Delaware Speedway Park sold

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Komoka, Ontario - During the year-end Delaware Speedway Park awards banquet, held Nov. 4 at the Hellenic Community Center in London, Ontario, it was announced that the half-mile stock car oval had been sold to longtime Delaware Track...

Komoka, Ontario - During the year-end Delaware Speedway Park awards banquet, held Nov. 4 at the Hellenic Community Center in London, Ontario, it was announced that the half-mile stock car oval had been sold to longtime Delaware Track Marketing Manager Brad McGonigle.

Delaware Speedway is widely accepted to be Canada's top dedicated oval racing facility, and plays host to a successful four-division Friday night card during the racing season. Additionally, the track - which is to celebrate its 50th season in 2001 - is the traditional home of CASCAR's Castrol Super Series, the nation's top motorsports series. The annual CARQUEST 500 Race Weekend, held each fall, is Canada's oldest, richest and biggest stock car race, drawing upwards of 25,000 fans.

In what was a surprise announcement, McGonigle purchased the multi-year lease to operate the track from longtime Delaware track owner and CASCAR founder Tony Novotny, who will stay on as part of the track's Board of Directors. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, it was revealed that Delaware and CASCAR have come to terms that will see three CASCAR Super Series race held at the track in 2001, which is one more than in recent seasons.

"I'm very happy to announce that myself and a group of four other investors, Dave McDonald, Dave Meldrum, John Sheppard and Arlen Scherba, have purchased Delaware Speedway Park from Tony Novotny," said McGonigle, during the announcement. "I've been involved in the management of the track for several years and am very confident that it will continue to grow and further enhance its position as the country's top stock car facility. We are committed to continuing our relationship with CASCAR. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Tony Novotny for his role in developing Canada's best racing facility. We are going to build upon his impressive legacy."

According to McGonigle, the track's existing management team will stay intact and Delaware Speedway Park will continue to operate out of the Komoka, ON office it shares with CASCAR. To the outside world, McGonigle believes, the transition will be virtually seamless.

"Buying the track is something I first approached Tony about in the spring," continued McGonigle. "At the time, he said he'd consider it. By July, I told him that I'd put together the financing. Things just proceeded from there and concluded with tonight's announcement at the banquet. The deal takes effect December 1, but for all purposes, it's already happened. With Tony being so busy with Performance Fiberglass, Darcey Novotny and I have been running the track and he's been approving the decisions. We're just eliminating this last step."

The track's lease has been re-negotiated and will see McGonigle's group run the track for at least the next ten years. "The bottom line is that we've had a couple of meetings with the landlord. He's always been very supportive of the use of the land. The property will house a stock car oval for the entire term of our agreements and beyond. It will always be a racetrack," said McGonigle.

Regarding his plans for upgrades to Delaware Speedway Park, McGonigle says several initiatives are planned, but his preference is to unveil them as they are to be implemented. The conversion of a portion of the field behind the track's backstraight into camping facilities for use during the Speedway's special events was one of the only hints divulged.

"We are continuing with our aggressive program of enhancements to the facility. Some of the work will be evident by the time the track opens in 2001, and others will commence as aspects of our business plan unfold." Tony Novotny sold CASCAR to Bill and Alan Darmon in the spring of 1999. His sale of Delaware to McGonigle and his group of investors will allow him to dedicate himself to Performance Fibreglass, his race car body fabricating business which has become extremely busy of late.

"Building the track to where it is today has been a long and rewarding road," said Novotny, who owned and operated the track since 1979. "I'm proud of what we accomplished and am confident that Brad and the team he has in place will continue to build on those achievements."

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Series AUTOMOTIVE , NASCAR-CDN