Dirty Dozen Cup: Reid Lanpher
Southern Nat’l Motorsports Park Race Report
KENLY, N.C. – Reid Lanpher of Manchester, Maine, posted his first career Top-5 finish for JR Motorsports on Saturday, March 16, when he finished fifth in the second of two Dirty Dozen Cup 100s at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. Lanpher, 14, finished sixth in the first 100-lap Late Model Stock event in just his second effort in the No. 8 JRM Chevrolet fielded by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. After qualifying ninth – his best time-trialing effort to date – Lanpher used tire management strategy to gain positions in the second half of the green-to-checkered opening 100-lap race. He finished sixth, one spot behind JRM teammate and reigning NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Motor Mile Speedway champion Josh Berry, for his first career Top-10 finish with the team. Lanpher redrew for the outside pole to start the second 100-lap race, but a tight race car – and another caution-free event – made track position difficult to attain. He settled in to finish a strong fifth.
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: 9th (Race 1)/2nd (Race 2)
FINISHED: 6th (Race 1)/5th (Race 2)
LAST RACE: March 2, Southern National Twin 100s, Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, N.C. (11th/12th)
NEXT RACE: April 6, Southern National Twin 100s, Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, N.C. (.4-mile banked oval)
REID, HOW DID THINGS GO FOR YOU AT SOUTHERN NATIONAL?
I really couldn’t be any happier with the final results and the way it all went. The first half of the first race I was conserving tires, because we have to run the same four tires for both races. Those guys in front of me started to come back to me. We used up a little tire to get there, but I was able to pass some pretty good cars. At the end, Josh (Berry) was in fifth and I was in sixth – I almost had him with about five to go. It was pretty crazy being that close to battle my teammate right there. I had to work for those three positions.
For the second race, we made an adjustment to the car – I was loose in the first race and it was going to tighten me up a lot in the second race and then hopefully come to me as the race went on. I was pushing really bad right at the start and I fell back to fifth. It got better, but I had a lot of pressure from behind me so it felt good to be able to hold those guys off.
WHAT WAS DIFFERENT THIS WEEKEND FROM YOUR FIRST TIME IN THE CAR TWO WEEKS AGO?
We were able to make a lot of gains. Going into that first race together (on March 2), we didn’t know exactly what we had for a car. I didn’t have any laps in it, and they didn’t normally go to this track before. We chased it a lot that weekend. This weekend, we were able to go back and make changes ahead of time and know exactly what we’d want going into the race. Everything went great, and I’m slowly getting better at qualifying, because that’s all new to me, too.
The car was really good. Other than running into a little bit of a tire issue from running the same set of tires for 200 laps, everything really worked out great. I couldn’t be happier. The crew works together so well, they’re just very legit. They know what to do for everything, and it shows.
ARE YOU CLOSE TO CONTENDING FOR PODIUM FINISHES AND RACE WINS?
We have the potential for a Top-3, we really do. But just like I feel like we are going to be better every week, everybody else can get better each week, too. The guy who dominated the second race, he was a mid-pack runner the first week. The field is just so good, and there are so many good cars, that you never really know what can happen every time you go to the track.
I really think it’s hard to say, ‘We can do this’ or ‘We can do that,’ but I’d like to think we have potential for a little stronger finish.