Road to Glory: Stock Car Road Race Challenge Will Play Role in Championship Standings

(Press Release from the North East Street Stock Tour)

Larry Barnett, the all-time winningest Limited Sportsman driver in Thompson Speedway oval racing history, is expected to take part in this weekend's North East Street Stock Tour on the road course at Thompson as part of the Stock Car Road Race Challenge

Larry Barnett, the all-time winningest Limited Sportsman driver in Thompson Speedway oval racing history, is expected to take part in this weekend’s North East Street Stock Tour on the road course at Thompson as part of the Stock Car Road Race Challenge

The Stock Car Road Race Challenge will not only test driver’s ability to negotiate right turns, but the event, taking place on September 11-12 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, will play a large role in the points championships, as well.

Roger Turbush leads Frank Dumicich, Jr. in the Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series standings entering Friday and Saturday’s event. Turbush’s lead is thirty-one points, with four races remaining on the schedule, but none is more intriguing to Turbush than the Stock Car Road Race Challenge (SCRRC).

Roger explained the event’s uniqueness, saying “Racing on a track no one has raced on before is always tough, but to make it more tough, is a road course in which no one has ever raced on; a track that makes right hand turns.”

Turbush is a six-time winner on the Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series, and wants to add to that total, continuing “If I have the chance, and my truck is running well, I am sure I will not be focused on the championship, and just focused on the race when I strap on my helmet.”

Toby Wells has enjoyed a phenominal season, as well. The North East Mini Stock Tour point leader has seven wins on the season, and actually had a bounty on him for most of the year (picked up by Glen Thomas at Seekonk Speedway). His dominance mirrors the second-half of last season, in which Wells won the championship.

While Wells has won at many different tracks, but a win at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park would be a special one. Wells explained “Wells Motorsports has won at short tracks, dirt tracks, mid-size tracks, and large tracks, but not on a road course, yet. We will be giving it our all. It would be a special win.”

The tightest battle entering the event is in the North East Street Stock Tour. Chris Douton and Geoff Rollins have been swapping the point recently, and now the duo is tied entering the SCRRC.

The tour visited two of Rollins’ home tracks early in the season (Monadnock Speedway, Lee USA Speedway), but now Douton feels the southern swing on the schedule favors the Waterford, CT resident.

Douton has been busy working on his Ford Thunderbird in preparation for this weekend’s event, saying “I have been eating, sleeping, and talking about the road course race constantly. We try to win every single race, and have been working on our car every night to get it ready for the road course.”

Douton is a former champion on the 5/8-mile oval at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, but the 1.7-mile road course will be a different challenge. Douton exclaimed “The winner will be the best prepared team, and patience will be key. You have to be cool all the way around to win this race.”

The Thompson-legal Mini Stocks will enjoy a full race card at the Stock Car Road Race Challenge, with the Late Model division invited to test on the road course, as well.

Fans will be able to interact with entrants in the Stock Car Road Race Challenge, as each ticket grants access to the paddock area, where drivers will be working and preparing their machines for the event.

The Stock Car Road Race Challenge will take place at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, on September 11-12. Friday’s festivities will include driver meetings, a track walk, and practice. Registration will begin at 11AM on Friday, with the paddock area opening at 11:30AM. Friday’s ticket price is $15. Saturday will include a final practice, qualifying, and feature events, with a ticket price of $30. The day begins at 7AM on Saturday, with final practices scheduled to begin at 8:30AM. For more information on the Stock Car Road Race Challenge, visit


  1. Hard to believe I’m reading about street stocks racing at thompson on a road course when this weekend used to be the crown jewel of modified racing (The 300). Boy how times have changed for the worse. I would bet they won’t b opening the main grand stands or concessions for this event. I used to set up my tent early Friday morning then go back and get my race car. Breakfast Saturday morning then Saturday nite steak dinner at the club house then party till whenever. Best dam weekend in the north east

  2. It is kind of a shame what has become of the Thompson oval. What did they have 7 races scheduled this season? It is tough to build a program when you race so infrequently. They also changed there night of operation and charged the same for less divisions. It didn’t seem like there was much in the way of advertising. In years past, I had seen stuff with Charter and Extramart schedules and coupons. It is clear they are concentrating on the road course and the oval is becoming an afterthought. If Nascar would allow them, I would not be surprised if they went to an even smaller oval schedule next year. I heard they need to maintain a certain number of programs to remain sanctioned with Nascar but I am not sure if they are at the minimum. Even under Nascar, the drivers aren’t getting full fields or enough races to make them a contender for the National Championship running at Thompson alone.

