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April 8, 2023

BRL SLM S21 R2 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

07 April 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 2
Super Late Model Series | Myrtle Beach Speedway

Different Path Motorsports driver J R Shepherd emerged victorious in an epic showdown at Myrtle Beach Speedway, as he beat Aiden Young to the finish line in the Skitter Creek Super Late Model Series with the Bootleg Racing League. Rory Collins and Joe Segalla led the field off the start, while Shepherd started from the sixth position and Young was twelfth on the grid. James Tiernan, the previous round’s winner, began the race in thirteenth, while Matt Hoose started on the inside of row seven alongside Tiernan.

As the green flag dropped, multiple drivers had to slow down, causing a chain reaction that resulted in some cars shuffling for position. Collins built an early lead, with Chris Davis moving into second and Shepherd quickly advancing to third by lap five. The frequent cautions allowed some drivers to pit, but the short green flag runs broke up the pit strategies. Davis attempted to overtake Collins for the lead by going around the outside, but he fell back when Shepherd passed him to claim second place. Shepherd then passed Collins to take the lead on lap 15.

Fifty laps into the race, Shepherd and Davis had pulled away from the rest of the pack, with John Heyn in third place, battling with Tiernan and Jason Menda. Heyn quickly lost ground as Tiernan and Menda closed in on Davis. Another caution on lap 60 brought Tiernan within reach of second place, but Davis managed to hold on to the position, with Menda settling for fourth.

Menda tried to overtake Davis for second place and succeeded on lap 98, while Tiernan fell back after getting loose. The second half of the race saw increased aggression, with multiple cautions causing the running order to shift as drivers pitted in small groups. Mark Hertzog briefly took the lead before Jeffery Hardin claimed it on lap 135, with Shepherd in eleventh place.

Shepherd began aggressively pushing his way back up through the field, with Tiernan right behind him. Young, who had a rough start and was involved in several incidents, made a strong recovery to take third place. Shepherd quickly passed Moore to claim second place, with Tiernan back in fourth. Shepherd and Young battled for the lead through multiple restarts in the final 40 laps.

In the end, Shepherd emerged victorious, beating Young to the finish line by 0.042 seconds after running side by side and leaning on each other coming out of the final corner. “It was really tough on the outside, not a lot of grip out there,” Shepherd said after the race. Next up, the Bootleg Racing League will head to USA Speedway on April 14th, with Tom Hilbert starting from pole position. Fans can catch all the action live at 8:10PM ET on the Virtual Grip Network!

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