Young drivers Reid Lanpher and Garrett Hall will renew their rivalry Saturday night when Beech Ridge Motor Speedway hosts its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season opener.

Lanpher, 18, of Manchester, captured the 2015 Beech Ridge Pro Series title, winning four races. Hall, 21, of Scarborough, took the point battle to the last weekend.

Both drivers are expanding their racing horizons with out-of-state touring series competition but will call Beech Ridge their home base this summer.

“Our main objective is the Beech Ridge championship,” Hall said.

Lanpher is getting part-time driving assignments this year on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and also hitting Pro All-Stars Series (PASS) races. But with the exception of one date in July, Lanpher expects to be in the Beech Ridge pit every Saturday night.

“(Beech Ridge) is the toughest competition around and it’s a lot cheaper to race than tour racing,” Lanpher said. “We’d love to run the full PASS race schedule but we’re not quite in a position to do that. Weekly racing is something we can do while still having stellar competition.”

Lanpher said he expects his next K&N race, driving the No. 31 car for Marsh Racing, will be June 17 at Stafford, Connecticut.

“We’re hoping to add as many races as we can with New Hampshire being the next one we want to do,” Lanpher said. “We’ll probably end up running five (K&N) races but at this time we’re not sure where those will be.”

Hall won Beech Ridge’s Pro Series Rookie of the Year in 2015 after winning the Sport Series title in 2014.

This spring he has reached another plateau. He competed in six races at New Smyrna, Florida, then won his first Pro Series/Super Late Model style race in the PASS opener April 10 at the five-eighths mile Thompson Motor Speedway.

“Last year at the long-distance races I thought I needed to save my tires more,” Hall said. “This year I kind of learned to push the car more and to get to the front.”

Hall backed up his Thompson win with a third in the PASS race at Beech Ridge and another win at Speedway 95. He’s third in PASS points and with success has come a re-evaluation of his plans.

“When I first started out racing, my goal was to run a Pro Series and to qualify for the Oxford 250,” Hall said. “But the thing is, I did both of those last year. This year I’ve won two races. Obviously you want to look for more goals.”

Lanpher and Hall both said they consider the other to be a competitor worthy of attention.

“I wouldn’t consider ourselves buddies,” Lanpher said. “I have a lot of respect for him on and off the track.”

Of Lanpher, Hall said. “Obviously he’s smooth as a driver. He has a good car and he has a good crew, and I guess it’s all about trying to learn the track and obviously he learned that last year and got four wins.”

BEECH RIDGE is known for depth in its three Saturday night racing divisions: the Pro Series, Sport Series and Wildcat.

Track owner Andy Cusack said the Pro Series field added two well-known drivers.

“Just this week we heard from a few different drivers who intend to run our series,” Cusack said. “One of them is Joey Doiron (of Berwick). They have contacted us and said they want to focus on Beech Ridge and run the series. T.J. Brackett, he’s also interested in runing here full time.”

Doiron, the PASS North runner-up in 2015, is eighth in PASS points. He was caught up in a heat wreck last Saturday at Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire. Doiron has confirmed he will compete for the championship at Beech Ridge.

He will also compete in selected PASS races.

Brackett won the 2013 Pro Late Model championship at Oxford Plains Speedway. His father, Tim Brackett, is a multi-time Oxford champion and leads in points this season.

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