As temperatures across the country drop, the point battle is heating up in the Bootleg Racing League’s premier Outlaw Modified Series. The Bootleg Racing League sim racers set-up shop this week in Connecticut at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Born of a hurricane in the late 30s, Thompson Speedway has seen its fair share of hurricanes on the exciting 5/8 mile track, once known as the “Indy of the East.” This tight track promised to produce some door-to-door sim racing and its fair share of bent sheet metal.
Heading into race eight of the 11 race season, Phillip Temples was holding onto a slim, one-point lead over both Ryan Edwards-Kiss and New England’s own Donny Moore. Moore was previously leading the points, but some tough luck at Lakeland allowed Temples to slide into the top spot with four races remaining in the season.
Donny Moore would start from the pole for the 75 lap feature event, and would jump out to the early lead with Matt Mead sliding into that second spot from the outside of the front row.
The first yellow of the event would fly on lap 5 as Tim Knott looped the #41 to the inside of the track in Turn 2 causing several cars to check-up, collecting Ronald Henrie and Ernie Brown in the process. Henrie and Brown would both go upside down and be forced to the garage to use the one “fast repair” allotted in the Bootleg Racing League. The sim racing resumed on lap 11 with Moore jumping back out in front, Ryan Nuss running in the second spot and Phillip Temples in third. Nuss continued to put pressure on race leader Moore pushing the #13 to the limits and making contact with the outside wall several times looking for that opening.
Temples’ championship hopes took a big hit during a restart on lap 31. Temples looked low on the #13 of Nuss and lost grip on the slippery bottom groove. As Temples slipped backwards gathering up the car, the #60 of Brian Neff made significant contact with Temples sending both of them hard into the outside retaining wall and turning Temples on his lid.
The caution would fly again with 25 laps to go as Neff slammed the outside retaining wall hard while collecting #24 Mead in the bargain.
The race restarted with 19 laps remaining with championship contenders Moore and Edwards-Kiss leading the way from the front row while Henrie crept his way back to the front after a rough start and was ran third.
The yellow would quickly come out again a lap later after multiple incidents back in the field. Several cars got turned with Ralph Conner Jr. getting the worst of it with heavy smoke coming from his #58 car as he made his way to pit road. The beneficiary of the caution would be championship contender Temples who, once again, got the wave-around and found himself only one lap down to the field.
The green flag flew again with a dozen laps remaining with Moore continuing to show the way and Edwards-Kiss falling into the second position. The green flag run was short-lived, however, as Vern Bradley in the #14 found himself facing the wrong direction on the back straight. Once again, the yellow flag benefited Temples, now back on the lead lap.
The race went green for the final time on lap 71. Henrie in the #75 took advantage of his inside starting position from the second row and was able to slide underneath the #20 of Edwards-Kiss to take over P2. Although Edwards-Kiss narrowly avoided scraping the outside wall, he was destined to run out of real estate whem he and Nuss attempted to occupy the same spot at the same time. Heavy contact resulted, sending both the #20 and #13 airborne and bringing out the final caution, effectively ending the race and handing the victory and the points lead to Moore.
The Bootleg Racing League takes a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, but will be back in action the following week at the legendary South Boston Speedway.
Donny Moore leads the field to checkered flag behind the iRacing pace car.
Don’t forget to check out the Bootleg Racing League at www.bootlegracingleague.com.