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Holland Speedway returns to old name amid management change

In another upheaval of Western New York's auto racing scene, stock car plans at Holland Speedway are "to be determined" after a court ruling terminated the promotional agreement between Daniel J. Hutchinson and the track's owners.

Operations at the Southern Erie County asphalt oval have been returned to Pinelawn Enterprises, controlled by track owners Ron Bennett and Gordon Becker.

Bennett's son, Ron Bennett Jr., will handle the day-to-day management.

Ron Bennett Sr. said the Holland track, which was renamed by Hutchinson in 2018 as the Track at Hillside, will revert back to Holland Speedway, which was the name for most of its six decades.

He also said he intends to put the track up for sale or lease.

The speedway is located on property that also includes the paintball park.

Bennett Sr. declined to discuss specifics of the case. Hutchinson's attorney, David Kloss, said the court proceeding was a "matter of formalization" of the arrangement for Hutchinson to no longer be part of track management.

"Daniel has another business and Daniel is concentrating now on his core business outside of racing," Kloss said. "Ron and Daniel remain good friends."

Hutchinson has not replied to messages in the last month seeking information on his plans for the track.

What lies ahead for racing at Holland?

"I know that there's going to be a rush of people who are going to be asking if the speedway is going to open in two weeks," Bennett said. "That's not going to happen. What were looking at is the condition of the property. We have to repair and reset the property. It is not in good shape. ...

"The only thing that we would probably do is review the schedule and probably host the 12th year of running Crash-A-Rama. But right now we're not going to try to commit to anything as we try to put this place back together.

"I'm not going to try to walk back into it and race without any sponsorships, promotions or anything. These things are usually done in the offseason. Remember that the track last year was run by someone else and now it's been returned to me."

Last season, the speedway suffered its worst season with the smallest race fields and grandstand attendance in the track's long history. Many races were run with less than 100 patrons in the grandstand and 50 cars or less in the pits.

Hutchinson released a tentative 2019 schedule last fall but has provided no additional details since. Drivers' meetings have not been held in preparation for the season.

Bennett began to pursue alternative options in recent weeks, ultimately filing with the court April 19.

Holland's name change is the second for a local asphalt racing track in less than a week. Last week, the new owners of what was Lancaster National Speedway changed that track's name to New York International Raceway Park.

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