March 28th, 2016 by Chris Wolfson
It was a championship weekend as the Bootleg Outlaws prepared to finish the season at New Smyrna Speedway. After what looked to be a Matt Hoose (#21) stranglehold on the title earlier in the season, Donnie Moore (#26) came into the last race with a one point lead over Hoose in the standings. It would be a game of cat and mouse with Hoose needing to finish at least one position ahead of Moore to win the championship based on a tie breaker.
Lucas Stinziano (#57) started the race from pole but it was Ryan Edwards-Kiss (#20) starting from the outside of row 1 quickly showing everyone that his quick time in practice was no fluke. The championship fight launched from row four with Hoose starting seventh and Moore starting eighth.
Hoose quickly headed towards the front and was riding in the sixth position in the early laps. From the outside row, Moore lost several positions on the start and was mired back in ninth position. The caution would stack the field on lap five and allow the cars stuck on the outside to fall into line on the single file restart.
The championship chess match resumed on lap 10 with Hoose and Moore picking their respective ways through the field of sim racers. Hoose quickly scrambled towards the front and was able to keep several cars between himself and Moore for several laps. By lap 20, Moore had disposed of the “buffer” to Hoose and found himself staring at the rear bumper of the Redd’s Apple Ale #21. The battle was on for the championship with Moore needing to put the #26 in front of Hoose to take the crown.
Ryan Edwards-Kiss continued to be the class of the field as the raced passed the quarter mark, while Hoose made his way past Mike Holloway (#4) on lap 26 to reach the third position. Hoose quickly went to work on Stinziano in the second position in an effort to continue to put cars between himself and Moore. Although Hoose slipped past Stinziano lap 34 to take the second position, he had his work cut out if he had designs on first place as Edwards-Kiss managed to open up an eight second lead on the short ½ mile oval. Meanwhile, Moore continued circulating in the fifth position.
Edwards-Kiss would see his nine second lead disappear when Stinziano spun on lap 44 to bring out the caution and stack the field again. Unfazed, Edwards-Kiss restarted his march away from the field on the restart with Hoose in tow. Moore managed to climb to the third position and once again find the bumper of Hoose’s car. The caution was out again with 37 laps remaining, giving Moore his best chance to make a move on Hoose and the championship.
Instead, as the race reached 25 laps to go, Lowell Jewell (#5) passed Moore to put him back to the fourth position and provide Hoose with a much needed buffer between the championship contenders. Moore’s had a tough row to hoe if he was going to win a championship: He needed to get back at Hoose as quickly as possible. Two laps later, Moore powered the #26 back around Jewell on the outside and resumed the task of Matt Hoose.
The caution flew for the last time, setting the stage for high championship drama as Edwards-Kiss, Hoose, and Moore led the restart with 13 laps remaining. Edwards-Kiss made a great restart and reasserted himself as the dominant car for the evening, but all eyes were on the battle for second which would determine the championship as Hoose and Moore ran inches apart.
Moore gave it his best effort and pressured Hoose all the way to the checkered flag. In the end Edwards-Kiss won the Outlaw 100 in convincing fashion. Hoose would hang on to the second position to become the 2016 Season 1 Outlaw Modified Series Champion. The final standings ultimately produced a mathematical tie between Hoose and Moore, with Hoose winning the title on the second tie-breaker for most top-five finishes. In terms of a points championship, it can’t get any more exciting than that.
“It got a lot tougher than it started out to be” said Hoose after the race about his points championship. “From the beginning of the race I had to go.”
“That was fun wasn’t it? That’s a good show!” said Moore. “Congrats to Matt – He did what he had to do. It couldn’t have been any closer.”
It was another great season in the Bootleg Racing League. The sim racing was hot and intense all season throughout the divisions. Check out the Bootleg Racing League at www.bootlegracingleague.com for all the information to get involved in the series. The Bootleg Racing League runs on Tuesday nights with the Copperline Legends and White Lightning Limited Late Model series as well as on Saturday nights with the Whiskey Run Truck Series, Crooked Still Late Models, and the premier Outlaw Modified Series that is broadcast every Saturday night by the Global SimRacing Channel on iRacing Live! All broadcasts begin at 9:15PM EST.
Your company can be part of the action in the Bootleg Racing League. Sponsorship information is available from the Bootleg Racing League’s website at http://bootlegracingleague.com/sponsorship/. Inquires can be directed to league director Lowell Jewell.
Season 2 kicks off at the Martinsville Speedway on April 9th. Green flag drops at 9:30EST!