Dump Job: NE Mini Stock Tour Operator Surprised To Be Left Off Schedule At Speedbowl

Glen Thomas Jr. celebrates victory in a North East Mini Stock event in 2016 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

In the Spring of 2017, with the New London-Waterford Speedbowl embroiled in controversy involving the arrest of track owner Bruce Bemer, numerous sanctioning bodies and touring divisions decided to stay away from the track.

NASCAR opted to revoke their Whelen All-American Series weekly racing sanction and cancel a scheduled Whelen Modified Tour event at the track. INEX, the body that oversees Legends car racing, also revoked their sanction of events at the Speedbowl. The Tri-Track Open Modified Series decided to cancel both of their scheduled 2017 events in Waterford.

Bob Guptill, founder and operator of the North East Mini Stock Tour, said he decided to stick with his promise to compete at the track and worked with track management to reschedule his event after the track’s original schedule had to be overhauled.

And Guptill’s reward for staying loyal to the track in 2017? The Maine based promoter found out Wednesday he was being dropped from the track’s schedule in 2018.

This after he said he was told in December that his North East Mini Stock Tour would be welcomed back to the track in 2018.

The North East Mini Stock tour has competed at the Speedbowl each year since 2010, some years running two events. The series had originally scheduled a June 3, 2017 event at the Speedbowl. The track ended up opening in late June last year after it was announced that George Whitney would lease the facility and serve as general manager. Guptill worked with management at the track to reschedule his event for Sept. 2, 2017. Glen Thomas Jr. won the event, which featured a field of 24 cars.

Guptill said Thursday that Whitney reassured him after the close of the season at the Speedbowl that his series would be back in 2018. Guptill said he saw Whitney at the New England Racers Auction/Trade Show in Springfield, Mass. on Dec. 2 and Whitney reiterated that the North East Mini Stock Tour would be on the Speedbowl schedule for 2018.

“He said we were good,” Guptill said of his conversation with Whitney in Springfield on Dec. 2. “I had talked to him before that by text a few times and I had called him on the phone one time. I was having some trouble getting ahold of him but he answered one time and said he was super busy. … When I saw him in Springfield he said ‘Talk to [Speedbowl employee Chris Austill]. I said ‘I’d like to bring in my Street Stock division as well.’ … He said ‘Oh yeah, that sounds great, I’m sure we can find a hole for them too, we’d really love to have you back.’ He said ‘Just talk to Chris and he’ll verify everything for you.’”

Guptill said following the Dec. 2 meeting with Whitney he reached out to Austill numerous times, getting no response. He said he also reached out to Speedbowl race director Chris Forster in December.

“Forster sent me back that he sent my information to Austill and that Austill would get ahold of me,” Guptill said.

On Wednesday morning Guptill messaged Austill once again.

“I sent a message Wednesday morning to [Austill] saying ‘I’ve got [the NorthEast Motorsports Expo] coming up in Augusta [Maine, Jan 12-14], I’ve got stuff to figure out, I need to send something out to print.’” Guptill said.

Guptill said he got a response from Austill telling him management at the track had decided on Saturday not to bring the North East Mini Stock Tour back. Nobody from the track had reached out to Guptill to tell him they were dropping his series from the schedule until he reached out to them on Wednesday morning.

“I’m a stand up guy.” Guptill said. “Everyone that I talk to it’s done with a handshake. I’m a man of my word. If I tell someone they’re good then they’re good. It doesn’t change later on. … I feel like if you’re going to not bring someone in just tell them up front and let them try to find a date somewhere else. It’s late now. A lot of people have already booked their schedules and it’s going to be hard for me to replace that race.”

Whitney was not available for comment on Thursday.

According to Guptill, Austill said the track was looking to concentrate on their own support divisions in 2018. He said Austill wrote that the track was looking to “have less touring divisions that are on the same level as our regular divisions.”

