DUNDEE, NY…After a few weeks of negotiations, Dan Harpell has reached an agreement to take over as the Promoter of Black Rock Speedway in Dundee, New York. Harpell will lease the facility to conduct motorsports events, replacing Dean Hoag, who has owned and operated the track for the past nine years.
Harpell, who has spent his entire life in motorsports, signed a letter of intent with Hoag on March 21st to take over as Promoter of the Yates County oval. The final lease agreement is scheduled to be finalized this week.
“I am really excited to be the new Promoter at Black Rock Speedway”, said Harpell. The deal came together rather quickly. “Dean approached me at the Southern Tier Speedworld car show that I promoted at the Oakdale Mall a few weeks ago. He asked me if I had any interest in leasing the track from him as he was looking to get out”, said Harpell. “We have talked for the past few weeks and worked out the details and it all just made a lot of sense to me. It’s no secret that I have really missed promoting races since I stepped down at Five Mile Point after the 2003 season. This is a great opportunity get back into promoting a sport that I am very passionate about”, he added.
Harpell, whose grandparents Irv and Anna Heath built Five Mile Point Speedway in Kirkwood, New York, was that tracks Promoter for 15 years before stepping down after the 2003 season. His brother Andrew is the current owner of the quarter mile oval, which begins its 64th consecutive year of auto racing on April 6th.
After graduating from Brockport State with a degree in Sports Management, Harpell did an internship with the then New Jersey Nets of the NBA. He then served as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for DIRT Motorsports in the mid 1980’s. He did Public Relations work for Fulton Speedway during the formulative years of the “Victoria 200” and also worked for Gater Racing News. He is no stranger to Black Rock as he served as Race Director and Public Relations Director for two years at the Dundee oval in the late 1980’s. Harpell leased the facility in 2012 to run the “RoC at the Rock” Race of Champions Dirt Modified Series event.
In addition to his promotional duties, Harpell has been at the controls of the grader for the past 25 years at Five Mile Point. In recent years he has also been the Race Director at Penn Can Speedway (Susquehanna, PA) and has done the track prep at the Utica Rome Speedway (Vernon, NY). He will continue his work at Five Mile and Utica Rome but will not be able to return to Penn Can because they too are a Friday night track. “I am really excited about the challenge of taking over as Promoter of Black Rock Speedway”, said Harpell. I have been in the racing business for 30 years and bring a wealth of experience to the table. I am confident that I will bring a high level of excitement to Black Rock for both the fans and drivers alike. We have a lot to get done in a short period of time to get ready. I can’t wait to get started”, he added.
Harpell will have the help of his three sons Tyler, Tanner and Tucker to not only get the track up and running, but throughout the entire season as well. All three have been running equipment since they were old enough to see over the steering wheel. Tyler will be one of the two track announcers this year, a position that he has held in recent years at Five Mile Point and Penn Can. Tanner and Tucker are both racers but will focus their attention at Black Rock to track prep, which they also do at Five Mile and Utica Rome.
The new revised 2014 schedule will be out soon with some exciting changes and additions to what Dean Hoag had released at the recent car shows. Rules that were already set for the 2014 season will remain in place. “It’s a little late to be making wholesale changes to the classes and the schedule”, said Harpell. “We will tweak a few things for now and then evaluate everything at the end of the season to see what changes, if any, will be made for the 2015 season”, he added.
The track will host two weeks of practice on April 18th and 25th before the official Grand Opening on Friday, May 2nd featuring a full show of the weekly classes along with a visit by the CRSA Sprint Cars. “We want to hold a couple of practice sessions so we can get a handle on what the track surface will need to be ready for a full night of racing”, said Harpell.
Harpell will also look at ways to expedite the lines at the concession stands to better serve the customers. “We will take a look at every aspect of the operation, both on and off the track, and make changes when and where necessary to give everyone a high quality night of entertainment”, said Harpell.
Fans and drivers can expect several more exciting announcements to be released in the next few weeks. “We obviously are getting a late start and have a lot to get done. Having said that, we already have a lot of things in place and I am confident that everyone will be happy with the news that will be coming out in the next few weeks”, said Harpell.
Harpell can currently be reached for questions by email at email@example.com or by phone at 607-595-4100. Get ready for an exciting 2014 racing season at Black Rock Speedway as new Promoter Dan Harpell embarks on a new era at the Yates County oval.