Unbuckled: Getting to Know Brandon Lanphear


Hometown: Morrisville, VT

Division: Allen Lumber Street Stocks/Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers

Car: L&L Farm #11 Ford Mustang

2017 Season: Finished 6th in Street Stock points

 What are your favorite non-racing hobbies?

I enjoy hunting and fishing, and I drive four-wheelers. I don’t do that much for other hobbies though, because I’m usually busy with work or racing.

 What do you do for work?

We have a family farm (L&L Farm) that milks 120 cows using robotic milkers. I tend to the cows, and during the summer I do a lot of field work – haying and such. Of course there’s a lot of barn chores to do as well.

What are your current racing plans for 2018? Do you have any goals?

We’re going to run the Flying Tiger division full-time. We ran a few races last year, so I have a little bit of experience already. My goal is to win Rookie of the Year, and I’d like to just run consistently and have some good finishes. Obviously when you go out there you want to win, and I don’t see it being a far stretch to win – I feel like I ran pretty decent for my first few times in a Tiger car, and I think I have enough experience so far to where it’s possible to run well every week and see what happens.

What was the highlight of the 2017 season for you?

We were able to lead the points a couple of different times, and we ran in the top two or three in points pretty much all season until the end. It was nice being able to run well every week. And we were able to run the Port-a-Potty Grand Prix because we were the point leader at mid-season. Not everyone gets to do that. Obviously you want to be leading at the end, but it was nice to be up front in the points, running up front on the track every week, and having a chance to win.

How did you get started in racing?

I don’t even remember what year it was – probably three years ago, maybe four – but I started going to the track every week and helping Richard Gravel with his Street Stock. At the end of that season, there was the Fall Brawl race at Speedway 51, and somehow he let me run his car for that race. That’s the only reason I think I am racing now, is because he gave me the opportunity to do it. Once I did that, I was pretty much hooked on it. That offseason I bought Marcel (J. Gravel’s) Street Stock, and it just took off from there. Not to mention of course, my dad (Dwayne) is racing again, and he raced for 20 years before, so I grew up in the sport. That’s a major reason as well.

What was it like racing with your dad this past season after growing up watching him race?

I guess I never really thought I would race against him, so it was kind of cool. I don’t know if it was the first time we raced against each other or not, but I started behind him being a rookie, and I think it was around lap five that he was involved in a caution, so he ended up restarting behind me. And towards the end of the race, we got to racing side-by-side for a little while. Of course he ended up getting the spot, but it was pretty cool being able to at least run with him and hold my own.

What is your biggest life accomplishment so far?

Probably the farm itself. I work for my dad, obviously, but there are a lot of times where I pretty much do my own thing throughout the day making decisions. I like to think of it as running a business in a sense. It’s kind of cool that it’s my own thing, and I’m not really working for anyone else. There’s not a lot of farmers, so I take pride in being a farmer and providing good quality milk. I think it’s pretty cool, anyway.

Do you have anyone that you consider a role model or that you take after?

For life in general, probably my grandfather. He ran the farm for many years and was successful with it. More or less, I really just don’t want to ruin the reputation the farm has – I want to build off what he created.

Can you tell me more about your family?

My mother is a big help with the racing stuff. Not necessarily with doing things on the car, but with moral support being at the track, and helping out with little stuff and picking things up that we need. We wouldn’t be able to do it without her. My sister has always been around the racing part of our lives too, and she comes and watches a few times throughout the summer; it’s nice having her there.

What’s your dream vacation?

I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. Not necessarily to do anything in particular, but just to see the land and what it’s like over there. I’ve always been interested in that.

If someone turned on the radio/media player in your car, what would they most likely be listening to?

Country music, no doubt. Jason Aldean is a favorite, but I’m not too picky.

If you were asked to appear on a TV show, which one would you want it to be and why?

I’d want to be on NASCAR Race Hub, because hopefully that would mean I’m a NASCAR driver. (Laughs) That would be kind of cool, obviously, because who doesn’t want to be a professional race car driver?

Are there any sports that you follow or play?

I used to play soccer in high school at People’s Academy. We actually won the Division III state championship in 2011; that was definitely a cool highlight for sports in my life. I played one year of basketball, and I still like watching basketball and following it. Obviously I watch racing when it’s in season, and I like any sort of playoff sports – they’re always exciting.

Who is your biggest supporter at the track?

I would probably say my mother, just because she’s always there like I said earlier. Between her and having a couple of guys that come every week to help, it’s nice to have their support – I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. Between them and family, it good to have people there to lend a hand. And even people who are at the race track in general – there’s a great group of people in the pits that, if you get in a bind, won’t think twice about helping you out. There’s a list probably too big to count. It’s great having those kinds of race car drivers and crew members around to help.

Who or what has had the greatest influence on your racing career?

Probably my dad, just from watching him race and seeing the “take no prisoners” attitude. I don’t want to be the exact same racer he was, for good and bad reasons, but you can’t be afraid to hold your own and be a little aggressive sometimes. But I’d like to think that I’m my own driver and I make my own decisions. If he tells me to do something, it doesn’t mean I’m going to do it. But he’s definitely had the greatest influence on me overall.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself doing the same work farming-wise. I’d like to be able to buy a house or maybe even build one at some point – sooner rather than later, but you never know what might happen in life to either speed things up or slow something like that down. Hopefully I’ll still be racing. Like I said, you never know what could happen, but the plan is still be racing. I’d be fine racing a Tiger or whatever else comes along.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Well, I’d buy that house I wanted. (Laughs) Apart from that, I’d hope that I would be smart with it. I mean, everyone’s going to splurge a little bit once you get that amount of money real quick, but I’d like to think that I’d try to save most of it and maybe invest it – nothing too crazy. That’s probably a lame answer, but you want to make it last for a while, right?