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September 11, 2022

BRL SLM S18 R11 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

10 September 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 18 | Round 11
Super Late Model Series | Myrtle Beach Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Kenny Kibbey with Nocturnal Gaming passed nearly the entire field on his way to the front to take the checkered flag tonight in his return to the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Myrtle Beach Speedway ahead of J R Shepherd and Justin Morton. “It’s tough when you’re racing against championship guys like that”, Kibbey commented after his impressive win tonight, “Hopefully we can just keep putting together runs… Yeah, looking forward to coming back and racing just about every week.”

Austin Boelke led the 18-car field to the green flag with Justin Morton to his outside. J R Shepherd started in 3rd and quickly dove beneath Morton off the jump. The two drivers ran side by side while Morton tried to utilize the outside line but was eventually forced to concede the position to Shepherd after 3 intense laps. As the field single filed out around the track, Shepherd and Morton closed back in on Boelke in the lead with Joseph Snyder directly behind them as the top 4 started to pull away from the rest of the pack.

20 laps into the night, Kenny Kibbey was making a hard charge to the front already up to 5th, from a 15th place starting position, and was closing on the leaders quickly. Shepherd saw his opportunity on lap 25 getting his nose to the inside of Boelke and started battling for the lead over several laps before clearing ahead of Boelke on lap 27. Morton dove his car in behind Shepherd before Boelke could close the door as Kibbey ran close behind in 4th. Kibbey was able to get to the inside of Boelke before Morton cleared to ensure that the door remained open as Boelke was pushed back to 4th place.

Shepherd continued to hold the lead ahead of Morton and Kibbey as the top 3 broke away from the field as the drivers approached the halfway point of the night. Kibbey was pressuring Morton for 2nd place trying to force a mistake out of Morton while Shepherd wasn’t able to build a gap behind him as we’ve seen him do in previous rounds this season. Boelke dropped further back, still running in 4th, defending his position from Adam Schoen and Snyder closing on his bumper. Lap 52 saw Kibbey aggressively dive beneath Morton forcing an opening allowing him to quickly overtake for 2nd place.

Kibbey wasted no time going after the lead again aggressively throwing his car to the inside and getting a nose ahead of Shepherd before clearing into the lead with 43 laps remaining. Shepherd looked to the inside of Kibbey to pull off a crossover but couldn’t close in on Kibbey enough to complete the move settling into 2nd ahead of Morton. Kibbey took full advantage of the open track ahead of him stretching out his lead. In the final 30 laps, Kibbey had built up a commanding gap ahead of Shepherd and was negotiating through lap traffic with the drivers respectfully clearing the preferred line for the approaching leaders.

Going into the final 10 laps, Morton continued to pressure Shepherd for 2nd place, but Shepherd was defensively holding the inside line tight while Kibbey had completely checked out and was well over 1 second ahead of the rest of the field. Morton made a few peaks to the inside of Shepherd to have the door slammed shut again and again as Kenny Kibbey took the checkered flag tonight in the final round of Season 18 ahead of J R Shepherd, Justin Morton, Austin Boelke, and Jeffrey Hardin rounding out the top 5 finishers at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

J R Shepherd took the season championship tonight with 424 points overall over Justin Morton with 415 points. “It was a tough season for sure”, Shepherd commented on the championship before giving his competitor praise, “[Morton’s] one heck of a driver. Very, very clean and there’s several times tonight he could’ve just shoved it to the inside and he chose not to, so it shows the type of driver he is. That’s a person you want to see succeed and I promise you, you will.” Austin Boelke finished the season out in 3rd place with 400 points while Michael Goodman and Kurt Smith finished in 4th and 5th place respectively with only 8 points between them. Next week, on September 17th, is the 7th Annual Stone River Shootout where the race winners from the past year in the Bootleg Racing League will pilot the ARCA stock cars around Hickory Motor Speedway with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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