By T.J. Buffenbarger
(August 31, 2022) — Andrew Morfier is likely a name you don’t recognize. When you are the head flagman for a racetrack like Attica Raceway Park that is the desired result. Typically, if attention is on the person waving the flags something did not happen properly. Morfier will step into a higher profile role for 2023 taking over as Director of Operations at Attica Raceway Park.
When Attica’s current director of operations Rex LeJeune decided to step down back in June there was a lot of speculation of who would take over the post. After a variety of names were circulated the promoter John Bores made the decision to stay in house. Morfier’s experience at Attica goes back to just being a spectator at the 1/3-mile dirt oval.
“My dad started taking me to Attica when I was in probably middle school, and he knew John through the construction world,” said Moifier of his first experiences at Attica. “When he took over in 2006, I just started in the office that first year with Rex and John. I worked in the office, made a little money, and got to watch the features for free. I was in college, so it all worked out well.”
After college Morfier became an accountant in the construction industry during the week. On Friday night’s Morfier moved from the office to the front most seat for the racing action in the flag stand at Attica as the assistant to veteran starter Monte Collins in 2009. Once Collins decided to retire Morfier moved up into the head starter position in 2014.
Most of the track staff has indicated to Morfier they plan on staying on board after he takes over the helm on his own in January.
“I have been there since Rex and John started at 2006 in some capacity, so I think everybody pretty much knows of me,” said Morfier. “, Everyone has pretty much said that they’re willing to stay, which was definitely a concern of mine.”
Morfier left his perch on the flag stand and his accountant’s desk two weeks ago to begin the process of absorbing knowledge from LeJeune for the rest of the season. LeJeune plans to stay on board through January to make sure the handoff goes smoothly.
“I knew a lot of the stuff that Rex does on race day, just from being around, but there’s a lot behind the scenes that I have to learn,” said Morfier of the challenge ahead of his new position. “I keep my tablet with me and I’m writing down stuff all the time.”
One aspect of the position that was appealing to Morfier is being able to take over a well-known racing facility that has been managed well for the past 16 years, leaving the security of his construction desk job to take on the daunting world of operating a dirt track.
“Rex has big shoes to fill, but it’s not like he’s done the job half assed for the last year. We still have a quality program and (LeJeune) still cares. He’s always going to care about the place. That’s good for me too knowing I can call and ask him for advice if when I need it. Having John and Rex as the backbone all these years made this an easier choice.”
Morfier still plans on having LeJeune return for some of the biggest races to assist such as the Brad Doty Classic, which LeJeune confirmed.
“Rex still plans on coming out to help me for the Doty and the bigger races,” said Morfier. “Races like that are a yearlong process, it’s not just the week leading up to it.”
From now until January Morfier is trying to meet as many people as possible involved in the operation and absorb the years of knowledge gained by his predecessor.
“I’m trying to just be a sponge and absorb as much as I can before January.”
- Yesterday’s notebook was so large I had to dump some of the information into today’s edition, and I did leave out one thing I wanted to mention from the past weekend pointing out incredible run Brian Brown made to win the track championship at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday. After entering the night down 85 points to Aaron Reutzel for the point title in the 410-sprint car division going into Saturday’s event. Talking things over with some fellow writers we felt that championship was a lock compared the 360 and pro sprint titles that were still up for grabs.
Brown went out and won the makeup feature along with finishing third in the regularly scheduled main, capitalizing on Reutzel finishing 6th in his heat and 12th in the regularly scheduled main to take the title. The title was Brown’s 5th at Knoxville and tied him with Doug Wolfgang on the track’s all time win list with 60 victories.
- I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Terry McCarl winning another track championship at Knoxville Racweay, this time in the 360 sprint car division. At 57 years of age and having the title go down to the final night against veteran Clint Garner, this was far from a cakewalk for McCarl. While the stars of our sport retire at earlier ages than ever before it’s fun to see someone like McCarl still going out and competing and winning championships at his age.
- The news of Grandview Speedway’s likely demise was made public on Tuesday when track ownership announced their intentions of selling the facility to Copart. Other tracks have suffered a similar fate after being purchased by Copart in past years with several others being rumored as being potential Copart purchases before the end of the year.
This ends a 60 year run of one of the stronger east coast modified programs in Pennsylvania. There is at least one facility already looking at picking up the weekly program, but we have not yet heard if the Thunder on the Hill sprint car programs that a regularly part of Grandview’s schedule will find a new location.
- Make sure to keep track of Port Royal Speedway’s social media channels to keep up on teams coming out to Pennsylvania for the upcoming Tuscarora 50. McKenna Haase, Ayrton Gennetten, and Brian Brown are just a few of the invaders coming east to participate in Tuscarora weekend.
One of the drivers just announced today that will join the field at the Tuscarora 50 is Kasey Kahne, who is now off the Outlaw tour full time. Kahne was going for rookie of the year honors with the series before a series of hard crashes put them behind in the point standings. Those along with other mitigating factors now see Kahne going back to picking and choosing events the remainder of 2022.