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25
Jun

BRL DSS S12 R2 Recap

24 June 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 12 | Round 2
Dirt Street Stock Series | Weedsport Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Brandyn Proudfoot with Jim Beaver eSports took the checkered flag tonight after struggling earlier in the evening with the Bootleg Racing League Dirt Street Stock Series at Weedsport Speedway ahead of Jeffrey Hardin and Hunter Hill. “I went to turn into the corner and I turned too far and effectively I just started power sliding going into the corner and it got to the point to where I just had to start running the top because I wasn’t sure if I was going to hit the wall or not because I couldn’t feel a thing”, Proudfoot explained on his earlier mistakes that lost him the lead early in the race.

Brandyn Proudfoot started the evening off by jumping to the top of the timing and scoring boards taking the pole with a fast time at 17.672 in the final moments of qualifying and leading the first heat race to the green flag alongside Chris Davis. The field quickly went single file behind Proudfoot who led every lap to take the win ahead of Davis. The second heat of the night was led out by Neville Ulph with J R Shepherd to his outside. Ulph cleared for the lead after a shaky start as Shepherd and Northcutt battled over 2nd place. Ulph took the checkered flag while Shepherd was able to clear for 2nd place in the end.

Jeffrey Hardin and John Wilson started on the front row for the C Main consolation race as the green flag came out. Wilson tried to stay alongside Hardin off the launch but couldn’t maintain the pace and fell back as Joe Segalla took advantage going below Wilson to take away 2nd place. Segalla struggled to close to the gap to Hardin while Wilson started to pressure Segalla for 2nd place going into the final lap and Hardin extended the lead out to over 1 second to take the win.

Billy Northcutt and Kenny Kibbey sat on the front row for the B Main consolation. Northcutt had a great launch as the green flag was thrown out over the field. Jason Menda got beneath Kibbey on the start and battled for 2nd as Northcutt pulled away from the field. Menda and Kibbey continued to battle back and forth as Hunter Hill closed up on the battle waiting to take advantage. Menda made contact with the inside wall and fell back to 4th as he recovered giving 2nd place to Kibbey as Northcutt took the checkered flag.

Proudfoot led the field to the green flag for the feature event with Ulph to his outside. Proudfoot had a great jump on the start and quickly pulled away from the rest of the field. Davis stayed with him as they extended the gap between them as Proudfoot misjudged the cushion high in turn 3 allowing Davis to get beneath him and take away the lead. Davis jumped out to over a 1 second lead on Northcutt, who also was able to overtake Proudfoot, as the drivers completed the first 10 laps.

Davis, Northcutt, and Proudfoot chased each other around the track going into the 2nd half of the race as Davis and Northcutt came together in turn three bringing out the caution and giving the lead back to Proudfoot going forward with Hardin to his outside. Davis struggled to climb back up through the field from his 7th place starting position on the restart. Hardin and Hunter Hill stayed tight on Proudfoot who was running more conservatively after his earlier mistakes. Davis had gotten back into 5th after clearing around Shepherd and Menda.

With 10 laps remaining, Hardin got to the inside of Proudfoot and tried to take the lead away but couldn’t find the speed out of the corners to finish the move. Davis found an opening beneath Kibbey, and the two drivers ran side by side around the final laps battling for 4th place. Proudfoot started to build up a gap between himself and Hardin as the white flag came out. Proudfoot maintained around the final lap to take the win with Hardin, Hill, Davis, and Kibbey rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Weedsport Speedway.

Brandyn Proudfoot extends his lead in the point standings with his second consecutive win this season with 164 points. J R Shepherd jumped up from 5th to 2nd place with 133 points. Jeffrey Hardin moved up into 3rd place with 120 points. Hunter Hill sits in 4th place with 117 points and Billy Northcutt rounds out the top 5 drivers so far this season with 116 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now prepare for another round at Volusia Speedway Park on July 8th with all of the dirt slinging action broadcast live at 7:10PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

19
Jun

BRL SLM S18 R1 Recap

18 June 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 18 | Round 1
Super Late Model Series | Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Mathew Thunhorst took the first win of the new season in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway ahead of J R Shepherd and Justin Morton. “That was really good hard racing”, Thunhorst commented at the end of the night about the intense battle against Shepherd, “I was struggling to get around [Shepherd]. You know, just trying to get enough of a run to do anything with him. That’s why I was trying different things and then I’d get the tires heated up a little bit and I backed off a little bit and they’d come back to me.”

Joe Segalla started on the pole with Joseph Snyder to his outside as the green flag came out over the field officially starting the 18th season of the Super Late Model Series. Austin Boelke, J R Shepherd, and Mathew Thunhorst started in 5th through 7th place in the running order. After a chaotic start, Shepherd jumped up to 2nd place and challenged Segalla for the lead. Segalla conceded the position and went single file holding onto 2nd place as Shepherd started to pull away.

Justin Morton, who started back in 16th, was up into the top 10 and continued a hard charge to the front 15 laps into the night. Thunhorst got around the outside of Boelke and moved up to 5th while Segalla and Kurt Smith battled over 2nd place. Thunhorst pushed to close the gap to Shepherd and quickly maneuvered around Smith and Segalla for 2nd place and went to work reeling the leader in. Shepherd and Thunhorst were separated by 0.7 with 30 laps competed as the two drivers pulled away from the rest of the field.

Morton was up to 5th and closing on the battled still going on between Segalla and Smith over 3rd place. Morton was able to overtake Smith and closed on Segalla quickly before taking 3rd place on the following lap with over 3 seconds to make up to the leaders. Thunhorst closed the gap to Shepherd to only 0.2 going into lap 40 as Shepherd ran a defensive line to hold off Thunhorst’s advance. Boelke moved up to 5th and was pressuring Smith while James Lowe challenged Segalla for 6th.

