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June 12, 2022

BRL SLM S17 R11 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

11 June 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 17 | Round 11
Super Late Model Series | Myrtle Beach Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Kenny Kibbey with Nocturnal Gaming took the season championship tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Mathew Thunhorst took the checkered flag for the night beating Kenny Kibbey and J R Shepherd to the line in the end. “I kind of got lucky breaks, you know, and I just kept taking advantage of them”, Thunhorst commented after taking the final win of the season, “I kind of figured some things out. [I] was trying a new line all night and it worked out here pretty well and I just took care of my tires best I could and when it got down to the end, I had something for [Menda] still.”

Jeffrey Hardin led the 19-car field to the green flag with Kurt Smith alongside him on the front row. Kenny Kibbey, the points leader going into the evening, started in 5th place ahead of Austin Boelke. Jason Menda started from 3rd place and matched Hardin’s jump off the start clearing into 2nd place quickly as the drivers shuffled for position throughout the field. Smith struggled from the outside and fell back to 6th before being able to slide down to the low line. Menda was able to take the inside from Hardin and overtook for the lead going into lap 6.

Bryan Dehn, Boelke, and Kibbey were running 3rd through 5th and kept the pressure on the leaders while Smith in 6th started to fall off the front pack with Mathew Thunhorst, J R Shepherd, and James Lowe running behind him. Kibbey was able to maneuver around Boelke 32 laps into the night and was up to 4th place still running behind Dehn as a caution came out on lap 34 stacking the field back together with Menda still in control of the field. Thunhorst, Shepherd, and Lowe were running in 5th through 7th as the green flag came out over the field and racing resumed.

Menda had a good launch on the start, but Kibbey stayed with him with Thunhorst following close behind. Hardin found himself stranded on the outside and fell back in the running order to 5th behind Boelke. Menda continued to lead the field as the drivers crossed the halfway point in the race with Kibbey still trying to find a way to take the lead for himself. Kibbey made several attempts to take the inside line away from Menda unsuccessfully and started trying to utilize the outside with 30 laps remaining. Thunhorst took advantage of Kibbey looking high and tried to pry 2nd place away, but Kibbey reacted quickly enough to defend the position.

Another caution was thrown out with 25 laps remaining when Hardin and Lowe came together on track. The restack put Thunhorst and Shepherd to the inside line directly behind Menda and Kibbey on the outside line for the restart. Thunhorst quickly jumped out ahead of Kibbey as Kibbey tried to fight back from the outside struggling to stay alongside. Shepherd cleared ahead of Boelke for 4th with Lowe moving in behind him pushing Boelke back another spot. Shepherd tried to get up to Thunhorst’s rear bumper to block Kibbey still on the outside.

Menda’s tires spun coming out of the corner giving Thunhorst the chance he needed inside the final 20 laps as Thunhorst took the lead and started to pull away. Kibbey moved into 2nd ahead Shepherd close behind in 3rd. With 10 laps remaining, Thunhorst had a strong grip on the lead ahead of Kibbey. Thunhorst stretched his lead out to over 0.6 as a late race caution came out bringing the race to a close and Thunhorst took the checkered flag with Kibbey, Shepherd, Boelke, and Michael Goodman rounding out the top 5 finishers in the season finale.

Kenny Kibbey took the season championship with a total of 421 points ahead of Austin Boelke with 384. Justin Morton finished out the season in 3rd with 373 points with Mathew Thunhorst and Michael Goodman rounding out the top 5 drivers as the season comes to a close. “When it came down to like race wins and podiums you know some tracks I kind of had the speed others I didn’t or it might have come down to a restart that either helped me or hurt me, but yeah just to stay clean and just to be in the mix is [going to] usually get me like a top 5 and we managed to do that just about every week”, Kibbey commented after officially claiming the champion title, “Consistency wins championships, I kind of tried to epitomize that.”

Season 18 of the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series kicks off on June 18th at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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