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February 19, 2023

BRL LM S21 R7 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

18 February 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 7
Late Model Series | Stafford Motor Speedway

Justin Morton with Total Downforce Racing claimed his 4th win of the season tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Late Model Series at Stafford Motor Speedway ahead of Aiden Young and J R Shepherd. “It’s very hard to pass at this track. The car was very, very tight the entire way around the track”, Morton explained at the end of the night, “That made passing even trickier, but I think at the same point it also made it easier because if you got on the gas just a little bit too soon you’re just going to lose a ton of time and the guy behind you would be able to stick their nose under you.”

J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports continued his streak of qualifying on pole by putting down a 20.728 gridding up in 10th place with Jospeh Snyder sitting on the pole through the Bootleg Racing League grid invert. “I’ll do my best to keep it up here for a little while”, Snyder shared with us before joining the grid, “To be honest, I am struggling with this car. I was just getting used to the super late models, we changed to the late models, and I just can’t figure this car out.”

Snyder, driving with Rougarou Racing, led the 22-car field around to take the green flag getting a good jump off the start but so did Ruben Altice to his outside as the two drivers ran side by side around the first few laps before Snyder cleared into the lead. Further back in the field, contact between Tyler Shadduck and Darryl Wineinger resulted in several drivers receiving severe damage to include Donny Moore and Shepherd. Moore came down pit road for repairs, but Shepherd stayed out on track and continued to run in 8th place.

Altice was able to slot into line between Snyder and Matt Hoose holding onto 2nd place. Shadduck was up to 5th and aggressively working on Michael Goodman as Justin Morton ran behind Shadduck patiently putting laps behind him without pushing the car. Aiden Young was running in 7th behind Morton with Shepherd directly behind him. Going into lap 16, Shadduck got Goodman up off his line opening the lane for Morton, Young, and Shepherd to take pushing Goodman back to 8th as Shadduck quickly closed the gap to Hoose in 3rd.

Snyder found himself stranded on the outside as Altice got to his inside and dropped back to 7th before slotting in behind Shepherd. Going into lap 29. Shadduck dove deep into the corner to get under Hoose and tried the same move again a few laps later on Altice running all the way down onto the apron. Altice was able to defend against Shadduck but Morton, Young, and Shepherd had dropped back slightly not sure as Shadduck continued to pressure Altice.

With 40 laps behind them, Shadduck got a nose to the inside of Altice taking the lead away with Altice falling back to 7th after contact between the two leaders forced him up the track. Going into the 2nd half of the night, Morton seemed content to follow Shadduck around the track letting the laps count down. Young, Shepherd, and Hoose rounded out the lead pack all running single file showing a lot of patience. Shepherd was showing a strong pace staying with the leaders even with significant damage to his car from the incident in the opening laps.

With 40 laps remaining, Shadduck was showing signs of excessive tire wear sacrificing a lot of speed through the corners to stay close to the inside line to hold off the line of cars behind him. Lap traffic were giving the leaders a lot of room as they came through while Morton started applying pressure on Shadduck to try and force a mistake out of the struggling leader. Going into lap 84, Morton saw his opportunity getting a nose to the inside of Shadduck and quickly cleared into the lead with Young, Shepherd, and Hoose following him through.

With open track ahead of him, Morton showed his pace as he broke away from the leading pack with Young following close behind. The group broke up into 2-car packs as Shepherd and Hoose battled over 3rd and Michael Goodman started challenging Shadduck for 5th. Coming out of the final corner, Justin Morton took the checkered flag ahead of Aiden Young while J R Shepherd defended 3rd from Matt Hoose and Tyler Shadduck held onto 5th tonight at Stafford Motor Speedway.

J R Shepherd continues to lead in the point standings with 338 points. Michael Goodman takes 2nd place away from Mathew Thunhorst with 257 points. Lowell Jewell moves up into 3rd with 237 points with Thunhorst sitting in 4th with 229 points. Justin Morton rounds out the top 5 in the point standings with 204 points going into the next round of the season. The Bootleg Racing League now heads over to Southern National Speedway for the next round of Season 21 on February 25th with all of the intense racing action brought to you live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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