    I thought this road course event would be an interesting show to attend but seeing the pricing I decided against going. I cant imagine you would be able to see more then 50 percent of the road course from the grandstands and I don’t think they have video monitors to keep track of the action. It would be interesting to hear what the oval drivers think of the event. What changes they needed to make?

  3. Grey Matter says

    Thompson has turned into to the biggest joke in the New England oval track racing community. While I respect their road course, I cannot understand why you would all but abandon what Thompson was all about before the road course became a “thing”. Thanks to Thompson, you won’t see a national championship come out of CT any time soon either. It takes multiple race tracks to make a champion, not just Thompson. Putting street stocks on a road course is laughable in itself, never mind their 7 race “series”. The Thompson atmosphere has been ruined.

  4. While I understand why people are so one sided when it comes to TSMP running a road course, it never ceases to amaze me the pure ignorance of the reality of what happened to TSMP. Your own two eyes can easily tell you there was a problem at Thompson in the late 2000 moving into the 2010s. Crowds were extremely thin, car counts were dropping into the single digits and the track was struggling. Many people seem blinded by the reality that the track was failing. It’s extremely unlikely that prior to the 2012 season, this track had shown much of a profit in many years from weekly oval events if any at all. The bottom line is, the racetrack is a business. No matter what way you try and spin it, a business needs to make money to continue to operate. Thompson is my home track. I’ve spent the past 25+ years attending races there as a fan, racer and crew member. However the reality of the situation is, the track needs to make money to survive. If you walk in there on a race night now, the place is packed. Good fields of cars in every division, mostly if not completely full grandstands and a great program overall. It was made clear before they made this drop to 7 races that they were trying to rebuild the oval track program. The road course is a big money maker for them right now with club racing and series road course racing being a very popular and growing trend. It was a smart business decision for them to do what they did. I know for a fact that the staff is very happy with the response and growth of the oval program in the past 2 years and is actively exploring the option of expanding the schedule to something like 10 races.

    While it is definitely disappointing for us oval racers to see this track cut back to a short schedule, it has truly helped them rebuild and survive. It wasn’t but 4 years ago many were wondering if the place would even exist due to the turmoil and internal tensions between drivers and staff, now it’s absolutely one of the most enjoyable atmospheres to be in.

    With all that said, I will sit back and wait for all the negative responses since that is what all of you crybaby keyboard heroes do best.

  5. Larry Barnett says

    Well said dingus. Things are heading in the correct direction. Sometimes that direction needs to turn to the “right”.
    I will be there with my lowly street stock, having the time of my life. Probably much more fun than those folks staying home, counting the few bucks they saved.

  6. 23, 17, 14, 14, 16, 15, 14. Those are how many cars showed up for their “premier division”. If management is very happy with this then no wonder why the track is in trouble. They must be comparing to what it was a few years ago with 9 or 10 showing up. The only division they should be happy with are the late models. I will give them credit for changing over to the ACT cars.

  7. Hey Rich, in other parts of the country their premier divisions draw car counts barely over 7-8 cars. Let’s put it into perspective shall we? We are lucky to have what we have. No, the SK fields have not been massive, but honestly, they have been less than impressive everywhere this year. Waterford is leading the charge with 20 cars or so lately while Stafford, touted as “the home of the SK Modified” struggles to reach 16 or 17 which is not far off of Thompson’s numbers. So let’s try again with your ridiculous logic… Shall we? Thompson is not in trouble by any means. I hope you all ever own a racetrack cause it would fail almost as fast as you open the gates. Shut up and support these local tracks before they disappear just live Danbury, Plainville, Norwood and Riverside!

  8. Dingus- good points; from what I hear is that drivers in both the Mini Stock and Limited Sportsman are excited for the Challenge, for guys like Larry I do hope it’s fun and report back to us.

    As for the oval, I think track could have easily abandoned and bulldozed the Oval when they were building road course, but they didnt. The tracks biggest problem is the night they run on, I am willing to bet if they had a Friday or Sat night cars counts would be better. I think car counts have improved this year (and if Stafford is the standard bearer) they are not far off. I honestly think the three tracks should try and come up with common rules packages for the Modifieds and ACT rules for the Latemodels. Why not try developing a tri track point fund for said divisions, with special 75-80 lap shows spread btween the tracks during the season. I think Thompson chose the road course for future financial stability, and I cannot fault them for that.

  9. I really don’t understand the logic behind common rules across all tracks? Why would this be the answer to car count problems? Common rules would not get more people involved in racing, which is the only way to get more cars. Guys cant race 3 days a week. Its just not affordable.

  10. To avoid a lengthy explanation racefan54, common rules allow us as drivers to visit different tracks. Nobody want’s to be a one-track-jack. We, as racers, enjoy a challenge and a change of scenery. A car that can be used at multiple tracks will always have a better resale value as well to prospective buyers. Whether anyone want’s to admit it or not, when we build our cars, that is in the back of our minds somewhere.

