The latest season of the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series saw Justin Morton’s #9 machine rising to the top competing against the likes of J R Shepherd all the way to the very end. With 28 official iRacing wins, including a 12-hour Sebring event, and more than 75 iRacing league wins in his career, Justin has proven himself to be a serious competitor across the sim racing community. Justin currently races with the Bootleg Racing League, The Majors Series, and FUEL.
Justin first got serious in the sim racing world when he joined a league of drivers in Assetto Corsa that he still runs with to this day. However, his first experiences with sim racing go even further back, he explains, “Dad got into NASCAR around the time Jeff Gordon was making waves and I took to watching it along with him. Around 2001 he built a USB racing wheel, or whatever the port would have been at the time, out of a junk yard wheel and some wood along with bungee cords for some resistance on the wheel. I was hooked and, with Dad being a very tech savvy guy, he got me NASCAR Racing Season 2002 along with a Thrustmaster NASCAR Pro Force Feedback.”
Although he feels fairly well balanced across all racing disciplines, Justin still favors short track oval racing if he had to choose one, but he admits that the dirt midgets are the most fun to him. Open wheel are his weak point as he adds, “I feel I can be pretty quick in the cars, but they have to be driven on such a sharp edge I normally find some way to screw it up.”
With such a long career of accomplishments, Justin narrowed down a few of his favor moments over the years. “Winning the Majors America Pro Championship with the FORGE team. [It] was a hard-fought championship all season and we managed to come away with the win. A close second would be winning a full season, full distance races, truck league. [I] had a season long back and forth with another talented driver and it pretty much went down to the final race.”
Although the #9 has been a steadfast in his career for years, he admits that it wasn’t his first choice. “My first number choice used to be #15, but the league I was running in at the time had retired the number for a member that passed away. [I] floated around with a few numbers from #44 to #11 and eventually ended up liking the #9 being a Chase Elliott fan and kinda got dubbed as Chase Elliott with all the oval races I came up just short of winning like he was doing at the time.”
Within the Bootleg Racing League, Justin admits to having several drivers he would consider to be direct competition each week. “I would say I have four competitive rivals with Mathew Thunhorst, J R Shepherd, Kenny Kibbey, and Austin Boelke. Such a tight group at the top of BRL and every one of them races fair and clean and makes it really fun.” Within the Majors, he points out the rivalry between FORGE and EVOLV. FUEL brings Thomas Bressi to mind, “He’s on an absolute heater of a streak finishing first and second in 10/11 races and leads the championship going into the final 3 by quite a bit.”
We’d like to thank Justin Morton 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 all 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!
30 August 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 3 | Round 2
Premier Series | Daytona International Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Cody Dempster took the checkered flag tonight in the “The J Stands for Junked 200” presented by Thomas J George for Clown HQ Re-Election 2023 with the Pretty Good Racing League ahead of Wally Wilson and Jeff Ward. The Patriot Media and Marketing Services drivers were stealing the show tonight as Dempster jumped out front in the final moments to take the win, as Dempster shared with us afterwards, “Once we got together you know we were pretty dominate and just able to do what we needed to do and get where we needed to get to get all of the cars good finishes and a strong run for all of us.”
Isaiah Dupre led the 30-car field to the green flag as the action kicked off tonight around Daytona International Speedway. Greg O’Berry led the outside line and momentum was pushing him ahead into the lead going down the backstretch as the field struggled to get organized resulting in some early race chaos bringing a quick end to the night for many of the drivers. The Saif Faries jumped out front being pushed on the inside line by Michael Chrobok as the field settled into a groove going into lap 11 with O’Berry still leading the outside line.
The lead traded hands multiple times as the drivers shuffled using the highline to pull ahead before dropping down to lead the low line and then being overtaken by the new leader on the high side. Cody Dempster was quietly moving up through the field and into the top 10 with 15 laps completed while his teammate, Wilson, was battling for the lead being pushed by Brian Yaczik. Jeff Ward was running cautiously through the early stages to make sure he’d be in a position to go for the win when the checkered flag came out.
Dempster was continuing his charge to the front running in the top 5 with the first 20 laps completed. A coalition of the Patriot Media and Marketing Service drivers, to include Jordan Harnish, Grant Brown, Cody Dempster, Wally Wilson, and Pete Baskins, were organizing up front taking control of the field. With the Patriot Media drivers all running together on the low line, the high line fell apart and the majority of the field went single file to ensure they wouldn’t be off pace and left behind.
