New London-Waterford Speedbowl Ready For Return To Racing For 2019 Season

Mike Serluca announced Saturday that he will announced a 2019 racing schedule for the New London-Waterford Speedbowl by Dec. 1 (Photo: Passing Bird Photography)

New London-Waterford Speedbowl operator and general manager Mike Serluca has a busy weekend on tap at the track with the running of the facility’s annual finale weekend.

But on Saturday morning Serluca announced to drivers at the track that he’ll have plenty more to keep him busy at the track even after the final checkered flag flies for the 2018 season on Sunday.

Serluca told drivers on hand Saturday morning that he will continue to operate and manage the facility for the 2019 season.

“We are all systems go for 2019,” Serluca told RaceDayCT. “We’re putting the schedule together. It should be finalized by the middle of November or first of December. But we were 100 percent racing here next year in 2019.”

Serluca took over operations of the facility in early September after the previous operator and general manager George Whitney stepped away.

Whitney took over operations of the facility from track owner Bruce Bemer in June 2017. Whitney ran his last event at the track on Sept. 8 before walking away from the facility without any public announcement prior to a scheduled Sept. 15 event. Serluca took over operations prior to the track returning to action on Sept. 15.

Serluca said the current management team at the track will likely stay the same for 2019.

The track will close its 2018 racing season with two days of features this weekend, highlighted by an 80-lap SK Modified feature on Sunday.

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Comments

  1. This place has more lives than a cat.

    Makes a phoenix looks like a slacker.

  2. New stands? New concessions? Environmental concerns abaited? Wonder if the Town is all systems go as well? They hold the trump card here as they have the final approval prior to the gates opening.

    What happened to Bemer’s case? Anyone know?

    All sounds promising. We will see!

  3. In response to an email I sent David Owen, Courant reporter covering court issues he said this on 9/19 when I asked about Bemer’s September court date:
    ” I am on vacation but I expected a continuance. Trial is scheduled for November.
    Dave”
    I have not found anything new that would change the assumption that the trial is still scheduled for Nov.

  4. Thanks for the 411 Doug. We all know Bemer is calling the shots here, this is not a Serluca decision. I recently spoke with an individual that confirmed Bemer is still very, very much involved.

  5. Dramabaga says:

    I hope they straighten things out and fix things up. Nice track that has great fans to go watch some racing at. Was bummed out when they lost the NASCAR Sanction and Whelen modified Tour.

  6. My goodness… why would anyone ever think Bemer is not involved? He’s the owner!!!! He has the majority of risk and liability. The operator is just a lackey or lessee. It will be interesting to see what happens with the town this time. Has this cat run out of lives? Will the town require plant improvements?

    Stay tuned.

  7. This will keep us occupied through the winter, for sure.

  8. Humphrey and dareal;you are both long term Speedbowl trolls that have never once correctly predicted the Speedbowl’s future.

  9. The track is better off wo NASCAR!!!! Bowl Strong

  10. Hillary 2028 says:

    It’s good to get an announcement like this early instead of speculating all winter. I’ll give you guys something to talk about. The shedule is being worked on and word is another new touring series will be a part of it. The AMT. American modified tour. Any thoughts? Could this be the sk lite tour that was supposed to start but kinda fizzled out.

  11. This goes for anyone who hasn’t supported the bowl since Bruce Bemer has purchased.. who really cares about Bemer.. it’s the track that concerns everyone ..support the track and who’s running it as Gm . Without someone stepping up to run the place it will soon be turned into another stupid mall. Is that what everyone who doesn’t go to the bowl anymore really wants. It’s a shame the track takes the blame for every owners mistakes. Let’s move on and support the place and show love for the track..

  12. wmass01013 says:

    PLEASE NO MORE NEW TOURS
    SAD that as long as Bemer owns the track, NASCAR, teams and fans will not support the track no matter if WHITNEY, SERLUCA or who knows the next guy in line running it, the GRANDSTAND issues will not go away, really don’t care for another OFF SEASON OF SPECULATION and threats by the town about permits and improvements, u can say all the right things TODAY about next season but its allll babble until the town gives the ok!

