AUDIO/FEATURE: Dan Harpell Ready to Start Second Season Since Return to Penn Can

Steven Ovens Asphalt Modifieds, Audio, Dirt Modifieds, Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Northeast, Other Dirt Late Models, Other Sprint Cars, Street Stocks 0 Comments

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Story and audio by Race Chaser Online New York Dirt Correspondent Steven Ovens – Penn Can Speedway photo –

If you ever have a couple hours on your hands and want to hear some of the best dirt trackin’ stories on the East Coast, Dan Harpell would make the short list of people you’d want to call up.

There aren’t many situations that you can put Harpell in as a race promoter, speedway marketing rep or track groomer that he hasn’t faced in his many years in the sport. His family has owned and operated Five Mile Point Speedway for better than 60 years, he was a top official working for Glenn Donnelly back in the successful Dirt Motorsports days and he has been a successful track promoter since that time.

One of Race Chaser Online’s first experiences with Harpell was working on the media side of things in Dundee, N.Y. when Harpell promoted Yates County Speedway, now purchased and re-named Outlaw Speedway. Harpell took a facility that was headed for an unknown future and made moves and decisions that started that speedway back on the path to prominence.

When Harpell was quite underhandedly ousted as promoter in Dundee, his three dedicated sons helped him brush things off and embark on a new opportunity. That new opportunity was a ‘return home’ of sorts, as he would take over the reins at Susquehanna, Pennsylvania’s Penn Can Speedway.

It was a return home as Harpell had previously promoted the Friday night dirt track which was located less than an hour away from his family’s home at Five Mile Point. Although it had been many years since he had promoted “The Can”, he jumped in with both feet — making it a three-day weekend of working Penn Can Fridays, Five Mile Point Saturdays and doing track prep at Utica-Rome on Sundays.

There were a lot of learning lessons and challenges Harpell had to overcome in his first year back at Penn Can. Turn 5 Live talked to Harpell at about this time last season, and he was just finishing up with a Pennsylvania Department of Health food preparation regulatory class — the ‘perks’ of being the man in charge.

The crew ran into Harpell at Motorsports Expo 2016 in Syracuse a couple weeks ago and talked about all things Penn Can for the upcoming season. Many of the changes include Modified tires, the addition of Crate Late Models, the STAR Series and their season opener on Saturday, and all of them were fair game.


Take a listen to our audio interview with Penn Can Speedway promoter Dan Harpell:


About the Writer

Steven Ovens is the Northeast Dirt Correspondent for Race Chaser Online and the creator and host of the Turn 5 Live dirt track racing radio show, airing at 7:30 p.m. Eastern every Tuesday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Ovens has spent his lifetime in the sport of dirt track racing, growing up in the garages of the Kerrick and Ovens families. He spent 11 years behind the wheel between go-karts and 4 Cylinder Mini Stocks which brings a unique perspective to his dirt track editorials.

The 29-year-old has a career in the growing health care business world, and is also serving as the full-time announcer and PR Director for both Outlaw Speedway (formerly Black Rock Speedway) in Dundee, N.Y. and Woodhull Raceway in Woodhull, N.Y.

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