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October 23, 2022

BRL SLM S19 R5 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

22 October 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 5
Super Late Model Series | Irwindale Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Mathew Thunhorst took the checkered flag tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Irwindale Speedway ahead of Justin Morton and J R Shepherd. “I kind of noticed a change about lap 55 [or] 60 where she start getting real tight… at that point I was able to adjust and that’s when I started pulling away a little bit”, Thunhorst shared with us before explaining how the outside works at Irwindale, “More banking means more speed and so it’s one of those things where you gotta kind of get used to getting close to the wall and if you can manage it really well here you’re going to succeed.”

J R Shepherd took the pole in qualifying with a 4-lap average time at 17.579 and started tonight from 10th with the field invert. Todd Liston led the 16-car field to the green flag with Steve Hilbert to his outside. Liston had a strong jump off the start but an unexpected checkup in the outside line caused contact sending Matt Hoose into the inside wall bringing out an early caution as the field restacked to take the green again going into lap 6. Liston had another good jump off the start as racing resumed.

Joseph Snyder and Adam Schoen battled side by side over 2nd with neither driver willing to back off. Justin Morton was trying to make the inside line work behind Snyder for 4th place with Thunhorst directly behind him. Austin Boelke and J R Shepherd were following Jeffrey Hardin along the high line running in 7th and 8th as the field started to sort themselves out mostly single file. 20 laps into the night, Schoen made a move for the lead diving beneath Liston and was able to make it stick clearing ahead of Liston going into lap 22 with Thunhorst directly behind following him through.

Morton took advantage of the situation diving in behind Thunhorst to clear into 3rd. Shepherd was directly behind the battle but struggled to clear around Liston as the caution flag came back out when Hardin and Boelke came together in the corner further back in the field. Hardin spun and the drivers behind him couldn’t avoid causing a pile up with several cars. Schoen was in control of the field to the inside of Thunhorst as the green flag came back out. Schoen cleared for the lead off the jump, but Thunhorst stayed tight on his rear bumper before diving low to take the lead away with 35 laps completed.

Morton was able to get to the outside of Schoen and take away 2nd place before Schoen was able to slot back into line blocking Shepherd in 4th. Going into the 2nd half of the night, Shepherd continued to struggle to find a way around Schoen as Thunhorst and Morton started to pull away with the lead and the field split into multiple small battles spread around the track. Thunhorst had a 0.6 second lead over Morton and Shepherd was slowly reeling Morton in after clearing into 3rd with 40 laps remaining.

On lap 76, Thunhorst reached the first of the lap traffic quickly putting two lapped drivers between himself and Morton over 2 seconds behind him further extending his lead out going into the final moments. In the end, no one was able to challenge Mathew Thunhorst for the lead as he took the checkered flag 3.8 seconds ahead of Justin Morton with J R Shepherd, Adam Schoen, and Joseph Snyder rounding out the top 5 tonight at Irwindale Speedway.

J R Shepherd holds onto the lead in the point standings tonight with 228 points. Mathew Thunhorst sits in 2nd place with 219 points over Justin Morton with 215 points. Donny Moore moved up to 4th with 179 points and Joseph Snyder rounds out the top 5 with 76 points. Next week, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to Nasville Fairgrounds Speedway for the 6th round of Season 19 on October 29th with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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