RACE 1 : STARTED 5TH & FINISHED 9TH
RACE 2 : STARTED 9TH & FINISHED 3RD
Dirty Dozen Cup: Reid Lanpher
Southern Nat’l Motorsports Park Race Report
KENLY, N.C. – Fourteen-year-old Reid Lanpher of Manchester, Maine, continued his impressive performance with JR Motorsports, finishing third in the second half of the Dirty Dozen Cup Twin 100s at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C., on Saturday, April 6. In addition to his career-best finish in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Lanpher also posted his best career qualifying effort with a fifth-place run in time trials earlier in the day. Lanpher started ninth in the second 100-lap Late Model Stock feature and was running down the leaders after climbing all the way to third by the time the checkered flag flew in the caution-free event. In the first 100-lap race, he was running inside the Top-10 when contact from another competitor shuffled him to the back half of the field before Lanpher rallied to finish ninth. Lanpher now has two Top-5 finishes and four straight Top-10s – all in the last four races – with the team owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
WHO: Reid Lanpher, Manchester, Maine
TEAM: No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Seth Kooika, Mooresville, N.C.
WHAT: Dirty Dozen Cup Southern National Twin 100s
WHERE: Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, N.C. (.4-mile banked oval)
STARTED: 5th (Race 1)/9th (Race 2)
FINISHED: 9th (Race 1)/3rd (Race 2)
LAST RACE: March 16, Southern National Twin 100s, Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, N.C. (6th/5th)
NEXT RACE: April 21, PASS North Series 150, Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (.375-mile oval)
REID, HOW DID IT FEEL TO GET YOUR FIRST PODIUM FINISH FOR JR MOTORSPORTS?
It was awesome. The car was a rocket ship. It was great. I wish I could have had a caution at the end, honestly. By the time I worked my way up there, (the leaders) were probably a half a track ahead of me. I was running faster lap times than them at the end. I was gaining on them slowly, but I wasn’t killing my tires trying to get to them. I still wanted to save my tires a little bit, in case we had a caution so we could hopefully be able to give them something. The car was just so fast.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST FEATURE?
I got stuck on the outside on the start and got freight-trained back to ninth.
It was only about halfway in, and I got dive-bombed going off into the corner. The guy came right in under me and stuffed it right in there. I was completely sideways. I straightened it out, but by the time I got recovered and bounced off a couple of cars, I had fallen back to about 14th. Thankfully, I still was able to get back to ninth.
WHY WERE YOU SO MUCH BETTER IN THE SECOND RACE THAN THE FIRST?
Every time we’ve gone to the track to race, we’ve slowly gotten better and better. I’ve had better success in my second races. There’s something I like about it better – I like having a strong finish, which I have been doing.
Our only goal is to keep moving forward, getting better and slowly working trying to get a win.
DOES A NIGHT LIKE THIS GIVE YOU REASON TO BELIEVE A WIN IS COMING SOON?
Yeah. We’ve made major gains, and we’ve gone back to the shop every time knowing what we can do better for the next race. The competition is tough. Look at Lee Pulliam, he’s been practically undefeated this year, and he finished second in that race, and Josh (Berry) is one of the best Late Model drivers around and he got seventh. It’s just really hard to win these races.
I definitely think we’re on the right track. I don’t know when or if, but I think a win is right around the corner. I really do.
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