Manchester’s Reid Lanpher became the first racer in five years to go back-to-back in Beech Ridge Motor Speedway’s Pro Series division last Saturday.

The feat is all the more impressive when one considers that Lanpher was 12 years old the last time a driver did it.

Lanpher started 14th, avoided a big wreck on lap four that moved him up to sixth, took over the lead about five laps later and held off Curtis Gerry to win the 40-lap feature.

“It’s a culmination of a lot of things just finally clicking together,” he said. “We’ve had a pretty fast race car all year, but there’s a lot of factors that play into success that are finally showing.”

With Saturday’s win, Lanpher extended his lead over Garrett Hall in the points standings to 21 points for when he returns to action at the Scarborough track this Saturday.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be in the position I am with such a legit team that we’ve been able to build up on our own,” he said, singling out crew chief Jason Ricker. “My family and all of my sponsors and my crew’s support have been the most important.”

Lanpher just missed an even more historic trifecta on July 18 when he finished second on the bumper of winner Corey Bubar. He chalks that near-miss up to being too conservative in the final dozen laps.

That’s all part of learning the sport, which he’s obviously doing at an impressive clip. Despite pinching himself for not being aggressive enough three weeks ago, Lanpher said if experience has taught him anything so far, it’s to be mindful of the risk vs. reward aspect of racing.

“Just having last year, going through the whole season, I mean, you learn so much,” he said. “Patience really is the big thing. A 10th-place finish is a lot better than a DNF when you’re going for third and taking risks.”

His most recent learning experience came the day after his latest win at Beech Ridge. On Sunday, he returned to Oxford Plains Speedway, where he’s already enjoyed considerable success this season, for the PASS 150. Competing against three dozen of the top drivers in the series, he was pleased with his 12th-place finish despite having some handling issues on the 3/8 mile oval. He was also taking mental notes for the Oxford 250, which is three weeks away.

“We’re just doing all we can to have everything as perfect as we can on the car,” said Lanpher, who did not qualify in his only other 250 appearance two years ago. “We’re just staying as organized as we can, get our tire program in line and have our crew prepared. We’re going to be racing that Saturday at Beech Ridge, so we won’t really have any practice time.”

Lanpher, who ranked 28th in the most recent PASS North points standings, has certainly made himself at home at Oxford this year. His season got off to a good start with a seventh place at the first PASS race there in mid-April. He returned a month later to win the 50-lap Super Late Model feature, a springboard into his summer success.

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Bryan Kruczek of Newmarket, New Hampshire won the PASS North 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, finishing four seconds in front of fellow Granite-stater Jeremy Davis. Hallowell’s Johnny Clark was eighth. It was his sixth top-10 finish of the season. Clark currently ranks ninth in the Super Late Model points, 348 points behind leader Mike Rowe of Turner. Cassius Clark of Farmington is 11th. Oakland’s Michael Landry slipped to 19th after bowing out of Saturday’s race 92 laps in.

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Farmington’s Ben Erskine is tied for fifth in the Late Model Sportsman standings at Wiscasset. Erskine and Andrew McLaughlin of Harrington are 80 points behind leader Nick Hinkley of Wiscasset. Richard Jordan of Kingfield is third in the Modified points, trailing leader Mark Lucas of Harpswell by 116. Sidney’s Gary Thorne and Kevin Douglass rank seventh and eighth, respectively. Jeff Burgess of Fairfield leads Pro Stock, with 22 points on Andy Saunders of Ellsworth. Kyle Hewins of Leeds sits atop Strictly Street, six points ahead of Dan Brown of Peru. Kamren Knowles of West Gardiner leads the New England 4-Cylinder Pro over Whitefield’s Jacob Hendsbee. Richmond’s Cody Tribbett is the Outlaw Mini leader.

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Kris Matchett of Skowhegan ranked second in the Sportsman standings at Speedway 95 and fifth overall in the series as July closed.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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