Michael Goodman was back into the top 10 after falling back in the earlier stages of the race and was closing in on Ryan Senneker and Bryan Dehn ahead of him. As the drivers crossed the halfway point, Thunhorst had yet to find a way around Shepherd for the lead with Morton still over 3 seconds behind them. Boelke was still running in 5th very close behind Smith waiting for an opening to take advantage of with Lowe and Dehn closing up behind him as the field became spread out around the track with multiple small packs forming and drivers finally settling in.

On lap 67, Thunhorst was able to get his nose to the inside of Shepherd and tried to take away the lead. Shepherd stayed alongside him fighting back as the two drivers ran almost identical paces door to door for several laps. Morton used the opportunity to close in on the battle only around 1 second behind and closing quickly. With 25 laps remaining, Thunhorst was able to clear ahead of Shepherd after battling side by side for 8 intense laps. Morton made up even more time and was running close behind Shepherd going into the final stretch.

Thunhorst was able to pull away with the lead quickly building a large gap between himself and Shepherd. Morton was pressuring Shepherd for 2nd place as Shepherd struggled showing definite signs of excessive tire wear after running the battle with Thunhorst. Shepherd ran a tight, defensive line to hold back Morton with the gap to the leader extended out to 2 seconds going into the final 10 laps. Segalla was holding onto 8th place for the pole position in the next round holding off Senneker and Donny Moore behind him rounding out the top 10.

Thunhorst was quickly approaching lap traffic for the first time of the night with 3 laps to go and opted to give up some pace rather than risk negotiating through the traffic so late in the race with over a 2 second lead over Shepherd. Thunhorst took the checkered flag following the lap traffic across the line. Shepherd held onto 2nd place over Morton with Boelke and Lowe rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for the first round of Season 18 of the Super Late Model Series.

Mathew Thunhorst starts the new season off leading the point standings with 40 points. J R Shepherd has 2nd place over Justin Morton, Austin Boelke, and James Lowe with each driver separated by only 1 point respectively. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now set their sights to Hickory Motor Speedway for the next round on June 25th with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

18
Jun

BRL DSS S12 R1 Recap

17 June 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 12 | Round 1
Dirt Street Stock Series | Eldora Speedway
Photograph by: Billy Northcutt
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Brandyn Proudfoot took the first win of the season tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Dirt Street Stock Series at Eldora Speedway ahead of Johnny Ratley and William Hargreaves. “Towards the end [Ratley and Hargreaves] definitely had my number, but I held on there just enough”, Proudfoot commented as the night came to a close, “[The] grip was just starting to go away towards the end, like I said. Used everything up probably in the first I’d say 25 [or] 30. The last 10 it was all [Ratley and Hargreaves] reeling me in. The only reason they didn’t pass me is they were battling each other I do believe.”

William Hargreaves took the pole to start off the season opener event as he put down a fast lap clocked at 19.587 beating Johnny Ratley’s time by 0.001. Hargreaves shared the front row in the first heat race with his teammate Billy Northcutt and had Brandyn Proudfoot directly behind him in 3rd. Hargreaves jumped out ahead of the pack as the green flag came out. Northcutt held onto 2nd running the inside line with Proudfoot running along the outside wall behind Hargreaves. The three drivers stayed stacked tightly together until the final corner where Proudfoot dove low beneath both Hargreaves and Northcutt to jump out ahead and take the win in the final moments with Northcutt coming in 2nd place.

Ratley opted to start the second heat from the outside alongside J R Shepherd as the green flag came out over the field. Ratley cleared for the lead and ran a defensive line trying to prevent Shepherd from being able to throw a slider against him. Ratley held the lead and took the checkered flag, and the drivers came back out on track for the C Main consolation event lead out by William Hargreaves. Hargreaves cleared ahead of Hunter Hill quickly off the start, but Hill stayed close to his bumper running along the outside wall.

Jeffrey Hardin and DV Runkle battled over 3rd place with Cody Jones looking to take advantage of the situation. As the drivers came around the final lap, Hargreaves took the win ahead of Hill and Runkle took 3rd place over Hardin and Jones behind him. The B Main consolation event was led to the green flag by Jason Menda with Chris Hill to his inside. Menda had a great launch off the start as the field went mostly single file along the high side. Menda’s car got upset in the corner and Hill and Hayes closed up on him as they went 3 wide at the halfway point in the race. Hayes had to drop back into 3rd while Hill stayed alongside Menda challenging from the low side. Hayes dove low beneath Hill but couldn’t complete the pass before Menda took the win over Hill.

Proudfoot came back to the track to lead the feature event to the green flag with Ratley to his inside. Proudfoot and Ratley stayed side by side off the start. 4 laps into the run, Proudfoot was finally able to clear ahead of Ratley as Hargreaves and Northcutt were both running low with Shepherd staying high close behind Ratley. Hargreaves got alongside Ratley as they went 3 wide over the lead again, but the momentum from the outside line kept Proudfoot in the lead with 10 laps completed.

A caution came out as the drivers crossed into the second half of the race with Proudfoot still leading over Ratley. Proudfoot had started to pull away and now found himself back alongside Ratley as he took the green flag and racing resumed. Proudfoot had a good jump and cleared for the lead quicker this time around. Hargreaves, Northcutt and Shepherd were battling over 3rd and Joe Segalla dove low trying to take 7th place away from Menda as the field entered the final 10 laps of the night.

Ratley and Hargreaves continued to battle for 2nd while Proudfoot again pulled away from the field. Shepherd was challenging Northcutt for 4th but couldn’t find the speed to complete the pass. Ratley and Hargreaves slowly started to reel Proudfoot back in and Ratley was able to get alongside Proudfoot in a few failed pass attempts going around the final laps. Ratley threw the car low in the final corner but wasn’t able to clear Proudfoot before Proudfoot took the checkered flag with Ratley, Hargreaves, Northcutt, and Shepherd rounding out the top 5 drivers tonight at Eldora Speedway.

