17 September 2022
Bootleg Racing League | 7th Annual Asphalt Shootout
ARCA Stock Car | Hickory Motor Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took the checkered flag tonight in the 7th Annual Bootleg Racing League Asphalt Shootout presented by Stone River Outfitters at Hickory Motor Speedway ahead of Mathew Thunhorst and Kenny Kibbey. “Knew it was going to be a big track position race tonight so to get that pole was extremely important”, Shepherd shared with us as the night came to a close, “This is a place that’s really hard to pass, these cars are extremely hard to drive with the horsepower that they have so being able to get that track position to save tires was a huge deal.”
J R Shepherd came into the night strong securing the pole with a fast time of 14.587 in qualifying and taking the green flag for the main event alongside Kenny Kibbey on the front row. Shepherd quickly cleared ahead of Kibbey with Mathew Thunhorst battling with Brandyn Proudfoot for 3rd. Proudfoot was able to tuck in behind Thunhorst for 4th place but unfortunately took a hit from behind by Chris Davis sending Proudfoot around and to the back of the field in 17th as racing resumed going into lap 24 with Shepherd still leading ahead of Thunhorst and Kibbey.
The field stretched out running single file as Davis found himself stranded to the outside and was quickly falling back. Jason Menda cleared ahead of Jeffrey Hardin and Donny Moore for 4th place but wasn’t able to match the pace coming out of the three leaders who had started to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. With 50 laps completed, the front of the pack was still Shepherd, Thunhorst, Kibbey as they chased each other around the track waiting for any mistake to take advantage of.
Going into the second half of the night, contact between Joe Segalla and Todd Liston brought out the caution with 50 laps remaining giving the field the opportune time to come down pit road for tires. Bryan Dehn and Chris Davis stayed out on track taking control of the field for the restart with Shepherd, Kibbey, and Thunhorst directly behind them with fresh tires. Shepherd dove beneath Dehn coming out of turn two and took the lead back with Thunhorst and Kibbey following him through as they resumed battling over the lead between themselves.
Davis was holding onto 5th behind Hardin as the race stretched out getting what he could out of his older tires as the caution flag came out with 20 laps remaining showing the gamble Davis and Dehn were going for as they came down pit road going into the final stretch taking the green with the freshest tires in the field running in 7th and 8th for the restart. Proudfoot was the last car on the lead lap in 8th place as the green flag came back out and racing resumed. Davis wasted no time using his tire advantage to jump up to 5th off the jump and dove beneath Hardin for 4th. As he closed in on Kibbey’s bumper, Davis was too confident and spun his tires coming out of the corner sending himself around on track and back to 8th.
Thunhorst had yet to make an attempt on the lead, running tight on the back of Shepherd with the laps counting down hoping to pressure the leader into making a mistake. Kibbey took a quick look to the inside of Thunhorst, but checked up instead to avoid contact with Thunhorst’s inside rear fender as contact between Adam Schoen and Lowell Jewell in the middle of the field brought the caution back out and J R Shepherd took the checkered flag under caution flag conditions with Mathew Thunhorst, Kenny Kibbey, Bryan Dehn, and Jeffrey Hardin rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Hickory Motor Speedway in the 7th Annual Bootleg Racing League Asphalt Shootout presented by Stone River Outfitters.
16 September 2022
Bootleg Racing League | 2nd Annual Dirt Shootout
Dirt Street Stock Series | I-55 Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Thomas Vickers with Richard Murtaugh Racing took the checkered flag tonight in the 2nd Annual Bootleg Racing League Dirt Shootout presented by Senneker Steel Erectors Inc. at the I-55 Speedway ahead of Brandyn Proudfoot and William Hargreaves. Vickers commented on the pressure of having Proudfoot chasing him down throughout the 40-lap feature event, “You just gotta stay focused on what’s ahead not really worry about what’s behind you or you’ll start missing marks and stuff like that.”
Thomas Vickers threw down the fastest lap of the night at 11.912 in qualifying before leading the first heat race to the green flag and was able to maintain the lead all the way to take the win over Stephen Spies. John Heyn held off J R Shepherd to take the checkered flag in the 2nd heat and Brandyn Proudfoot pulled away to take the final heat win of the night. Justin Morton and William Hargreaves won their respective consolation races leading into the 40-lap feature event at the I-55 Speedway.
