AUDIO/FEATURE: Black Rock Speedway Changes Hands; ESS to Return in 2014

Steven Ovens Audio, Featured, Northeast, Other Sprint Cars, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

April 4, 2014 — Story and Audio by RaceChaser Online New York correspondent Steven Ovens — Photo by J&H Photos — DUNDEE, N.Y. — Race fans in Yates County, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier have been abuzz since the March 23rd announcement that Dan Harpell has leased the newly re-named Yates County Speedway in Dundee, New York.

Harpell will assume 100% control of the speedway in a lease from previous owner Dean Hoag, and in just over a week’s time, the changes are jaw-dropping and exciting to say the least.

Change is something that has been painfully needed at the Speedway.  Yates County (formerly known as Black Rock Speedway) has been for sale for the past 2-3 seasons with owner Dean Hoag looking to get out of the track ownership side of motorsports.  However some recent changes within his family has ramped up the track sale/leasing process.

Dean’s father Dutch Hoag, a local dirt legend in his own right, has battled back from a Stroke suffered over the winter months.  He has spent a great deal of time with his father post-stroke and has seen that spending time with family trumps trying to run and promote the Yates County speedplant, a job that Hoag admits has been 24/7/365 since he took over 9 seasons ago.

The next generation of Hoag racing is set to return to the Steel Palace in May of this year as son Alex Hoag sets out on his first full season run in the Small-Block Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway.  He will certainly have an excellent tutor in his father Dean.  Dean won many races and an SBS championship at the Speedway and was even recently inducted into the Speedway’s Hall of Fame.

With Dan Harpell emerging as the new leader at Black Rock Speedway, several changes are certainly going to happen starting with Harpell’s family.  His sons Tyler, Tanner and Tucker will be called upon both on and off the speedway to help make the new Black Rock Speedway successful.

Tyler has been tapped to sit in the announcer’s chair, having been announcing at the Five Mile Point Speedway and Penn-Can Speedway previously.  Tanner and Tucker will help father Dan with track preparation and may climb behind the wheel of their own racers a time or two during the season.  All three Harpell sons have been behind the wheel of track preparation equipment since they could reach the pedals.

Although the classes and schedule announced by Hoag in early March would remain essentially the same, there will be some additions as time goes on.  One big change was just announced this past Thursday as Harpell announced to the racing community that the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints would return on Friday night July 18th.

It has been years since ESS has graced Yates County but rest assured you will want to get there early on that particular Friday night when the cars and stars of ESS return.

Yates County Speedway officially opens for the first race of the season on Friday night, April 25th.


Listen in as Harpell sat down with the cast of the Turn 5 Racing Podcast to talk about taking over the speedway, his family’s involvement and what he sees for a new era in the history of Black Rock Speedway:

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