New London-Waterford Speedbowl Management Creates Stir With Facebook Photo Tuesday

In today’s world of social media driven public relations, one strange move on an online platform by a business can have customers left wondering.

And it’s not uncommon for businesses to use their social media platforms to engage customers by teasing to upcoming announcements with the use of mysterious and unexplained postings.

On Tuesday morning it seems the management of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl decided they wanted to get people talking.

For most of the 2017 season the “cover photo” section of the Speedbowl Facebook page has been used by track officials to promote upcoming events or make announcements.

Early Tuesday morning management of the Speedbowl changed the cover photo on the track’s Facebook page to a row of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars lined up. The photo was from an event at the Speedbowl in 2014.

It stirred many around the local racing scene to wonder Tuesday morning if management of the track was sending some sort of mysterious message about something that could be upcoming for the facility. It seemed an odd choice for promotion considering the one event left for the track this season is anchored by the championship race for the first year Exit Realty Modified Touring Series.

After a six-year hiatus the Whelen Modifed Tour returned to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in 2012 and ran annually at the track through last season. The division had originally been scheduled to run an event at the track this season, but that race was cancelled in early April when NASCAR terminated its sanction of the track because of legal issues involving track owner Bruce Bemer.

Current track operator George Whitney was denied a request for a sanction by NASCAR in June.

A NASCAR official said Tuesday morning there wasn’t anything happening between the track and NASCAR at this point.

When asked about the posting of the photo Tuesday morning, Whitney said by text message: “Just a cool picture.”

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl management created a stir among local racing teams and fans Tuesday morning after posting this “cover photo” of Whelen Modified Tour cars at the track on their Facebook page.

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  1. The Speedbowl is trying to create a stir? Or the author of this website…?

  2. Crazy in NY says:

    A mountain out of a mole hill. It’s picture of Modifieds. I don’t see the word NASCAR or the initials WMT anywhere in sight. Promoting the track with a picture of Modifieds is a good thing I think.
    If it were a picture of MRS Mods would the stir have occurred? A non event this is. Social media
    isn’t always a good thing.

  3. hope they do not go NASCAR – it was nice to not have to pay the extra money to race

  4. Definitely a questionable decision unless the goal was to invite a bit of controversy. Otherwise it shows wheels, colors, asphalt and nothing that any other then those familiar with the WMT cars would ever connect.

  5. darealgoodfella says:

    Look at all those people chasing shiny objects…

  6. Who exactly did this create a “stir” with? Must’ve been a slow news day.

  7. James Scott says:

    My God who cares. If George was smart he would keep NASCAR out. What do they do for anybody? Many are so hell bent that you need the sanction to succeed. If he runs it next year he should come up with a new business model that does not include NASCAR!

  8. Mike Serluca says:

    It’s actually the most “liked” picture from the page. I originally used it in 2015 when I ran their Facebook. Still a great choice to use as a headline pic. It is a pretty cool one.

  9. Mike Serluca says:

    Ooooops… 3rd most liked. My bad. I don’t follow the page any more, so I was off.

  10. @Crazy – literally the first thing I saw (beyond the fact that they’re modifieds) were the NASCAR & Whelen logos.

    As far as a “stir”, maybe it’s being drummed up by media that’s trying to keep page views up as seasons (and stories) wind down. But as a former social media specialist, it’s not a good look for the track. They have an entire season’s worth of photos to use for their social media appearance. Would have been just as easy to use one from 2017 and avoid any confusion.

    Is it a big deal? No. The average fan isn’t going to notice. But those of us who have done social media see this as sloppy and avoidable. The header shouldn’t be “just a cool pic”, it should convey a message. The message this conveys is either “NASCAR Whelen Mods are at the Speedbowl” or “We don’t put much effort into our social media.”

    Matter of fact, why isn’t the cover image promoting the Finale? You have a 3 day event with 17 divisions and 6 tours and you’re not promoting that?

  11. Brad Voglesong says:

    So I have to agree with George Whitney, Mike Serluca, and most of all my wife who posted this picture, it is a really cool picture.

  12. Mike Serluca says:

    Exactly Brad. The picture is wicked cool.