Vickers took the green to the inside of Heyn and was able to quickly clear into the lead off the jump. The opening laps were rough for several drivers having their night ended early to include Jeffrey Hardin and Jason Menda after being caught out from various incidents around the track. After the first 10 laps, Vickers still had control of the field, but Proudfoot had moved up into 2nd and was closing in on the leader. Shepherd and Heyn were running side by side battling over 3rd place with Heyn ultimately holding the position. Hargreaves was up to 5th and pressuring Shepherd for 4th as the drivers crossed the halfway point of the night.
Hargreaves dove low with Billy Northcutt directly behind him forcing Shepherd back to 6th in the end. Proudfoot continued to chase Vickers around the track as the leaders pulled away from the rest of the field building over a 3 second gap ahead of Heyn in 3rd. Morton and Spies caught the rear of Shepherd and started challenging Shepherd for 7th place as Jason Dill overtook into 6th. Kenny Kibbey climbed back into the top 10 after being caught in two separate incidents early in the run. Morton and Spies came together with 8 laps remaining bringing out the caution and reducing the gap to the leaders back to zero for a single file restart.
Vickers had a great jump as the green came out with Proudfoot struggling to match his pace. Hargreaves had gotten around Heyn for 3rd but wasn’t able to keep up with the leaders who again started to pull away. Proudfoot threw everything he had at the track, but it proved to be not enough in the end as Thomas Vickers took the checkered flag tonight with Brandyn Proudfoot, William Hargreaves, John Heyn, and J R Shepherd rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight in the 2nd Annual Senneker Steel Shoot at the I-55 Speedway.
05 August 2022
Endurance League Events | Hollywood 500
NASCAR Pro Trucks | Auto Club Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Brian Young with Firelight eSports took the checkered flag tonight in the Endurance League Events Hollywood 500 at Auto Club Speedway ahead of Blake Trawick and James McKee. Young joined us after his victory tonight commenting, “It was just really lucky timing right there and the pit stop on that caution before the GWC was just as good as I could possibly ask for and it just put me in a really good position to try and go for the win.” Young came out of the night with $115 in prize winnings.
Justin Anderson was in control of the field as the green flag came out over the Auto Club Speedway and had a good launch off the start clearing ahead of Brian Young. Anderson was under immediate pressure as Young and Dillon Poteet went three wide with Anderson for the lead only a few laps into the night. Anderson maintained the lead as the drivers put the first 10 laps behind them but had spent most of the race to that point with Poteet looking to get alongside him.
Blake Gordon took advantage of the situation and overtook Anderson for the lead shortly thereafter but wasn’t able to run away with it as Anderson stayed close to Gordon’s rear bumper. The lead was handed back and forth between Gordon and Anderson with Katlyn Heydt closing up on the battle with 20 laps completed with Gordon in the lead. Heydt was running in 3rd place already up 6 spots from the start. Heydt and Gordon came together sending both drivers around resulting in severe damage to Heydt’s Toyota and giving the lead back to Anderson going into lap 30.
Much of the field started to single file out while the drivers settled in, biding their time while the laps counted down. Poteet closed back in on the leader and was pushing Anderson trying to separate from the rest of the field as the two drivers started to pull away from Cody Smith in 3rd. As they passed the 50 laps mark, Anderson and Poteet had built almost a 1 second gap over the rest of the field with Brian Young running in 3rd ahead of Jacob Fyfe and Todd Thomas. The 33 cars on track were still showing a lot of patience and made only fairly calculated moves throughout the field.
The field closed back in on the leaders and Poteet was overtaken by Young who set his sights to Anderson as he actively looked for a way around for the lead. Fyfe continued his forward progression battling over 3rd place side by side with Poteet for several laps. The battle allowed Anderson and Young to again break away from the pack before Fyfe cleared into the position. During lap 65 Poteet pulled down pit road ahead of the rest of the field under green flag conditions setting up to overtake the leaders through pit strategy.
Unfortunately for Poteet, the caution flag came out only two laps later ruining his plan completely as the rest of the drivers came down pit road safely under the caution leaving Poteet one lap behind the leaders. Anderson held the lead off the restart ahead of Young going into lap 74 after a brief side by side battle that Young conceded from. The field again quickly single filed out as drivers were actively pacing themselves with almost 200 laps left in the night. Dannis Faircloth was up an impressive 28 spots from where he started the race and was running in 6th.
