April 14th, 2016 by Chris Wolfson
The Bootleg Racing League launched Season 2 of 2016 on Saturday night at Martinsville, VA. The historic half-mile Martinsville Speedway would prove to be a great test for the Outlaw Modified Series opening night. With an ongoing emphasis on clean, fast sim racing – the Bootleg Racing League continues to stage great shows each week.
John Holcomb set a quick and steady pace in the #69 Indianapolis Colts machine as the field jockeyed behind for track position. Tim Knott (#41) and Ralph Conner (#58) settled-in to the second and third positions as the race unfolded.
The first caution of the season waved on lap 28 when Ryan Nuss (#13) made contact with Lowell Jewell, sending the latter’s #5 Edge SK Modified for a spin. Multiple cars were caught in the accident and sustained damage in the chain reaction that unfolded in the wake of the initial contact.
The racing resumed on lap 33, but was short-lived. Three wide action heading into turn 2 with Ernie Brown (#8), Matt Shinoski (#35), and Donnie Moore (#26) would end badly, bringing-out the caution and collecting multiple cars.
The green flag waved again on lap 39 with Holcomb continuing to pace the field followed by Knott and Conner. The man on the move was Brian Neff in the #60 Winn-Dixie car. Neff worked his way through the field on the long green-flag run and found himself on Conner’s bumper by lap 59. With 40 laps remaining, Neff made the pass to move into the top three and showed why he is always a threat in the Bootleg Racing League.
The field of sim racers stacked again when the caution came out on lap 61 for a multiple car incident involving Moore, Jewell, Brown and series rookie Tim Shinoski (#77), who got the worst of the incident.
With a little more than 20 laps to go, the battle for second position turned hot and heavy. Knott made every effort to keep the #60 of Neff behind him with bumper contact several times between both cars. Knott decided to play it safe, letting Neff around on lap 78 and falling back to the third position. Neff immediately set his sights on Holcomb who had run a flawless race to this point. Neff found Holcomb’s rear bumper with 11 laps remaining, then made an aggressive move heading into turn 3 and, in a sudden change of events, the top sim racers were out of contention.
The resulting caution set the stage for one of the most exciting finishes in Bootleg Racing League history. Knott assumed the lead with Conner and Matt Shinoski (#35) sitting second and third. The green flag flew with four laps remaining. Shinoski applied heavy pressure to Conner with both cars battling side-by-side with two laps left. On the final lap, Shinoski found the bumper of race leader Knott and looked to challenge for the win.
Shinoski made a last ditch effort on the outside of turn 4, pushing wide and slamming the wall. Shinoski’s car ricocheted back into the race track, turning Knott’s lead car into the outside wall as they drag raced towards the start finish line. As Knott went airborne, Shinoski edged-out Richard Blake (#66) and Ralph Conner at the finish line for the win. Knott slid across the line to finish 5th.
“I’m not even sure what happened,” said Shinoski after the race. “I have to apologize to Tim because I came off the wall and ruined his race. Going into three I had a really big run and he was really slow on the bottom.”
After a crazy finish, the Bootleg Race League heads to Stafford Speedway next Saturday night. Be sure to tune in to the Global SimRacing Channel’s broadcast on iRacing Live at 9:15PM EST to catch all the action.
You can check out the Bootleg Racing League at www.bootlegracingleague.com.
Check out all the sim racing action from Martinsville on the Global SimRacing Channel’s broadcast: