Racing Plans For 2013 At Thompson International Speedway Remain Up In The Air

Thompson International Speedway owner Don Hoenig said Thursday that track management has not made any decisions as of yet as to how the 2013 schedule will look at the track.

In an interview on Oct. 13, Hoenig said the possibility exists that the track may not run weekly in 2013. He had said that day that he hoped to have decisions finalized before this weekend when the track hosts its annual swap meet.

“Have we done anything further? No,” Hoenig said Thursday. “But we’ll make some decisions in the next couple of weeks. We’ve got some things, we’ve got see how some things are coming together. I’ve got to get this weekend over with.”

Hoenig said he has not spoken with officials at NASCAR about scheduling for next year. Thompson’s weekly events run under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanction and the track also regularly hosts the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The track hosted the Modified Tour four times in 2012. The Valenti Modified Racing Series made three visits to Thompsonn during the 2012 season.

“I haven’t talked to NASCAR,” Hoenig said. “… I have nothing scheduled with them … as far as NASCAR is concerned. I talked to the [Valenti] Modified Racing Series about potential dates and so forth, but nothing has been firmed up yet.”

Hoenig’s grandson Jonathan, who serves in title as the track’s marketing director, has been researching major changes at the facility, including the installation of a state of the art road course. Donald Hoenig said he has to give his grandson the time needed to complete studies on the feasibility of any changes at the track.

“You know how the rumors are out there,” Donald Hoenig said. “No decisions have been made for anything and we’re not going to make anything until the 15th of December. Until we’re totally sure of everything. Jonathan is on a total study for a year and a half on an upgrade of the whole facility, including a new road course. That hasn’t been totally finalized yet. There’s areas that he hasn’t got tied up yet. So I’ve got to give him the fairness and the time to do that and then we’ll make our decisions.”

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  1. In my eyes, a "we aren't sure" is better than a NO any day… Still hoping for a full season however…

  2. So what does someone who might buy a Thompson race ready car this weekend or someone building one do..

  3. Brent Gleason says

    Buy one that is also legal at other tracks just in case.

  4. They are really hurting themselves by not giving a definitive answer on next season. They think the car counts are a problem, well right now drivers are in the process of putting plans together for next season. Those plans may have included running at Thompson next season but now they are looking at other area tracks and thinking about changing their cars over.

    Here is what I would try with their weekly program. Move to Sunday afternoons. Change the Sunoco mod rules to align with Stafford and Waterford. You might alienate what 4 cars. Drop the Thompson mods, move towards an Act style crate engine late model, keep the lights, sportsman and ministocks as is. Enforce rules for every driver every division. Someone assaults another competitor n the pits they are done, not allowed back in a year. Lower the gate prices and ticket prices by 5 dollars so its more inline with other family entertainment. Last year, it wasnt worth the price of admission, not for what they were selling. Put in a purse structure that is based on participating car count. I think they could make a go of it on Sundays, take a few weeks off for area special shows like loudon and what not.

  5. They might be shooting themselves in the foot. ie: if there is no racing at thompson why would I go to the swap meet and buy anything related to Thompson racing? Maybe that is why they put off making any announcement till the swap meet is over. Without firm plans I ain't doing nothing race related because I will not bring my car to Wtfd or Stafford. If I wait till Dec. 15th and racing is cancelled at Big T, I will sell everything but take a big hit in the price as everyone will know it ain't worth nothing. We have been a faithfull supporter of Thompson for 13 years and looked forward to many more but now all we can do is sit and wait. Thanks for listening.. Chief

  6. This track is becoming the new Stafford, a nice place that nobody wants to go to! Another place where management, and officials missed the ball!

  7. I think the track could use a little positive press now and all the negative issues should be dealt with behind closed doors in a professional manner. I would hate for this track to become a Save the Speedway candidate.

  8. Nathan – The best solution would be for the track owners to get together with a common rules package.

  9. Tony Leckey says

    The new Stafford??? What in the world are you talking about?? It might be that you personally don't want to patronize Stafford but the last time I checked Stafford's car counts were healthy and I know first-hand that management has an open door policy with respect to it's teams, competitors, and fans. Sorry to jump on you Matt but I think that you are shooting from the hip with an untrue statement. With respect to Thompson, Don Hoenig has to ultimately make the correct business decision for himself, his family, and his facility. The fact that he is not making a knee jerk decision is wise. I could not agree more about the need for uniformity in rules but that's a whole 'nother issue best saved for for another subject.

  10. Tony sorry to offend you and yes stafford does do things right in some cases ,just a bit ticked to see Thompson going away potentially.

  11. Tony Leckey says

    No offense taken Matt, one develops a hard shell after being in the game for a long time. I agree that losing weekly racing at Thompson is a bitter pill for everyone who loves the sport but unfortunately in this case it becomes a difficult business decision that Don and his team have to wrestle with.

  12. I would go to Thompson on a Sunday afternoon. I live an hour and fifteen minutes from the track which is tough coming home on a Thursday night. Also, yes, standardize the cars for all 3 Conn. tracks. Seems like everyone-drivers, owners, crews, tracks-would benefit.

  13. Your only problem with "standardizing" the rules for all 3 tracks would be that Even if Thompson was in favor of that, you still have to convince both of the other tracks to do so. The rules are close enough in most divisions at this point where cars from other tracks can come run and be pretty competitive. It would be very difficult (especially since both other tracks are in the process of, or have released 2013 rules) to get all 3 tracks aligned for 2013. Honestly, Thompson is pretty close to waterford right now… The SK's can go back and fourth with setup and gearing changes as far as I know (I heard they will even allow spec engines at Thompson now with 4bbl carbs since TC ran with his at world series) The Street Stocks/Sportsmans are pretty close and people have hopped back and fourth all 2012 with their cars successfully. Mini stocks are also pretty close. A couple guys ran both tracks from time to time. Late Models towards the end of the year Thompson started allowing the ACT cars which Waterford runs and a few came up and we actually came close to 15 cars on a weekly basis the last 3 events of 2012 before the world series. Stafford is the one who is a little behind in times in my eyes… The dare stocks can come to waterford and thompson with some gear changes and run around 10th-15th place but that's about where it stops. TC brought his SK to the world series and ran really well supposedly with a 4bbl on it as well as a few others. I also don't know that the late models could come to thompson and run competitively? Like I said, it seems to me that everything is fairly close and with a few tweaks everyone could come run. I think it does come down to the fact that Thompson runs before the other tracks every week, and that anyone from Stafford and Waterford that might want to come run Thompson is taking a huge risk that in the event of a crash, they may not be able to run their regular track… Sunday would probably do a lot to fix that for sure…

    I dunno, im just rambling my thoughts but you get the idea haha

  14. The PASS North 2013 schedule came out recently and Thompson Speedway is not on it. They have had at least one show at Thompson speedway going back several years. While that doesn't bode well for Thompson Speedway running next year, I am not sure it means much as other local tracks (Seekonk, Stafford) which also held PASS races last season are not on the schedule this year. The owner of PASS recently purchased OPS (ME) and seems to be concentrating on building the series in Northern NE/Canada.

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