hitting Moyer’s stricken vehicle.

Tyler Bachman, World Racing Group’s safety coordinator and director of the Xtreme Outlaw Midgets Series who spent the weekend helping WoO officials, was one of the first officials to reach Moyer’s car. He said Moyer was alert and communicated that he did not feel like he had suffered any serious injuries, so Bachman organized safety team members to carefully right Moyer’s car with the driver still buckled inside.

After speaking with rescue squad personnel, Moyer gingerly emerged from his mangled car. He appeared to indicate that he had some pain in his ribcage on the left side of his body as he walked to the waiting ambulance and went inside to be checked over and driven back to the pit area.

Moyer declined a trip to the hospital and was left with his team. He didn’t seem concerned with his own well being.

“The first thing he said was, ‘How bad’s the car?’ ” said Todd Cooney of Des Moines, Iowa, the veteran racer who has stopped his own racing career due to health issues and is now focused on fielding cars for Moyer and Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa. “I said, ‘Who cares about the car. We got more cars. We’re just glad you’re all right.’ ”

As Cooney’s crew assessed the heavy damage to the Longhorn car — Moyer recently decided to turn the Infinity Chassis he had been running over to Gustin and pilot the older Longhorn mount from Cooney’s stable — Moyer headed to his motorhome parked in the pit area with his girlfriend, Carla Rayburn, to decompress following his ordeal. Phone calls from those close to Moyer soon started coming in to Moyer and Rayburn, including one from Moyer’s son, Billy Moyer Jr., who is no longer racing and was on his way home from a South Carolina beach vacation with his wife and two young children when he learned of his father’s wreck.

“I called (WoO series director Steve) Francis and he answered immediately so that made me feel way better after talking to him,” said Moyer Jr., who was not watching the race live on DIRTVision (he hasn’t watched any races this year “to make it less difficult for me mentally” as he builds a life away from racing). “That was really bad … I’ve never seen him flip.”

Moyer left the track that night with Rayburn headed toward his native Des Moines, Iowa. On Sunday Rayburn reported in a Facebook post that Moyer visited an urgent care center in Ankeny, Iowa, for further evaluation to ensure he had suffered no broken bones or other injuries and “everything checked out OK” while also adding that “he’s a bit beaten up and sore but should be feeling back to normal in a week or so.”

“As for racing,” Rayburn noted, “that’s yet to be determined. After 17 races in 24 days, we are heading back to Batesville to catch up on life outside of racing.”

Moyer, who has made 25 starts since joining Cooney’s team in late April with a top finish of third in June 14’s DIRTcar Summer Nationals feature at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., will have a car waiting for him as soon as he wants to race again. As Cooney mentioned, “it’s time to rebuild.”

And Moyer himself on Monday sounded like a driver who isn’t ready to let a terrible crash push him to retirement.

“I am beat up pretty bad,” Moyer wrote in a text message, “but it takes a lot to keep me down.”