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August 28, 2022

BRL SLM S18 R10 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

27 August 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 18 | Round 10
Super Late Model Series | Langley Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took his 5th checkered flag of Season 18 in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Langley Speedway ahead of Michael Goodman and Kurt Smith. “That was a tough race, at the beginning at least, having to start on the outside but had some things work out for sure”, Shepherd shared with us as the track settled down at the end of the night, “Once I got the lead it was just about running a line to try to conserve the tire temperature and try not to let it get too hot.”

Todd Liston with Indy Autosports was in control of the 18-car field as the green flag came out over Langley Speedway and racing commenced. There was a lot of shuffling throughout the field as drivers scrambled to take advantage in the early stages of the night. Justin Morton and Austin Boelke, both championship contenders, essentially started from the back of the field. Morton dropped back because of technical issues around the first lap and Boelke received an EOL penalty from the previous race at Martinsville Speedway. This gave J R Shepherd a strong advantage in the points race already running up in the top 5 with 10 laps completed.

Donny Moore briefly took the lead away from Liston until minor contact between them sent Moore spinning into the infield grass. Liston voluntarily ran a passthrough down pit road taking responsibility for the incident and handing the race lead over to Michael Goodman. Shepherd saw his opportunity and aggressively dove from 3rd place to get beneath Goodman and took control of the field going into lap 18. Morton and Boelke had climbed up through the field together into the top 10.

As the drivers crossed the halfway mark of the night, Morton and Boelke were up to 6th and 7th respectively while Shepherd continued to lead ahead of Goodman and Kurt Smith. Jammes Lowe was holding 8th place and kept the pressure up on Boelke while the top 8 drivers started to break away from the rest of the field. Shepherd was running away with the lead taking advantage of the open track ahead of him as Smith was struggling to find a way to get under Goodman for 2nd.

With 30 laps remaining, Shepherd had reached the first signs of lap traffic cautiously negotiating around them while maintaining the gap between himself and Goodman. Morton was up to 5th with Boelke still following closely behind him. With 15 laps to go, a checkup in the pack caused Smith to make contact with Goodman forcing several drivers to scramble around the front stretch trying to avoid. Goodman and Smith were able to recover but Jeffrey Hardin was caught up in it and sent into the outside wall bringing out the caution late in the night.

Shepherd quickly cleared back into the lead off the restart with 10 laps remaining. Goodman held onto 2nd ahead of Smith with James Lowe up to 4th as Morton and Boelke slipped back to 7th and 8th behind Bryan Dehn. Another caution was thrown going into lap 95 when Chris Davis and Bruce Pearson had minor contact and Pearson ended up sideways on the track and, since the Bootleg Racing League does not do GWC finishes, the driver again restacked for a one lap shootout to the checkered flag. As the green flag came out for the final time, Shepherd jumped out ahead of the field again and took the win with Michael Good, Kurt Smith, Joseph Snyder, and James Lowe rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Langley Speedway.

J R Shepherd holds the lead over Justin Morton in the point standings tonight with 385 points over Morton’s 377 points. Austin Boelke holds onto 3rd place with 363 points. Donny Moore stays in 4th place with 340 points and Kurt Smith rounds out the top 5 in the points with 334 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now set their sights to Myrtle Beach Speedway for the final round of Season 18 on September 11th with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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