Just days after Elegant Builders Raceway Park promoter Ralph Galluzzi announced that stock car racing had ended after 55 years of competition at the Lancaster asphalt facility, race track owner Gordon Reger has thrown a red flag.
Reger says that stock car racing will return to EBRP in 2015 and that Galluzzi will no longer be part of it.
“After I saw the article in the Buffalo News I had a meeting with Ralph yesterday,” Reger said Friday afternoon. “I told Ralph that I think he sent a message that I didn’t want to have sent.
“The truth is, that while the stock car program is not going to run for the rest of this season, I want all to know, especially our stock car drivers, sponsors and fans, that there will be a stock car program here next year. There is no need for them to look to go racing anywhere else in 2015.”
Earlier this week, Galluzzi said that he was ending the stock car program, effective immediately, due to what he described as major financial problems with the program. The decision did not affect the IHRA weekly drag racing program or other non-stock car events.
Reger and his company, Lancaster Properties LLC, owns the dual stock car-drag racing facility. Galluzzi has a lease with Reger – that began in 2008 and expires after this year – that allows Galluzzi to promote, market, manage and direct all racing programs at EBRP.
“Ralph will not be back running the stock car program next year,” Reger said. “The lease I currently have with him expires this year and will not be renewed. I have a couple of different groups that I am involved with, and we are having very serious discussions about them either leasing or buying the track for the future.
“One of those groups asked if they could still have Ralph involved with the drag racing program, and, depending on what happens, that will be determined in the future.”
When reached Friday afternoon, Galluzzi gave only a brief comment.
“I hope that they can find somebody who will do a good job of running the stock car program next year,” he said.
Reger also addressed an effort to save this year’s Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial stock car race, which had been scheduled for tonight.
“I also know that there are some people out there who are working to at least try” to bring it back, Reger said. “They’re looking to run it in mid-September and maybe they will if the details can be worked out. For now, my focus is on next year and beyond.”
When asked if he plans to put funding into fixing long-existing physical structure woes at EBRP, including a run-down grandstand, Reger says plans are now underway.
“I have some major capital improvements planned for the future and one of the groups I’m discussing the track’s future with has a good amount of capital which could be invested into the track’s physical structure,” said Reger.
EBRP, which has been known by several other names throughout the years, most notably Lancaster National Speedway, has had a glorious stock car racing past until recent years.
For the sake of this area’s racing community, which has made the track’s stock car program a local institution for decades, hope is out there that perhaps better days are ahead.
“For whatever has happened in recent times, next season, the green flag will once again fly over the stock cars here at my track,” said Reger, “just as it has for decades.”