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October 9, 2022

BRL SLM S19 R3 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

08 October 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 3
Super Late Model Series | USA Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Kenny Kibbey with Nocturnal Gaming took his first win of the season tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at USA Speedway ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and J R Shepherd. “This place was a lot harder to pass at than I expected it to be”, Kibbey commented as the night came to a close, “The longer you ride behind somebody in these super late models the harder and harder it gets to pass unless you can force the driver in front to burn their tires up.”

Mike LeMieux was in control of the 20-car field as the green flag came out with Adam Schoen to his outside. LeMieux had a good jump off the start as Jason Menda dove beneath Schoen challenging for 2nd. Justin Morton tucked in behind Menda with Kenny Kibbey running close behind in 5th. Schoen got loose coming out of the turn four making contact with Morton causing significant damage as the field restacked under caution with 10 laps completed. Morton was able to stay on the lead lap but was restarting from 19th place.

LeMieux continued to hold the lead with Menda and Kibbey running directly behind him as the top 3 drivers started to pull away from the rest of the field. J R Shepherd struggled to push through the field running in 6th behind Donny Moore with Mathew Thunhorst having his own troubles from 9th. 20 laps into the run, Morton was starting to climb back up clearing around Tim Shinoski for 16th. Menda took advantage when LeMieux made a mistake on corner entry quickly diving low and clearing into the lead with Kibbey following him around into 2nd before LeMieux was able to get his car back down on the low line.

Thunhorst cleared into 7th just as Shepherd made the move around the outside of Moore for 5th keeping a car between himself and Thunhorst. Morton moved up a few more spots into 13th and was starting to work over Jeffrey Hardin. With 40 laps behind them, Kibbey made an attempt for the lead, but Menda slammed the door almost catching Kibbey’s nose in the process. Kibbey backed off and settled back in behind Menda for a few more laps. Going into the 2nd half of the night, Kibbey made another attempt, and this time was able to clear around Menda for the lead and quickly started to pull away.

Kibby was still in control of the field with 40 laps remaining with Shepherd up to 4th ahead of Thunhorst. Morton had gotten back into the top 10 and was running in 8th. As the laps counted down, Shepherd found himself stranded to the outside of LeMieux with Thunhorst keep the gap tight not giving Shepherd a space to drop down into. Shepherd fought LeMieux for several laps before he had to concede and drop in behind Thunhorst almost clipping the nose of Joseph Snyder in the process. Thunhorst and Shepherd quickly dove under LeMieux up into 3rd and 4th. Thunhorst immediately went after Menda taking away 2nd place but Shepherd wasn’t able to follow him through this time still behind Menda in 4th.

Thunhorst closed the gap to Kibbey in the lead going into the final 15 laps as Shepherd had to fight Menda from the outside to hold onto 3rd. A miscommunication between several drivers in the midfield caused a large pile up down the front stretch and bringing out the caution as half of the field found themselves in a parking lot. As the drivers restacked, it was Kibbey, Thunhorst, and Shepherd running up front. Kibbey had a good jump as the green flag came back out and Thunhorst slotted in ahead of Shepherd. Kenny Kibbey was able to hold of Mathew Thunhorst around the last 5 laps to take the checkered flag tonight at USA Speedway with J R Shepherd, Jeffrey Hardin, and Donny Moore rounding out the top 5 finishers.

J R Shepherd took the lead in the point standings tonight with 139 points. Mathew Thunhorst moved up to 2nd place with 135 points over Justin Morton with 127 points. Donny Moore holds onto 4th with 106 points and Jospeh Snyder rounds out the top 5 with 103 points. Next week, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to Concord Speedway for the 4th round of Season 19 on October 15th with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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