It was announced on Dec. 1 that the Speedbowl would bring the American-Canadian Tour back to the track in 2018. The series was not on the original 2017 schedule or the revised schedule for 2017. The Speedbowl’s regular Late Model division rules are aligned with the American Canadian Tour rules package. The decision to bring the American-Canadian Tour back would seem to be contradictory to Austill’s reasoning to Guptill that the track wanted less touring divisions that are aligned with the track’s own regular divisions.

“I just feel that a lot of promoters and track owners don’t see beyond that we’re entry level,” Guptill said. “We had the highest car count over any series in New England last year. We had more than [the Pro All Stars Series] or the Whelen Modified Tour. We averaged 27 cars a race last year.”

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl is scheduled to open May 5-6. Track management has not released a full 2018 schedule, though multiple touring divisions have announced scheduled dates for the track in 2018.

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Comments

  1. Bill Realist says:

    Look into Guptil a little deeper. May not be so surprised considering events at the speedbowl in the recent past.

  2. Again Whitney not available for comment. This is getting to be the norm rather than the exception. These guys didn’ get dumped, they got thrown under the bus!

  3. Getting the runaround from the bowl?Great manager George unavailable?Shocking!

  4. wmass01013 says:

    More Drama which Waterford does not need right now!!
    I agree with all Mr Guptill stated!!

  5. darealgoodfella says:

    I can’t wait to 👀 the 🚽 🗓.

    It must be jam packed if they can turn down a series.

    🤪

  6. Just Wondering says:

    Wow, so the NLWS manager is still not available for comment?. This is really getting to be the norm. IMO if the Speedbowl is really planning on moving forward in a positive way someone has to start commenting on things such as the real plans for 2018. I would have much preferred having the mini-stock tour appear than the ACT event which is obviously going to mean a high grandstand ticket price for us fans.

  7. Mini stock tour not coming back? Devastating…

  8. Mini Stocks get 20 cars at the Speedbowl, Late Models 11. ACT is a headliner, these touring mini’s not so much. Not apples to apples.
    The article is appears scrupulously accurate. From one side. The other side as usual not available for comment.
    Maybe it’s time for another story. Is there a beef between Whitney and racedayct that will make it impossible to ever get their side of the story. It seems clear by now that the track office goes out of it’s way to stonewall this site. Not just Whitney but the entire staff. Is it a racedayct thing or just a media in general thing. Seems like there is bad blood afoot whereas with Stafford the connection is intravenous.

  9. darealgoodfella says:

    BBBBWWHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

    Doug 🐥 Trump has spoken. He’s calling “fake news” on the facts. Dougie doesn’t like the steady stream of bad news about the 🚽, so he goes the conspiracy route. A page right out of the Deplorable Playbook.

    🤪

    Hey Dougie, you see any wonderful news about the 🚽 from other sources? It’s hard to get through all the news about Bemer.

    Here’s a track that series are avoiding like the plague, yet it turns down a series that wants to run there. Vewy, vewy, intuhwesting. 🤔

  10. My guess is that the mini stock tour did nothing to increase the front gate so it was dropped. Seems like a good business decision to me.

  11. I was wondering the same thing Doug of the track officials had a beef with this website and Shawn. I would love to hear their side. No comment or can’t get a response is getting old. I have defended George on here for the last couple of months. I am sure he is busy with the stands project that was promised after January 1. I have not heard the chorus of doubters on here comment on that yet. But…. George needs to help us here by answering media inquiries. He is getting harder to defend and the dark side is pulling me that direction. It would be nice if they could say, No to more of these unnecessary tours so we can keep good racers like Jacob Perry the the Dimateo brothers from taking their immense talents on these tours and away from the very fans who loved watching them each week. We need drivers to root for and to boo aka Ted Christopher. You either liked him or hated him God rest his soul. At the end of the night you respected him for sharing his incredible talent to make the event not so bland and boring. it no different with NASCAR and when Dale Sr. Was with us. He was fun to watch because every driver in his way was going to move or get moved and it was fun to watch. George please give us a bone to help us here. I can’t wait to sit in the new stands too. Or my lawn chair of the stands get delayed. May can’t come quick enough to start the new season.

