Pavement Modified racing in the upstate New York and Pennsylvania area is currently a bit of a mystery.
This week it was announced that a new tour, the American Modified Pavement Series, was created by Chris Zacharias. In a Speed51.com exclusive, Zacharias said that he had a few dates scheduled for the inaugural six-race series, including one at Chemung Speedrome in New York on May 1.
The Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series had already been scheduled for the May 1 date at the southern tier track.
The mystery was cleared up, a bit, by track owner John White.
“The intention is to keep the race (with RoC) as originally planned,” explained White. “We are definitely going to have the race on that date. We haven’t changed anything as far as that goes.”
White did admit that the reported legal battle regarding the sale of the Race of Champions has him musing over a back-up plan for the date if needed.
“Originally we had set a date with Joe (Skotnicki, RoC), but there are things going around now with Andrew (Harpell, former owner of the RoC brand). I don’t know what might be coming down the pipe legally. We just want to make sure that we don’t have any problems with the legality of the name RoC and anything along those lines. We just want to make sure that we do the right thing.
“If something does happen as far as litigation, we’ll have to decide something at that point,” continued White. “I don’t know how that’s going to go on; maybe something will (get) settled beforehand. Right now we are going along as planned; we are just trying to be prepared for what does happen. If it can’t be done (the RoC race) for legal reasons, then we would look at other options and that (the American Modified Pavement Series) would be an option.”
So, according to White, at this time there is no American Modified Pavement Series date scheduled for Chemung Speedrome on May 1. He currently is retaining his original commitment to the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series, but admits that the AMPS or an independent Tour-Type Modified race are options if the legal battle between Skotnicki and Harpell prevent the RoC race to occur.
Skotnicki said he would not comment on the series and deferred any response on the situation to his lawyer.
Skotnicki purchased both the RoC asphalt and dirt modified series and the naming rights mid-2015 from Andrew Harpell. An alleged legal battle regarding the payment for the purchase has been made known during the winter months.
A couple weeks ago, Skotnicki’s lawyer released a statement that claimed an initial payment in excess of $100,000 was made to Harpell last June.
In the agreement, the legal team claims “the two most important issues were, first, the series would be delivered after the completion of the 2015 season 100% debt-free. Second, the remaining balance of the sale price would be made in five payments, the first of which was scheduled for January 1, 2016.”
The issue between the parties stem from alleged debt Harpell incurred with several parties. Skotnicki’s lawyer stated the January 1 payment is currently in an escrow account and will be delivered to Harpell once the alleged debts are paid to competitors and vendors that are owed money.
The initial Race of Champions event under Skotnicki’s banner is a dirt series race scheduled for this Saturday, March 19 at Selinsgrove Speedway in Pennsylvania. The RoC Asphalt Modified Series is slated to kickoff at Mahoning Valley Speedway in the Keystone State on April 9.
Speed51.com is a proud partner of the RoC Asphalt and Dirt Modified Series in 2016. 51 will continue to keep fans informed of any news regarding the RoC, the legal battle between Skotnicki and Harpell and the American Modified Pavement Series once it becomes available.
By Bob Dillner, Executive Editor, Speed51.com – Twitter: @bobdillner
Photo Credit: MoJo Photos