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July 10, 2022

BRL SLM S18 R3 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

09 July 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 18 | Round 3
Super Late Model Series | Lucas Oil Raceway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

J R Sheperd with Different Path Motorsports claimed his first win of Season 18 tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Lucas Oil Raceway ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and Justin Morton. “This was definitely a nice chance of pace. Usually, this track is just the outside groove, and it doesn’t give you a whole lot of options but tonight the car had a little bit of freeness into it at least on throttle so that gave us more options than we normally have here.”, Shepherd commented about the racing and state of the track tonight.

Michael Goodman led the field to the green flag as the action was kicked off with Jeffrey Hardin to his outside. Goodman cleared ahead of Hardin and the front half of the field started to single file out with the first 10 laps completed. J R Shepherd and Justin Morton went side by side as Shepherd tried to take 3rd place from the outside line with Austin Boelke following close behind. Morton struggled to keep his momentum up on corner exit and was slowly dropping back little by little with each lap before conceding the position to Shepherd. Shepherd then made an aggressive dive below the leaders as Goodman got loose and was able to jump from 3rd and take control of the field ahead of Hardin. Goodman fell back far in the running order as drivers spilt around him to try to avoid contact.

Shepherd continued to lead as Justin Morton and Jeffrey Hardin fought over 2nd place. Mathew Thunhorst was up to 7th behind Stephen Spies with 30 laps completed. Morton cleared for 2nd and Thunhorst made contact with Kurt Smith almost sending both drivers around, however they both reacted incredibly quickly and straightened themselves back out to carry on with Thunhorst dropping back to 8th to regroup behind Smith. Spies was still making moves forward clearing around Austin Boelke into 4th and looking to the inside of Hardin. Thunhorst again challenged Smith and was able to complete the move as well as clear ahead of Donny Moore into 6th 45 laps into the night.

Approaching the second half of the race, Spies took 3rd place away from Hardin and went to work reeling Morton in over 2 seconds ahead of him. Thunhorst had caught the rear bumper of Boelke as Boelke as Boelke was trying to overtake Hardin from the inside. Thunhorst followed him low and cleared into 5th. Shepherd continued to stretch out the gap ahead of the field while Thunhorst was still negotiating through traffic and unable to directly challenge him for the lead. Spies had closed up on the leaders and but struggled to get around Morton as Thunhorst overtook Boelke for 4th and quickly went high above Spies and took away 3rd with only 30 laps remaining.

Shepherd still led ahead of Morton, who was feeling the pressure from a quickly approaching Thunhorst. Thunhorst closed up tight behind Morton and was starting to look around the inside but didn’t yet have the momentum to beat Morton’s pace out of the corners. Going into the final 10 laps, Thunhorst had closed up on Shepherd’s bumper but didn’t have a chance to make an attempt on the lead before a large wreck in the middle of the field brough out a late race caution end brought the action to an end with Shepherd leading the field across the line with Thunhorst, Morton, Spies, and Boelke rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Justin Morton holds the lead in the point standings with 115 points as Austin Boelke fell back to 2nd only 2 points behind the leader. Mathew Thunhorst and J R Shepherd are tied for 3rd place with 110 points each and Bryan Dehn sits in 5th place with 104 points after the first 3 rounds of the season. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now head down to Pensacola, Florida on July 16th for the 4th round of the season at Five Flags Speedway with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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