A caution flag came out on lap 32 from an incident between Yaczik and Dupre further back in the pack giving the field an opportune chance for their first pit stops safely under caution. Mike Rasimas rejoined the track in the lead with Jeff Ward up to 4th. Racing resumed going into lap 34 as the Patriot Media drivers quickly grouped back together quickly taking control of the field back from Rasimas. Going into the second half of the night, Thomas George was battling Norm Pelletier for the lead racing side by side with the Patriot Media drivers split up for the moment.
With 30 laps remaining, a smaller group of the Patriot Media drivers led by Grant Brown again changed to the front taking control of the field pulling away from the rest of the field while drivers were still struggling to get organized. Some drivers appeared to take notice and a group led by Michael Chrobok went to work breaking up the Patriot Media group trying to prevent them from taking advantage again. Woody Mahan was leading the top line being pushed by Ward as Chrobok dropped down into 3rd between Brown and Baskin with Dempster in control of the field.
As the laps counted down, the drivers started making more aggressive moves to be in a good position to go for the win in the end. O’Berry was leading the top line racing for the lead against a line of Patriot Media cars in control of the inside line led by Dempster with 20 laps to go. The top line seemed well organized compared to earlier in the night using the momentum to take the lead as both lines were inconvenienced by lap traffic forcing the inside line to lose ground.
Going into the final 10 laps, the Patriot Media drivers had broken apart again and lost more ground with O’Berry continuing to lead the field being pushed by Mahan and Dupre staying connected to each other. Dempster and Wilson found each other again and made a push for the lead with Ward running with them. O’Berry fell back to 4th before dropping in line behind Ward. A late race caution resulted in a 1 lap shootout with Ward in the lead as the green and white flags came out together. Wilson pushed Dempster out front as the field started wrecking from 4th place back. Cody Dempster took the checkered flag with Wally Wilson, Jeff Ward, Norm Pelletier, and Mike Rasimas rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Daytona International Speedway.
With tonight’s win, Cody Dempster jumped to the top of the point standings with 86 points. Mike Rasimas holds onto 2nd place with 78 points. Brian Yaczik fell back to 3rd with 72 points while Adam Jurski jumped up 2 spots into 4th with 70 points. Thomas George rounds out the top 5 in the points with 69 points. The Pretty Good Racing League now heads to Darlington Raceway for the “The Joy of Driving Darlington 250” on September 6th with all of the intense action broadcast live at 8:50PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
27 August 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 18 | Round 10
Super Late Model Series | Langley Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took his 5th checkered flag of Season 18 in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Langley Speedway ahead of Michael Goodman and Kurt Smith. “That was a tough race, at the beginning at least, having to start on the outside but had some things work out for sure”, Shepherd shared with us as the track settled down at the end of the night, “Once I got the lead it was just about running a line to try to conserve the tire temperature and try not to let it get too hot.”
Todd Liston with Indy Autosports was in control of the 18-car field as the green flag came out over Langley Speedway and racing commenced. There was a lot of shuffling throughout the field as drivers scrambled to take advantage in the early stages of the night. Justin Morton and Austin Boelke, both championship contenders, essentially started from the back of the field. Morton dropped back because of technical issues around the first lap and Boelke received an EOL penalty from the previous race at Martinsville Speedway. This gave J R Shepherd a strong advantage in the points race already running up in the top 5 with 10 laps completed.
Donny Moore briefly took the lead away from Liston until minor contact between them sent Moore spinning into the infield grass. Liston voluntarily ran a passthrough down pit road taking responsibility for the incident and handing the race lead over to Michael Goodman. Shepherd saw his opportunity and aggressively dove from 3rd place to get beneath Goodman and took control of the field going into lap 18. Morton and Boelke had climbed up through the field together into the top 10.
As the drivers crossed the halfway mark of the night, Morton and Boelke were up to 6th and 7th respectively while Shepherd continued to lead ahead of Goodman and Kurt Smith. Jammes Lowe was holding 8th place and kept the pressure up on Boelke while the top 8 drivers started to break away from the rest of the field. Shepherd was running away with the lead taking advantage of the open track ahead of him as Smith was struggling to find a way to get under Goodman for 2nd.