  12. There no criticism of the decision to exclude the touring minis. Clearly if they were a benefit they’d have them in the show. The criticism is being strung along. This article has a hard edge to it implying that the track management was not forthcoming in their communications with the North East Mini Stock tour. Could be, but we don’t have the other side and apparently never will on just about any subject Speedbowl related. That being the cases I guess they deserve any thumping they get here aye?

  13. With the bowl not having any sanctioning body for the weekly racing and touring series avoiding them like the plague it seems odd that they would turn down a touring series something is rotten in Denmark. Maybe it should be renamed the Waterford toilet bowl after all the s*** that’s gone down. If the article is true very very low for track manager to string this guy along and may prove to keep other series from wanting to race there

  14. Doesn’t make for good business when the series aligns with one of your divisions some of these outsiders might like the track and decide to race there on a weekly basis

  15. Everyonesapromoter says:

    From where i the NEMST always brought enough people through the back gate to cover the expense to the speedway. If each car brings 3 people at $40+ per person

  16. Man Racer 28 that was a good comment. Thanks for mentioning the boos for Christopher counted as respect as well. I booed him as much as anyone but treasured him being there to boo. Man I’m going to miss that guy.
    I’m backing Whitney’s play for what it worth. My view if you can take out all the noise and emotion from a pure management angle he has and is trying to perform miracles under dire circumstances. It’s pretty safe to say we won’t be getting any updates from him other then stock press releases. If he knows he’s going to get blow back from the haters why bother I suppose.

  17. Just Wondering says:

    Since the NLWS Manager won’t say anything and it seems he has designated Chris Austill to talk at least when giving bad news to the NEMST maybe someone from RaceDayCT could reach out to Chris. Or even better maybe Chris could post an update on the 2018 NLWS renovations and season here on this website on his own? Otherwise I guess we will have to wait until the banquet on Jan 20th.

  18. Daidiots brain must be exploding. Guptil, a deplorable in daidiots mind, wanted his series to run the bowl. Now the bowl doesn’t want them back. I can only imagine what daidiot is going through. Poor guy.

  19. Name one driver from the mini tour that decided to race Waterford weekly. Other way around? That’s a different story.

  20. Ask Shawn if there’s a beef. Am I the only one that heard he was not allowed into the track for the last race weekend?

  21. William Darrow says:

    ok this has been bothering me for a long time so here is some thoughts anyone that knows me will tell you i am a huge race fan and dont want any track to close this being said i would never spend a penny at waterford and anyone associated with bemer in any way has questionable judgement

  22. ok this has been bothering me for a long time so here is some thoughts anyone that knows me will tell you i am a huge race fan and dont want any track to close this being said i would never spend a penny at waterford and anyone associated with bemer in any way has questionable judgement

  23. All and all not a bad day considering a few inches of snow turned into a foot of blowing drifts. Nothing like knocking out a couple driveways then sitting down with a cup of tea and racedayct to see what turmoil is afoot in the racing world. Count on anything Speedbowl to get the juices flowing with some lively opinions. No middle ground here, no sir re.
    Just Wondering is onto something. You’d think as an aside in all the things this disgruntled guy Guptill said something about the renovation would have slipped out. It’s like not mentioning anything confirms no one thinks it’s even an issue. Or the Speedbowl blew them off cause there will be no season. See Whitney what you are doing to us. Speculation has run amok.

