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2015 Eastern Motorsport Press Association Convention wraps up

A weekend of EMPA media activities culminated today in the Liberty Convention Center at the Crown Plaza Hotel

KING OF PRUSSIA, PaIMG_0767. – A weekend of Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) media activities culminated today in the Liberty Convention Center at the Crown Plaza Hotel, where representatives from 13 motorsports facilities and sanctioning bodies gathered to discuss industry trends, issues, and, most importantly – the upcoming 2015 race season.

The new year has arrived. New Jersey Motorsports Park will hold its first public track day on Saturday, January 24th, with a pre-season job fair in the works – and the season-opening April 25 Garden State Endurance Challenge appearing on the horizon.

NJMP Manager of Communications Chris Banker spoke in the 130-seat amphitheater in front of industry peers and reporters.

Presenting guests included Kevin Heaney (Pocono Raceway), Kate Guerra (Verizon IndyCar Series), Don Radebaugh (ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards), and Tim Southers (NASCAR), among several others from racing facilities and sanctioning bodies.

The keynote speaker was legendary motorsports broadcaster Ken Squier, a previous inductee to the Eastern Motorsport Press Association Hall of Fame.

Below are some clips from Banker, who participated in the Convention for the second straight year.

On the season-opening Garden State Endurance Challenge, scheduled to feature four 12-hour endurance races on April 25th:

“I don’t know if there’s a better way to kick off our season. We wanted to put together a unique event that celebrates the history of endurance racing, both in New Jersey and beyond, and I think people are excited for it. To combine what is a great regional SCCA event in the Devil in the Dark, ChumpCar World Series, along with MiniGP and Endurance Karting races on the karting track, that weekend is truly going to have something for everyone.

On the ARCA Racing Series’ eighth straight visit to Millville:

“I think that’s a testament to the tradition that we’ve built with the ARCA Racing Series. We’ve had eight races that have given us some of the best finishes in our history. Don [Radebaugh] can vouch for this, I think we’ve had at least two or three last-lap passes for the win during that stretch. We’ve had guys like Andrew Ranger, Andy Lally, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Chase Elliott as part of these races over the years, and the list goes on. We’re really looking forward to it.

On the 2015 “Weekend of Thunder” featuring Trans-Am Championship and Formula Lites:

The Trans-Am Championship is one of the fastest growing pro series in racing. Those entry lists are multiplying; I believe they had some fields between 45 and 50 cars at Mid-Ohio and Road America last year during the NASCAR Nationwide weekends. We’re thrilled to have them back. Formula Lites, a new SCCA Pro Racing series, unveiled their car at SEMA late last year. The interest and entry lists are growing with them as well.

On attracting new events, on and off the track:

If you look at our schedule, there aren’t too many in racing that can match its diversity. We go from big rigs in April to stock cars in May, vintage motorcycles in June, monster trucks in August, and some of the best motorcycle racing in North America to finish up in September. We’ve also recently announced an agreement with the Warrior Dash, the world’s largest obstacle race series, for an August 8th date at NJMP.

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