  13. Viva race fan says:

    Who cares what’s his court date. Thanks Bruce and Mike ….

  14. Mark A Stanton says:

    Ditto 450Mike………….

  15. Take a breath, step back and just simply recognize where we stand.
    Who doesn’t like Mike Serluca? The guy has filled a void, rallied the Speedbowl faithful and has come through with a final weekend that attracted just an outstanding SK modified field. On the other hand he neither has the resources or background to handle the management of such a complex operation on his own. For whatever reason it would appear Bemer is still interested in the track, keeping it open and is providing the financial and managerial mussel to finish the season and plan for next year.
    Time heals all wounds. The Gada’s are back racing tonight and the wick has been turned down on the venom and holier then thou anger at the whole deal that exploded a year and a half ago.
    Bemer is going to court and will accept a plea deal or plead his case and be judged. The final act of the legal battle will take place in the next few months and thank God be resolved by next spring. Until then the stands, building department and all the rest………….even the schedule is in limbo regardless of what is being said.
    So to assure the track opens in 2019 I am predicting it does not open next spring like I did in 2017 and 2018.

  16. 450mike and Mark A Stanton. This I will state as a fact not a prediction, the 2019 racing season lies in the Town’s hands as they are the one that will sign or not sign the permit to operate. We can speculate all we want but, that is the way it legally works.

    So with that statement, we will see what officially happens when the Town does their inspection next year.

  17. 450mike, so you predicted that the owner would plea to perv charges, then turn down the offer, the tool running the place walked away, and now the place is run by a really nice guy that wants to save the place and has about the same chance as a snowflake in a furnace. LOL!!! You keep supporting the perv. You have predicted your support for the perv alright.

    And I am right again!!!

  18. One thing the 🚽 denizens 🧟‍♂️🧛‍♂️🧟‍♀️🧛‍♀️ need to realize in order for the place to survive is that ticket 🎟 prices have to go up. In order to get good cars to show up, and many cars to show up, it has to be worth it. That takes 💵 & 💰, and then some more. Ticket 🎟 prices have to go up, no way around it. Especially since the place has the Bemer cloud over it and many people, businesses and sanctioning bodies don’t want to go near it. ☢️ ☣️ 🤢 🤮 In the absence of sponsorship, that 💵 needs to be made up with ticket 🎟 prices.

    No matter how much 💄 you put on a 🐷, it’s still a 🐖. All this talk about being positive, and to stop the negativity, is just trying hide the sad reality of the pitiful situation, trying to keep the ugly truth hidden. There’s a ton of negativity with this bigly, sad situation. The only way to secure the future of the track is to deal with the so-called negativity head on. And that can only be done by the owner. The place needs massive improvements, and that costs 💰💰💰💰. The condition of the place and the need for massive remediation is the root of the problem. And then there is the town to deal with. How much longer will the town allow the facility to operate in the current condition? Or is the town in a position where it sort of has to let things slide just to keep the place open and prevent it from failing?

    I doubt Serluca is going to spend a fortune of any size, of his own 💵, to improve the place. After all, seeing how soon George bailed out, making money back on money spent will be risky. 🎲 🎰 Seems like George lost enough money, so he bailed.

    Good luck to the new operator. Let’s see if he can do better than good ol’ George. Everybody loved George and thought he was going to do a great job, right?

    🕊

  19. Doug, stop discussing Beemers case. You have no idea what is happening there except what has been made public and let be honest here, it hasn’t been much. I’m not defending anything except for the fact that conjecture and assumptions will only make look like a horses back side.

  20. I think you just broke the first rule of the comment section lightsout. Telling people what they can discuss or not discuss usually guarantees they will do the opposite.
    I’ve disagreed with your steady trashing of Bryan Narducci or as you like to say Wreckaducci but never suggested you not do it knowing full well it would not influence you at all.
    Tell you what. You continue to determine what you want to talk about and what to say and I’ll do the same.
    Sound good?

