10 December 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 11
Super Late Model Series | Five Flags Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took the checkered flag and the Season 19 championship tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Five Flags Speedway ahead of Kienny Kibbey and Justin Morton. “The car still had some decent speed, but I could tell that the front just wasn’t rotating as well as it was before… so I knew it was going to be a long night”, Shepherd shared with us regarding the damage he took early on in the night, “[I was] surprised to kind of hold guys off enough.”
J R Shepherd came into the final round of Season 19 strong with a 4-lap average time at 16.274 in qualifying getting the highest point bonus possible before gridding up for the 100-lap feature event. Donny Moore started on pole to the inside of Austin Boelke to take the green flag which unfortunately was chaotic as several drivers came together coming out of turn 2 end the evening early for both Mathew Thunhorst and Jason Menda. The field stacked back up to again take the green with Moore in the lead going into lap 7.
Kenny Kibbey quickly moved up into 3rd and was running close behind Boelke as Moore was able to defend his position in the early stages of the race. Shepherd and Justin Morton were quietly pushing up through the field running in 5th and 6th respectively getting around Joseph Snyder. In the front of the field, Kibbey was started to show some impatience with Boelke keeping the pressure high while looking both high and low as Shepherd and Morton both cleared into the top 5.
In a shocking turn of events, Boelke and Moore had contact sending both drivers spinning in opposite directions on track collecting Kibbey, Morton, and Shepherd in the mayhem. Shepherd came out the other side in the lead, but with significant damage to the left rear of his Different Path motorsports Ford Mustang while Kibbey, Boelke, and Morton were all outside of the top 10 looking in as the green flag came out on track. Shepherd had a good jump off the restart going into lap 25 ahead of Matt Hoose with Todd Liston directly behind looking to challenge for 2nd.
Hoose was able to clear Liston for 2nd as the field struggled to get single filed out around the track. Bryan Dehn got alongside Liston to the outside and was able to clear into 3rd as Liston got loose dropping back to 4th. Kibbey and Boelke were both back with the top 10 while Morton struggled in the field back in 12th while Shepherd was able to set the pace out front ahead of Hoose. Going into the 2nd half of the night, Shepherd still had a strong hold on the lead after multiple cautions and restarts with Kibbey in 3rd cautiously climbing up through the field.
Kibbey secured 2nd place and slotted in behind Shepherd with 40 laps remaining while Shepherd continued to wrestle his damaged car around the track. Morton was up to 5th and quickly closing on Dehn and Hoose ahead while trouble for Boelke has put him back in 14th. Morton had completely closed the gap to the leaders as another caution came out on lap 80 giving Morton an easy opportunity to get around Hoose for 3rd off the restart while Kibbey continued to look for a way around Shepherd.
Morton tried to get under Kibbey but couldn’t hold the line as Kibbey clear back ahead into 2nd. Morton continued to look beneath Kibbey which prevented Kibbey from getting a good run on Shepherd going into the final laps. A late caution came out going into lap 96 from contact between Dehn and Liston further back in the field and led to J R Shepherd taking the checkered flag under yellow flag conditions with Kenny Kibbey, Justin Morton, Jeffrey Hardin, and Matt Shinoski rounding out the top 5 tonight at Five Flags Speedway.
J R Shepherd claimed the season championship with tonight’s win with 513 points. Justin Morton took 2nd place with 475 points and Mathew Thunhorst fell back to 3rd after a couple a rough finishes at the end of the season with 464 points. Donny Moore finished in 4th place with 357 points, beating Joseph Snyder by 1 point rounding out the top 5. Next season, the Bootleg Racing League will be switch over to the limited late model car with the first round kicking off on January 7th at New Smyrna Speedway with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
03 December 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 10
Super Late Model Series | South Boston Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Chris Davis with Team CDR claimed his first win in the series tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at South Boston Speedway ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and Austin Boelke. “The [racing] stewards put me up to the front [and] we decided to just let it play out. Also, I had a whole lot of luck.”, Davis shared with us as the exciting night came to a close before adding, “I really glad to be here tonight though.”
