There has been an ownership change for the Race of Champions Pavement Series. Andrew Harpell has operated the pavement Modified Series that runs primary in the upstate New York and Pennsylvania region for the past 20 years. Beginning in 2016 the series will be owned and operated by Joe Skotnicki.
The information was first learned at Lancaster Speedway’s RoC Modified Tour race last Thursday. Racers were taken into a closed-door meeting to be told of the change that will take effect the first of the year.
Skotnicki is currently the Vice President of Strategy and Operations for Lancaster Speedway, located just outside of Buffalo, NY. He is currently aiding the renovation of the historic facility. Skotnicki is a long-time participant in racing, from serving as a spotter for teams on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to working directly for NASCAR and most recently the World Racing Group as Director of the Super DIRTcar Series.
The ownership change also affects the Race of Champions Dirt Tour, which has been a popular Dirt Modified Series in the same general area. Harpell informed us that both series will operate in 2016 under the new ownership.
“Joe Skotnicki has agreed to purchase the RoC, which includes the dirt, the asphalt and the 200 (Race of Champions event currently at Oswego Speedway, NY). Technically the full transfer will happen after the first of the year. Nothing is changing in my world this year. We’re going to keep working hard and doing the things we need to do,” said Harpell, who took over the Race of Champions name with then partner Alex Friesen back in 1994.
The RoC pavement tour consists of 13 races in 2015; currently Patrick Emerling leads the standings. The dirt circuit is holding 11 races this year; currently Stewart Friesen leads the standings.
Harpell told Speed51.com powered by JEGS that concentrating on his family’s racetrack in upstate New York, Five Mile Point Speedway, will be what he will concentrate on in the years to come. We will have more on this story tomorrow on 51.
However, there was a rumor that a purse not being paid from the ShangriLa-2 Speedway pavement series race was the reason for the ownership transfer, but Harpell was quick to note that this was not the case. In fact, he said that the purse has subsequently been paid for since the news had spread about situation between the track and the series.
For more on this development, tune into Speed51.com powered by JEGS on Tuesday.
Story by: Bob Dillner, Executive Editor, Speed51.com – Twitter: @bobdillner