With 30 laps remaining, Shepherd had reached the first signs of lap traffic cautiously negotiating around them while maintaining the gap between himself and Goodman. Morton was up to 5th with Boelke still following closely behind him. With 15 laps to go, a checkup in the pack caused Smith to make contact with Goodman forcing several drivers to scramble around the front stretch trying to avoid. Goodman and Smith were able to recover but Jeffrey Hardin was caught up in it and sent into the outside wall bringing out the caution late in the night.
Shepherd quickly cleared back into the lead off the restart with 10 laps remaining. Goodman held onto 2nd ahead of Smith with James Lowe up to 4th as Morton and Boelke slipped back to 7th and 8th behind Bryan Dehn. Another caution was thrown going into lap 95 when Chris Davis and Bruce Pearson had minor contact and Pearson ended up sideways on the track and, since the Bootleg Racing League does not do GWC finishes, the driver again restacked for a one lap shootout to the checkered flag. As the green flag came out for the final time, Shepherd jumped out ahead of the field again and took the win with Michael Good, Kurt Smith, Joseph Snyder, and James Lowe rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Langley Speedway.
J R Shepherd holds the lead over Justin Morton in the point standings tonight with 385 points over Morton’s 377 points. Austin Boelke holds onto 3rd place with 363 points. Donny Moore stays in 4th place with 340 points and Kurt Smith rounds out the top 5 in the points with 334 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now set their sights to Myrtle Beach Speedway for the final round of Season 18 on September 11th with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
26 August 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 12 | Round 10
Dirt Street Stock Series | Limaland Motorsports Park
Photograph by: Billy Northcutt
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
William Hargreaves with Dirt Panda claimed his 4th win of the season tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Dirt Street Stock Series at Limaland Motorsports Park ahead of Zachary Loomis and Billy Northcutt. “[Northcutt] definitely wasn’t going away there and he almost had me on the second caution restart for sure”, Hargreaves shared with us after battling his teammate for the win, “Even the first one he probably could’ve threw a slider if he really, really wanted to.”
William Hargreaves sat at the top of the boards with a fast lap at 15.156 in qualifying as the night started out. Brandyn Proudfoot qualified dead last in the field as he struggled to sort out mechanical issues with his machine. Hargreaves took the win in the first heat ahead of Chris Davis, Billy Northcutt won the second heat ahead of Zachary Loomis and J R Shepherd took the third and final heat win of the night beating Grady Wade across the line. Jeffrey Hardin and Thomas Vickers won each of the consolation races as the 16-car field stacked back up for the 40-lap feature event with Brandyn Proudfoot going home early in a shocking upset for the points leader.
Hargreaves led the field out of turn four as the green flag came out over the track with Northcutt to his outside. Shepherd jumped off the start and got alongside Northcutt while Hargreaves was able to clear into the lead. Hargreaves and Northcutt were able to break away from the field as Davis and Shepherd battled over 3rd with Shepherd falling back to 5th behind Loomis. Shepherd continued to fall back in the field under pressure from Dylan Corey behind him with 10 laps completed.
Loomis joined the battle for the lead going into the second half of the night while Shepherd and Davis battled again over 4th. John Wilson was quietly making his way up through the field up to 7th battling with Cody Shaw. The Dirt Panda teammates ran side by side for the lead with Northcutt trying to make the inside line work while Loomis ran close behind Hargreaves to prevent Northcutt from rejoining the high line. Loomis was able to take away 2nd place forcing Northcutt to slide up in front of Davis in 4th. Wilson had cleared ahead of Shepherd into 5th closing quickly on Davis.