Justin Morton had the fast time going into the evening with a 4-lap average time of 14.775 in qualifying beating J R Shepherd’s time by 0.02 and started the 100-lap event in 10th place from the grid invert. Mike Holloway held the pole as the green flag came out with Mike LeMieux to his outside. Off the jump, Holloway pulled out front as Chris Davis, starting in 3rd, got under LeMieux to take away 2nd place. Davis quickly went after the lead getting a nose to the inside of Holloway taking control of the 24-car field with only 1 lap completed.
With 10 laps behind them, familiar names started pulling up into the top 10 with Austin Boelke leading the charge. Shepherd was up to 4th while Thunhorst was running in 10th behind Matt Hoose. Shepherd dove beneath Boelke to taking away 3rd as Boelke slotted back in line in 4th ahead of Donny Moore. LeMieux soon found himself shuffled back to 4th as Shepherd and Boelke cleared around him before setting their sights to Davis still in control of the field with 25 laps completed.
Shepherd saw an opportunity soon thereafter and went around to the outside of Davis taking away his momentum to taking the lead away going into lap 40. Thunhorst had climbed up to 6th with Kenny Kibbey directly behind him while Morton was in 10th patiently negotiating through the dense traffic. Going into the 2nd half of the night, Shepherd had built up a 0.5 second gap between himself and Davis before settling into a groove to put some laps behind him. Boelke was pressuring Davis for 2nd but wasn’t able to find an opening to take advantage of.
With the laps counting down, Shepherd had extended his lead out to almost 0.8 seconds ahead of Davis as a caution came out from issues with the field pushing through lap traffic on lap 68 completely blocking the front stretch forcing the leaders to come to a stop on the track as drivers were still blocking progress. Davis was given back the lead for the restart from confusion with the racing stewards regarding which drivers were actually involved in the incident with so many cars stopped on track and Shepherd was shuffled back to 5th as the green came back out.
With 20 laps remaining, Shepherd was noticeably upset with the stewards’ decision showing a lot of aggression as he weaved high and low battling with Kibbey for 4th. Davis was showing a strong pace in the final laps pulling away from Boelke and Thunhorst while Morton found himself blocked behind the battle between Shepherd and Kibbey. With 10 laps remaining, Davis had stretched the gap between himself and Boelke to over 0.7 who was holding back Thunhorst in 3rd. With a late race caution on lap 96 brought the race to an early end as Chris Davis took the checkered flag under caution flag conditions ahead of Mathew Thunhorst, Austin Boelke, J R Shepherd, and Kenny Kibbey tonight at South Boston Speedway.
J R Shepherd is the official season champion going into the final round next week with 463 points, 29 points ahead of Mathew Thunhorst with 434 points. Justin Morton with 433 points holds onto 3rd place only 1 point behind 2nd. Joseph Snyder and Donny Moore are now tied for 4th place with 322 points each. The final round of Season 19 of the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series will be held at Five Flags Speedway on December 10th with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
19 November 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 9
Super Late Model Series | Hickory Motor Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took the checkered flag tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Hickory Motor Speedway ahead of Justin Morton and Jeffrey Hardin. “Hickory’s one of those tracks that’s extremely line sensitive and the outside lane just does not have much grip at all so everybody’s trying to fight and get down to the bottom and there was a lot of door to door contact for sure”, Shepherd commented at the crew loaded his car up for the night, “Rough night trying to come through the field, just trying to keep it clean and surprised we were able to get up there to be honest with you.”
J R Shepherd sat on top of the timing and scoring boards with his fast 4-lap average time in qualifying at 13.940 and started the evening in 10th due to the grid invert. Donny Moore had the pole position and led the 16-car field to take the green with Jeffrey Hardin to his outside. Moore had a strong jump and quickly cleared out ahead as Hardin slotted down ahead of Adam Schoen to hold onto 2nd place. The field was scrambling to get down to the inside line in the opening laps to prevent being shuffled to the back of the field.
With 10 laps behind them, there was very little movement throughout the field with everyone choosing to run single file as the track split into 2 packs with a gap building behind Michael Goodman in 11th. Mathew Thunhorst was holding onto 7th with Shepherd and Justin Morton directly behind him and was patiently waiting for opportunities rather than push Tim Shinoski ahead of him. A brief checkup ahead of them pushed Shinoski high to avoid contact with Joseph Snyder giving Thunhorst the opening he needed to move forward with Shinoski falling back to 9th behind Morton going into lap 25.