Brandyn Proudfoot and Johnny Ratley come out of the first round of the season tied for the lead in the point standings both with 80 points. William Hargreaves has 76 points at the end of the night followed by Billy Northcutt with 72 points and J R Shepherd with 68 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now set their sights to Weedsport Speedway for the next round on June 24th with all of the dirt slinging action broadcast live at 7:10PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

14
Jun

PGRL S2 R4 Recap

14 June 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 2 | Round 4
Premier Series | Sonoma Raceway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Scott Eckrich with Graafix LC Motorsports took the checkered flag in the Joy of Driving Without Drinking 45 at Sonoma Raceway with the Pretty Good Racing League presented by The Joy of Driving ahead of Thomas George and Vincent Crow. “I don’t know what I did to my tires, but I didn’t make them happy apparently in the second run there… [George] was just doing a great job too, keeping the pace up”, Eckrich commented about taking the win by 0.005 after a drag race to the line with Thomas George, “Coming into that last lap, I figured he had me.”

Pete Baskins led the 32-car field to the green flag to start off the night’s action with Thomas George alongside him on the front row. George had the better launch and cleared for the lead as the field shuffled positions very early. Baskins slid back to 3rd behind Greg O’Berry and Norm Pellitier started to climb up into the top 5. Jeff Ward and Scott Eckrich were both making a hard change through the rest of the field with both drivers getting into the top 10 on lap 4.

O’Berry challenged for the lead but George was able to defend against an aggressive dive to his inside and continued to control the field with 5 laps completed. Eckrich was running in 10th, 22 positions up from where he started the race and Jeff Ward had moved up into 5th behind Woody Mahan and Adam Jurski. O’Berry was able to overtake for the lead on the 7th lap and quickly started to put as much distance between himself and the rest of the field as he could to prepare for the upcoming pit cycle.

Ward closed the gap to Mahan and Jurski on lap 10 with Eckrich running behind them in 7th and gaining time quickly. O’Berry and George had separated themselves from the field both running together over 5 seconds ahead of Jurski. O’Berry misjudged a corner entry and opened the door giving George the chance he was waiting for to retake the lead and George was able to pull almost 2 seconds ahead as O’Berry struggled to build his momentum back up. Mahan made contact with the left side wall causing critical damage to his left rear and ended his night early.

16 laps into the race, Ward was up to 3rd place and running 5 seconds behind O’Berry. Eckrich moved up to 5th and was closing on Vincent Crow quickly ahead in 4th. O’Berry chose to pit very early going down put road on lap 18 and rejoining the track in 14th place. That moved Ward up into 2nd place ahead of Crow and Eckrich. Crow intentionally opened a lane for Eckrich letting him take 3rd place with 26 laps remaining. Drivers were sporadically going down pit road two or three cars at a time while George, Ward, and Eckrich were still running on track.

The leaders were aggressively negotiating through lap traffic trying to not give the driver behind them any favors. While George and Ward were losing time lap after lap, Eckrich had maintained a strong pace and was still closing on Ward as they approached the halfway point of the night and Eckrich took that moment to go down pit road with 23 laps remaining essentially cutting the race in half. George and Ward chose to pit on the following lap while Eckrich was already back on track and making up time.

Eckrich was able to overtake Ward as the leaders rejoined the track and was running within 5 seconds of George who rejoined in 4th. Crow was leading the field ahead of James Moore and Jurski with 20 laps left to go. Crow was the last of the leading cars to pit giving the lead back to George with 16 laps remaining. Eckrich had overtaken Ward for 2nd place and had closed the gap to George down to almost 2 seconds. Moore and Crow had stayed inside of the top 5 and were close behind Ward as Moore was pressuring for 3rd place going into the final 15 laps.

Inside the final 10 laps, Eckrich was running under 1.5 seconds behind George. Moore took 3rd place away from Ward after Ward slid wide going around a corner, but Ward stayed tight on his rear bumper keeping the pressure up on Moore. Eckrich kept George within sight, but his pace seemed to falter as the race stretched on. Ward and Moore ran side by side for a moment as their battle came to a head before making contact. Crow overtook both drivers for 3rd place as they recovered and resumed racing with Moore in 4th ahead of Ward.

With 4 laps remaining, Ward cleared ahead of Moore into 4th and, as Ward did before, Moore stayed with him going forward making his intentions clear. George was still controlling the field ahead of Eckrich with the gap down to only 0.4 between them. The gap stayed the same as the white flag came out and Eckrich started aggressively looking for a chance to take the lead away. George got loose coming out of the final corner and Eckrich beat him to the line by 0.005 in a drag race to the finish ending an incredible night of racing.

Jeff Ward continues to lead in the point standings with 160 points. Brian Yaczik moves up to 2nd with 145 points and Danny Gutierrez dropped back to 3rd tied with Shane Parish with 143 points. Vincent Crow moved up one spot into 5th place after tonight’s podium finish now with 133 points. The drivers of the Pretty Good Racing League now head over to Tennessee for the Beef Jurski’s Cheesecake Emporium and Banana Breadery 200 at Nashville Superspeedway for the 5th round of the season on June 28th with all of the intense action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

12
Jun

BRL SLM S17 R11 Recap

11 June 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 17 | Round 11
Super Late Model Series | Myrtle Beach Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Kenny Kibbey with Nocturnal Gaming took the season championship tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Mathew Thunhorst took the checkered flag for the night beating Kenny Kibbey and J R Shepherd to the line in the end. “I kind of got lucky breaks, you know, and I just kept taking advantage of them”, Thunhorst commented after taking the final win of the season, “I kind of figured some things out. [I] was trying a new line all night and it worked out here pretty well and I just took care of my tires best I could and when it got down to the end, I had something for [Menda] still.”