Wilson was running directly through the slick on the track clearing ahead of Davis with Northcutt now in his sights with 10 laps remaining. Vickers and Davis came together with only 6 laps to go bringing out the caution and restacking the field for a single file restart. Hargreaves had a strong jump off the green and started to break away from Loomis while Wilson was under pressure from Shaw going into the final lap. William Hargreaves took the checkered flag ahead of Zachary Loomis with Billy Northcutt, John Wilson, and Dylan Corey rounded out the top 5 finishers tonight at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Brandyn Proudfoot continues to lead in the point standings with 701 points after not making the feature tonight while William Hargreaves closed the gap to the leader almost completely only 9 points behind at the end of the night. Billy Northcutt holds onto 3rd with 666 points, J R Shepherd sits in 4th place with 612 points, and Jeffrey Hardin moves up into 5th with 525 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League Dirt Street Stock Series now head to Knoxville Raceway for the final round of season 12 on September 9th with all of the dirt slinging action broadcast live at 7:10PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
23 August 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 3 | Round 1
Premier Series | Watkins Glen International
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Scott Eckrich with GRAAFix LC Motorsports started the new season off strong taking the checkered flag in the My Name Isn’t Glen 110 presented by The Joy of Driving with the Pretty Good Racing League at Watkins Glen International ahead of Mike Rasimas and Thomas George. “It was an exciting race. There was lots of action to have right off my nose, but we were able to keep it clean and bring it home”, Eckrich commented as the night came to a close, “The temperature was dropping. The tires were getting better. It kept going faster and faster and we just kept pushing it and I was just hoping we wouldn’t mess up.”
Cody Dempster with Total Advantage Academy was in control of the 29-car field as the green flag came out and the drivers sped into the first corner with a few drivers to include Harley Moss starting the night off on the wrong foot overshooting the corner entry and making hard contact with the wall. Scott Eckrich was quickly pushing through the field up 16 positions going into the second lap with Jeff Ward only a few places behind him. Mike Rasimas was up 2 spots to 2nd place and was closing in on Dempster in the lead with 4 laps completed.
Going into lap 6, Eckrich broken into the top 10 ahead of Brian Yaczik. Adam Jurski was holding onto 3rd place running around 1 second behind Rasimas and matching pace with the leaders as the top 6 drivers were building a gap ahead of the rest of the field with Chance Manning running in the back of the lead pack. Eckrich was in 7th and slowly reeled the leaders in lap after lap with 10 laps completed. Yaczik was leading the next large group of drivers 8 seconds behind Eckrich as Ward still struggled to get himself into the top 10, running in 12th place behind Saif Faries.
Going into lap 15, the field seemed to settle into a groove with Eckrich overtaking Jurski for 6th after Jurski fell off the back of the leading pack. Dempster continued to control the field ahead of Rasimas and Carroll. Ward climbed up to 10th and was running over 18 seconds behind the leader. Eckrich cleared ahead of Thomas George into 4th and was within 2 seconds of Dempster with 25 laps remaining and quickly approaching the fuel window. Manning was the first driver to go down pit road with 23 laps to go in an attempt to undercut the rest of the field. Dempster led the majority of the field down pit road on the following lap while Rasimas stayed out in the lead with Eckrich in 2nd.
Going into the second half of the night, Rasimas and Eckrich both came down pit road while an incident coming out of the pits caught several drivers sideways in turn one including Ward taking a hard hit from Chris Lanini who wasn’t expecting to find a parking lot as he rejoined the track and ending Ward’s night early. Rasimas held onto the lead ahead of Dempster as the pit cycle completed with Eckrich running in 3rd. Dempster got loose going through turns two and three getting sent around and collecting Manning as Eckrich moved up into 2nd with 16 laps left. Dempster and Manning were able to recover soon thereafter and continue racing in 6th and 7th respectively.
Eckrich closed up tight on Rasimas’s bumper keeping the pressure high as the laps counted down. Thomas George was running in 3rd 7 seconds behind the battle for the lead. Eckrich quickly overtook for the lead and slowly started to pull away from Rasimas with 14 laps remaining. Scott Eckrich continued to stretch his lead out further going into the final moments of the night taking the checkered flag 8.28 seconds ahead of Mike Rasimas. Thomas George, Brian Yaczik, and Adam Jurski rounded out the top 5 finishers tonight at Watkins Glen International.
Scott Eckrich starts the new off strong in the point standings taking home the first win while Jeff Ward ended his night early and finished in 22nd place putting a lot of distance between the two prior season champions. The Pretty Good Racing League now heads over to the iconic Daytona International Speedway for the “The J Stands for Junked 200 presented by TJG for Clown HQ 2023” on August 30th with all of the intense action broadcast live at 8:50PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
20 August 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 18 | Round 9
Super Late Model Series | Martinsville Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
J R Shepherd with Different Path Motorsports took his 4th win of the season tonight with the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series at Martinsville Speedway ahead of Kurt Smith and Justin Morton. “Tough race tonight, extremely hard to pass at this track”, Shepherd commented as the night came to a close at Martinsville, “I used up a lot of my stuff trying to make that pass [on Smith], but it’s kind of what you got to do here” Tonight’s win gave Shepherd a 2-point lead over Morton going into the final two rounds of Season 18.
Kurt Smith was in control of the 14-car field as he took the green flag with Austin Boelke to his outside and the track roared to live with the Bootleg Racing League. Smith had a strong launch off the start and Boelke fell back to 3rd behind Donny Moore before being able to slide down to the inside line. Shepherd and Morton were running 4th and 5th respectively close behind Boelke as the drivers put the first 10 laps behind them and the field started to single file out around the track.
Shepherd jumped ahead of Boelke and got his nose to the inside of Moore taking away 2nd place with Boelke following him under into 3rd. Contact between Boelke and Moore when Moore tried to defend his position resulted in Moore getting sent around and he fell back to 10th. Smith was still in control of the field with 20 laps completed under pressure from Shepherd, Boelke, and Morton. Michael Goodman was quietly moving up through the field and closed in on Morton’s rear bumper in 5th.
Smith and Shepherd started to break away from Boelke with Shepherd looking to the inside several times keeping the pressure up with Boelke over 1 second behind in 3rd. The battle for the lead continued going into the second half of the night with Shepherd getting the better run off coming out of the corners, but Smith leaving nothing for Shepherd to take advantage of. Boelke was still holding off Morton and Goodman but had fallen back to over 2 seconds off the leaders.
Shepherd was able to get his nose to the inside of Smith on lap 50 and cleared into the lead. Smith concede the position quickly and fell in line behind Shepherd staying close behind him as the leaders were closing in on the first signs of lap traffic with 45 laps remaining. Boelke was slowly starting to reel the leading drivers in a few tenth of a second each lap with Morton still following close behind and a slight gap started to build between Morton and Goodman just as the caution flag came out and the field was restacked with 34 laps to go.
Shepherd had a strong jump off the green flag going into lap 72 as Smith was able to close the door on Boelke holding onto 2nd place. Moore had climbed back up through the field and was challenging Goodman for 5th as the field single filed back out again with 25 laps remaining. With nothing but wide-open track ahead of him, Shepherd started to run away with the lead stretching the gap between him and Smith to around 0.5 without lap traffic to contend with going forward.
With only 15 laps left, 10 cars were still running on track with Shepherd still in control of the field. Smith was able to match pace with Shepherd, but not able to make an attempt on the lead with the laps dwindling down. Boelke, Morton, and Goodman still ran in 3rd through as they broke away from Moore in 6th. In the final moments, Boelke made contact with the outside wall giving Morton an opening to take away 3rd place, but Boelke battled back from the outside with Goodman waiting to take advantage of whichever driver lost the fight. The two were still running side by side as J R Shepherd took the checkered flag with Kurt Smith coming home in 2nd place. Justin Morton took 3rd place over Austin Boelke by 0.010 at the line and Michael Goodman followed them across in 5th.
J R Shepherd regained the lead over Justin Morton in the point standings tonight with 345 points over Morton’s 343 points. Austin Boelke holds onto 3rd place with 335 points. Donny Moore stays in 4th place with 311 points and Kurt Smith moves up into the top 5 in the points with 296 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now prepare for Langley Speedway on August 27th for Round 10 of Season 18 with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
19 August 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 12 | Round 9
Dirt Street Stock Series | The Dirt Track at Charlotte
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
William Hargreaves with Dirt Panda claimed his third win of Season 12 tonight with the Bootleg Racing League at The Dirt Track at Charlotte ahead of Brandyn Proudfoot and Zachary Loomis. “We got down to the end there and I just literally went where he didn’t go… he thought I was going to go high and I just braked and dove low”, Hargreaves commented as the night came to a close, “It was a lot of fun racing with all these guys tonight.”
Brandyn Proudfoot held the fastest time in qualifying with a quick lap clocked at 18.792 and took the win in the first heat race of the night over Zachary Loomis securing the pole for the upcoming 40-lap feature later on in the night. J R Shepherd took the second heat win over William Hargreaves and Billy Northcutt took the third and final heat win over Bobby Hayes. Kevin Davis beat Jason Best to the line in the C Main and Thomas Vickers won the B Main consolation over Chris Davis as the night ramped up to the feature event.
