BRL SLM S17 R1 Recap
26 Mar 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 17 | Round 1
Super Late Model Series | Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Jason Menda with Thunder Ridge Racing took the checkered flag after leading every lap in the first round of the new season tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and Austin Boelke. “Really glad that we switched over to super late models. Fits me a lot better so, yeah, really happy.”, Menda commented as he celebrated his win tonight, “I figured there was going to be a caution eventually, so I was trying to save my tires. Those restarts, I was getting kind of nervous there in the end.”
Jason Menda led the field to the green flag quickly clearing Stephen Spies to his outside going single file. The field all went single file around the first 25 laps in one long train of cars with Spies in 2nd place but unable to maintain pace with Menda and inadvertently gate keeping the rest of the field as they struggled to get around him. This allowed Menda to pull away from the field by over one second with 30 laps completed and relax his pace while saving his tires for later in the race.
Adam Schoen was the first driver to get around Spies and went to work closing the gap up to Menda gaining around 0.10 per lap on the leader. James Lowe was able to get the inside line away from Spies with Kenny Kibbey following suit approaching halfway in the race. Spies couldn’t hold the line while maintaining pace and he slid up to the outside wall and that opened up the inside line to the rest of the field with Spies dropping back to 7th before closing the door.
Going into the second half Menda continued to lead ahead of James Lowe and Adam Schoen. Tire spin from Lowe off a restart presented Kenny Kibbey an opportunity to jump to 2nd place behind Menda with bad luck striking Schoen as his engine blew coming out of turn two on lap 68 ending his night early after a strong performance up to that point. Austin Boelke, who started in the back of the field, had gotten up to 4th ahead of John Heyn with 30 laps remaining. Heyn made contact with the outside wall and started falling off quickly from the damage giving 5th place up to Bryan Dehn.
Lowe, Kibbey, and Boelke battled over 2nd place with 16 laps to go with Kibbey having to concede back in 4th behind Boelke. As the drivers went into the final 10 laps of the night, the aggression was noticeably higher with everyone reaching for any position they could get before the end. Menda continued to lead as Boelke took 2nd place away from Lowe with Thunhorst up to 4th place from starting in last place tonight. Coming out of the final corner Menda led across the line as Thunhorst was able to get around Boelke from the inside line.
A new season begins with a new car in the premier series of the Bootleg Racing League with Jason Menda top among the different drivers showing speed with the super late model tonight. Mathew Thunhorst came through the entire 26-car field up to 2nd place in the end showing that he is just as fast with the super late model as he was in the Grand National Series last season and is a serious contender for the championship going forward. Next week, the drivers hit the track at Hickory Motor Speedway for the second round of the season with all of the action broadcast live on April 2nd at 8:55PM EDT right here on the Virtual Grip Network!