Jeffrey Hardin led the 19-car field to the green flag with Kurt Smith alongside him on the front row. Kenny Kibbey, the points leader going into the evening, started in 5th place ahead of Austin Boelke. Jason Menda started from 3rd place and matched Hardin’s jump off the start clearing into 2nd place quickly as the drivers shuffled for position throughout the field. Smith struggled from the outside and fell back to 6th before being able to slide down to the low line. Menda was able to take the inside from Hardin and overtook for the lead going into lap 6.

Bryan Dehn, Boelke, and Kibbey were running 3rd through 5th and kept the pressure on the leaders while Smith in 6th started to fall off the front pack with Mathew Thunhorst, J R Shepherd, and James Lowe running behind him. Kibbey was able to maneuver around Boelke 32 laps into the night and was up to 4th place still running behind Dehn as a caution came out on lap 34 stacking the field back together with Menda still in control of the field. Thunhorst, Shepherd, and Lowe were running in 5th through 7th as the green flag came out over the field and racing resumed.

Menda had a good launch on the start, but Kibbey stayed with him with Thunhorst following close behind. Hardin found himself stranded on the outside and fell back in the running order to 5th behind Boelke. Menda continued to lead the field as the drivers crossed the halfway point in the race with Kibbey still trying to find a way to take the lead for himself. Kibbey made several attempts to take the inside line away from Menda unsuccessfully and started trying to utilize the outside with 30 laps remaining. Thunhorst took advantage of Kibbey looking high and tried to pry 2nd place away, but Kibbey reacted quickly enough to defend the position.

Another caution was thrown out with 25 laps remaining when Hardin and Lowe came together on track. The restack put Thunhorst and Shepherd to the inside line directly behind Menda and Kibbey on the outside line for the restart. Thunhorst quickly jumped out ahead of Kibbey as Kibbey tried to fight back from the outside struggling to stay alongside. Shepherd cleared ahead of Boelke for 4th with Lowe moving in behind him pushing Boelke back another spot. Shepherd tried to get up to Thunhorst’s rear bumper to block Kibbey still on the outside.

Menda’s tires spun coming out of the corner giving Thunhorst the chance he needed inside the final 20 laps as Thunhorst took the lead and started to pull away. Kibbey moved into 2nd ahead Shepherd close behind in 3rd. With 10 laps remaining, Thunhorst had a strong grip on the lead ahead of Kibbey. Thunhorst stretched his lead out to over 0.6 as a late race caution came out bringing the race to a close and Thunhorst took the checkered flag with Kibbey, Shepherd, Boelke, and Michael Goodman rounding out the top 5 finishers in the season finale.

Kenny Kibbey took the season championship with a total of 421 points ahead of Austin Boelke with 384. Justin Morton finished out the season in 3rd with 373 points with Mathew Thunhorst and Michael Goodman rounding out the top 5 drivers as the season comes to a close. “When it came down to like race wins and podiums you know some tracks I kind of had the speed others I didn’t or it might have come down to a restart that either helped me or hurt me, but yeah just to stay clean and just to be in the mix is [going to] usually get me like a top 5 and we managed to do that just about every week”, Kibbey commented after officially claiming the champion title, “Consistency wins championships, I kind of tried to epitomize that.”

Season 18 of the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series kicks off on June 18th at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

10
Jun

BRL DSS S11 R11 Recap

10 June 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 11 | Round 11
Dirt Street Stock Series | Knoxville Raceway
Photograph by: Billy Northcutt
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

William Hargreaves with the Dirt Panda race team took the championship in tonight’s season finale event with the Bootleg Racing League Dirt Street Stock Series at Knoxville Raceway while Billy Northcutt took the checkered flag ahead of Hargreaves and J R Shepherd. “We never said a word the whole race both of us we were just locked in and going for it”, Northcutt commented about the intense battle for the lead against his teammate, “You could’ve barely put a piece of paper between us a bunch of different times and we both backed off when we needed to and just made that the most fun.”

J R Shepherd jumped to the top of the boards to start off the night in qualifying with a quick lap clocked at 22.437 and taking the pole for the first heat race to the inside of William Hargreaves. Hargreaves was able to get beneath Shepherd as the drivers ran side by side for two laps until Hargreaves was able to clear for the lead. Shepherd stayed close behind Hargreaves peeking to the inside but wasn’t able to make an attempt for a pass before Hargreaves took the checkered flag. Billy Northcutt led the second heat to the green flag with Joe Segalla to his inside.

Northcutt had a great launch off the start pulling ahead of the field by more than a car length. Chris Davis and John Wilson battled over 3rd place while keeping the pressure on Segalla. Segalla ran a defensive line down the middle of the track making it difficult for either driver to get alongside him. Davis got a nose to Segalla’s inside as the white flag came out but couldn’t match pace as Segalla crossed the line in 2nd place behind Northcutt.

Jeffrey Hardin and Chris Davis were lined up on the front row for the consolation race as the green flag was thrown out over the field. Hardin opted to start from the high line which gave Davis an opportunity to stay alongside him off the start. After some contact between the drivers, Davis was able to clear into the lead with Hardin running tight on his rear bumper looking to return the favor. Robby Robinson caught the battle for the lead and started to put pressure on Hardin while Brennen Myers also caught the fight and tried to get beneath Robinson.

More contact between Davis and Hardin gave Myers the chance to get around Robinson as the white flag was thrown. Again, contact was made between Davis and Hardin that resulted in contact with several other drivers and Hardin was sent hard into the wall and turned around on the track as Davis crossed the line for the win with Hunter Hill sneaking through the chaos to take away 2nd place only 0.002 behind the leader.

