BRL SLM S21 R8 Recap
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.
BRL SLM S21 R7 Recap
12 May 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 7
Super Late Model Series | Irwindale Speedway
The Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series Season 21 Round 7 at Irwindale Speedway was nothing short of exciting. John Wilson started on the pole, but it was James Tiernan who quickly took the lead on lap 15, leaving Wilson behind. Aiden Young, who started in 11th, made a good climb up to the top 5 on lap 22, while J R Shepherd was not too far behind in 12th.
The race saw some early drama when Kurt Smith got spun around, but the caution didn’t come out, ending his race only two laps into the run. Tiernan continued to dominate the race, maintaining a lead of over 4.7 seconds over Wilson, who was in second place.
However, a caution on lap 43 due to contact between Stephen Spies and Bruce Pearson gave the leaders a chance to come down pit road for fuel and tires. Tiernan decided to stay out and maintain his lead, while Shepherd was in 10th place for the restart on lap 48.
Tiernan came down pit road on lap 70 under caution, with Young and Shepherd following him in. Ryan Salvatore was in control of the field and took the green flag on lap 74. A chaotic restart caught Tiernan out, causing him to fall back to 12th, while Shepherd and Young quickly jumped up to 2nd and 3rd.
Another chaotic start on lap 80 saw Shepherd getting spun around and collecting Spies. The green came out again on lap 86, with Salvatore still in the lead. Young was working on Salvatore up front when Chris Davis and Tiernan got together, collecting Shepherd in the aftermath.
Tiernan was able to recover and got the lead away from Salvatore on lap 151 as Salvatore made contact with the outside wall. Shepherd, Spies, and Young also got around Salvatore before he was able to recover.
With the end of the race in sight, Shepherd aggressively worked on Tiernan, with Spies and Young battling for 3rd. In the end, Tiernan held on to take the checkered flag, with Shepherd finishing in 2nd and Spies in 3rd. Aiden Young finished in 4th and held on to the points lead, only 3 points ahead of J R Shepherd.
The next race in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series Season 21 will be at Southern National Speedway on May 19th, with the broadcast going live at 8:10PM ET on the Virtual Grip Network. Fans can expect more thrilling action from the drivers as they continue to battle it out for the championship.
BRL SLM S21 R6 Recap
05 May 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 6
Super Late Model Series | Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
J R Shepherd secured his fourth victory of the season in a thrilling race at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series presented by the Skitter Creek Motorsports Group. Shepherd started from 10th place, but quickly made his way up the field after a caution on lap 3 caused by Joe Segalla and Tre Bloom. Despite coming down pit road for a splash of fuel, Shepherd continued to climb the field and challenge for the lead.
James Tiernan, who started ahead of Shepherd, was able to challenge Kurt Smith for the lead and briefly took over the top spot. However, contact between Tiernan and Smith caused them to spin out, handing the lead to Stephen Spies. Shepherd suffered a setback on lap 29 when he collided with Lowell Jewell, sending him hard into the outside wall. But his crew worked quickly to repair the damage, and Shepherd was able to remain on the lead lap.
Tiernan made a surprising recovery and took the lead on lap 41, but Shepherd quickly overtook him and reclaimed the lead on lap 51. Despite traditionally maintaining a gap ahead of 2nd place, Shepherd fought to break away from the pack, aware of the new, aggressive drivers on the roster this season. Shepherd reclaimed the lead after a pit stop and held onto it despite several caution flags and challenges from Aiden Young.
Shepherd ultimately crossed the finish line first, with Young in second place. Young still holds onto the points lead, just four points ahead of Shepherd. The next race in the series will take place at Irwindale Speedway on May 12, and will be broadcast live on the Virtual Grip Network at 8:10 PM ET.
BRL SLM S21 R5 Recap
28 April 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 5
Super Late Model Series | Lucas Oil Raceway
During the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway, Aiden Young with Gambler Motorsports claimed his first win of the season. He managed to hold onto the points lead going into the next round, five points ahead of J R Shepherd, who finished second.
The race began with David Traylor starting on the pole and getting a great jump off the start, with Makayla Steffes and Joe Segalla following close behind. As the drivers scrambled to get to the outside line, Steffes got loose coming out of turn two on the second lap and was tagged by Jeffrey Hardin, causing both drivers to fall back to the rear of the field for the restart.
Traylor managed to hold onto the lead as the racing resumed, with Segalla running in second and Ryan Salvatore and Lowell Jewell battling over third. Young was conserving his equipment in 10th place, while Shepherd followed Matt Hoose’s lead and began to move up into sixth.
Fifteen laps into the race, Traylor pulled away from the field by almost two seconds, with Segalla and Jewell battling over third. Jewell made contact with the outside wall, and Segalla was able to pull away, while Hoose and Shepherd both pressured Jewell for third. Young was right on Salvatore’s bumper, looking for an opportunity to move forward.
On lap 22, Jewell got loose in turn 2, causing Hoose to make contact with him. Shepherd also got caught up in the incident, while Young sustained front left damage, and the caution flag came out on the track.
As the green flag came out, James Tiernan was up to ninth, quietly moving up through the field with speed to challenge the leaders later in the night. By lap 34, Shepherd caught Traylor and took the lead away, while Tiernan cleared around Young and was up to fourth, challenging Michael LeMieux for third.
The field settled into running single file as they approached the halfway point of the race, with drivers starting to think about pit strategy under green flag conditions. Tiernan was in third, with Young and Hoose following close behind, while Shepherd continued to lead the field ahead of Traylor.
Several drivers had come down pit road, but the leaders waited. Tiernan was the first to come down on lap 95, followed by Shepherd on the following lap, but he waited a few laps longer before coming down on lap 99. Young had a faster stop than Shepherd, allowing him to hold position ahead of Shepherd as he rejoined the track.
To make matters worse, Shepherd struggled to negotiate through dense traffic running side by side battling over positions throughout the field while Young had open track ahead of him, giving him a solid six-second lead over Shepherd. The top five had yet to come down pit road, with Young running in sixth, the first driver one lap down on lap 105.
On lap 108, Young was able to run down Salvatore, the leader, and reclaim his lost lap. Shepherd cleared the leader, getting back on the lead lap on lap 123, and was running in sixth, still over six seconds behind Young, as a caution came out on lap 124. Tiernan was in the lucky dog spot as the caution came out, setting the field up for an exciting finish.
Young won the race off pit road by a significant margin, while Shepherd rejoined the track in seventh place. Salvatore and Kurt Smith took the front row as the green flag came back out on lap 129, with Young wasting no time in going for the lead. Shepherd, on the other hand, aggressively weaved through traffic and got into second place just one lap later, keeping Young in sight. Tiernan managed to clear around Rory Collins for third place, while Young and Shepherd pulled away from the rest of the field.
As the laps counted down, Shepherd’s strategy began to reveal itself. During the last pit cycles, Shepherd opted to get four new tires, while Young only took right side tires to save time. With 20 laps remaining, Shepherd had caught up with Young and was pressuring him to force a mistake. Shepherd was looking to the inside of the corners, but couldn’t match Young’s pace on corner exit. He tried to get ahead by diving to the inside in each corner, but Young ran a more defensive line, staying lower on exit and blocking Shepherd’s momentum.
Shepherd seemed to be getting frustrated, throwing the car to the inside more aggressively as the laps quickly counted down. However, any tire advantage Shepherd may have had was disappearing with each failed pass attempt. The race was complicated by the fact that they caught up with lap traffic, making it even more challenging for Shepherd to overtake Young.
As they came out of the final corner, Young managed to hold onto his lead, taking the win by just 0.191 seconds at the line. The Bootleg Racing League will move to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 5th for round 6, with the action going live at 8:10PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network.
BRL SLM S21 R4 Recap
21 April 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 4
Super Late Model Series | Martinsville Speedway
At Martinsville Speedway, the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series kicked off with an electrifying start. The tension was palpable as drivers like John Wilson and Jeffrey Hardin revved up their engines, eager to take the lead. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation, and the roar of engines filled the air.
The race started off with Chris Davis taking the lead from Wilson, but not for long, as an early caution caused the field to stack up again. Davis regained the lead after the restart, with Joe Segalla hot on his heels. But, the pace was soon halted once again by another quick caution.
As the race resumed on lap 14, Wilson held onto 2nd place, while David Traylor moved up to 3rd. Shepherd and Young were also in the mix, determined to make their way up the leaderboard. Shepherd charged ahead, overtaking Wilson and positioning Traylor ahead of Young. The field then single-filed around the track, as Shepherd aggressively chased down Davis.
The moment came when Shepherd took the lead on lap 27, leaving Young to fight for 2nd place with Davis. Davis didn’t go down without a fight, but eventually conceded to Young, who was then almost 4 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
With 50 laps completed, Smith and Hoose charged forward, catching up to Wilson. Smith swiftly overtook Wilson for 3rd, while Hoose took 4th place. An opportune caution on lap 70 allowed the field to come down pit road, with Shepherd coming out ahead of Young, ready to take the green flag on lap 77.
