BRL SLM S17 R9 Recap
21 May 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 17 | Round 9
Super Late Model Series | Martinsville Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Mathew Thunhorst claimed his third win of the season with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Martinsville Speedway ahead of Justin Morton and James Lowe. Thunhorst now has the most wins of any other driver in the series this season. “I hate that he didn’t get second at least out of that”, Thunhorst commented about Kenny Kibbey’s show of sportsmanship during their contact in the final few laps, “He pulled an extremely classy move with letting me try to gather that back up and he kind of paid the price for it.”
James Lowe took the green flag for the field as the drivers thundered past the crowd and into the first turn. The field had a lot of chaos shuffling the running order around as drivers went after position gains early and some unfortunate drivers dropping to the rear of the field such as Donny Moore who started in 3rd. Justin Morton and Mathew Thunhorst got to the inside of Joseph Snyder and knocked him back to 4th as Morton and Thunhorst started to close in on Lowe still in the lead.
20 laps into the night, Morton and Thunhorst had completely close the gap to Lowe. Kenny Kibbey was looking to the inside of Snyder clearing into 4th place. Morton and Thunhorst went side by side battling over 2nd place but Thunhorst had to concede and settled back into 3rd ahead of Kibbey. Morton was caught out and stuck on the outside line as Thunhorst and Kibbey both went underneath him pushing him back to 4th. The top 3 drivers started pull away with Morton leading the rest of the field around 1 second behind the battle for the lead.
Thunhorst got inside of Lowe on lap 38 and quickly cleared for the lead with Kibbey following behind. Lowe settled into 3rd but couldn’t match the pace of Thunhorst and Kibbey and he slowly started to fall back as Morton started reeling him in. Crossing the halfway point in the race, the two leaders had separated themselves from the rest of the field by over 1 second. Morton had pulled away from Snyder in 5th and closed the distance to Lowe to make an attempt for 3rd place.
Michael Goodman was running in 5th place with 40 laps remaining running 2 seconds behind Morton. Kibbey held onto the rear bumper of Thunhorst in the battle over the lead as the leaders started catching the rear of the field. Thunhorst was able to use the lap traffic to build a slight gap between himself and Kibbey, now running 0.4 ahead of Kibbey. Kibbey struggled to close the gap back up while negotiating through more traffic going into the last 20 laps.
With 10 laps remaining, Kibbey completely close the gap to Thunhorst but wasn’t given a good opportunity to take advantage of as Thunhorst was careful to not leave any opening going into the corners. On lap 97, Kibbey took a chance to dive under Thunhorst. Thunhorst closed the door quickly and Kibbey couldn’t checkup quick enough as contact was made. Thunhorst spun to the inside and Kibbey slowed in an amazing show of sportsmanship allowing Thunhorst to reclaim the lead. Morton and Lowe close up in that time and cleared around Kibbey before he got back up to speed and fell back to 4th. Thunhorst took the checkered flag around 1 second ahead of Morton with Goodman rounding out the top 5.
Kenny Kibbey still leads in the point standings with 345 points. Justin Morton sits in 2nd place 12 points behind the lead. Mathew Thunhorst and Austin Boelke are tied for 3rd place both with 309 points. Michael Goodman, a rookie in the series this season, holds onto 5th place with 274 points. The Bootleg Racing League will be back on the track after taking a break for Memorial Day Weekend heading to Langley Speedway on June 4th with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network!