SCARBOROUGH — When the 2017 Pro All Stars Series (PASS) season was just hitting high gear back in late April, Reid Lanpher went on a tear.
He and crew chief Jason Ricker, of Poland, won a 150-lap race at Oxford on Apr. 23, and followed that impressive run by winning the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge just one week later. After a brief slump (if you could call it that) in mid-summer, the Scott’s Recreation/Mission Trailers No. 59 rallied back.
Lanpher reeled off three straight wins in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at Beech Ridge in August, and capped another stellar season in fine fashion Saturday night by winning the 40-lap Pro Series feature to earn his second points title in three years.
“This has been an incredible season from start to finish,” Lanpher said in Victory Lane. “I have to thank my father, Jason, and everybody who works so hard to make this possible. We had a strong start, did our best all summer, had a great 250 last week, and now we claim a second title in three years.
“I’m so thankful for our great partners and appreciate their support. I couldn’t ask for a better race team, they made this dream season happen. We’ve got a little more racing to do, but this has been amazing.”
Beech ridge veteran Dan Mckeage led laps in Saturday’s feature and finished second, while Jacob Dore crossed the stripe in third. Corey Bubar and former track champion Mike Rowe completed the top five.
In Sport Series action, Gorham school teacher Sally Gherardi earned her second points championship (first one was in 2008) with an eighth-place finish. Ryan Villacci won the feature over Matt Dow and Frank Wear. Terry Merrill and Alex Lacognata finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Zach Nicholson earned his first career Wildcat victory in impressive fashion Saturday. The talented young racer from Ossippee, New Hampshire, held off veteran Chaz Briggs for top honors, while newly crowned points champion Adam Lovejoy made a big late-race charge into third.
Longtime Beech Ridge veteran Lyman Mckeage led several laps early but faded to fourth at the finish, while Archie Bernard completed the top five. Beech Ridge will play host to the PASS North Super Late Models on Sunday, Sept. 17, for a 150-lap contest. The PASS Mods and Legends will also be racing.
St. Clair, Verrill on top at Wiscasset
Josh St. Clair and Cody Verrill both earned Late Model Sportsman feature wins Saturday evening as Wiscasset Speedway completed another successful program with Group 2.
St. Clair, of Liberty, held off the ever-talented Chris Thorne (Sidney) to win the regular 35-lap battle in a caution-free affair. Ryan St. Clair crossed the stripe in third, while Nick Hinkley (Wiscasset) and Shane Clark (Winterport) completed the top five.
Verrill, of Richmond, powered his way to victory in a 20-lap “Dash for Cash.” This special race was created for drivers who hadn’t won a feature in the last two years and had raced a minimum of three races in 2017.
Steve Minott (Windham) finished just .707 behind Verrill in second, while Turner veteran Steve Barker filled out the podium in third. Shane Kaherl, of Jay, finished in fourth.
Former Beech Ridge regular Cole Watson drove to victory in the 25-lap Strictly Street feature. It was the Naples veteran’s second win of 2017, holding off Sabattus hot-shoe Zach Emerson to prevail.
Livermore Falls driver Mike Haynes settled for third, while Memorial Day weekend winner Jonathan Emerson (Sabattus) crossed the stripe in fourth.
Other feature winners on Saturday at Wiscasset include Nick Reno (his second win of 2017 in the NAPA Modifieds); and division point leader Brent Roy (Outlaw Minis).
First laps turned in Tamworth
Race fans throughout Maine and the rest of New England, especially those who love road -course racing, have been eagerly awaiting news from the brand new track being constructed over in nearby Tamworth, New Hampshire.
Club Motorsports is a premier country club for enthusiasts of vintage and performance cars and motorcylcles. The facility features a state-of-the-art 15-turn, 2.5-mile road course that includes an elevation change of 250 feet.
The track is over 40 feet wide and features a mix of long straightaways and tight turns, both uphill and downhill.
On Friday, Sept. 1., the track officially opened for club members. On-track sessions continued Saturday and will conclude at 5 p.m. today. To learn more about this new world-class facility, go to www.clubmotorsports.com.