Snyder tried to get his nose beneath Chris Davis for 4th, but Davis shut the door and the 2 drivers came together. Bouncing off each other’s door straighten both drivers back out without losing position. Thunhorst found himself stuck on the outside of Shepherd and quickly started falling back through the field before slotting back in line in 8th. Shepherd was up to 4th with Morton still directly behind him and Thunhorst quickly got around Shinoski and back to the rear bumper of Morton.
Going into lap 40, Moore and Hardin had broken away from Davis in 3rd and Hardin was starting to pressure Moore for the lead. Shepherd quickly got to the inside of Davis stranding Davis to the outside as Morton and Thunhorst cleared around him. Davis fought back when Shinoski tried to follow Thunhorst through and was able to clear back ahead of him to hold onto 6th place. Approaching the 2nd half of the night, Davis had to check up on corner exit and Shinoski caught the rear of him sending himself around and collecting Rubin Altice bringing out the caution.
Moore continued to lead the field as the green flag came back out, but Shepherd started from 3rd directly behind them. Hardin tried to prevent being stuck out on the outside and went for the lead along the outside. After a few laps, Hardin realized the move wasn’t going to work and tried to slot in behind Moore but made contact with Shepherd to his inside. Shepherd checked up abruptly letting Hardin in causing Thunhorst to go high to avoid contact. Thunhorst was quickly shuffled far back into the field as a train of cars went by to his inside before he could get back down in 11th place.
Thunhorst was aggressively pushing up through the field making up any positions he could going into the last 30 laps quickly jumping up to 9th as Shepherd cleared around Hardin for 2nd. Going into lap 81, Shepherd beat Moore around turn four and took the lead with Morton still holding in 4th. Thunhorst was having more trouble trying to push through traffic and after making contact with Snyder made the decision to retire early bringing his car straight to the trailer essentially forfeiting his run for the points championship as his competitors ran 1st and 2nd in the field with 10 laps remaining.
Shepherd and Morton ran side by side around the final laps with neither driver willing to concede. Shepherd had a strong enough run out of turn 2 to clear ahead of Morton down the back stretch with Hardin holding 3rd. Coming out of the last corner, J R Shepherd took the checkered flag with Justin Morton, Jeffrey Hardin, Chris Daivs, and Michael Goodman rounding out the top 5 tonight at Hickory Motor Speedway.
J R Shepherd has a strong lead in the point standings after his win tonight with 418 points. Mathew Thunhorst holds onto 2nd place after a rough night with 395 points over Justin Morton with 388 points. Joseph Snyder holds onto 4th with 296 points and Donny Moore rounds out the top 5 with 290 points. After the Thanksgiving holiday, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to South Boston Speedway for the 10th round of Season 19 on December 3rd with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
12 November 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 8
Super Late Model Series | Southern National Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Kenny Kibbey with Nocturnal Gaming took the checkered flag tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Southern National Speedway ahead of J R Shepherd and Mathew Thunhorst. “Sometimes you’re forced to make the outside work and there were a couple of situations where I was put there and it actually worked out really well so I thought ‘Well, this might actually become an option’.”, Kibbey commented at the end of the run, “I had to take what was mine and give them what was theirs and all of us just had to hit our marks and that’s really what it came down to.”
J R Shepherd had the fast time in qualifying with a 4-lap average at 13.970 gaining the much needed 10 points toward the season championship and would start the 100-lap feature event off from 10th place with Ruben Altice sitting on the pole alongside Lowell Jewell because of the Bootleg Racing League qualifying invert. Altice had a good jump off the start clearing ahead of Jewell as an early caution was thrown when Steve Hilbert and Donny Moore came together as the field shuffled for position off the start.
The green flag game back out going into lap 7 as racing resumed with Altice again clearing into the lead. Jewell struggled to get slotted in line with Bruce Pearson and Austin Boelke pushing past him along the inside. Mathew Thunhorst tucked in behind Boelke with his two championship competitors, Shepherd and Justin Morton, following him under moving up to 4th through 6th respectively. Kenny Kibbey started the night in 9th and was struggling to get through traffic still running in 9th with 15 laps completed.
