Reid Lanpher played the part of spoiler on Sunday, driving around six-time Pro All Stars Series (PASS) champion Johnny Clark with just 12 laps remaining and pulling away to win the PASS 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Lanpher, of Manchester, started 12th on the 36-car grid and steadily worked his way into contention. Clark settled for second, while point leader and two-time series champion DJ Shaw finished third. Travis Benjamin and Ryan Robbins completed the top five.
“We were very loose off the corners the whole race,” Lanpher said. “I tried my best to keep the rear tires on it. The crew did a great job after we tore up the nose in the heat race. This feels awesome, I just have to thank my guys and great sponsors for making it all happen.”
Clark started from the pole position and ran better than he has in several races. He had the field covered for 137 laps.
“I really thought it might be our day, but Reid had more left at the end,” Clark said. “This was better than we’ve run at Oxford for a long time. We qualified well, led most of the 150 and here we are on the podium. I can’t be disappointed with how we ran, but I’d be happier if I could have ended the drought.”
Shaw started 15th on the grid and wheeled the No. 60 Precision JLM/HK Powersports ride to the front. He gained ever-so-slightly on Benjamin in his quest for a third crown, relieving just a little pressure.
“I feel like we were much better today here than we’ve been the last few races,” he said. “We had been off on our setup a little, so I think we took a step in the right direction today. We just have to keep digging, go down to Seekonk and try to contend for the win. We want to seal this thing off in style.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in Sunday’s PASS 150 was Joey Doiron, Ben Rowe, Billy Rogers, Mike Rowe and Rusty Poland. Twenty-four of the 36 starters finished on the lead lap, while 11 cautions slowed the pace. Lanpher’s margin of victory over Clark was a scant .257 seconds.
Other notable finishers in the 150 include former PASS winner Garrett Hall (12th); two-time Oxford Late Model champion Shawn Martin (16th); former Street Stock standout Bryce Mains (18th); 2015 Oxford 250 winner Glen Luce (21st); and 2018 Oxford track champion Gabe Brown (23rd).
While 42 cars were on hand to attempt qualifying on Saturday, 39 drivers were able to return on Sunday. Mike Hopkins (racing in Bangor in both sides of the Paul Bunyan 250), Trevor Sanborn and Scott Mulkern were the only drivers not present when the program continued.
Curtis Gerry, one of the hottest drivers in PASS races at Oxford since winning the 250 in 2017, did well to advance from his 25th starting position all the way to sixth at the checkered flag. However, he was penalized two laps for an unapproved tire change during the race and was officially credited with a 26th-place finish.
Beech Ridge regular Dan Winter drove his Window World No. 81 entry all the way to 13th from 30th on the grid, proof of his skills and determination to salvage a less than stellar season with a solid effort.
In only his second career PASS start, Oxford native Josh Childs ran inside the top 10 until lap 114 when a broken trailing arm and driveshaft put him on the sidelines. Childs won the 2018 Wildcat division title at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
The PASS North teams will conclude their 2018 season in Seekonk, Mass., on Saturday, October 27.
Race fans can find full results and on-demand coverage of Sunday’s race by visiting Speed51.com’s Speed Central.
Story by: Phil Whipple, Speed51.com Northeast SLM Correspondent
Photo credit: Speed51.com