March 21st, 2016 by Chris Wolfson
Donny Moore (#26) and Matt Hoose (#21) were tied for the points lead in the Bootleg Racing League’s premier Outlaw Modified Series with two races remaining. What looked like a dominating season for Hoose, has turned into a street fight down the stretch. Lanier Raceplex in Braselton, GA was the site for round 10 for the SK Modifieds. With Lowell Jewell (#5) third in points heading into the event, only three points behind Hoose and Moore, the stage was set for a championship showdown.
Chris Wolfson (#17) started the event on pole and led into the first turn while Moore used his inside row starting position to his advantage and slid into the second position. The field did not complete the first lap before the first yellow of the evening was in the air as the #13 of Ryan Nuss got into Jeff Sharp (#49) heading into turn 3 to bring the pace car back on to the track. Multiple cars were collected into the incident with some sim racers spinning onto pit road to avoid the carnage. Hoose was involved in the incident and restarted at the back of the pack.
Wolfson and Moore paced the field for the first half of the event as they navigated several caution flags. After his early mishap, Hoose was on the move and found himself in sixth position by the halfway point of the race. With 30 laps remaining, Wolfson and Moore were still in front while Hoose was up to P5 but was experiencing intermittent connection issues.
The points championship drama began to unfold as Hoose slid under Jewell, forcing him to the outside line with 29 laps remaining. Jewell was unable to get back to the bottom and began slipping backwards along with his hopes for the points title.
The battle for the lead erupted with 24 laps remaining when Wolfson made a critical mistake coming out of turn four. His tires going away, Wolfson got loose and collected it but not before Moore launche a run on the high side. Moore and Wolfson went door handle to door handle for five laps before Moore finally completed the pass on the outside. As the leaders battled, Hoose seized the opportunity and put the #21 in the third position and immediately went to work on Wolfson for the second spot.
Hoose looked to the inside of Wolfson with 15 laps to go, but Wolfson shut the door and kept a buffer between the two championship contenders. Hoose was relentless in his pursuit of the #17 and finally got a nose under Wolfson with three laps remaining.
In exciting fashion, Moore took the checkered flag and the points lead with a great run. Hoose and Wolfson ran door-to-door for the remaining three laps with Hoose finally edging Wolfson for runner-up honors and staying within one point of Moore. Wolfson had to be content with third place after leading 78 laps of the event. In a season that has featured six different winners, this would be Moore’s third victory of the year.
The storyline for the points championship couldn’t be scripted any better, with Moore winning at Lanier and Hoose coming home in second. “Can you believe with the points lead I couldn’t spook those two into backing off?” joked Wolfson after the race. Matt Hoose added “I’ll tell you, not real confident going into New Smyrna. It’s not one of my best tracks. I get to start in front of Donny” “Man, what a race!” said Moore after the race. “I saw Hoose coming, but I was confident” remarked Moore when asked about Hoose’s late race charge.
The points lead couldn’t be any tighter with Moore holding a one point lead over Hoose as the Outlaw Modifieds head to New Smyrna for the series finale. Be sure to tune in and catch all the sim racing action on Saturday, March 26th. The Gobal SimRacing Channel’s broadcast starts at 9:15PM EST on iRacing Live. The green flag drops at 9:30.
You can check out the Bootleg Racing League at www.bootlegracingleague.com.