Boelke got a nose under Pearson to challenge for 2nd, but Pearson decided to try to go for the lead going around the outside of Altice. As drivers saw the move working, Morton and Shepherd quickly moved up to the outside to do the same cleared around Boelke and Altice into 2nd and 3rd. Thunhorst saw the success and went to go high just as Boelke checked up to avoid contact with Altice ahead of him and Thunhorst unintentionally sent Boelke around on the track bringing out the caution with 25 laps behind them. In a sign of good sportsmanship, Thunhorst, who is in the race for the championship, did a pass-through down pit road sending himself to the back of the field demonstrating the respect the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League have for each other.
As the green flag came back out, Morton and Shepherd again went high to clear around Pearson and started battling amongst themselves for the lead. Kibbey was starting to make moves toward the front running in 5th and pressuring Matt Hoose ahead of him. Thunhorst made a few quick passes off the start and was up to 12th behind Todd Liston. Boelke tucked in behind Thunhorst and was following him up through the field as Kibbey cleared around Hoose and Pearson into 3rd running over 2 seconds behind the leaders.
Going into the second half of the night, Morton was still holding the lead ahead of Shepherd. Kibbey had closed the gap and was in the battle for the lead in 3rd place. Thunhorst was showing his speed and skill as he continued to make solid strides through the field working back into the top 10 and moving up fast. The leaders had started to build up a gap between themselves and Pearson in 4th with all three drivers following very closely behind each other waiting for someone to make a mistake they could take advantage of.
The laps were quickly counting down without incident as the majority of drivers were settling into a long single file train around the track. Shepherd looked to the inside of Morton for the lead several times but wasn’t able to take risks with Kibbey close behind. Kibbey went to the outside of Shepherd to again try passing along the outside but wasn’t able to make the move work and dropped back in line. Thunhorst had moved around Adam Schoen up to 7th and was looking under Tim Shinoski for 6th with 27 laps remaining.
With only 25 laps remaining, Shepherd went low under Morton and again couldn’t complete the pass which allowed Kibbey to get a solid hold to the outside again challenging for 2nd. Kibbey and Shepherd ran side by side for several laps before Kibbey was able to make the move stick and cleared into 2nd and immediately moved up tight on Morton’s bumper. Again, Kibbey looked to the outside of Morton going after the race lead and was able to get even with him on lap 83.
Thunhorst cleared up into 4th ahead of Pearson and was working on the 1.6 second gap between himself and the leaders as Kibbey cleared ahead of Morton and secured the lead going into the final 15 laps. Shepherd tried to repeat the move going around the outside of Morton. As the laps counted down with Morton and Shepherd running side by side, Thunhorst tried to make use of the battle over 2nd and close the gap without either driver having a clear advantage over the other.
The battle allowed Kibbey to streak away with the lead well over 2 seconds ahead of Shepherd who cleared into 2nd as Thunhorst reached the rear of Morton. With 2 laps to go, Thunhorst dove beneath Morton going for 3rd. Kenny Kibbey came out of the final corner to take the checkered flag tonight with J R Shepherd, Mathew Thunhorst, who was able to complete the last second pass into 3rd, Justin Morton, and Adam Schoen rounding out the top 5 tonight at Southern National Speedway.
J R Shepherd holds onto the lead in the point standings tonight with 368 points. Mathew Thunhorst sits in 2nd place with 360 points over Justin Morton with 343 points. Joseph Snyder holds onto 4th with 266 points and Donny Moore rounds out the top 5 with 258 points. Next week, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to Hickory Motor Speedway for the 9th round of Season 19 on November 19th with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
05 November 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 7
Super Late Model Series | Thompson Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took the checkered flag tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and Chris Davis. “Definitely one of the tracks that you just never know what can happen”, Shepherd commented at the end of his run, “You can do everything perfect but still get taken out by someone else’s mess. It’s a really tough track and just fortunate enough that things worked out that we got in that position.”
Donny Moore was in the pole position to take the green flag for the 19-car field with Austin Boelke to his outside. Off the jump, Boelke was able to get around him for the lead as Moore went high and fell back into the field to 6th behind Kenny Kibbey. As drivers shuffled for position, and early caution came out 4 laps into the night when Mark Hertzog, Kurt Smith, and Michael Goodman came together coming down the front stretch battling over 9th. Boelke had a good jump off the restart with Chris Davis slotting into 2nd ahead of J R Shepherd.
