BRL SLM S18 R4 Recap
16 July 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 18 | Round 4
Super Late Model Series | Five Flags Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Mathew Thunhorst dominated the field claiming his 2nd checkered flag of Season 18 tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Five Flags Speedway ahead of Austin Boelke and J R Shepherd. The early race incident gave Thunhorst what he referred to as an uneventful drive. “All of the guys that were probably going to compete against me got caught up in that”, he commented, “I was able to then jump on that restart there and get to the lead and I didn’t look back and at that point, you know, I was just trying run laps.”
Joe Segalla shared the front row with Austin Boelke as the green flag came out over the track starting off the 100-lap event. Segalla quickly cleared into the lead and the 18-car field went mostly single file as the drivers settled in to log off some laps. A checkup caught many drivers by surprise on lap 9 when Jeffrey Hardin got loose coming out of turn four causing a chain reaction behind him resulting in many front runners getting sent around including Justin Morton and J R Shepherd and bringing out the caution flag.
Segalla lined the field back up for the restart going into lap 15. Segalla had a great jump, but the restack gave Mathew Thunhorst an opportunity who dove below Segalla and took control of the race lead. Shepherd had climbed back through the field and was battling for 6th against Jason Menda with 30 laps completed as Thunhorst took advantage of the open track ahead of him and stretched his gap to over 1.6 seconds. Segalla found himself stuck on the outside line and was falling back to Menda forcing Shepherd to concede the battle for the moment and fall back to in line behind Menda.
Going into the 2nd half of the night, Thunhorst had extended his lead to almost 4 seconds ahead of Boelke while Sheperd continued to work through the field. Shepherd was up to 4th but was struggling to find a way around the #26 of Donny Moore. Shepherd looked to the inside several time as Moore slammed the door shut over and over until Shepherd beat Moore to the corner with 22 laps remaining and took the inside line away clearing ahead into 3rd. Thunhorst had a commanding lead and was safely out of reach of the field while negotiating through lap traffic going into the final 15 laps.
Morton and Hardin battled over 8th place, the coveted inversion spot for next week, while Thunhorst was leading by over 7 seconds ahead of Boelke. Hardin dove beneath Morton for 8th, but Morton pushed ahead going around the outside of Michael Goodman forcing Hardin to do the same. Morton was looking to the outside of Menda in 6th going into the last 3 laps and was able to clear into that position, but Hardin couldn’t complete the move this time holding onto 8th. Thunhorst came out of the final corner 7.8 seconds ahead of the rest of the field to take the checkered flag tonight as Five Flags Speedway.
Austin Boelke reclaimed the lead with 152 points in the point standings but is leading by a very narrow margin as Mathew Thunhorst closed the gap and is now 2 points behind the leader. Justin Morton dropped back from the lead to 3rd place after a disappointing night with 150 points. J R Shepherd fell back to 4th place with 148 points and Donny Moore rounds out the top 5 drivers with 135 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now head to North Carolina on July 23rd for the next round of the season at the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!