Lancaster Speedway owner Gordon Reger has not changed his stance that if he does not sell the Gunnville Road dual stock car/drag racing facility there will be no racing, but he has not given up hope even as the usual start of the racing season draws near.
Reger told The News that he is talking to three prospective buyers and is taking steps to try to assist with a transition should a sale happen.
Lancaster typically opens its racing season in very late April or early May. The track has presented motorsports competition almost continuously since it first opened in 1959.
"If I had a dollar for every rumor that I have been told or that I have heard about the sale of this track over the last few months, that would be plenty enough money for someone to buy my track," Reger said. "Here's where it's at. Currently I have three parties I am talking to that have expressed an interest to me in wanting to buy my track. What needs to be stressed, however, is as of yet not one of them has come forward and made an actual offer.
"Earlier this winter, I had a party that was interested but lowballed the price and I'm not going to sell this track for anything less than what I feel is fair market value. So far, no one has come forward and offered me the price I feel is fair. That's essentially why there has been no sale."
Reger declined to discuss the price he is seeking or the specifics of the previous offer.
He said that he has no deadline for how long he'll wait for a sale to be made. When asked if he would demolish the track without a sale, Reger said that he is not looking to do that at this time.
Reger has owned Lancaster for most of the last two decades. From 2016 until the conclusion of last September, Tim Packman worked for Reger as his track president and helped to bring the track back to some prosperity with increased car counts and fan attendance. Packman left after his contract was up at Lancaster last fall to pursue other career avenues, eventually becoming president of Memphis International Raceway.
Reger decided last fall to sell the track rather than replace Packman.
He said he is getting essential items in place that a new owner would need in order to open the track in case a deal can be struck for this season.
"Although I will not operate the racetrack myself this season if I still own it, I am in the process of securing all the operating permits that the new track owner would need to open the track in a timely fashion," Reger said. "It would be a turnkey operation situation that would allow the new owner to open the track in a much quicker and smoother transition. The fact that it would be turnkey is important."
If Lancaster were to close, it would be the second local track to shut down within the last two years. For a variety of reasons, including dwindling car counts and spectator attendance, Little Valley Speedway closed its 2017 season.
While the odds at this point appear slim for Lancaster to open again, Reger said he remains hopeful a sale will happen and racing can resume.
"What I want to say to the racing public is that I know how much the track means to many people, but I don't want to run it anymore," Reger said. "My sincere hope is that I can find a buyer who is willing to offer a fair market price and that the sale can be done so that racing can continue to run there for many years to come.
"I just need someone to give the right offer and then it can happen. We'll see."