Justin Morton and Mathew Thunhorst had climbed up to 4th and 5th respectively while Kibbey struggled to get around Joseph Snyder for 6th. With 10 laps behind them, the field had gone mostly single file around the track all running close behind the car ahead with very few gaps between drivers. Davis made a move to the inside of Boelke for the lead but wasn’t able to hold the momentum which allowed Shepherd to get to his outside. Shepherd cleared into 2nd as Morton tried to follow him through, but contact was made with between himself and Davis sending Morton high up the track falling back to 9th.
Kibbey moved up to 5th directly behind Thunhorst who was still searching for a way around Davis ahead. 30 laps into the run, Shepherd was keeping the pressure high on Boelke in the lead and Thunhorst and Kibbey were still looking for an opportunity to get around Davis who was falling off the lead pace. Thunhorst became impatient and dove below Davis on lap 33, but again wasn’t able to complete the pass allowing Kibbey to clear ahead into 4th. Boelke and Shepherd had extended the gap between themselves and Davis to over 1 second and Shepherd started looking to the inside of Boelke.
Going into lap 45, Davis and Kibbey had door-to-door contact down the front stretch sending Davis wildly low across the grass and sliding back up the track in turn one narrowly avoiding contact with Thunhorst. The field shuffled while Davis recovered from the slide and continued running from 5th. Boelke continued to lead as the top 4 quickly started to pull away from the field with Davis holding onto 5th ahead of Goodman. The pace difference again separated the lead battle by over 1 second ahead of the rest of the field going into the second half of the night.
With 40 laps remaining, Boelke reached the first signs of lap traffic with Shepherd, Kibbey, and Thunhorst still tight on his bumper. The field started to spread out around the track into several smaller groups as the green flag run stretched out. With 28 laps remaining, Kibbey went high coming out of turn four making hard contact with the outside wall and spinning into the infield ending his night early. The race stayed under the green flag for another lap until Davis had contact while trying to get around lap traffic. Davis was able to continue running in 4th, but Chris Wolfson had to stop his car on the track to avoid further contact bringing out the caution flag.
Boelke took the green with 21 laps remaining, but Shepherd was able to use the highline to clear ahead into the lead. Thunhorst and Davis followed him around and Boelke dropped back to 4th slotting in ahead of Jeffrey Hardin. The battle for the lead was now between two drivers as Shepherd and Thunhorst quickly pulled away from the rest of the field. As the laps counted down, J R Shepherd was able to hold off Mathew Thunhorst to take the checkered flag with Chris Davis, Austin Boelke, and Jeffrey Hardin rounding out the top 5 tonight at Thompson Speedway.
J R Shepherd holds onto the lead in the point standings tonight with 319 points. Mathew Thunhorst sits in 2nd place with 318 points over Justin Morton with 300 points. Joseph Snyder moved up to 4th with 237 points and Donny Moore rounds out the top 5 with 225 points. Next week, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to Southern National Speedway for the 8th round of Season 19 on November 12th with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
29 October 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 6
Super Late Model Series | Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Mathew Thunhorst with Forge Racing took the checkered flag under caution flag conditions tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway ahead of J R Shepherd and Justin Morton. “That like first 30, 40 laps when we were trying to come up through, me and [Shepherd], that was extremely chaotic”, Thunhorst commented at the end of the night, “My heart went in my throat a couple of time in this race and still came out alright on the other side though.”
Mathew Thunhorst had the fastest qualifying time with a 4-lap average of 18.028 earning 10 extra points for the night and starting the feature event in 10th with the field invert. Kevin Moody started on the pole with Adam Schoen to his outside as the green flag came out for the Whiteriver 100. Moody cleared out front off the jump as Kurt Smith got beneath Schoen challenging for 2nd but got loose coming out of turn 2 and slid to the inside wall falling far back in the field giving 3rd place to Stephen Spies.
Spies started looking to the inside of Schoen but wasn’t able to match pace with Jason Menda pressuring him from behind. J R Shepherd was quickly climbing through the field getting into the top 5 within the first 10 laps of the night as Menda got loose similar to Smith’s earlier incident and fell back to 21st in the field. Justin Morton was struggling to follow Thunhorst through traffic and found himself behind Matt Shinoski running in 7th ahead of Austin Boelke.