William Hargreaves led the field to the green flag for the feature event alongside Billy Northcutt on the front row. Hargreaves cleared for the lead with Northcutt close behind off the start. Shepherd stayed with the leaders in 3rd place looking to get to the inside of Northcutt. Segalla was leading the rest of the field from 4th place ahead of Hunter Hill and Brennen Myers running side by side. Hill was able to take 4th away with an aggressive slider. Hardin had climbed through the field and was running in 6th with 10 laps completed.

Segalla and Hill continued to battle over 4th trading sliders back and forth with Hardin looking to split the drivers. Davis caught the battle and dove beneath Hardin and moved immediately on Segalla. Northcutt and Hargreaves were still battling hard over the lead trading sliders with neither driver willing to hold back as Shepherd watched them from 3rd place as the drivers crossed the halfway point in the race. Davis had moved up to 5th ahead of Segalla and was closing on Hill ahead of him.

Northcutt and Hargreaves showed no sign of letting up as the Dirt Panda teammates continued to fight over the lead. Segalla got alongside Robinson fighting for 6th place when the group quickly caught and overtook Davis who had damaged his car and was falling off the pace. With 10 laps remaining, Hargreaves was holding the lead as Northcutt kept the pressure up. The leaders were trading sliders back and forth all the way to the finish line as Northcutt held the lead when the white flag came out.

Hargreaves threw a slider coming out of the final corner but didn’t have the momentum to clear for the lead as Billy Northcutt crossed the line to take the win and Hargreaves claimed the season championship from 2nd place. “When we took the white flag… I went in high with him and [tried] to get as much of a run on him as I could to try to be able to set him up or do something there on the last corner, but I just didn’t get enough. He had too much of that cushion and nailed it too good to be able to do anything with him really.”, Hargreaves shared with us about battling his teammate around the final lap as well as winning the season championship, “[Proudfoot]’s one tough cookie to beat and he’s definitely proved he’s the top dog so I’m happy for sure. To beat him is a task in itself.”

7
Jun

PGRL S2 R3 Recap

07 June 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 2 | Round 3
Premier Series | World Wide Technology Raceway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Scott Eckrich with Graafix LC Motorsports took his first checkered flag of the season tonight in the Muscular Dystrophy Association Fundraiser 200 at the World Wide Technology Raceway presented by Patriot Media & Marketing Services with the Pretty Good Racing League ahead of Drew Carroll and Danny Gutierrez. “Just wasn’t very confident with the car so I figured I would go with a three stop strategy you know just to kind of keep the fresher tires on it”, Eckrich shared with us after claiming his win, “Somewhere in that second run it just kind of clicked for me and I was able to kind of figure out what I needed to do to start saving the rear grip and that last run I felt like we were as good as we were ever going to be.”

Isaiah Dupre led the 26-car field to the green flag to start off the evening with Adam Jurski to his outside on the front row. Jeff Ward, the points leader and last week’s winner started back in 19th place. Jurski quickly crossed over and dove below Dupre taking the lead away on the first lap. On lap 3, several drivers were caught in an incident going into turn one including Scott Eckrich, Thomas George, and Norm Pellitier bringing out the first caution. With no fast repairs allowed for the season, that could potentially have very serious repercussions for the race.

Jurski took the green flag as racing resumed still running alongside Dupre. Woody Mahan challenged Dupre for 2nd as Jurski was able to pull away from the field off the start. Dupre continued to fall back as he found himself stranded on the outside line around the first lap back under green. Greg O’Berry moved up into 3rd place ahead of Grant Brown and Rick Thompson and Dupre fell out of the top 10 being overtaken by drivers such as Brian Yaczik and Michael Chrobok with 10 laps completed.

O’Berry was able to get around Mahan for 2nd place while Jurski continued to run over 0.8 ahead of the rest of the field but O’Berry was running a faster lap and reeled the leader in over several laps. Drew Carroll and Vincent Crow were running tight behind Mahan in 3rd keeping the pressure up and Marc Cohn rounded out the top 10 running behind Chrobok with 20 laps behind them. Eckrich, who started last in the field and was involved in the early incident, had made his way up to 13th and was making a hard charge toward the top 10.

Carroll and O’Berry battled hard over 2nd place with O’Berry fighting back from the outside but eventually conceding and falling back in line to 3rd place. Jeff Ward was up to 8th place and closing the gap to Thompson as Eckrich closed up on Chrobok to challenge for 9th. Carroll took the lead away from Jurski who fell back in the field similar to Dupre by getting stuck on the outside. Ward jumped several more positions up into 3rd and was running close behind Yaczik in 2nd. Only 30 laps into the race and many expected names were quickly shuffling to the front of the running order.

On lap 30, Ward took the lead away from Carroll with Eckrich up to 7th. Yaczik followed Ward pushing Carroll back to 3rd as Eckrich got around Chrobok and Crow for 5th place. Ward had stretched his lead out running over 2 seconds ahead of Yaczik and Eckrich had caught and cleared ahead of Carroll for 4th running 10 seconds behind Ward as the first few drivers began their first pit cycle under green flag conditions including Brown and Eckrich. Ward was one of the final drivers to pull off to take his pit stop on lap 52.

Eckrich had been back on track for several laps and was up to 5th as Ward rejoined the track in 15th. Eckrich inherited the lead as the last drivers pulled off the track with Ward running almost 30 seconds behind him on track. By lap 60 Ward had made up several positions and was running in 8th with 10 less laps on his tires compared to Eckrich in the lead. With the field spread out around the track, the drivers settled in to put some laps behind them.

