Opening Weekend For 2018 Season Announced At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Through a posting on the New London-Waterford Speedbowl website and Facebook page Saturday it was announced that the track will open for the 2018 season with a two-day Blastoff event May 5-6.

It was announced that the Valenti Modified Racing Series will headline the weekend event, which will also welcome the Northeastern Midget Association to the track.

It was also announced that an open practice in preparation for the Blastoff weekend will be held on Friday May 4.

According to the posting the track expects to release a full 2018 schedule “within then next few weeks.” The postings made no mention of who will operate the track for the 2018 season. The track, which is owned by Bruce Bemer, was leased and operated in 2017 by former Legends team owner George Whitney.

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  1. This blows dareal’s theory out of the water now doesn’t it.

  2. Oh not so fast humphry, this and the fact that the maintenance guys will be working throughout the winter (normally they are laid off) will mean absolutely nothing to dagenius. Just wait to be enlightened.

  3. The Monkees says:

    This information is coming from the same people that for months said they were opening on time and then didn’t open anywhere near on time. The track will not be allowed to open unless the grandstands are replaced. This is a fact. Town of Waterford won’t let them open without that grandstand gone. The fact that the grandstand is still standing today and no demolition has begun doesn’t give me a lot of hope for 2018. Anybody can say they have a schedule. Not a believer.

  4. Just Wondering says:

    Posted this thought in earlier in a previous article but feel its more relevant to the recent article posted on

    Its great to see there will be a 2018 season. Having this info posted so soon is a pleasant surprise considering all the upheaval in 2017. Also glad to see the Modified Racing Series being part of the opening show and not the MTS. Looks to be a great opening weekend with the MRS on Saturday along with the other touring series and the Speedbowl Regular divisions running on Sunday. A smart move IMO this way should weather cause any issues on Saturday they can still get the touring divisions in on Sunday and then anything that may not get in on Sunday as part of a regular Saturday night event later in the year. Hopefully this info will bring many of the cars and teams back home to the Speedbowl that left to race elsewhere in 2017. Maybe we will see the return of the Gada’s as they were surely missed last year. One can only hope.

    Now it would be nice if the Bowl could release some additional info if George Whitney will be continuing on leasing the place with his current team or does Mr. Bemer have something else in the works. Also would be nice to hear about any planned off-season renovations such as grandstand replacement that has been such a hot topic of discussion on this and other forums going back as far as the old days of Terry Eames.

  5. Rich you are correct, I am really surprised he has not weighed in yet. He must be taking a nap!

  6. darealgoodfella says:

    The Monkees, how do you know that the town will not allow the track to open unless the stands are replaced?

    According to the regulars, the stands are just fine.

  7. Looking forward to 2018 season and hopeful that whatever needs to get done gets done in time for the season to run on schedule.
    From all I heard last season, the city absolutely positively will not allow the track to open if the grandstands are not replaced. Replacing the grandstands also means replacing all of the concession stands and buildings underneath the grandstands. That to me seems like a lot of work that can be done in 5 1/2 months between now and May. However, each day and week that passes without hearing about plans or actual work underway adds to the worry and concern about the track’s 2018 season.
    Whether it be Mr. Whitney or someone else operating or owning the track in 2018, they need to be transparent about what is going on so that the drivers and teams can properly plan for next season. But, what would life be without a little uncertainty at the bowl.

  8. darealgoodfella says:

    The racers that run at the Speedbowl need to inundate town hall with requests for status of the track.

  9. darealgoodfella says:

    Replacing the stands and the buildings is MAJOR construction work that should have started minutes after the last race so the facility would be ready to open in the Spring.

  10. From the Dareal Lionel Train Engineer file:
    “The Trump campaign/administration make this Waterford debacle look normal.
    Diversions, distractions, lies, BS, retractions, trumpery, promises, empty promises, walk-backs, yada-yada-yada, blah-bah-blah-blah-blah.
    Doug, being optimistic is wonderful. Being delusional is something else.
    Teams, the employees, staff, fans, sanctioning body, fans, series, fans, etc. have all made it clear they are not supporting the track as long as Bemer is still the owner. They have pulled out and made it clear they are not going to be involved with the track. Without the cars, teams, series, staff, etc., and oh yeah, those paying customers, there is nothing going on at the track. Nothing.
    At this point, Bemer would be better off to just go radio silent for a few months and let this blow over. All these false starts are hurting the cause.”

    Consider the value of Dareals predictions at your own peril.