Schoen looked to the inside of Moody but couldn’t make anything with it as the field continued to aggressively push early in the run. Morton went to the outside of Shinoski getting impatient waiting for an opening. Boelke noticed the move and tried to follow Morton around high as Shepherd dove beneath Spies for 3rd. Thunhorst quickly slotted in behind Shepherd pushing Spies back to 5th with 25 laps completed. Morton and Boelke both cleared around Shinoski who dropped back to 8th.
30 laps into the run, Moody continued to hold the lead with Schoen, Shepherd and Thunhorst close behind as the top 6 started to separate themselves from the rest of the field. Thunhorst soon saw an opportunity getting his nose to the inside of Shepherd who continued to slam the door over and over again while still trying to find a way to get around Schoen. Schoen made contact with the outside wall on lap 43 and Shepherd and Thunhorst both took advantage moving up into 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Going into the 2nd half of the night, Shepherd dove below Moody going down the front stretch to challenge for the lead. Going into turn 1, Moody’s rear slid out toward the outside wall bringing out the caution flag with Shepherd in the lead and Moody restarting from 7th. Off the jump, Morton tried to overtake Schoen from the outside while Thunhorst dove beneath Shepherd to take away the lead. With 40 laps remaining, Morton was up to 3rd running behind Shepherd while Thunhorst started to build up a gap between himself and Shepherd.
With the laps counting down, most of the field had single filed out with only a few side-by-side battles further back in the field. Thunhorst continued to hold the lead with Shepherd and Morton close behind and a gap starting to form between Morton and Schoen in 4th. Boelke dove low to try to take 4th place away from Schoen and the two drivers ran side by side for several corners before Boelke cleared ahead. Going into the final laps contact between Tim Shinoski and Donny Moore battling over 8th place resulting in Mathew Thunhorst taking the checkered flag under caution flag conditions with J R Shepherd, Justin Morton, Austin Boelke, and Adam Schoen rounding out the top 5 tonight at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
J R Shepherd holds onto the lead in the point standings tonight with 273 points. Mathew Thunhorst sits in 2nd place with 269 points over Justin Morton with 261 points. Joseph Snyder moved up to 4th with 204 points and Donny Moore rounds out the top 5 with 203 points. Next week, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to Thompson Speedway for the 7th round of Season 19 on November 5th with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
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!
15 October 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 4
Super Late Model Series | Concord Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Austin Boelke with Different Path Motorsports took the checkered flag tonight under caution flag conditions in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Concord Speedway ahead of Kenny Kibbey and Donny Moore. Talking about some of the struggles getting around the track tonight, Boelke shared with us, “It’s so easy to overheat the tires in these cars and it’s so hard once you’ve overheated them to get them back into that optimal temperature range, pressure-wise, and that where the grip is as soon as you overheat them they just continue to get hotter and hotter and hotter and then you’re just going to slide around more.”
Austin Boelke led the 19-car field with Donny Moore to his outside as the green flag came out over Concord Speedway. Boelke cleared ahead off the jump as the field single filed out with drivers settling in for a long run. 10 laps into the night, J R Shepherd was up to 4th while Mathew Thunhorst, Kenny Kibbey, and Justin Morton were struggling to move forward running in the back end of the top 10. Mark Hertzog made a move to the inside of Moore for 2nd place but had to lift and back out causing a checkup almost resulting in Shepherd getting into the back of him.
The laps continued to count down and the drivers were still struggling to make moves. With 30 laps behind them, Thunhorst got his nose to the inside of Chris Davis for 5th with Kibbey following him around. As Morton stuck his nose inside, Davis tried to shut the door and contact was made sending both drivers hard into the inside wall and collecting several drivers behind them bringing out the caution flag. The field stacked back up with Boelke still leading and racing resumed going into lap 39.
Shepherd was stuck to the outside of Hertzog off the restart battling side by side for several laps until contact between the two sent Shepherd into the outside wall. Shepherd was able to recover and continue racing but fell back to 9th behind Jeffrey Hardin. As the drivers crossed the halfway point of the night, Boelke still had a solid hold on the lead ahead of Moore. Thunhorst was pressuring Hertzog for 3rd but struggled to get beneath him as Kibbey actively looked for a way around Thunhorst.