Ward had gotten into 2nd place and closed the gap to Eckrich in the lead to under 5 seconds on lap 78 as the caution flag came out restacking the field. Practically every driver opted to take their second pit stop during the caution resetting the field on even footing. Eckrich maintained the lead as he rejoined the track with Ward, Yaczik, Carroll, and Chrobok rounding out the top 5. Eckrich took the green flag going into lap 83 with 23 cars still running on track. Ward was able to get below Eckrich and overtook for the lead with Yaczik challenging for 2nd.

Eckrich was able to pinch Ward down to the inside and retook the lead going into lap 90 but wasn’t able to pull away with Ward staying right on his rear bumper for several lap. Ward and Eckrich again battled side by side over the lead going past lap 100 almost making contact several times before Ward dropped back in line behind the leader. Yaczik was continuing to hold 3rd place ahead of Carroll followed by Shane Parish rounding out the top 5. After the previous battle, Ward had fallen off Eckrich’s pace running 2 seconds behind him on lap 110.

Several drivers such as Thompson opted to pit shortly thereafter but Eckrich stayed out further extending his gap over Ward to 3 seconds. Ward and Carroll both pulled down pit road with 40 laps remaining with Eckrich coming in on the following lap. Yaczik stayed out on track taking the lead ahead of Chrobok. Eckrich rejoined the track in 6th still several seconds ahead of Ward in 9th place. Eckrich retook the lead on lap 130 with over a 5 second lead over Ward who was up to 5th.

With 25 laps remaining, Ward had moved up into 2nd place ahead of Carroll but was still losing ground to Eckrich ahead of him. A caution came out with 7 laps remaining bringing everyone back together. Eckrich maintained the lead after taking a final pit stop, but Ward rejoined the track in 9th place after losing a lot of time on pit road. The green flag was thrown again over the field with 3 laps remaining and Carroll tried for the lead over Eckrich but couldn’t get to the inside line. Ward was trying to push through traffic to recover what positions he could but wasn’t able to make up any ground before Eckrich took the checkered flag.

Jeff Ward still sits in the lead in the point standings with 123 points. Danny Gutierrez closed the gap to the lead now trailing by 7 points. Brian Yaczik is tied for 3rd place with Shane Parish both drivers with 112 points. James Krahula rounds out the top 5 drivers of the season thus far with 95 points. The drivers with the Pretty Good Racing League now head down to California for the 4th round of the season on June 14th in The Joy of Driving without Drinking Sonoma 45 at Sonoma Raceway with all of the action broadcast live at 8:50PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network!

6
Jun

Virtual Spotlight #01 – Mathew Thunhorst

Mathew Thunhorst is a name well known around the virtual short tracks but especially with the drivers in the Bootleg Racing League. With around 175 wins between official series and league races, the 27-year-old sim racer has earned the respect of the other drivers on the track streaking the #8 machine across the line to take the checkered flag over and over again. Oval racing is what he calls his “bread and butter” but says he’s also fairly skilled at off-road dirt racing as well.

Every driver has a story behind what brought them to sim racing and most revolve around some real-world racing experiences, but with Matt it’s definitely a unique beginning. “Was doing a Spanish project in college and was looking for in-car footage to do voice overs in Spanish”, Matt explained. His search resulted in coming across several iRacing videos which led him to trying the simulator out for himself in 2014. “Ironic how my worst subject led to finding one of my favorite hobbies.”

“Part of the reason I like iRacing so much is because how in depth the oval side is versus what’s out on the market, especially with human competition. When you have a car [or] track figured out and do well it’s like my version of runner’s high.” Running primarily with the Bootleg Racing League, with the occasional Majors Series race, Matt considers Austin Boelke to be his on-track rival with the two drivers often confronting each other at the front of the field while going for the checkered flag in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series on Saturday nights.

Matt has some experience racing in the real world as well. “I found a decent unrestricted Kart complex nearby so actually getting that seat of the pants feel racing and getting to feel all the grip is rather intoxicating.”, he explained noting that he would get more than a simple racing experience from time to time, “The first unrestricted kart race I ever did the front axle broke under braking into a hairpin. Thankfully the brakes worked well so the impact was only a fender bender level accident, but that was still a heart attack and a half.”

Matt says his greatest accomplishment is getting to the level his is at today, “Just the accomplishment of how good I’ve become over the years. When I started out, I was about a 2.5K to 3k oval driver and to see how much I’ve improved over the years. I wasn’t this good to start out, but all the studying, practice, and trying to prove myself over the years only honed my ability, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t plenty of times I’ve stalled out and [was] left confused on what I’m missing. Being 6k is kind of like that. You know you’re good but compared to the Coke Series guys it’s like MLB being AA or A ball trying to figure out what separates you from the guys in The Show.”

We’d like to thank Mathew Thunhorst for taking the time to speak with us giving us a chance to get to know him a little better and we here at the Virtual Grip Network wish him luck in his sim racing career. His racing talent is out there for everyone to see every Saturday night with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at 8:55PM ET broadcast live only on the Virtual Grip Network!

4
Jun

BRL SLM S17 R10 Recap

04 June 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 17 | Round 10
Super Late Model Series | Langley Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Justin Morton with Total Downforce Racing took his 3rd win of the season tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Langley Speedway ahead of Donny Moore and Austin Boelke. “After that start was a bit messier than I wanted this race to go but, [I] struggled here and it feels pretty good to come away with the win”, Morton commented after claiming the checkered flag, “I was trying to make sure I was clipping that apron every time on exit just so it would help rotate the car so that might have just been where I was picking up those tenths over the laps.”

