About the only way Reid Lanpher’s 2017 season could be any better would be if he had yet to lose a race.

As it is, that’s nearly been the case for Lanpher at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Lanpher has two wins in five starts in the Pro Series division at Maine’s only NASCAR-sanctioned track and has finished worse than second only once.

Lanpher, of Manchester, holds a 15-point lead over reigning track champion Curt Gerry. Coupled with two Pro All Stars Series (PASS) wins earlier in the season, it’s been a better start than even the 18-year-old Lanpher could have imagined when he debuted a brand new Super Late Model from Distance Racing this spring.

“This has just blown away our expectations for this year. I’ve been surprised myself, honestly,” Lanpher said. “The guys just keep giving me a really good car and, knock on wood, we’ve been able to stay fast.”

After winning his first Pro Series title at Beech Ridge when he was just 16 years old back in 2015, Lanpher came up just 10 points shy of Gerry in the championship chase last season. It’s shaping up as a three-way battle between Lanpher, Gerry and two-time Beech Ridge champion (and the winningest driver in Oxford Plains Speedway history) Mike Rowe this season in Scarborough.

Rowe is third in the standings, only one point behind Gerry.

“This championship is going to be crazy. It’s not going to be easy to keep (the lead) at all,” Lanpher said. “To be completely honest, I’ve yet to go on the Beech Ridge site and check points this year, not even once. These last few years, I’ve learned that we’re going to go out and do our best no matter what. Whatever happens after that is going to happen.”

Lanpher won on opening night at Beech Ridge in May, and he won a 125-lap feature for the division last weekend. But it might be what he’s done in between the two wins that’s most impressive.

Back on June 10, Joey Doiron held off a furious rally by Lanpher in the closing laps of a 40-lap feature to win by just 0.013 seconds. One week later, Lanpher was again only inches shy of another victory, finishing second to Garret Hall by 0.031 seconds.

“I like to think of myself as a bit more positive about things than maybe some other people might be,” Lanpher said. “Sure, I was a little bummed that I didn’t get it done (in those races), but I could also see the fact that two weeks in a row I could drive up through the field with a really good car. I was really pumped about that.”

Lanpher goes for his third win of the season in the Firecracker 50 on Saturday night.

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The part-time schedule for Cassius Clark of Farmington is working out just fine this summer.

Clark, who reunited with car owner Corey Hight of Skowhegan for a limited slate of PASS races this season, has also continued to run select events with King Motorsports out of Canada on the Maritime Pro Stock Tour. Last weekend, Clark returned to victory lane in the No. 13 owned by Rollie MacDonald, winning the Nova Truck Centres/Make A Wish 150 at Scotia Speedworld.

Clark led the final six laps en route to his first win of the year.

He is entered in the PASS Open 100 at Oxford Plains on Sunday in Hight’s No. 77.

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Last season, Oxford Plains hosted the first Open 100 for the PASS North Series, at the time allowing only drivers who hadn’t won a PASS race in the last five years to enter.

This year, while Oxford 250 provisionals are still up for grabs, the event is being opened up to all teams — including recent race winners.

The final event in this season’s four-race “Road To The Oxford 250” series, the top three finishers in the Open 100 who have not won a PASS race in the last five years will earn guaranteed starting spots in the Oxford 250 on Aug. 27. Kannapolis, North Carolina’s Matt Craig, the defending PASS South champion, 2015 Oxford 250 winner Glen Luce of Turner and Joey Doiron of Berwick won the previous Road to the Oxford 250 qualifiers this season.

If a previous PASS winner does, in fact, win the Open 100, that driver would also earn a provisional starting spot for the Oxford 250.

Some drivers of note who have entered Sunday’s Open 100 include Derek Kneeland of Sebago, the spotter for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series point leader Kyle Larson, and Bobby Timmons of Windham, who won his first career Supermodified race last weekend at Star Speedway.

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Notes: Group 1 divisions are back in action this Saturday at Wiscasset Speedway, where Bowdoin’s Scott Chubbuck — and his five track championships — leads the Pro Stock standings. … The top four drivers in the PASS standings are separated by only 25 points at the midway point of the 16-race schedule. Luce leads three former series champions — D.J. Shaw, Travis Benjamin and Ben Rowe — as he tries to secure his first career title.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

tbarrett@centralmaine.com

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC