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May 21, 2023

BRL SLM S21 R8 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

19 May 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 8
Super Late Model Series | Southern National Motorsports Park

It was an intense and thrilling race at Southern National Motorsports Park in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series presented by Skitter Creek Motorsports Group. James Tiernan, driving for Elbows Up Simsport, emerged victorious after a dramatic last-lap pass on J R Shepherd to claim the checkered flag. Tiernan had started the race in 10th position, right behind Shepherd. Rory Collins began the race on the pole.

The excitement started early on as a caution came out on lap 3, with Tiernan getting caught in the chaos when Ryan Salvatore and Tom Hilbert made contact in turn four. After the restart on lap 9, John Wilson took the lead from Collins on lap 36. However, Kurt Smith seized the lead from Wilson on lap 41, with Shepherd quickly moving up to 2nd place. Shepherd wasted no time and claimed the lead on lap 43 as another caution was triggered by contact between Austin Boelke and Lowell Jewell, resulting in Jewell’s car rolling over in turn 1.

The green flag waved again on lap 49 with Shepherd controlling the field. Unfortunately for Tiernan, his misfortune continued when he made contact with Wilson on lap 59, sending him crashing hard into the outside wall along the front stretch. This incident brought out another caution, while Shepherd resumed the lead on lap 65.

As the race progressed into the second half of the night, Tiernan showcased his skills by navigating his damaged car through the field, climbing back into the top 5 and maintaining a strong pace. On lap 137, during a long green flag run, Tiernan decided to pit, getting fresh tires, a quick splash of fuel, and repairing some of the damage to his #03 Tunacan machine. He rejoined the track two laps down.

Shepherd made his pit stop on lap 141. During the pit cycle, Tiernan managed to regain his lead lap status and was running in 4th place, with Austin Boelke leading the field. However, Boelke chose to stay out on older tires. The green flag waved again on lap 155, and both Shepherd and Tiernan quickly overtook Boelke to battle for the lead. Shepherd successfully defended his position lap after lap until the final lap.

Coming out of turn four and heading towards the white flag, Tiernan made a decisive move, getting underneath Shepherd and seizing control of the lead. He held on to it, crossing the finish line to secure the checkered flag.

With his 2nd place finish, Shepherd takes the lead in the championship standings, now 28 points ahead of Jeffery Hardin. Aiden Young, who missed the event, fell back to 3rd place in the standings, trailing Hardin by 9 points. The next race will take place at Hickory Motor Speedway on June 2nd, and fans can catch all the action live at 8:10 PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network.

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