Proudfoot led the 18-car field to the green flag running to the inside of Shepherd. Hargreaves quickly jumped ahead into 2nd place around the first lap and wasted no time going after Proudfoot. Shepherd and Loomis battled over 3rd while Kevin Davis struggled to hold off Best directly behind them. Proudfoot was still in control of the field as the drivers completed the first 10 laps of the night with Hargreaves still challenging for the lead and the leaders started trading sliders.
Proudfoot regained the lead as they passed the halfway mark ahead by a nose running the inside with Loomis, Shepherd and Best almost going 5 wide with the leaders running through the corners. Proudfoot and Hargreaves started trading sliders until Loomis caught the battle and went for the lead himself pinning Proudfoot behind Hargreaves with 10 laps remaining. Loomis couldn’t hold the pace and dropped back as the leaders resumed trading sliders aggressively with the laps counting down.
A late race caution brought the field back together with 7 laps remaining. Proudfoot held the lead for the single file restart ahead of Hargreaves gaining a strong advantage. Proudfoot had a strong launch, but Hargreaves stayed close behind trying several slider attempts that he wasn’t able to clear until the final corner where William Hargreaves cleared ahead of Brandyn Proudfoot to take the checkered flag with Zachary Loomis, J R Shepherd, and Jason Best rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at The Dirt Track at Charlottle.
Brandyn Proudfoot further extends his lead in the point standings with 697 points becoming the unofficial season champion. William Hargreaves moves up to 2nd place after tonight’s win with 608 points with Billy Northcutt close behind in 3rd with 589 points. J R Shepherd holds onto 4th place with 545 points as Hunter Hill takes 5th away from Jeffrey Hardin with 488 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League Dirt Street Stock Series now head to Limaland Motorsports Park for race 10 of season 12 on August 26th with all of the dirt slinging action broadcast live at 7:10PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
16 August 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 2 | Round 12
Premier Series | Richmond Raceway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Brian Yaczik with Loud Pedal Motorsports took the checkered flag tonight in the Todd Kirkwood Memorial 200 at Richmond Raceway with the Pretty Good Racing League ahead of Scott Eckrich and Mike Rasimas. “The car looks good, drove fantastic tonight. I don’t know if I necessarily did anything amazing but I just kind of stuck to what’s been kind of working for me lately and having to unlearn a lot of bad habits”, Yaczik commented as the commotion around track started to subside. Jeff Ward took the title of Season 2 Champion after dominating in the points over the past 12 weeks.
James Krahula led the field to the green flag to start off the final round of season 2 tonight at Richmond Raceway with Isaiah Dupre alongside him on the front row. Scott Eckrich started in the rear of the 24-car field with Jeff Ward starting inside of the top 10 after a rough race last week at Michigan. Ward quickly moved up through the pack getting up to 4th within the first few laps to ensure he would be clear of any potential incidents early on. Mike Rasimas was also moving toward the front quickly jumping several spots and running in 7th with only 10 laps completed.
Krahula continued to control the field approaching the 20-lap mark as Ward climbed up to 3rd behind Greg O’Berry and Eckrich broke into the top 10 running in 8th place. O’Berry overtook Krahula for the lead on lap 26 and started to pull away as Eckrich and Ward were both caught up in an incident within the front of the field involving many drivers and bringing out the caution. Ward’s resulting damage was minor enough that he was able to stay out on track and only fell back to 4th while Eckrich dropping back to 20th after running down pit road to take repairs.
O’Berry took the green flag as racing resumed going into lap 34 as Brian Yaczik battled Krahula for 2nd place. Eckrich again pushed up through the field as he broke back into the top 10 with 50 laps completed while Yaczik was being pressured by Ward for 2nd place up ahead. O’Berry got out of shape and that allowed Yaczik to take the lead away with Ward following him around and Mike Rasimas was close behind working on closing the gap to the leaders. O’Berry continued to fall back through the field to 6th place and under pressure from Michael Chrobok.
Yaczik continued to control the field ahead of Ward as the drivers crossed the halfway point of the night as the two leaders built up over a 2 second lead over Woody Mahan in 3rd place. Eckrich was back up to 6th and closing on Chrobok ahead. The second half of the race was plagued with cautions while the drivers struggled to get through a clean restart and many drivers had their nights ended early before the race got back underway going into lap 125 with Yaczik still in control of the field and Eckrich up to 2nd place with 13 cars still on the lead lap.