Young continued to pressure Anderson for the lead with 90 laps completed but had yet to make an attempt for the lead seemingly bidding his time. Fyfe was leading the secondary pack behind the leaders and had closed the gap up to Young bring Joe Yakes and Smith with him as the top 5 drivers had over a 1 second lead ahead of Shaun Pechin in 6th. Anderson continued to control the field as they crossed the 100-lap mark with the top 5 running single file behind him with Smith taking up the rear of the lead pack.
Coming out of lap 106, Anderson was the first to run down pit road under the green flag but lost a few seconds when he slid through his pit box and had to reposition before the crew was allowed to provide service to his Chevrolet. As the rest of the field went through their pit cycles, Anderson regained the lead on lap 114 with over a 3 second gap ahead of Young. Young was consistently reeling the leader back in however with his fresher tires closing by several tenths of a second each lap.
As the field approached the halfway point, Young had completely closed the gap to Anderson and overtook for the lead and quickly started to pull away. The early pit stop seemed to be a mistake as Anderson fell back further as more drivers caught him sending him back to 6th showing the falloff of his tires with only a handful a laps more on them than the drivers who pitted later with Young. 26 of the 41-car field were still on track with Kevin McGarvey in 23rd being the last truck on the lead lap.
Yakes caught Young and was able to take the lead away with Chad Mikosz following him up into 2nd while Young found himself under pressure from Fyfe as he tried to hold onto 3rd. Michael Strohl found his way into the battle for the lead getting alongside Smith and the two drivers battled side by side for several laps before Strohl was able to use the momentum from the outside line to move up to the outside of Yakes and challenge for the lead. Young and Smith ran alongside each other directly behind them battling over 3rd.
On lap 144, Strohl cleared ahead for the lead with Young pulling around to the outside of Yakes filling the hole that Strohl left behind and pushing Yakes back to 3rd ahead of Smith. Strohl maintained control of the field followed closely by the top 6 with Blake Trawick running in the rear of that pack with 100 laps remaining in the night. Young and Yakes battled back and forth over 2nd place with Young to the inside with Smith pushing from behind. That battle didn’t take any pressure off Strohl as he wasn’t able to pull away before Young cleared into 2nd the pack stayed with the leader.
Smith took back 2nd place from Young and made a move for the lead but couldn’t complete the pass falling back behind Strohl. Trawick started moving forward up into 4th and closed up on Smith’s rear bumper. Much of the field had closed back up into one long single file line as drivers were looking at saving their equipment with the green flag run stretching out with only a handful of quick battles throughout. Strohl started aggressively weaving his truck down the straights trying to break the draft with Young behind him to make any attempt for the lead more difficult.
With 80 laps remaining, Strohl started to break away with Young and Trawick in tow. Fyfe was running in 4th and led the secondary pack almost a second behind the lead pack. The lead pack came down pit road coming out of lap 176 under green flag conditions with Trawick beating Strohl down the pit exit and taking control of the field for the first time tonight. Young fell back to 5th behind Fyfe while Trawick and Strohl had a strong 3 second lead over James McKee in 3rd.
Going into the last 50 laps of the night, Trawick and Strohl extended the gap ahead of the field to almost 4 seconds working together to get as far ahead as possible with the laps counting down. Aggression throughout the field was picking up with every position becoming more important with the end of the night closely approaching. Trawick started to pull away from Strohl with a gap between them growing to over 2 seconds as Strohl fell off the leading pace.
Trawick came down pit road on lap 214 giving control of the field back to Strohl who stayed out on track. The rest of the field came down pit road over the next several laps while Strohl stayed out, possibly hoping for a caution, until lap 217. Young and Trawick were running in 2nd and 3rd respectively when Strohl pulled off track and quickly took the lead away. Strohl rejoined the track in 9th behind McKee and Trawick took control of the field with 30 laps remaining.
A late race caution in the final moments restacked the field for a GWC finish with Young in control of the field ahead of Trawick in 2nd and Strohl back up to 3rd. Trawick looked to the inside of Young but couldn’t complete the move while McKee moved up into 3rd. Trawick took another look coming out of the final corner but Brian Young maintained the lead taking the checkered flag after a long, hard fought battle with Blake Trawick, James McKee, Michael Chrobok, and David Grantham rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Auto Club Speedway.
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.”