For 19-year-old Garrett Lamb, competing in the PASS Modified series is the next logical step in his career. After a successful run at Beech Ridge in the Mad Bombers, Lamb is catching on fast at the controls of his potent No. 38 entry. He’s already earned a pair of top-five finishes in just four starts.
WATCH LIVE: PASS Modifieds at Oxford
“We got off to a great start this year,” Lamb said. “We pulled off a top-three finish that first week at Oxford, which gave us some momentum early on. Sadly, we ended up crashing into the backstretch wall in the second race there and lost all of that momentum in an instant.
“We had to rebuild a lot of the car’s back half in the off week. We were able to bounce back strong at Lee, coming away with a solid fifth-place finish in my first ever start on that track. That put us back in a good frame of mind. I made a setup mistake at White Mountain that hurt, but we were still fast.”
During his formative years, Lamb studied the sport like a Hawk studies its prey. He’s an intellectual type with an amazing ability to absorb and retain information. As a protege of and with strong ties to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway legend Dan Mckeage, Lamb has had stellar guidance along the way.
“I spent six or seven years in Karts before I ever moved up into a big car,” Lamb explained. “Racing with people like Austin Teras, Max Cookson and Gunnar Rowe allowed me to develop at a faster rate. I had to be fast if I wanted to keep up with them.”
Lamb’s rookie season on the rapidly-growing Mod tour comes at a time when the competition is stiff.
I’m still getting used to this whole deal, so to me, the level of competition is intense,” Lamb readily admitted. “The type of changes you can make on these cars compared to a Street Stock or Mad Bomber are a little different. You can take some big swings at the setup. I’m still trying to get used to that.
When Lamb takes a moment to look around the PASS Mod pit area, he is, like many of us, impressed.
“It has become a very tough series this year,” he said. “We’re averaging 23 or 24 cars a week now, almost double what they used to draw. Most of these guys are bringing good cars to the track, and several of them have wins from somewhere on their resumes. It’s no cakewalk to do well here today.”
One of the reasons (along with his driving skills) Lamb is so fast this year is the car he drives. It comes from good stock, shall we say.
“I’m really enjoying my rookie season in the Mods for several reasons, but this race car is a big part of it, ” Lamb explained. “It was built last year by Ben Tinker, and he drove it in five races. It’s a very well-built piece, and his guidance sure speeds up my learning curve. We don’t have to chase the car’s setup.
“That has allowed me to just focus on my driving. When we started out, Oxford was the only track on our schedule I had raced at before. I had been to most of the others as a fan, except Thunder Road. This year I have the added challenge of learning these cars on tracks that are all new to me. I’m loving it.”
Along with a great attitude and his immense natural talent behind the wheel, Lamb also has several key people working behind the scenes to ensure his program stays successful on the ovals.
“I need to thank so many good folks who help out, including Scott Lamb, Amy Lamb, Mike Lamb, Mike Libby, Steve, Missy, and Brody Taylor; Brandon Williams and Ben Tinker. I appreciate what they all do for my racing program.
“I also want to thank our fine sponsors, including Dodo’s Hot Rods, Libby’s Septic, Portland Speed, ASM Graphics, Chasing The Checkered, Jay and Brenda Robinson, Lucille Brockman, LTD Auto, Black Flag Podcast, Night Owl Creations, Shamrock Farms, Mainely Awards, Robie Builders, R.N. Craft, Donnie and Sharleen Myers, Dan, Lori, and Olivia Napolitano, K&B Auto, Tinker Advanced Race Cars, Greg Emerson and Vicki Carr. I couldn’t do this without their support.”
As the heat of summer finally arrives here in Maine and those Modified warriors hit full throttle, Lamb knows what he wants to accomplish before all is said and done for 2021.
“Honestly, I’d love to earn a win this year,” Lamb concluded. “That would make my rookie season in these cars a big success. But in reality, if we can just finish the rest of the races and learn as much as possible about these cars, I’ll be happy. I’m just enjoying this challenge of competing in PASS Mods.”
-Story by: Phil Whipple, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo by: Norm Marx/PASS