  21. sour grapes of hope says:

    the stands could not support a crowd that is required to provide a positive cash flow……its that simple.ticket prices be damned . if the stands are not replaced its a no go..they are dangerous plain and simple … second serluca does NOT have the financial resources to operate the track as a leasee…. someone else is at work here with him or behind the scenes. if improvements are made it makes the track more attractive to a potential buyer.. remove the clouds and the sun will shine again at the bowl.. lets see what happens. the racing was pretty much follow the leader sat.. best races were the x cars and super x.. mod show was good. narducci used up all the track trying to protect his spot when running behind owen and owen was not going to let the 41 by either. if sunday had started at noon wouldn’t have been bad… once the sun went down even this die hard fan got cold and I WAS prepared.. more cars makes for better racing period !!!!

  22. lightsout wrote: “Doug, stop discussing Beemers case. You have no idea what is happening there except what has been made public and let be honest here, it hasn’t been much. I’m not defending anything except for the fact that conjecture and assumptions will only make look like a horses back side.”

    Really??? Not much has been made public about the Bemer case? LOL!!!! Let’s see… he was arrested, investigated over a few years, he talked and effectively admitted and confessed to being part of a ring and a customer of that ring that took advantage of disabled young men for sexual pleasure, published police reports state this admission, all of his accomplices have pleaded guilty, Bemer was offered a no-jail plea deal and he turned it down. That’s just what I have read in news, without going looking for more. You say that’s not much? LOL!!!

    lightsout, stop telling people to stop doing what you don’t like. Be honest. LOL!!! There’s plenty about the Bemer case in the news. Plenty. More would only be far worse than what is already known, and what has been publicized is already damning and disgusting. Tell the folks running the NLWSB to be honest. This constant flow of 💩 from the 🚽 is and has been laughable.

    sour grapes of hope, what about the stands? Geez, you mean they haven’t been replaced yet, along with all new concessions buildings, environmental remediations, lavs, etc.? I thought good ol’ George was going to take care of all that. Remember the five year plan that he presented to the town? LOL!!!! This was discussed in that highly publicized meeting with the town officials. George presented a five year plan, and the town told him to go away and come back with what he really wanted to do so the town can review it. Did any of that ever happen? Just another coat of paint, eh?

    George was replaced with Serluca. Serluca will be ground up and spit out just like George was. 🤮

    Not a matter of being positive or any other crap like that it. It’s just the reality of the situation.

    ☣️ ☢️

  23. sour grapes of hope says:

    da real its clear to me and probably many others you are obsessed and or so angry with the bowl you simply cannot let it go.. someone did ya wrong there ???.dont blow your cover …get it out man !!! ..let it go.. Bemer is a John nothing more.. that’s why he declined the plea deal.. why would he risk everything to clear his name?? .he has admitted to abhorrent behavior …but has NOT been convicted in a court of law … no I am not a lawyer and neither are you.. YES his name is forever scarred and as long as he is attached to the track its an issue.. My point was to say yes the stands are dangerous.. I am not holding my breath and agree the present management clearly (with all respect to Serluca) does NOT have the financial chops to open for an entire season.. but da real your anger really shows.. let it go …its a race track.. we may lose it and that would be sad for some who for over 50 yrs have found their Saturday night entertainment ..me being one of those is cautiously optimistic.. to waste time on predictions and armchair promote and manage is a huge waste of time. my hope is stands and infrastructure are repaired. this makes it more attractive to another buyer. with the right ownership and promotion the track could do well… just my opinion

  24. I’m not angry. I’m laughing at all the folks that think all is well, the deliberately ignorant, those that think if you don’t talk about the obvious, it will all go away and all will be fine. They are the ones that are worrying if the facility will open so they have something to do on a Saturday night. The ones that think it’s the fault of those that talk about the conditions of the place as the root cause of the track problems. LOL!!!! No, I’m not angry, I’m laughing at those that are blaming everyone else but those at fault, and accusing others of not “supporting” the track. It’s the condition of the facility that is the problem. It’s not my problem, nor am I obligated to support the track. I’m watching folks think that this time the stands will be fixed, and all the other problems resolved, and LMAO!!!

