Leonard J. Sammons, Jr.
The founder, first editor and first publisher of Area Auto Racing News, accountant Leonard J. Sammons Jr. was a racing fan who felt that the local short tracks needed better and more in-depth coverage. So, in 1963, he began publishing a four-page tabloid in Trenton, New Jersey, that was the first regional racing paper in the country.
From that humble beginning, AARN eventually expanded itself to become one of North America’s most respected auto racing trade weeklies and the paper now averages 64 pages over a 50-week season with a high of 116 pages for special editions.
AARN includes top-notch color photography, excellent race-reporting and the columns and feature writings of some of the most knowledgeable journalists in motorsports as it covers a wide variety of local, regional and national auto racing events.
But in addition to bring AARN to life, Sammons also got involved with other aspects of motorsports. And when his son Lenny conceived the idea of having a major three-day mid-winter racing trade show Leonard supported the idea fully with advice and financial backing and its first edition – “Motorsports ’86 – A Len Sammons Production!” – was held at the Valley Forge Convention & Exhibition Center in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Today, “Len Sammons Productions Motorsports Race Car & Trade Show” is now held at the 275,000-square-foot Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania, and it is the largest show of its kind in the Northeast.
After Leonard’s passing in May 1991, the operation of AARN remained in good hands as Lenny had already been serving as the paper’s editor and publisher. Leonard’s wife Maude has continued to be a valuable source of advice and consultation on any variety of matters that concern the family business.
The success of all of the things that Leonard either started or helped develop has now been added to by the third generation of the Sammons family.
Grandsons Danny and Davey are not only part of the AARN operation but they also have a great deal to do with the administration of Motorsports and the popular indoor Three-Quarter Midget Races that Lenny added to the Len Sammons Productions menu of events that are held during the winter at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, and the 1st Mariner Center in Baltimore, Maryland.