NASCAR Relieves Lee Roy of Duties in Camping World East Series by Penny Aicardi
Series Director is Replaced After Six Years in Office
The NASCAR Camping World Series East was taken aback in the past several days when rumor quickly spread that series director Lee Roy had been relieved of his duties only two races into the 2008 season. NASCAR has not officially announced the release, but Roy confirmed the move this week by phone.
Roy took over the position after the departure of the late Bunk Sampson in 2001 and over the last 6 1⁄2 years has been instrumental in the growth of the series. Under his watch, the Camping World Series East has become a starting point for up-and-coming developmental drivers, particularly from the Sprint Cup Series teams. Teams like Joe Gibbs Racing, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Ken Schrader Racing use the series as a training ground for their young upstarts.
Roy, who took over when the series was called the NASCAR Busch North, brought the series up from a Northeastern regional touring division to a series that now travels most of the Eastern seaboard.
“It's the nature of the beast,” said Roy. “I'm disappointed, but my life goes on. I enjoyed the time that I was there. I surrounded myself with good people, and I think the staff that was there did a great job. It's been a good run.”
Roy's departure comes after two highly controversial disqualifications. At the season opener at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) last month, Peyton Sellers, a driver for Andy Santerre Motorsports, lost the win for a shock violation. More recently, at Iowa Speedway, Marc Davis, a developmental driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, was disqualified for a missing oil pan cover. Whether or not NASCAR decided to let Roy go because of the disqualifications is unclear.
The Hartford Courant has reported that Les Westerfield, the now-defunct Elite Series former director, will fill Roy's position. As for Roy, he plans to spend more time with his family.
“I'll do much of what I've done over the last couple of days. I got together with my family, did some things around the house that needed to be done, and I went fishing with my grandson. I worked for (NASCAR) longer than I had anticipated and now I'm just going to enjoy my retirement. I've got a beautiful spot here on Lake Champlain, and I couldn't ask for better. I'll be all right. Racing is in my blood so I'm sure you'll see me show up at a racetrack now and then.”
Lee Roy (Center) talks with New Hampshire Motor Speedway's Jerry Gappens (Left) and NASCAR's Brett Bodine (Right) at an open test there recently. (NHMS Photo)