LUCAMA, N.C. – Reid Lanpher of Manchester, Maine, posted a pair of finishes in the top half of a stout Late Model field in his debut with JR Motorsports at Southern National Motorsports Park. Lanpher, 14, finished 11th and 12th at the Dirty Dozen Twin 100s in the No. 8 JRM Chevrolet. After time-trialing for the first time in his career, Lanpher started the first 100-lap Late Model Stock event 14th in the 26-car field and worked his way into the Top-10 before settling for 11th following a final late-race restart. In the second event of the afternoon, he started 11th and fell back as far as 18th following a communication miscue on a restart but recovered to drive back up to 12th – ahead of the reigning NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion – without the benefit of getting four fresh tires following the first race, per event rules.
WHO: Reid Lanpher, Manchester, Maine
TEAM: No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Seth Kooika, Mooresville, N.C.
WHAT: “Dirty Dozen” Southern National Twin 100s
WHERE: Southern National Motorsports Park, Lucama, N.C. (.4-mile banked
STARTED: 14th (Race 1)/11th (Race 2)
FINISHED: 11th (Race 1)/12th (Race 2)
NEXT RACE: March 16, Southern National Twin 100s, Southern National
Motorsports Park, Lucama, N.C. (.4-mile banked oval)
REID, HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP YOUR FIRST EFFORT WITH JR MOTORSPORTS?
I came out of there really happy about things. It couldn’t have gone much better as far as I’m concerned. I just learned a lot, got very comfortable in the car an mostly got the race out of the way so now I know what to look forward to the next time we go back.
Just as an added bonus, we got a decent finish out of it, too.
DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU FINISHED WHERE YOU WANTED TO?
I do. I mean, in the first race I was running ninth with five (laps) to go, and we made a mistake on the cone choice (for restart lanes). That cost me there, but we still finished 11th in my first time in the car, so that’s not really anything big. For going in really having no expectations, it was fine.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST THINGS YOU LEARNED?
Qualifying was huge. It’s so important to qualify up front. If you do, you don’t have to use the tires up to get back to where your car should be in terms of speed. But those guys put down some really fast qualifying times. When I compared myself to (JR Motorsports teammate and 2012 Motor Mile Speedway champion Josh Berry), he qualified just under a tenth of a second under me. I was pretty thrilled with how things played out from that standpoint.
The other thing was the competition. There’s just some really good competition there – just stackers on top of stackers on top of stackers there. I battled with one guy for 50 laps trying to get him. That’s just how good those guys are. It was good to be out there.
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