As the race continued, Shepherd held his lead, with Hoose and Young not far behind. Young and Smith fiercely battled for 3rd, with Young finally reclaiming the position. With 45 laps to go, Shepherd and Hoose broke away from Young by over 2 seconds. However, Young made a comeback, overtaking Hoose for 2nd place off a restart with 20 laps to go.
As the race came to an end, Shepherd was untouchable, taking the checkered flag with Young and Hoose coming in 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The drama did not stop there, as Young still held the lead in the points standings, but only by 4 points ahead of Shepherd. The Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series was far from over, with the next race set to take place at Lucas Oil Raceway. Fans could hardly wait for the next round of high-speed thrills and adrenaline-pumping action, live on the Virtual Grip Network at 8:10 PM ET on April 28th.
BRL SLM S21 R2 Recap
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!
BRL SLM S21 R1 Recap
24 March 2023
Bootleg Racing League | Season 21 | Round 1
Super Late Model Series | New Smyrna Speedway
James Tiernan took the first win of the new season tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at New Smyrna Speedway ahead of Aiden Young and Tyler Shadduck. “On the other broadcast, I called out all the late model guys to come over and try our stuff, so I figured I come over here”, Tiernan shared with us as he considers himself a primarily sprint car driver. Admitting that he never had to deal with pit strategies before tonight, he joked, “I’m surprised about how well I did after that pit cycle… Once I realized the people on the lead lap would kind of shuffle back through the pack even if they pit I was like ‘Oh, well, I should do that!'”
Tyler Shadduck with Refined Motorsports led the 22-car field around to take the green flag on opening night for Season 21 with Aiden Young to his outside. Off the jump, J R Shepherd was able to get under Young clearing up into 2nd as the front runners were aggressively going after positions early in the night. Young was able to slot into 4th behind James Tiernan while Shepherd kept the pressure up on Shadduck out front with the front 4 drivers breaking away from the rest of the field.
With the first 25 laps behind them, Shadduck began to build up a gap between himself and Shepherd as Tiernan moved up into 3rd and was challenging Shepherd for 2nd. Coming out of tour four on lap 30, Shepherd made contact with the outside wall and Tiernan was left with nowhere to go spinning Shepherd down to the infield dropping far back in the running order. Shadduck still had a strong hold on the lead with over 1 second back to Tiernan and another 2 seconds from Tiernan back to Young.
Lap traffic became an issue 50 laps into the night. Tiernan continued to pressure Shadduck trying to get his nose under the leader several times unsuccessfully with Shepherd multiple laps down from his earlier incident close on Tiernan’s bumper trying to get one of his laps back. Shepherd was able to tuck in behind Shadduck after Tiernan touched the outside wall losing enough momentum for Shepherd to quickly clear around him while Shadduck aggressively negotiated through dense traffic.
Tiernan was getting impatient as Shadduck struggled to keep pace leading to contact between the two drivers as Tiernan got around into the lead as they approached the halfway point of the run. Matt Hoose was the first car to come down pit road signaling to the rest of the field to come down in 2 or 3 car groups lap after lap with Tiernan regaining the lead as all drivers completed their pit cycle and resumed racing with 84 laps remaining. Shadduck was running in 2nd but found himself being challenged by Young as the laps counted down.
Young was patiently working on Shadduck when he got loose and made hard contact with the outside wall on lap 157 coming down pit road under caution for tires and rejoining the track still on the lead lap in 2nd place while Shadduck stayed out to take the lead and was running on almost 60 lap old tires. Off the jump, Young quickly single filed out behind Shadduck to block Tiernan’s advance in the first corner, but Tiernan made contact going into turn three sending Young around in the middle of the track.
Young was able to recover the spin and continue running in 3rd with 37 laps to go. Jeffery Hardin was having a quiet race patiently making his way up through the field and found himself closing on Young and the battle for the lead between Tiernan and Shadduck. Tiernan took the lead which allowed Young to dive low and follow him around into 2nd as Shadduck struggled on the older tires. Going into the final moments, James Tiernan was proving to be dominant tonight claiming the first win of the season with Aiden Young, Tyler Shadduck, Jeffery Hardin, and Mark Hertzog rounding out the top 5 tonight at New Smyrna Speedway.
James Tiernan starts the season off strong coming out of the night with the points lead ahead of Aiden Young and Tyler Shadduck. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League will be back in 2 weeks to tackle Myrtle Beach Speedway on April 7th with the action going live at 8:10PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network!
BRL SLM S19 R11 Recap
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!
BRL SLM S19 R10 Recap
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!
BRL SLM S19 R9 Recap
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!