  24. So over the last few weeks SF. Puts good articles out about short track racing. One of his bullets was about why should a weekly racer pay more for a tour. And you all Jump on the wagon. Now you don’t have to pay more to see NEMT. Wait a minute now you want the tour. Next funny thing is it seems Race Day has a issue with the speedbowl so Bob calls RD and here we go. Sean you do a great job with race day. Work it out with George so this is not the speedbowl news you need. George/Chris call Bob and tell him why you did not bring him back . So he can work on that. And one other thing George/Chris run your own trucks. Don’t bring Marshal and his series back. Your street stock div is good also you don’t need any of those tours. Like SF brings up get the rules in New England more in line and there would not be a need for all these tours.

  25. I agree, as do others, the less tours the better. And then when a tour isn’t scheduled everybody freaks.

  26. Telling the mini stocks they weren’t going to race at the speedbowl, so it wasn’t holding the mini stock schdule up, has the racing schdule for Waterford been posted, rules for the new season posted, has the building permits been applied for yet time is getting short for these repairs,to be done

  27. Just Wondering says:

    Rich, its only the expensive tours with low car counts and high ticket prices most people complain about including myself. The NEMST most times does not cause the regular fans and racers at the NLWS pay more than a couple of dollars just because they are there. I’m sure there must be more to the story why they were told they were “all set” on a couple of occasions only to have their event dumped at a later date.

  28. I won’t miss the NEMST at the bowl…but must admit this always no comment or no response from the bowl management is getting pretty old.

  29. Spot on William I feel the same way

  30. I am not a big fan of mini stocks and didn’t even realize that a touring series existed it just seems odd that a non sanctioned track barely faining an existance would turn down any racers. As far as the issue of getting rid of tours I don’t see it happening in fact in the future I think you’ll see more touring series in a way it is more economical for the racers . I would like to see a true open modified touring series with simple rules limit motor size set minimum weight set a gear rule for each track and turn them loose these touring series with multiple motor options and if you run this motor you can only use these parts is a bunch of BS open means few rules like the old saying goes ” speed costs money…how fast do you want to go?” Now that’s open racing

  31. Too close aligned to the local mini’s? Show me variety in the weekly class. Mustang, Mustang, Mustang… They don’t allow fuel injection to be successful, believe me I tried.

    If you were going to block a tour from going you’d think it’d be one of the 10 other redundant start up tours, not the one that has brought over 30 cars to the table on several occasions.

    Not to mention I’d bet it’s probably the cheapest tour to host, it’s a no Brainer.

    Not everyone is a modified thumper. Alot of people like seeing their wife’s old car on the track. Especially when some of them are turning faster laps than the street stocks

  32. It is great manager Georges decision on what series he wants to bring to bemers facility.The problem is they ignore their fans and stonewall.Maybe he got lessons from the standup Knights.Now the despicable winter crickets want to make this Shawn’s doing.Like great manager George is talking to other media outlets.Maybe the fans deserve the treatment they are getting.They seem to be willing to make excuses for anything that happens at their precious bowl.How long are these clowns willing to bend over before saying not me,I’m going to Stafford, Seekonk or maybe take a trip to a track a few hours away that is not owned by a rapist.I’m sure this post will cause several of the crickets to post about how bemer did nothing wrong, everybody uses sex workers blah blah blah.He’s a pedifile and will be for the rest of his life.

  33. Totally agree with you Mitch but if you haven’t noticed with the exception of the ACTtour no tours are racing at the toilet bowl and chances are by the time the ACT date arrives they might pull the plug too don’t like seeing tracks close but if the toilet bowl closed wouldn’t hurt my feelings

  34. There was a NEMA and also a Pro 4 announcement too. And I believe MRS? Nothing from the track though.

    But be sure pre order your banquet tickets.

  35. Mike Serluca™️ says:

    I doubt anyone who works at the Speedbowl will be available for comment to you Shawn. Too bad. There’s way more to the story and the reasoning behind the NEMST decision. Is the 2018 schedule even out yet?

