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April 23, 2022

BRL SLM S17 R5 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

23 Apr 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 17 | Round 5
Super Late Model Series | North Wilkesboro Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Mathew Thunhorst took the checkered flag for the second week in a row tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at North Wilkesboro Speedway ahead of Austin Boelke and Justin Morton. “It was kind of a chess match… just kept working at him working at him and [Boelke] wasn’t leaving a whole lot open”, Thunhorst commented in regard to his battle for the lead, “Trying to avoid mistakes, trying to focus on [Boelke] having [Morton] and [Kibbey] right behind me the whole time.”

Donny Moore led the field to the green to start off the night’s action with Austin Boelke taking advantage as he made a quick clear over Jeffrey Hardin to take 2nd place away. Kenny Kibbey and Mathew Thunhorst followed on Hardin’s bumper running single file with Justin Morton behind them. Thunhorst was able to take away the inside line to overtake Kibbey into 4th place with Morton holding tight on Thunhorst forcing Kibbey to settle back into line back in 6th going into the 10th lap.

The top 8 drivers started to pull away from the field with Michael Goodman and Joe Segalla running at the tail of the lead pack. 15 laps into the race, Boelke dove deep to the inside and pushed Moore to the outside line shuffling him back as Boelke claimed the lead ahead of Thunhorst. Moore tried to hold on from the outside, but wasn’t able to as he fell back to 6th ahead of Goodman before rejoining the pack. Michael Lemieux caught the lead pack and started battling with Segalla over 8th place.

Stephen Spies followed Lemieux’s advance and overtook both drivers, pushing Segalla back to 10th behind Lemieux going into the 30th lap of the evening. Adam Schoen made a hard charge to the lead pack and was able to clear ahead of Spies. Boelke continued to hold the lead over Thunhorst who followed close behind patiently waiting for his opportunity. Going into the second half of the 100-lap event, drivers aggressively pushed trying to get track position before tire wear became an issue.

Boelke, Thunhorst, Morton, and Kibbey ran single file in the front pulling away from the field by over 2 seconds as Thunhorst started making more aggressive attempts to take away the lead but unable to hold the momentum to get under Boelke. Hardin found himself running alone in 5th place in the middle of a 3 second gap between Kibbey in 4th and Schoen in 6th. The laps continued to count down with Boelke holding off Thunhorst with 30 laps remaining as the lead pack had caught up to lap traffic.

After an intense stretch, Thunhorst was able to get into the inside of Boelke with 18 laps remaining. Boelke fought back from the outside but couldn’t maintain and settled into 2nd ahead of Morton as Thunhorst started to pull away. Going into the final 10 laps, Thunhorst had built the gap to over one second ahead of Boelke as Kibbey continued to pressure Morton for 3rd. Kibbey wasn’t able to capitalize on Morton before Thunhorst took the checkered flag and became the first repeat winner of the season.

Kenny Kibbey maintains his lead in the point standings with 191 points followed by Justin Morton, up from 3rd place now 13 points behind the lead. Austin Boelke moved up into 3rd place with 176 points with Michael Goodman and Mathew Thunhorst rounding out the top 5 drivers this season. The Bootleg Racing League heads over to Southern National Speedway for the next round of the season on April 30th with all of the action broadcast at 8:55PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network!

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