    Charlie Brown still thinks Lucy won’t yank the ball at the last second, too. Never learns. What an idiot.

  25. Ed Pannoni says:

    As a long time fan I can only say I wish Riverside Plainville and Danbury had as many peopel in their corner as the Bowl seems to have, cuz we’d still be racing there too. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and opinions , but despite all the negativity , the gates seem to swing open every year, and every year for probably the last 10, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Be thankful that people are willing to give it a shot , regqrdless of their financial acumen or common business sense. They seem to have a passion for racing, an affinity to the Bowl and good intentions, and as a result there is still racing there. Is it on borrowed time unless someone with deep pockets can make all the improvements it needs? I suppose so , but its borrowed about 10 years so far and it looks like it’s got another year of life left. So enjoy it while you got it or much like the afore-mentioned tracks, the only thing you’ll be going to is the annual Waterford Speedbowl reunion.

  26. Mike Serluca says:

    @humphry-
    Excellent investigative work. I announced it at the initial drivers meeting and have also reiterated it every week that the place would not be open if it weren’t for the owner. Colombo has nothing on you detective.

  27. LOL!!!! I think back to when it was first announced that George was going to run the place. As a lessee, you all thought George was going to make all the capital investments and improvements. humphry would drive by to give us status updates. Nothing ever happened. That was laughable. My, how naive some people were, and some still are. Yeah, there is like seven figures worth of construction and remediation needed, and you thought George was going to shell that out of his own pocket. Mike is the new George. Bemer needs someone as a front for him, to run the place. The facility loses value bigly if it doesn’t open and operate. Don’t expect anything more than the place to open, and the minimum needed to do that. Bemer is in no position to rebuild the facility given that he just chose to roll the dice 🎲 and go to trial.

    Let’s see if the town will kick the can down the sidewalk a little more, one more time. The town doesn’t want to have the track close and sit idle as an eyesore while it decays. The site apparently has environmental issues that will keep buyers away. Even if they want to use it for something other than a track.

    The banquet is going to be a real hoedown!!! How much will the points fund pay out?

  28. Hillary 2028 says:

    I don’t know who this dafella is but something seems to have awoken a sleeping whack job.

  29. Hillary 2028 says:

    Out of all the big names that showed up, Gada wasn’t one I expected.

  30. Well Mike, I will agree with you on the statement that that the place would not be open if it weren’t for the owner. Now, would you agree with me that the place is in the situation it is because of the actions of the owner? Simple aye?

  31. God and the State judicial system can judge Mr. Bemer. But humphry is right in expressing the concerns and fans curiosity.
    The pits were abuzz with the assumption that next year was a done deal according to the very much appreciated pit updates from Robert Bagot and Blaise Brodour. Some NEMA guy said he already bought a Chassis Dynamics SK Light and was planning on racing next year. Optimism abounded about how the fields could strengthen with such an early commitment to the 2019 schedule.
    And the architect of the schedule and father of the optimism is here mocking a long time Speedbowl racer and fan? Shouldn’t promoters always be promoting?
    Another tidbit thrown out by Blaise is that the American Modified Tour that failed to launch as intended in 2018 will be on the schedule. Any meat on those bones or just a casual aside?
    Bemer’s trial, the civil actions, stands, environmental issues………many daggers still suspended over the iconic track.
    Don’t judge us too harshly Mr. Serluca for simply being curious since the vast majority of us are rooting for you and admiring your pluck in the face of a daunting challenge.

  32. Whatever happens at/to the Bowl this offseason, I hope that Mike Serluca will be able to keep us posted. Speculation thrives in the absence of timely and reliable information.

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