  36. Spot on art I brought this up a few weeks ago in a comment about some creep who raced at Stafford and pled guilty to raping a seventeen years old. Unbelievable how many people came to bemers defense but you don’t get investigated by the feds for two years when you’ve done nothing wrong.the guy is a pediphile and eventually he will be found to be so then Maybe these people will stop supporting the Waterford toilet bowl

  37. Is that really fair Rob p saying people are coming to Bemer’s defense? I don’t recall anyone that has. You and others want the track erased now and that’s fine.
    Most of we supporters of the Speedbowl simply believe the civil and criminal cases against him will exact brutal and justified justice over time.

  38. darealgoodfella says:

    Rob p., Bemer has already admitted to doing the nasty things he’s accused of. He’s been doing this according to his own published statements for 25 years. Then guys like Doug come along and say we must go to the ‘bowl to fill Bemer’s coffers with more money for the benefit of Bemer’s victims.

    Doug wrote: “Is that really fair Rob p saying people are coming to Bemer’s defense? I don’t recall anyone that has. You and others want the track erased now and that’s fine.
    Most of we supporters of the Speedbowl simply believe the civil and criminal cases against him will exact brutal and justified justice over time.”

    Amazing statement by Doug. Doug supports Bemer by supporting the speedbowl. Doug denies anyone is defending Bemer in one sentence, defends Bemer by admitting to supporting the speedbowl in a following sentence. 🤪🤣🤔😜😝😂🤯😳🤭🤫🤥💩

    Nobody wants the track erased. What happens to the track is an exclusive consequence of Bemer’s issues.

    A supporter of the speedbowl is a supporter of Bemer. It’s that simple, conclusive and irrefutable. Bemer owns the speedbowl. Bemer = speedbowl.

  39. darealgoodfella says:

    Things aren’t looking good for the deplorable winter crickets, so they have to try to stir up conspiracies with insinuation, innuendo and aspersions.

    Not reporting on the issues facing the speedbowl and Bemer makes those media outlets appear to be complicit in at least an obfuscation of the situation.

    Don’t blame the messenger.

  40. January 1 on Facebook and the Speedbowl web site the management wished us all a Happy New Year and hopes to see us at the track in 2018. Nice don’t you think?
    I’ll give them credit. Either this is the most intricate “dump job” of fans and competitors in the history of racing or this stands thing we think is a big deal is being managed as expected. Then again they could be kidding themselves. There’s that too. The plot thickens.

  41. Just Waiting says:

    Doug I think what a lot of people have been hoping to see from the Speedbowl is some real information. Its nice to post Happy New Year, but how about some information about what is going on in 2018 or promoting racing? Since the season ended there has been nothing posted by the track about what is happening in 2018 except for one vague post about the opening weekend and building a new grandstand. Other than that all they’ve done on Facebook is promote their toy drive or try to get people to buy tickets to the banquet or try to get people to buy gift cards or try to get teams to pay to register car numbers. It seems all they’re doing is asking people to give them money for various things, but not saying anything about what might or might not be happening in 2018. I know the last thing I would do is be buying gift cards for a track that can’t even put out a schedule beyond their first weekend. If there is going to be a season in 2018 they’re sure doing a great job of keeping it a secret and their silence is really speaking volumes.

  42. Just Wondering says:

    Unfortunately, this time I do not think “no news is good news”. The lack of any info has me believing that the current management may be having second thoughts about 2018. I may not be the brightest bulb in the shop but I can see no benefit to Mr. Whitneykeeping everyone in the dark.

  43. It’s unanimous. We all want more information.
    Maybe I’m grasping at straws but the Speedbowl doing exactly what Just Waiting said counts for activity. You guy aren’t sharing the same notion I’m guessing that while this guy was spilling his guts on what the Speedbowl management wasn’t doing in treating him fairly he never said a peep about there not being a season. I know straws, right?

  44. Bill Realist says:

    Google the guy. See why

  45. Bill Realist says:

    There is a reason. The hard hitting news style of this website is no doubt investigating it right this moment.