  11. Could always demolish the grandstands and put temporary ones up. Could be cheaper.

  12. darealgoodfella says:

    Have the problematic stands been taken down yet?

  13. Kevin, to your point there was an article in Speedway Illustrated a few issues back about short tracks that were buying the seating from the downsizing big league tracks.
    Not to presume the Bowl could or would do that. But still, an interesting idea.

  14. It seems the most cost effective. I’m sure George Whitney has a plan in place. Putting up new permanent grandstands would probably kill what’s already a small budget.

  15. Why don’t you take a ride by and see dareal and stop asking the same question. That’s the way the rest of us are going to find out.

  16. SK Lite Fan says:

    The stands have been and continue to be an issue with the town. Have u ever been Bellow them and really looked at them? Scarry! Ur looking at like $800k to demolish and replace them.
    You also have the no septic system on site, only holding tanks, they need to bring a larger water main in and let’s not forget the environmental issue with the track flooding, the conservation commission is all over them about it.
    The place needs at least $2M worth of work done. Hopefully Bruce sinks it into it before the 15 civil actions against him makes him bankrupt. We all seem to forget about that issue.

  17. darealgoodfella says:

    humphry, I drove by a week or so ago. It looks like nothing is going on, stands are still standing. No construction/demo crews. Have the plans for the new stands/concession stands been approved by the town? That should be on file with the town. Construction/demo can’t start unless those plans are approved and permitted.

  18. When it comes to the stands he’s going to ask the same questions over and over. Doesn’t matter how many times you answer him. Nobody knows anything for sure at this point. I’m sure most have heard the rumor that bemer has the stands from Daytona that were available for free a while back. I don’t believe that one though. But who knows. I’m sure there is some sort of plan in the works. And if they open on time fine if not so what. As long as it opens.

  19. Remember in March when things got crazy at the Speedbowl and they kept saying they were going to open on time and they waited until a few days before they were supposed to open before they said they weren’t opening on time? Remember when they announced they were going to open and the general manager said he was getting NASCAR back for the season and then waited until right before they opened to say they actually weren’t getting NASCAR back? Not a lot of honesty from these people in anything they do. Anybody with a clue knows there was no lease. This stuff is just more garbage to make sure teams don’t make plans to race somewhere else. Falls in line with the same lying in the spring about opening on time and the lies about getting NASCAR back.

  20. Dareal, if you dove by a week or so ago why are you asking the question?

  21. darealgoodfella says:

    humphry, if there was supposed to be this work to reconstruct the stands, it needed to start minutes after the last race. If the demolition hasn’t been completed already, or longer, then you can rest assured that there will be no construction of new stands. What does that do to the track opening again given the status with the town?

  22. This is the plot of the movie Groundhog Day all over. Slightly different angles but basically the same as last spring .
    What we do know is that two touring divisions have been scheduled. It also follows given the scheduling of the banquet and this announcement, that the same lease and same management will continue on. So unless they, the VMRS and the NMA have colluded to foist some fraud on the public so early in the process and with nothing to gain if they did, it’s safe to say they are making informed decisions.
    It’s probably also safe to conjecture that Bemer’s assets are tied up in litigation and a sale extremely remote. That because of his civil and criminal legal woes that money for major renovations is a pipe dream unless a wild card of epic proportions emerges. I would also say that it is reasonable to assume that the people making these announcements are not stupid. That they pulled off the season that few thought was possible and know exactly what the status is with regard to the stands and have made the announcement with a reasonable expectation they can satisfy the town.
    With regard to the holding tanks that’s likely not even an issue. For limited use holding tanks are fine and portable toilets that are small holding tanks can fill the bill if need be.
    Go Pats!

  23. New grandstands at the Bowl would be great. But, as I’ve said before, the Thompson stands concern me more than the Bowl’s. Does anyone know if Thompson plans to replace its stands in the near future?

  24. Just Wondering says:

    Does anyone have or heard any news? I keep checking various online resources regarding the Bowl’s Town required renovations for 2018 and can’t find any info aside from their annual Racers Toy Party. Has anyone drove by lately and seen any activity or construction equipment?

  25. darealgoodfella says:

    Just Wondering, I drove by a couple weeks ago, nothing going on.

  26. darealgoodfella says:

    So the work is supposed to start after January 1, and the opening date is May 5-6.

    Do you believe in miracles?

    Shawn, approach the NLWS and see if you can obtain and publish the plans for said refurbishment. See if you can get them to update you on progress, such as all the permits required for said work.

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