Joseph Snyder started the night off on the pole with Jeffrey Hardin to his outside as the green falg was thrown out over the field and racing commenced. Kenny Kibbey, the points leader at the beginning of the night, was starting in 4th place directly ahead of Justin Morton who was the only driver in the field close enough in the points to directly compete for the season championship. Snyder cleared ahead of Hardin as Kibbey found himself stranded on the outside line and dropped back to 6th behind Austin Boelke before finding a gap to drop into.

Michael Goodman was running in 3rd place and held the inside line not giving an opportunity to Morton behind him to take away the inside line. Snyder continued to lead and was pulling away with Hardin as the gap between 2nd and 3rd grew to over 1 second with 20 laps completed. Kibbey was the first to find his way beneath Goodman and that opened the door for Boelke and Morton to follow him around pushing Goodman back to 6th ahead of Donny Moore. An incident on restacked the field and took away any advantage Snyder and Hardin had over the rest of the drivers as the green flag again came out going into lap 29.

Kibbey restarted from 3rd place behind Snyder on the inside line giving him a strong advantage over Hardin going into turn one. Hardin fell back quickly on the start causing a big checkup behind him and spinning him to the inside of the track bringing out a second caution immediately putting Kibbey on the outside with Morton running directly behind the lead from 3rd place for the restart. Going into lap 34 racing again resumed. Kibbey tried to beat Snyder into the corner but wasn’t able to make it work forcing Kibbey to fall far back in the running order before sliding into line in 5th behind Boelke.

Morton was able to take away the inside line forcing Snyder high on lap 45 taking the lead which sent Snyder falling back to 6th behind Bryan Dehn. Moore moved up to 2nd followed by Boelke and Kibbey as the drivers passed the halfway point in the night. The field single filed out with the top 9 drivers ending with Kurt Smith started to separate themselves from the rest of the field. Moore, up 11 positions from where he started, was continuing to pressure Morton for the lead as Boelke and Kibbey struggled to close the gap to the leaders.

With 30 laps remaining, Morton started to pull away from Moore and was able to extend the lead to over 1 second as the laps counted down. Boelke had caught the rear bumper of Moore with Kibbey waiting for him to create a path for them to get around Moore. One by one drivers started falling out of the pack with Moore, Boelke, and Kibbey left alone to battle over 2nd place. Morton had further stretched his lead to almost 2 seconds with 15 laps remaining and was reaching the rear of the field.

Going into the final 10 laps, Kibbey started to fall off the pace and wasn’t able to stay with Boelke as the leaders negotiated through lap traffic. Morton was maintaining a dominate pace pulling away while Moore and Boelke still fought over 2nd place. Around the final lap, Boelke wasn’t able to get the speed on corner exit to line up a pass attempt before the checkered flag came out and Morton took his 3rd win of the season with Kibbey and Dehn rounding out the top 5 finishers of the night at Langley Speedway.

Kenny Kibbey holds onto the lead in the point standings with 382 points, but Justin Morton closed the gap with his win tonight now 9 points behind the leader and is the only driver close enough to Kibbey to compete for the championship going into the final round. Austin Boelke still sits in 3rd place with 347 points ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and Michael Goodman. The Bootleg Racing League now heads over to Myrtle Beach Speedway for the season finale on June 11th with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network!

4
Jun

World 600 Recap

03 June 2022
Special Event | World 600
NASCAR Xfinity | Charlotte Motor Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Michael Strohl out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania driving with Domination Intimidation Racing took the checkered flag after an action packed 600 miles around Charlotte Motor Speedway ahead of DJ Stagner with Swamp Motorsports and Seth Noell with Nexxus eSports. “Once I knew [Bressi] was out of the race it was mine to lose, and I wasn’t sure if I could catch [Noell]. I thought he might save enough [fuel].”, Strohl shared with us after his dominating performance tonight, “Just a great, great race.”

Seth Noell with Nexxus eSports started the night off on the pole with Michael Dewell to his outside as the 39-car field took the green flag and racing began. The mostly single filed out behind Noell as the drivers settled in for the long endurance event. The first hour of the evening was more or less calm with only a few minor incidents as most drivers were content for the moment to simply run in the pack while the laps counted down. Michael Strohl was leading the field ahead of Thomas Bressi and Jacob Fyfe. Seth Noell and Michael Dewell dropped back to 4th and 5th respectively but were still running up close to the leaders with roughly 60 laps behind them.

Dewell maneuvered his way back up to the leader and he and Strohl traded positions back and forth across several laps for the lead. Nicholas Starling moved up into the front of the pack in 4th place with Bressi challenging Strohl for the lead as Dewell dropped back to 5th ahead of Noell. Jaxson Hartman started in 15th place and was up to 3rd trying to reel in the leaders. Bressi got to the inside of Strohl and cleared into the lead after around 90 minutes of racing and seemed to hold a strong pace over Strohl stretching out the gap between them. Bressi extended the gap ahead of the rest of the field to over 1 second shortly after crossing the 100-lap mark.

Just shy of 2 hours of racing, many drivers were starting to cycle through the pits under green flag conditions. Bressi stayed out longer trying to get as far ahead as possible before making his stop. Strohl was one of the first of the lead pack to taking his stop pulling off the racing line on lap 123. Bressi took his stop one lap later with Noell and several others. As the field started to divide between drivers with fresh tires and drivers with worn tires the large difference in lap times led to several near misses as drivers coming out of the pits were aggressively weaving through the field to regain as many positions as they could.

As the field sorted itself back out going into lap 133, Starling held the lead briefly until Bressi overtook a few laps later. The majority of the main field had splintered into several 3 to 5 car packs with the drivers again settling in to put some laps behind them. Cody Smith was up 15 positions from where he started hours before as he ran in 4th. Bressi held the lead running consistent faster laps than the vast majority of the field. Daniel Shirley and Larry Patrick came together going down the front stretch on lap 169 ending the over 100-lap green flag run forcing drivers to pit earlier than they may have wanted to since most had pitted under the green flag only 30 laps prior.