Kibbey got impatient and went to the outside of Thunhorst to try something different with 45 laps remaining. Kibbey wasn’t able to complete the pass but the battle for 4th slowed both drivers enough to give Hertzog a breather in 3rd. Thunhorst closed the gap and again tried to get beneath him not able to make anything out of it allowing Kibbey to try the outside again. Thunhorst and Kibbey ran side by side for lap after lap until Thunhorst conceded falling in behind Kibbey.
Boelke was closing quickly on lap traffic ahead going into lap 67 with a 0.6 second lead ahead of Moore. Shepherd was cautiously negotiating through the field back up to 6th behind Thunhorst. While everyone was struggling to make passes, Kibbey was put in a 3-wide situation on the outside of Hertzog with lap traffic to his outside and contact was made throwing Todd Liston into the outside wall bringing out another caution with 20 laps to go. The restart saw Thunhorst and Shepherd on the outside lane with Kibbey to his inside.
Moore spun his tired on the restart checking up the outside lane letting Shepherd get to his inside behind Kibbey as Hertzog jumped up to 2nd place. Contact between Shepherd and Thunhorst sent Thunhorst around in the middle of the track collecting several drivers in the process. Thunhorst was forced to come down pit road for repairs restarting from 13th as the green flag came back out with 11 laps to go. Boelke again got a great jump as Kibbey dove beneath Hertzog for 2nd.
Going into the final stretch, Kibbey was to the outside of Boelke going for the lead running side by side as a caution came out in the last laps as the front stretch turned into a parking lot of cars. With that, Austin Boelke claimed the checkered flag under caution flag conditions with Kenny Kibbey, Donny Moore, J R Shepherd, and Jeffrey Hardin rounding out the top 5 tonight at Concord Speedway.
J R Shepherd holds onto the lead in the point standings tonight with 180 points. Mathew Thunhorst sits in 2nd place with 173 points over Justin Morton with 168 points. Kenny Kibbey moved up to 4th with 144 points and Donny Moore rounds out the top 5 with 144 points. Next week, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to Irwindale Speedway for the 5th round of Season 19 on October 22nd with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
08 October 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 3
Super Late Model Series | USA Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Kenny Kibbey with Nocturnal Gaming took his first win of the season tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at USA Speedway ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and J R Shepherd. “This place was a lot harder to pass at than I expected it to be”, Kibbey commented as the night came to a close, “The longer you ride behind somebody in these super late models the harder and harder it gets to pass unless you can force the driver in front to burn their tires up.”
Mike LeMieux was in control of the 20-car field as the green flag came out with Adam Schoen to his outside. LeMieux had a good jump off the start as Jason Menda dove beneath Schoen challenging for 2nd. Justin Morton tucked in behind Menda with Kenny Kibbey running close behind in 5th. Schoen got loose coming out of the turn four making contact with Morton causing significant damage as the field restacked under caution with 10 laps completed. Morton was able to stay on the lead lap but was restarting from 19th place.
LeMieux continued to hold the lead with Menda and Kibbey running directly behind him as the top 3 drivers started to pull away from the rest of the field. J R Shepherd struggled to push through the field running in 6th behind Donny Moore with Mathew Thunhorst having his own troubles from 9th. 20 laps into the run, Morton was starting to climb back up clearing around Tim Shinoski for 16th. Menda took advantage when LeMieux made a mistake on corner entry quickly diving low and clearing into the lead with Kibbey following him around into 2nd before LeMieux was able to get his car back down on the low line.
Thunhorst cleared into 7th just as Shepherd made the move around the outside of Moore for 5th keeping a car between himself and Thunhorst. Morton moved up a few more spots into 13th and was starting to work over Jeffrey Hardin. With 40 laps behind them, Kibbey made an attempt for the lead, but Menda slammed the door almost catching Kibbey’s nose in the process. Kibbey backed off and settled back in behind Menda for a few more laps. Going into the 2nd half of the night, Kibbey made another attempt, and this time was able to clear around Menda for the lead and quickly started to pull away.
Kibby was still in control of the field with 40 laps remaining with Shepherd up to 4th ahead of Thunhorst. Morton had gotten back into the top 10 and was running in 8th. As the laps counted down, Shepherd found himself stranded to the outside of LeMieux with Thunhorst keep the gap tight not giving Shepherd a space to drop down into. Shepherd fought LeMieux for several laps before he had to concede and drop in behind Thunhorst almost clipping the nose of Joseph Snyder in the process. Thunhorst and Shepherd quickly dove under LeMieux up into 3rd and 4th. Thunhorst immediately went after Menda taking away 2nd place but Shepherd wasn’t able to follow him through this time still behind Menda in 4th.