  46. Just Wondering says:

    Bill Realist, ok so you dug up some dirt on the NEMST operator, it seems he has done to debt to society. So what does this actually have to do with the NLWS deciding not to schedule the NEMST in 2018?

  47. Bill Realist says:

    Seems you should feel the same way about Beamer then. As long as he resolves his case then it’s all good.

  48. Just Wondering says:

    I am not saying one way or another regarding the Bemer issue or Guptill’s past. Bill you seem to have an axe to grind with this Guptill guy. Please answer my question above “What does Guptills past have to do with the NLWS decision not to have the NEMST return”? Maybe you are an NLWS insider or just another disgruntled racer looking to stir up crap. I would believe it if the Speedbowl would release the info but at this point that seems like it is not going to happen.

  49. I’d just like to know who was attacking the Guptill. His past has zero to do with the crux of the article and that is from his standpoint he was strung along then dumped. It’s one side of the story. That’s it.
    If you Bill have a beef with the Speedbowl because of Bemer that’s a completely different issue. You can extend that beef to every single thing said about the Speedbowl but it doesn’t mean it’s relevant.

  50. The last time we heard anything publicly from the Speedbowl about racing in 2018 was Nov. 23, almost two months ago. While other tracks have all released schedules and are promoting events for next year there’s total silence from the Speedbowl about anything related to racing in 2018. No schedule, no rules, no promoting events. Nothing on Facebook except posts about the banquet.
    They told teams in October that grandstand demolition would begin the first week of November. Then they said it would start after Jan. 1. And still nothing is happening there. It’s pretty clear there’s not going to be racing at the Speedbowl in 2018. Sad to see.

  51. darealgoodfella says:

    Doug wrote, “Maybe it’s time for another story. Is there a beef between Whitney and racedayct that will make it impossible to ever get their side of the story. It seems clear by now that the track office goes out of it’s way to stonewall this site. Not just Whitney but the entire staff. Is it a racedayct thing or just a media in general thing. Seems like there is bad blood afoot whereas with Stafford the connection is intravenous.”

    Doug, please explain your conspiracy theory. What other information has the 🚽 released through other media outlets? If many other outlets are reporting the plans and goings on of the 🚽, then I can see a shred of credibility to your conspiracy theory. Otherwise, it’s pure 🐂-💩, and you are just stirring the 💩.

    So you think that the 🚽 is stonewalling racedayct? Well, step up and post all the links to the plethora of 🚽 that’s been out there on other sites. Go ahead… prove your stonewall conspiracy theory.

    🍿

  52. darealgoodfella says:

    Well, if Whitney/Bemer/ 🚽 nixed the NE Mini Stocks because of the run-in with the law the NE Ministock owner had, that would be a profound example of the pot calling the kettle black. And frankly, I doubt the 🚽 would do that and draw that attention back on to itself. Pile on hypocrisy on top of the already heinous admissions. Turning a new 🍂? Doubt it.

  53. OK Racer. That’s one unequivocal vote for no racing at the Speedbowl next year. No lectures, no drama you feel it’s just not happening based on what you’ve read so far. That’s refreshing. I say you could be right in which case I’m hoping some of the teams come up to Stafford. But I’ve read the tea leaves. They’re saying the greatest odds are that there is a plan and the season will come off sooner or later. Insane I know. Having to renovate and everything. I’m in the minority for sure.
    You place no value in the press releases or the events they’ve scheduled that are forward looking. You think Whitney’s silence can be interpreted as it will be a “dump job” for the teams and fans. You have a ton of company even some of the best Speedbowl fans.
    I hope your are wrong.
    Pats vs Titans. Go Pats.

  54. “Dump Job”. Could be the best phrase of the year. We’ll get a better idea in 13 days if we’re dealing with an epic dump job or people with integrity that have a plan and goal and can deliver the goods. Stay tuned.

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