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September 18, 2022

BRL Asphalt Shootout Recap

by Ryan Senneker

17 September 2022
Bootleg Racing League | 7th Annual Asphalt Shootout
ARCA Stock Car | Hickory Motor Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took the checkered flag tonight in the 7th Annual Bootleg Racing League Asphalt Shootout presented by Stone River Outfitters at Hickory Motor Speedway ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and Kenny Kibbey. “Knew it was going to be a big track position race tonight so to get that pole was extremely important”, Shepherd shared with us as the night came to a close, “This is a place that’s really hard to pass, these cars are extremely hard to drive with the horsepower that they have so being able to get that track position to save tires was a huge deal.”

J R Shepherd came into the night strong securing the pole with a fast time of 14.587 in qualifying and taking the green flag for the main event alongside Kenny Kibbey on the front row. Shepherd quickly cleared ahead of Kibbey with Mathew Thunhorst battling with Brandyn Proudfoot for 3rd. Proudfoot was able to tuck in behind Thunhorst for 4th place but unfortunately took a hit from behind by Chris Davis sending Proudfoot around and to the back of the field in 17th as racing resumed going into lap 24 with Shepherd still leading ahead of Thunhorst and Kibbey.

The field stretched out running single file as Davis found himself stranded to the outside and was quickly falling back. Jason Menda cleared ahead of Jeffrey Hardin and Donny Moore for 4th place but wasn’t able to match the pace coming out of the three leaders who had started to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. With 50 laps completed, the front of the pack was still Shepherd, Thunhorst, Kibbey as they chased each other around the track waiting for any mistake to take advantage of.

Going into the second half of the night, contact between Joe Segalla and Todd Liston brought out the caution with 50 laps remaining giving the field the opportune time to come down pit road for tires. Bryan Dehn and Chris Davis stayed out on track taking control of the field for the restart with Shepherd, Kibbey, and Thunhorst directly behind them with fresh tires. Shepherd dove beneath Dehn coming out of turn two and took the lead back with Thunhorst and Kibbey following him through as they resumed battling over the lead between themselves.

Davis was holding onto 5th behind Hardin as the race stretched out getting what he could out of his older tires as the caution flag came out with 20 laps remaining showing the gamble Davis and Dehn were going for as they came down pit road going into the final stretch taking the green with the freshest tires in the field running in 7th and 8th for the restart. Proudfoot was the last car on the lead lap in 8th place as the green flag came back out and racing resumed. Davis wasted no time using his tire advantage to jump up to 5th off the jump and dove beneath Hardin for 4th. As he closed in on Kibbey’s bumper, Davis was too confident and spun his tires coming out of the corner sending himself around on track and back to 8th.

Thunhorst had yet to make an attempt on the lead, running tight on the back of Shepherd with the laps counting down hoping to pressure the leader into making a mistake. Kibbey took a quick look to the inside of Thunhorst, but checked up instead to avoid contact with Thunhorst’s inside rear fender as contact between Adam Schoen and Lowell Jewell in the middle of the field brought the caution back out and J R Shepherd took the checkered flag under caution flag conditions with Mathew Thunhorst, Kenny Kibbey, Bryan Dehn, and Jeffrey Hardin rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Hickory Motor Speedway in the 7th Annual Bootleg Racing League Asphalt Shootout presented by Stone River Outfitters.

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