January 8th, 2004
KIRKWOOD, NY…Preparations are being made for the 54th consecutive year of racing at Five Mile Point Speedway. Race of Champions owner, Andrew Harpell has been named the new track operator of the historic ¼ mile clay oval. The 2004 season opener is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 8th.
Harpell, is no stranger to Five Mile Point Speedway as he grew up attending races at the facility his grandfather Irv Heath built in 1951. The family operated business has been owned by Anna Heath since the passing of Mr. Heath in 1965. Harpell served as the Public Relations and Marketing Director at the speedway during the 1988 and 1989 racing seasons. His brother Dan had operated the facility for 15 years before deciding to host his final event at the facility this past fall.
Andrew Harpell operated the asphalt surfaced Tioga Speedway for eight years from 1993-2000 and during that time helped to establish the Race of Champions Modified Tour. The R.o.C Modified touring series is entering its 11th consecutive season of operation and will continue under his direction as well in 2004. The R.o.C tour each year leads up to the Sunoco Race of Champions at Oswego Speedway. This fall will be the 54th annual running of the fall classic.
"I am absolutely thrilled with the prospect of returning to Five Mile Point Speedway", stated Harpell. "Growing up at the speedway and being a part of the tremendous history is something that I am very proud of." "We expect to create a lot of excitement for drivers and spectators this season at the Point", he added.
The tentative 2004 schedule will see the return of the Big Block powered Modifieds. They will compete weekly with the Small Block Modifieds that were featured last season. "The big block powered teams will certainly be welcome to compete this season but it was evident at the last event of 2003 that the small block powered cars will have the advantage on the race track", stated Harpell. Those comments were in reference to the dominance the small block cars showed by capturing the top four positions in the season finale that featured both types of cars.
The Sportsman Modifieds will return to the speedway for weekly competition with a number of special events anticipated throughout the 2004 season. Five Mile Point Speedway was the first southern tier facility to run the Sportsman division and they will make their weekly return for the first time since the 2001 season.
A new race surface will be in place for opening day with work already in process at the facility. Currently work is being done on the first and second turn embankments off the speedway surface to provide teams with a gradual run off area. A new ticket building is already on site at the facility with a number of other ambitious projects expected to take place as well.
Mark your calendars now as the 54th year of racing at Five Mile Point Speedway will begin on Saturday, May 8th. For additional information please contact the Five Mile Point Speedway offices at (607) 775-5555.