Bressi and Strohl were on the front row as the green flag came back out and the drivers resumed racing 27 laps shy of the halfway point. Strohl took the lead from Bressi quickly off the launch. DJ Stagner and Hayden Pastorius were running in 3rd and 4th ahead of David Grantham as Noell and Dewell, who started the race on the front row, stayed in the lead pack running in 6th and 7th. Bressi had control of the field after taking the lead back from Strohl as the drivers crossed into the second half of the night. Stagner was consistently reeling in the leaders lap after lap showing patience as Bressi and Strohl battled each other.

Bressi had started to break away from Strohl as Stagner caught Strohl’s rear bumper going into lap 230. Stagner patiently followed Strohl without making any aggressive attempts on an overtake waiting for an opportunity to take advantage of. Bressi had extended his gap further out to over 1 second over Strohl while Strohl and Stagner seemed to be falling off lead pace. With 150 laps remaining in the race and the sun slowly setting in the distance, mental and physical fatigue was becoming a legitimate concern for many of the drivers going forward as track conditions continued to evolve with the temperatures and sight distance both dropping rapidly.

Around lap 250, several drivers chose to pit for fuel and tires under green flag conditions to include Bressi, Strohl, and Stagner all coming in on lap 254. Stagner was able to overtake Strohl on pit entry by braking later and held the position ahead of Strohl as they rejoined the track moments later, but Strohl was able to take the position back soon thereafter with the three drivers back into the podium positions. Adam Wood was running in 5th place behind Pastorius and up 30 positions from where he started. Stagner started to drop off as the battle for the lead seemed to be between only Bressi and Strohl with 120 laps remaining.

Bressi held the lead with a strong lead going into the final 100 laps of the race. Drivers had started going through another pit cycle including Strohl. Bressi went down pit road 2 laps later and came back out on track behind Strohl. Bressi managed to get back onto the lead lap but made contact with a lap car that lost control ahead of him causing front end damage and bringing out the caution flag. Strohl the lead as the field stacked back together with Noell to his outside and Bressi running in 3rd. Strohl had a good launch of the start, but Noell stayed with him as the field spread back out with 85 laps remaining.

Noell was able to overtake for the lead with fresher tires than Strohl with Bressi doing the same pushing Strohl back to 3rd. The top three pulled away from the rest of the pack while Bressi went beneath Noell trying to take the lead away. He cleared Noell on lap 321 but wasn’t able to run away as easily as he had previously after gaining damage from the earlier contact to his front end. Strohl continued to fall back as Stagner and Grantham both passed him rather easily and Strohl struggled to stay with the lead pack as the top 4 pulled away. With 70 laps remaining, Stagner had caught the rear of Bressi and was pressuring for the lead with an aggressive dive to the inside line.

Contact between Bressi and Stagner resulted with Bressi spinning hard into the outside wall and collecting several cars behind them. The last thing Bressi wanted but the exact situation Strohl needed to get back into the race with fresh tires. Noell took control of the field as the green flag came back out over the field and racing again resumed. Grantham stayed tight on Noell’s rear bumper with Strohl following close behind running single file. Grantham cleared for the lead running along the outside with Strohl following him around knocking Noell back to 3rd and under pressure from Adam Wood. Strohl overtook Grantham for the lead with 56 laps remaining and trying to separate himself from Grantham.

Stagner, Wood, and Fyfe had an intense three-way battle for 3rd place building as the end of the race was coming within reach with Stagner holding a strong pace. Going into the final 50 laps, Strohl hadn’t been able to get away from Grantham who was staying very tight behind him. The top 9 drivers will still on the lead lap with Kendall Kerr running in the last lead lap position. Stagner had caught the rear of Grantham as Strohl was able to break away slightly. The lead lap drivers were all pushing trying to make up as much time as possible with a minimum of one more fuel stop sitting between them and the checkered flag. Stagner was the first to go pulling down pit road on lap 364.

With 30 laps remaining, most of the drivers had completed their final pit stop with the exception of Noell and Brandon Bernhardt. Stagner was running in 3rd with Strohl in 4th 2 seconds behind him on track. Strohl went to work closing the gap to Stagner running consistently faster laps. Stagner caught Bernhardt and made the pass for 2nd place easily with Strohl closing on him quickly. Stagner was forced to block defensively against Strohl as the two drivers started battling hard with 20 laps remaining. Strohl got to the inside and the drivers raced side by side with neither driver getting the advantage over the other. After several laps battling from the outside line, Stagner had to concede giving 2nd place to Strohl. Noell was still controlling the race, but his fuel was a serious concern with 15 laps to go.

Strohl pulled away from Stagner by over 1 second as he aggressively closed the gap to Noell lap after lap. Noell was far off the pace and Strohl was gaining at a rate that would lead to Strohl taking the win away from Noell regardless of fuel saving. Fyfe was making a hard charge through the top 10 climbing up to 5th place ahead of Wood with only a few laps left to get any positions he could before the end. Pastorius was running in 4th and defending against Fyfe hard. Strohl had closed the gap to Noell and moved to clear around the outside and never lost pace as Stagner caught the rear of Noell.

Stagner took 2nd place while Noell did everything he could to save fuel as the white flag came out. Strohl was running 2 seconds ahead of Stagner as he crossed the line for the win. Stagner finished 2nd and Noell crossed the line in 3rd after some very impressive fuel saving. Pastorius, Fyfe, Wood, Grantham, and Bernhardt round out the top 8 finishers and every driver on the lead lap in the end. “What an event”, Strohl commented after claiming the checkered flag, “This is an idea [I’ve] had for quite some time and I’m just glad it went off without a hitch.”

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