Ward was up to 3rd behind Eckrich with Adam Jurski trying to get a nose beneath him as the field tried to single file out. Ward was looking to the outside of Eckrich as Rasimas took 4th place away from Jurski with Drew Carroll close behind keeping the pressure up. Yaczik was able to maintain a strong lead over Eckrich as the 24-car field started to spread out around the track with 65 laps remaining. Jurski fell back to 7th slowly being overtaken by Carroll and O’Berry.
Ward was starting to fall off from Eckrich’s pace going into the last 50 laps of the night and was falling back within reach of Rasimas while Yaczik held his lead over Eckrich with a consistent 0.4 second gap between them. The gap between Eckrich and Ward had stretched out to over 2 seconds as Rasimas overtook for 3rd and O’Berry closed up close on Ward’s rear bumper clearing for the position a lap later. Ward seemed to be running cautiously and wasn’t putting up much of a fight for position also allowing Carroll to go by with 40 laps to go.
With 20 laps remaining, only 9 drivers were still on the lead lap and Yaczik had stretched his lead over Eckrich out to almost 1 second as the two drivers were preparing to potentially make a green flag pit stop for fuel in the final moments. Eckrich fell far off the pace trying save fuel with Yaczik over 3 seconds ahead still in control of the field with only 6 laps to go. Brian Yaczik took the white flag and coasted around the final lap on fumes to take the checkered flag with Scott Eckrich, Mike Rasimas, Greg O’Berry and Jeff Ward rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight in the Todd Kirkwood Memorial 200.
Jeff Ward with GRAAFix LC Motorsports took the championship for season 2 with the Pretty Good Racing League with 406 points. “All year we were just focusing on consistency”, Ward shared with us as he celebrated the championship, “Race wins are cool, but this is what it’s all about right here. Big picture and we got it done.” Brian Yaczik finished the season in 2nd only 15 points behind Ward. Drew Carroll took 3rd place with 368 points ahead of Scott Eckrich by only 1 point. Thomas George rounds out the top 5 in the points with 336 points as season 2 comes to a close tonight at Richmond. Season 3 kicks off next Tuesday on August 23rd at Watkins Glen with all of the intense action broadcast live at 8:50PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
13 August 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 18 | Round 8
Super Late Model Series | Lanier National Speedway
Photograph by: Michael Goodman
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Kenny Kibbey with Nocturnal Gaming took the checkered flag tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Super Late Model Series presented by Gargamel’s Kitchen at Lanier National Speedway ahead of Justin Morton and J R Shepherd. “I just really like Lanier so expectations were decently high coming in here”, Kibbey commented before announcing a potential return to the series in the future, “I should expect to be racing full time or at least really close to it next season.”
Joe Segalla was in control of the 17-car field at the top of the night with Michael Goodman to his outside on the front row and took the green flag starting off the 100-lap event around Lanier National Speedway. J R Shepherd struggled early after being involved in an early race incident and falling back in the field while Chris Davis was up to 4th, 9 positions up from where he started the night after only 15 laps. Segalla continued to hold the lead under pressure from Donny Moore.
Justin Morton was quietly moving up to the front following a wide wake left by Kenny Kibbey’s charge through traffic. Kibbey got a nose to the inside of Davis pushing him far back in the field as he found himself stranded on the outside, finally sliding down behind Shepherd in 7th. Going into lap 35, Kibbey dove deep beneath Segalla clearing into the lead with Morton following him forward into 2nd place. Shepherd had climbed up to 4th and started pressuring Segalla for the final podium spot as Kibbey and Morton started to pull away from the rest of the field.
Coming up on the halfway point, Shepherd made his move overtaking Segalla for 3rd almost 1 second behind Morton on track. Shepherd was able to build up a gap ahead of Segalla but struggled to match the pace of the leaders with 40 laps remaining as Kibbey held the lead over Morton by 0.6 seconds. Lap 65 saw Kibbey reaching the first signs of lap traffic as he continued to outpace the field while negotiating through the rear of the pack. Austin Boelke, who was caught up in an early incident and had to restart from the back of the field, had climbed up to 7th going into the last 25 laps aggressively pushing back toward the front of the pack.
