BARRE, Vt. - Take a look at the drivers in Thunder Road's victory lane. The winners look, more or less, the same. Young guys, they are men, not boys. And they've run the gamete several times before. You'd never expect someone like this, to lift the checkered flag.
Peyton Lanphear, a three-time street stock winner, is only 16.
Steve: "Do you have your drivers license?
Peyton: "No I'm a bad driver on the road!"
Steve: "No way, when do you get your license?"
Peyton: "Uhh when I pass the driver's test!"
As her sister Reiley so eloquently puts it:
"Yeah, this is the only thing she's good at driving."
And she is good at it. A year ago, a 15-year old Peyton became the youngest driver ever to win a feature race at Thunder Road.
She recalls, "My sister didn't talk to me for a week! Why not? I think she was just upset that I got it before her, but it happens."
Not to worry, this May, 17-year old Reilly got her win. She thinks, she's have a longer career than her sister.
Reilly says, "I let her borrow my car a few times, and she decided to roll it over, barrel roll it. I have a four-runner she's almost wrecked that a few times."
In a couple of years, both Reilly and Peyton Lanphear will have graduated from high school. That doesn't mean they're done racing here at Thunder Road. Dad's got a couple of Flying Tigers and a Late Model ready to go.
Reilly says, "My dad thinks (the late model) is his, but we're gonna flip a quarter and take turns."
Dad is Mark Lanphear. A 5-time winner on the quarter mile, he's with with his daughters every step of the way, at least, on the track. At school, the life of a teenage racecar driver isn't as glamorous as you might think.
Mark tells us, "Even as well as they do, they get picked on a lot. Kind of like a little bit of bullying and it got really bad."
Teenage girls in a grown man's sport. Peyton and Reilly Lanphear are harshly judged each and every day. But a chance to speak with the sisters shows just how strong they've become.
"Lots of people make fun of me for it," says Peyton,
Reilly adds, "We're definitely an outcast at school, but we're just showing them what we can do now!"
Four wins between the pair and no signs of stopping. The Lanphear's are an inspiration for the next generation of drivers.
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