  13. Seriously? I saw it and thought, cool picture of modifieds. Didn’t for one second thing WMT.

  14. Please stop
    Stir your cover whack pots!!!

    It is cool pic period!!!!!!!!

  15. Cover I meant to text

  16. Coff

    I meant to text

  17. Dareal had a great comment
    Just being fair

  18. Steven Olsen says:

    I saw the picture, it’s a great picture! never even crossed my mind, if people think they are helping starting trouble they are not. Leave the speedbowl alone and let it build back up.

  19. Of all the “cool pictures” taken over the many years of racing, this one is sooooo much cooler than all of those that it just had to be used AGAIN!

    Here’s a thought, why not use a picture of the current points leaders in each division? Or of the fans that frequent the place?

    You know, a really “cool picture” of the people that keep you in business.

  20. POTUS would rather see pictures of people rather than race cars. He’s as weird as the real POTUS.


    Glad everyone likes the pic…I took it. One of mine from the pits.

  22. What do promoters say. Something about anything that makes news and gets attention is good. With the World Series coming up all eyes are on Thompson. But in the shadows waiting it’s the Waterford Finale Oct 20-21. 15 divisions over 3 days in a marathon of circle track racing. Capped off by the MTS that no doubt will include a strong end of the year field of outsiders. An exclamation point to all the naysayers saying the track was dead for the year.

  23. The naysayers will soon be crawling out of whatever cave they’ve been hiding in all season. Winter is around the corner and the bs rumors should be starting up again. One confirmed outsider is Andy Jankowiak. He’ll be in both the MTS and SK 80 lap race.

  24. Who cares what you think it’s all about creating buzz which it did so big deal about what you would do it wasn’t up to u

  25. Former Car Owner says:

    Rich, why would you not expect “bs rumors” when the people running the track are creating that culture? My family and team made a decision to step away from the track this year because of the legal stuff going on. I figured we’d take a look and see how things went. Anyone with any knowledge knew immediately that the current lease was a made up deal to keep Bemer’s name off the track operations. George Whitney is just an employee working there for Bemer. Bemer is still running the track and collecting the profits. People who want to not believe that are either just ignorant or wearing blinders. I think one of the reason for rumors is that there’s no media covering the track anymore. Ask yourself, why did management push all the media out this year? For years the track was covered every week by the Norwich Bulletin, The Hartford Courant, Racedayct, Sid’s View and sometimes by the New London Day. Suddenly there’s no media covering anything there? It wasn’t like one left, then another, then another. They also stopped covering everything there at the same time. Doesn’t that make you wonder how that happened and why? It makes me wonder why. Usually when you push the media out it’s because you’re trying to hide a lot of things going on so its easier to not have prying eyes. The rumors will continue as long as the current track owner owns the track.

  26. darealgoodfella says:

    Looks like the track is desperate for attention.

  27. I suppose it could be true that Mr. Whitney is a front for the owner who is actually running the track. And I suppose it could be true that people that believe that there is a lease agreement as reported are ignorant and have blinders on. Like me for example. But do you really know that George Whitney is a patsy for the owner? Do you have anything concrete? Or is it just one of those deals where you know it just has to be true but don’t really, really know it is. Calling George Whitney a liar and a stooge is pretty serious stuff. Especially since the season only has one event left.
    The media shut out. I’m pretty sure that’s not true. It’s not like they have bubba at the gate and if you show press credentials he keeps you out. Heck the announcer Matt Buckler works for the Journal Inquirer. Fact is newspapers are nearly dead and they haven’t done any real reporting for years on oval track racing cause it’s more of a boutique sport. Who, what, where, when, why and results maybe. Human interest and behind the scenes rarely. The scandal being the one exception.
    Everyone would be happy with a sale. Agreed, underscored, in highlights, all caps, parenthesis and shouted from the roof tops. Would love to see the Gada’s back. You too for that matter whomever you are.

  28. Former Car Owner,
    I don’t think any media was told they could not be there. I can’t speak for others, but I have my reasons for not covering there on a weekly basis, though I don’t think those reasons need to be shared publicly at this time. But it has nothing to do with being pushed out by anybody.

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