OXFORD, Maine – Reid Lanpher of Manchester, Maine, failed in his bid to become the youngest driver ever to qualify for the 40th annual TD Bank Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, on Sunday, July 21. Lanpher spent three days of practice gaining valuable seat time and experience, and the team had the Team EJP No. 59 Eastern Township Docks/Mission Trailers Chevrolet where it wanted it for the start of qualifying. Following the first-round heat race, the team discovered the driveshaft was hitting the rear suspension pieces. It created a handling issue that could not be fixed in time to make the main event.
WHO: Reid Lanpher, Manchester, Maine
TEAM: Team EJP No. 59 Eastern Township Docks/Mission Trailers Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Jay Cushman, Gray, Maine
WHAT: TD Bank Oxford 250
WHERE: Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (.375-mile oval)
REID, HOW DISAPPOINTING IS NOT QUALIFYING FOR THE RACE?
We just chased the car all day. After the practice sessions, when we put on new tires, it just did the opposite of everything we thought it was going to do. We were so good at the beginning of every run, and then it would just fade. We couldn’t keep the stagger where we wanted it.
We just didn’t have the car today. These guys worked non-stop. There wasn’t one time when they stopped whenever the track was open for practice. We tried a whole bunch of things all weekend. We started off with a car that was unfamiliar to my crew chief (Jay Cushman), and he made tons of gains on it. I’ve got to thank all of his guys, all my sponsors, my dad, and everybody that helped.
I’m really bummed that we couldn’t make it, but I’m happy we went out with a good run in the last-chance qualifier. We tried everything.
DO YOU CHALK THIS UP TO A GOOD LEARNING EXPERIENCE?
Yeah, definitely. I feel a lot more comfortable at the end of the day than I did at the beginning of the weekend. Any laps I get in these cars are valuable, just because I have so few of them.
Overall, I’m not going to say it was a bad weekend. We learned a lot and made a lot of gains, but I’m bummed we didn’t make it.