NORTHEAST: Dan Harpell Named New Promoter At Penn Can Speedway

RaceChaser Staff Asphalt Modifieds, Dirt Modifieds, Dirt Track Racing, Northeast, Other Dirt Late Models, Sprints & Midgets, Super DIRTcar Series 0 Comments

SUSQUEHANNA, PA — Official Release — Photo Courtesy Penn Can Speedway

After eighteen years at the helm of Penn Can Speedway in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania the promotional team of Reed Miller and Al Wilcox are stepping away from the day to day operation of the speedway.  During the last two months Miller and Wilcox have been talking with prospective operators to ensure the continued operation of the popular Friday night speedway. The transition to the new promoter is now complete and Dan Harpell of Kirkwood, New York will be the new promoter of the speedway in 2015.

“We spoke with quite a few people interested in running the speedway,” explains Miller. “We wanted someone to come in and seamlessly take over with as few changes as possible. Dan shared our thinking and with his knowledge of race track preparation and the business end of promoting, he was a natural fit.”

The Wilcox/Miller promotional team ran their first event in the spring of 1997. During their tenure at the helm of the speedway, Miller and Wilcox spent countless hours and money to completely rebuild the speedway. New buildings were constructed and new walls replaced the old dirt banks and tires. The grandstand was replaced and new lighting was installed.

Miller and Wilcox also started bringing in new divisions and scheduling bigger higher paying events not previously run at the three eighths mile oval. The Patriot Sprints, URC Sprints, ARDC Midgets, Short Track Super Series Tour along with the Race of Champions Modified, Sportsman and Street Stock Tours have all competed at Penn Can. The Speedway was a charter member of the RoC Modified Tour and has run races every year and will continue to do so.

Wilcox and Miller will not be retiring from the sport completely. Wilcox, along with his wife Paula, is the owner of Trackside Products in Endicott, New York. Wilcox plans to continue the operations of his successful business. He will also be servicing local tracks with his parts trailer and will continue as the local dealer for American Racer Tires and VP Racing Fuels.

Miller will continue on with Penn Can Speedway as a consultant to the new promoter. While not running the day to day operations at the track, Miller will be in the background assisting when needed. He will also be pursuing other interests in the sport.

Harpell has been involved in the motorsports industry his entire life. He also has previously worked at Penn Can serving as Race Director for a number of years before leaving last year to run Yates County Speedway in Dundee, New York. His promotional resume includes early years working for the DIRT organization as Director of Marketing and Public Relations before leaving to take over control of the family owned Five Mile Point Speedway, which he ran for 15 years.

He recently became the new Promoter of Yates County Speedway where he completed a very successful first season. He also has been the man in charge of track preparation at the Utica Rome Speedway for the last several years.

“I am really excited about becoming the new Promoter of Penn Can Speedway and look forward to continuing the rich history and tradition of the track”, said Harpell.  “Reed and Al have done an outstanding job transforming the speedway into what it is today.  Racers and fans can expect a smooth transition with little or no changes.  There is a great staff in place and having worked there as Race Director for several years I am confident that we will pick up right where they left off and continue to provide a great night of racing for all to enjoy”, he added.

Harpell, who spent the 2014 season as Promoter at Yates County Speedway, plans to continue in that capacity as well in 2015.  His three sons, Tyler, Tanner and Tucker will all play an important role in the operation of both tracks.

“My sons have literally spent their entire lives around racing and have been doing track prep since they were old enough to see over the steering wheel.  They have worked on the track at Five Mile Point, Utica Rome and most recently Yates County”, said Harpell.  “They will play a huge, and significantly expanded, role at both tracks in 2015”, he added.

The 2015 Penn Can racing schedule is currently being constructed and will be announced in the near future.  Expect a very similar schedule as last year with a couple of exciting additions.  No significant rule changes are anticipated for the upcoming season, although as is the case every off season, they will all be reviewed to make sure they are up to date with industry standards.

While one chapter closes on the history of Penn Can Speedway, a new chapter begins.  The future is bright for the Susquehanna, Pennsylvania oval as a new era begins.

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