Morton had fallen off the pace from Kibbey and had been caught by Shepherd over 2 seconds behind the leader. Shepherd stayed on the rear bumper of Morton, but Morton was cautious to not leave an opening for Shepherd to take advantage of while Kenny Kibbey crossed the finish line to take the checkered flag with a 2.6 second lead tonight at Lanier National Speedway with Justin Morton, J R Shepherd, James Lowe, and Joe Segalla rounding out the top 5 finishers.
J R Shepherd is again tied for the lead with Justin Morton in the point standings tonight with 305 points each. Austin Boelke holds onto 3rd place with 298 points. Donny Moore stays in 4th place with 276 points and Michael Goodman rounds out the top 5 in the points with 259 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League now set their sights on Martinsville Speedway August 20th for round 9 of season 18 with all of the action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!
12 August 2022
Bootleg Racing League | Season 12 | Round 8
Dirt Street Stock Series | Lanier National Speedway
Photograph by: Billy Northcutt
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Billy Northcutt with Dirt Panda took the checkered flag tonight in the Bootleg Racing League Dirt Street Stock Series at Lanier National Speedway ahead of Brandyn Proudfoot and Johnny Ratley. “That right there, that’s how it’s done.”, Northcutt commented as the exciting night came to a close, “[Proudfoot] got up beside me and I was pinching him down quite a bit, giving him barely enough room to race me clean and he still did. I mean, so that says a lot.”
Billy Northcutt jumped to the top of the timing board with a fast lap at 16.256 in qualifying to start the night off strong. Northcutt held off Brandyn Proudfoot in the first heat to take the win while Johnny Ratley led every lap to the checkered flag in the second heat event and Zachary Loomis took the third and final heat win of the night. Northcutt and Ratley shared the front row of the 18-car field as the drivers lined up on track for the 40-lap feature event ahead of Loomis and Proudfoot.
Northcutt held the lead off the start as Ratley, Proudfoot and Loomis went three wide over 2nd place going around the first lap. Loomis was the first to back off as Proudfoot and Ratley continued to battle side by side with Proudfoot holding the inside line. The battle gave Northcutt an opportunity to pull away with the lead slightly before Ratley cleared ahead of Proudfoot. J R Shepherd got to the inside of Loomis challenging for 4th place as the field put the first 10 laps behind them.
Northcutt continued to control the field as Ratley struggled to close up on the leader. William Hargreaves was quietly moving up through the field, up 5 spots into 6th place and reeling Shepherd in ahead. Proudfoot stayed within a car length behind Ratley who was falling off the pace of Northcutt as the first caution came out on lap 17 bringing the drivers back together and undoing Northcutt’s gap ahead. Northcutt again jumped out ahead of the field as racing resumed and Ratley was again battling side by side with Proudfoot for 2nd place.
Hargreaves was up to 4th and got his nose into the battle between Proudfoot and Ratley allowing Proudfoot to clear in 2nd as Ratley found himself fighting Hargreaves for 3rd. Proudfoot was quickly cutting down the gap that Northcutt had over the field closing in on his rear bump with 15 laps remaining. Hargreaves and Ratley were still running side by side over 3rd as the battle for the lead ran away from them and Loomis was battling to the outside of Shepherd for 5th.
Proudfoot was aggressively looking for an opening around Northcutt in the lead going into the final 10 laps of the night. Ratley cleared Hargreaves briefly just for Hargreaves to send his car back beneath him to challenge for 3rd again with Shepherd securely holding 5th place. Proudfoot got to the inside of Northcutt going into the last laps, but momentum was favoring Northcutt coming out of the corners. The two drivers came out of the final corner side by side with Billy Northcutt taking the checkered flag ahead of Brandyn Proudfoot by 0.023 at the line with Johnny Ratley, J R Shepherd, and William Hargreaves rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Lanier National Speedway.
Brandyn Proudfoot now has a commanding lead in the point standings with 616 points as the season championship. Billy Northcutt moves up to 2nd place after tonight’s win with 539 points with William Hargreaves close behind in 3rd with 531 points. J R Shepherd holds onto 4th place with 471 points as Jeffrey Hardin sits in 5th with 451 points. The drivers of the Bootleg Racing League Dirt Street Stock Series now head to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for race 9 of season 12 on August 19th with all of the dirt slinging action broadcast live at 7:10PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!