The 3rd annual US Pro Stock/Super Late Models Nationals is in the books, and after a furious fight at the front of the pack in the final laps, Reid Lanpher is holding the $10,000 check.
SLM Nationals Recap With Kyle Souza
Lanpher was leading the field at the end of the first 100-lap segment, but he had Joey Pole all over his back bumper in the final laps of that one. During the break, which lasted about 30 minutes, Lanpher’s team changed tires, made a few adjustments, and he went back out to the track and lined up fifth for the second 100-lap event after a five-car invert.
Lanpher quickly worked his way right to the front, but when he got there, he was faced with the challenge of trying to pass 15-year-old Jake Johnson if he wanted to grab the trophy. Johnson was doing everything he could to hold off the charges, running up and down the track in an effort to block Lanpher enough that he would lift and let him get away.
However, when Lanpher slid back on a restart, Pole made a move up to second spot and the battle was on for the race lead. When they crossed the line at lap 170, Pole was down low on Johnson, making a move, and as Johnson moved down the track to try and block the effort, Johnson went spinning after contact. While Johnson sat in turn one spun out, Pole was penalized, and decided to end his night early.
That gave the advantage right back to Lanpher, and as they say in racing, sometimes it’s better to be lucky instead of good. But, on Wednesday night, Lanpher was both. He swept the two segments, left with the trophy and the $10,000 prize, and put on a dominant performance behind the wheel of his No. 59.
In the 25-lap INEX Legends Cars feature, Luke Lebrun used the pole position to his advantage and held off a late charge from his brother Eric in order to capture his first Legends Cars win. Lebrun is a former winner in the SYRA division with the Minicups, but now, he can add his name to the list of Legends Cars winners. He nearly won the most recent Fast Friday feature, but lost it in the late laps. Wednesday, he wasn’t going to let it slip away. It was a 1-2 finish for the Lebrun brothers, with Brendon Hammann scored another podium, finishing third on his birthday.
The only other feature on Wednesday was the 25-lap Jim Darlington Memorial race for the Pro 4 Modifieds. When it counted most, it was a veteran holding the checkered flag. Dave Bergman held off a fight from Brett Meservey to pick up the win, while his wife, Robin, finished third.