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February 13, 2023

BRL LM S21 R6 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

11 February 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 6
Late Model Series | Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman

Justin Morton with Total Downforce Racing claimed his 3rd win of the season tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Late Model Series at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and J R Shepherd. [Thunhorst and Shepherd] got side by side on that last restart and that kind of sealed it up for me just trying to take it home from there.”, Morton commented at the end of the run.

J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports continues his streak of sitting at the top of the timing and scoring boards in qualifying with a fast lap put down at 19.196 beating his teammate, Austin Boelke, in 2nd place by over 0.1 seconds at the line. Darryl Wineinger qualified 10th fastest and, with the Bootleg Racing League’s invert, started the night off on the pole leading the 22-car field around to take the green flag. Wineinger had a good launch off the start clearing out ahead of Mark Snyder as Justin Morton stuck low to slot into 2nd place.

Morton wasted no time going after the lead getting around Wineinger 3 laps into the run and quickly started to pull away while Shepherd was struggling to get through traffic running back in 10th being Michael Goodman. Mathew Thunhorst was aggressively pushing through traffic up to 12th from 17th with no signs of slowing his progress as he closed on Shepherd getting to the inside of Jeffrey Hardin. Boelke was quietly taking positions as opportunities presented themselves up to 4th and patiently running behind Donny Moore.

With 30 laps behind them, Thunhorst had gotten around Shepherd and was working over Mark Hertzog for 6th while Morton was trying to save his equipment out front maintaining a healthy gap ahead of Moore and Boelke. Boelke took a chance going into lap 36 and challenged for 2nd by going to the outside of Moore able to clear after a couple tight corners. Thunhorst was still making his charge to the front up to 4th with Shepherd running directly behind him.

Going into the 2nd half of the night, Morton continued to control the field while Thunhorst and Shepherd moved up to 3rd and 4th closing the gap to Boelke. Morton had stretched his lead out to over 1.3 seconds as Thunhorst started working over Boelke who wasn’t giving Thunhorst any chances keeping the door firmly closed for the moment which allowed Shepherd to join the battle for 2nd. A rare mistake from Boelke going into lap 70 allowed Thunhorst to get a nose to the inside. Boelke tried to reclaim the position, but the damage had already been done and Boelke had to concede in 4th slotting in behind Shepherd.

Thunhorst and Shepherd quickly pulled away together as they tried to reel Morton back in who had built up the gap between them to over 3 seconds with 25 laps remaining. A late race caution on lap 92 brought Thunhorst and Shepherd to Morton’s bumper for the restart with 3 laps to go. Off the jump, Shepherd got alongside Thunhorst trying to take away 2nd allowing Morton to pull away. Coming out of the final corner, Justin Morton took the checkered flag with Mathew Thunhorst holding 2nd place over J R Shepherd. Austin Boelke and Michael Goodman rounded out the top 5 tonight at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

J R Shepherd continues to lead in the point standings with 290 points. Mathew Thunhorst holds onto 2nd place with 229 points. Michael Goodman sits in 3rd with 221 points with Lowell Jewell holding onto 4th with 209 points. Donny Moore rounds out the top 5 in the point standings with 180 points going into the next round of the season. The Bootleg Racing League now heads over to Stafford Motor Speedway for the next round of Season 21 on February 18th with all of the intense racing action brought to you live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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