Preparations for the 2019 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes on Speed51.com are underway. The ballot was recently revealed and sent out to a panel of industry experts to determine the top short track racing prospects in North America.
As we prepare for the draft, we’ll be taking a look at a handful of drivers and providing scouting reports just like you would see ahead of the NFL Draft. These scouting reports will take a look at a driver’s on-track performance, as well as other qualities that may make or break their chances of making it to the top levels of NASCAR.
We continue our round of scouting reports today with a look at, Reid Lanpher who will be looking to make the list of top 51 prospects for the second straight year.
Current Level: Super Late Models
Hometown: Manchester, ME
Highest Pick: 44 (2018)
Anticipated Pick: 40th - 45th
Lanpher first got the attention of the national short track world when he competed for JR Motorsports in The Dirty Dozen series for Late Model Stock Cars in 2013.
He than made headlines back in 2015 on the home front when he won the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Pro Series (Super Late Model) track championship, while also securing the 2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Maine State title. He nearly shocked the racing scene that same year when he finished runner-up in the Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway.
After making a pair of starts for Marsh Racing on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2016, Lanpher upped his Super Late Model game in 2017. First winning back-to-back Pro All Stars Series North races, including the Beech Ridge 300, and then taking home a second Beech Ridge Pro Series and NASCAR Maine State title.
Lanpher went on another hot streak in 2018, winning three-straight mid-summer Super Late Model events. First, he outdueled New Hampshire Motor Speedway dominator Eddie MacDonald in the Granite State Pro Stock Series portion of the New England Short Track Showdown. He followed that up with a home track win in PASS North competition at Beech Ridge before completing the trifecta by winning the $10,000 U.S. Pro Stock / Super Late Model Nationals at Seekonk Speedway. Lanpher closed out the 2018 season with an October PASS win at Oxford and a runner-up finish at Seekonk.
Rising, Falling or Holding Steady: Holding Steady
Consistency has been the name of Lanpher's game the past few seasons in Northeast Super Late Model racing. He is always a threat to win in touring series shows and big races, both at home and away. A good percentage of the time he has been able to either pounce on early race leaders, take advantage of chaos, or just flat out dominate.
While Lanpher has been upping his appearances outside of Maine around the rest of the Northeast with his No. 59 Super Late Model, he has not made too many road trips, although that could change as evidenced by his trip to Richmond just weeks ago.
He has also had multiple appearances in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series at tracks such as Bristol, Thompson, New Hampshire, and even Kern County. But, he has not been able to find a steady ride as of yet, nor has he had a major result in his appearances.
On-Track Accomplishments: B
Lanpher has come up big in a handful of big races in New England, with a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and a $10,000 check at Seekonk Speedway in just the last year alone. He is also a driver known to get red hot at times, whether he's running touring races on the road or at a home track.
Lanpher is consistent as well, though that never has much of a chance to show since he has yet to chase a touring series championship.
His grade could improve in this category with better results in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts and more success outside of New England.
Lanpher started off his racing career as a youngster with not much to say, preferring to let his driving do most of the talking for him. As he has gone on to win races, he has had more practice in front of the microphone and camera, becoming more and more open with each interview.
Most of the time Lanpher can be his own worst critic and he's not shy about saying something about it. But, he has also started to show the natural confidence that he carries in the cockpit of his race car, a confidence that continues to grow stronger over time.
Overall, his actions over words style has gained him respect with both drivers and fans. It is an approach that has worked especially well when he ends his races in victory lane.
Lanpher is also a very hard worker away from the race track, and that determination shows at the race track. At just 20 years of age, he runs the show at one of his father's business locations in Turner, Maine. On a day-to-day basis, he shows up to work at 6:30 a.m. to begin selling RVs, campers and trailers off the lot.
Moving forward, Lanpher could improve his grade in this category by opening his personality up a little bit more at the race track. This is not to say he has a bad personality because that's not the case; he's just not on the same level of Noah Gragson, Hailie Deegan or some other vibrant personalities in the sport.
Sponsor Appeal: B
Sponsors love it when their logos are appearing on cars in victory lane, which Lanpher continues to do throughout his time racing in New England. When he has gotten to victory lane, especially in the last year, he is not shy about giving them the credit they deserve for their support.
Lanpher's time driving for teams such as Marsh Racing (NASCAR K&N East) which have notable sponsors, is not a bad mark to have either. The more he continues to open up, the higher this grade will go in the future.
Social Media: C-
Lanpher's presence on social media is scattered for the most part. He does have a racing page on Facebook, but it is mostly relevant to information on what he and his team are up to on race weekend. It does not paint a picture of his personality that well.
Instagram is the best chance to see what he is away from the track, in addition to on it. But his posts are infrequent, sometimes going months in between posts.
As for his presence on Twitter, that is a big negative. He no longer has a Twitter account. In the year 2019, we can all agree that he's missing out on additional exposure by not having an account on one of the top social media platforms.
Lanpher and his crew chief Jason Ricker like to choose their own Super Late Model schedule, not preferring to race for any one championship. Expect him to race mainly in his home state of Maine in Pro All Stars Series competition or even weekly races in the southern half of the state.
Every now and then he will journey throughout the rest of New England, especially when there is a big trophy or big check that he is eyeing.
The possibility of him turning up in a NASCAR K&N Stock Car is also never out of the question either.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor - Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com