Thunhorst closed the gap to Kibbey in the lead going into the final 15 laps as Shepherd had to fight Menda from the outside to hold onto 3rd. A miscommunication between several drivers in the midfield caused a large pile up down the front stretch and bringing out the caution as half of the field found themselves in a parking lot. As the drivers restacked, it was Kibbey, Thunhorst, and Shepherd running up front. Kibbey had a good jump as the green flag came back out and Thunhorst slotted in ahead of Shepherd. Kenny Kibbey was able to hold of Mathew Thunhorst around the last 5 laps to take the checkered flag tonight at USA Speedway with J R Shepherd, Jeffrey Hardin, and Donny Moore rounding out the top 5 finishers.
J R Shepherd took the lead in the point standings tonight with 139 points. Mathew Thunhorst moved up to 2nd place with 135 points over Justin Morton with 127 points. Donny Moore holds onto 4th with 106 points and Jospeh Snyder rounds out the top 5 with 103 points. Next week, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to Concord Speedway for the 4th round of Season 19 on October 15th with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
01 October 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 19 | Round 2
Super Late Model Series | The Bullring at Las Vegas
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took the checkered flag tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at The Bullring at Las Vegas ahead of Kenny Kibbey and Mathew Thunhorst. “I’ve not been shy about saying that I’m not fast in these super late models, so I was tire conserving once I got the lead and probably saved tires a little bit too long”, Shepherd commented as the track quieted down, “[I was] just trying to hold those guys off and get a good exit and was just barely able to do it.”
Joeseph Snyder was in control of the 13-car field as the green flag came out over The Bullring and the field piled into the first turn. After a few close calls in the opening laps as drivers struggled to get heat into their tires, Snyder continued to lead the field with Bruce Pearson running in 2nd place with 15 laps completed. J R Shepherd had already jumped up to 4th and was pressuring Matt Shinoski for position while Kenny Kibbey, Mathew Thunhorst, and Justin Morton were still stuck in traffic running in 7th through 9th.
Continuing his forward momentum, Shepherd climbed the rest of the way up and took control of the field away from Snyder going into lap 27 as Kibbey and Thunhorst started working together pushing up through traffic into the top 5 quickly moving forward to challenge Shepherd. Morton was running back in 7th and wasn’t able to find a way around Donny Moore finding himself left behind with Kibbey and Thunhorst clearing around Snyder into 2nd and 3rd closing up the 0.6 second gap to Shepherd.
Going into the second half of the night, the top 3 drivers had pulled away from the rest of the field with Snyder still running in 4th Kibbey and Thunhorst completed closed the gap to the lead and Kibbey was keeping the pressure high trying to force a mistake out of Shepherd. Moore was moving up quietly to 4th with Morton still following close behind him letting Moore do the work of setting up the passes with 35 laps to go. The leaders stretched the gap ahead of the field out to over 3.5 seconds as Shepherd was approaching the first signs of lap traffic in a battle for 11th between Joe Segalla and Todd Liston.
The traffic was considerate of the leaders leaving a wide berth for them to get around quickly without compromising the battle for the lead with Kibbey looking to the inside cautiously but unable to get the runoff speed coming out of the corner to capitalize on it. Going into the final 10 laps, Thunhorst took a look to the inside of Kibbey for 2nd, but Kibbey slammed the door closed while Morton cleared around Moore into 4th as the laps counted down. J R Shepherd held the inside line blocking challengers for the lead to take the checkered flag tonight at The Bullring at Las Vegas with Kenny Kibbey, Mathew Thunhorst, Justin Morton, and Donny Moore rounding out the top 5 finishers.
Justin Morton took the lead in the point standings with 94 points over J R Shepherd 3 points behind. Mathew Thunhorst sits in 3rd place with 90 points while Donny Moore and Joseph Snyder are now tied for 4th each driver having 70 points. Next week, the drivers of the Bootleg Racing League head out to USA Speedway for the 3rd round of Season 19 on October 8th with all of the action broadcast live at 9PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!