  11. Chris, Personally, I consider Thompson the “crown jewel” of CT tracks. I would really like to see Stafford run Friday, Waterford Saturday and Thompson go back to a Sunday date. In speaking with track manager Josh Vanada over the winter last season, he noted that Wednesday had drawn more cars than Thursday previously had when they tried it in 2014, however I definitely believe Sunday would work better. The only risk with Sunday is that it’s typically a family day so it’s kind of a catch 22 there. Will it really do better? You will never know until you try, but that can be a big financial risk. The one thing they have going for Wednesday Nights, is they are usually able to get a regular show done and over with before 9:15pm.

  12. Sorry for the long message, but as a long time fan of all forms of mosport, I have a lot to say this morning…

    There is a huge new road course either complete, or nearly complete in MA, built with private money. It doesn’t have grandstands. Lime Rock Park never has had grandstands, yet is undergoing huge new investment. How many new ovals have been constructed lately? Daytona is installing elevators and escalators, as the fans are getting too old, or too infirm from too many decades of Winstons, to climb the grandstands. I’m 50 and gray haired, and attend all kinds of motorsports events. The crowds are by far the oldest at NASCAR and NHRA events, the youth at road races is noticeably present. A graying customer base is never good.

    The business-side (as opposed to spectator-side) appeal of road courses is the versatility. Places like Lime Rock, Thompson, New Jersey Motorsports Park, and Raceway Park, are continually busy with club racing, driving schools, car tests, autocross, etc… A CT based maker of car racks for bicycles, kayaks, skis, and the like, even rents Lime Rock to test their products aggressively driven at high speeds. The participants in these events pay real money, and they require a lot less overhead to service, for example security and production staff, than a grandstand crowd.

    Technology is helping the road course spectator… and it’s only getting better. At the recent Lime Rock IMSA event, we watched every replay, fantastic in-car shots, and the action in areas we couldn’t see on iPads. We also had continuous access to live timing and scoring, with flawless service. It’s great to see Stafford trying new Periscope. I see more and more Periscope users every week at Stafford. I’d LOVE to see the same timing and scoring screen race control sees at ovals.

    Autocross events, in cars that get driven to and from the track, easily draw larger car counts than our old favorite modified events. I think part of this comes from the popularity of GoPros and related technology. YouTube footage featuring open track days overseas, at places like Nuremberg, Monza, and Silverstone, as well as easy access to TV shows like “Top Gear”, tend to shift preferences of folks using the services. Racing games and simulators also can draw a enthusiasts into road racing. 20 and 30-somethings grew up playing Forza or Colin McRae Rally, not Days of Thunder, on the video gaming system.

    Younger folks interested in cars are not buying V8, solid rear axle cars, with the possible exception of Mustangs. They’re driving BRZ / FR-S’, WRX’s, and other “drivers” cars. Cars that closed-minded car fans who don’t really know very much about things like ECU’s or handling balance look down their noses and call demeaning names like “rice burners”. They’re also customizing and tuning older German hardware. All of these cars are meant to turn, be fun to drive, and exciting to toss through corners, not just generate HP and torque stats. Look at the draw at Stafford’s Wicked Big Meet. Look at the popularity of drifting. I don’t understand why drifting is so popular, but it obviously is…

    I see some good sides to this. Anything that gets younger people participating, not just spectating, and that draws people to investigate the technical aspects of the cars and learn new information is a good thing. I also think having more legal outlets to explore performance can get street racers off the streets and protect innocent bystanders.

    I hope the Street Stock folks have a great time at Thompson Shoot and share some GoPro footage!

  13. hey guys come on! Lets give it a chance, if the stock car road challenge works out, they will do it again next year, if not, oh well, try something else. I will go today, if I like it, i’ll go back, if not i’ll stay home enuff said.
    Thompson,stafford,seekonk,thunder road are all tracks with aging owners, doubt anyone could buy one for todays prices and turn a profit. lets be thankful for what we got!
    the 300, if it was so great they would still have it here or somewhere else. 300 laps just to long for these cars ,crews. the race was always 200 laps of riding , 100 or so of racing. we all just saw coby pass the entire field in less than 20 laps the last race at Thompson. great party weekend, lousy race. besides we still have icebreaker and world series.

  14. Andy Boright says

    Anyone who thinks that truck series and NESST will pull anything close to a full field hasn’t been paying attention to what those series were doing on oval tracks.

    Good thing this isn’t an event counting on fan participation, come to think of it, the competitor count won’t be very high either, why is this race being run?

  15. A five car mini stock race is all you need to know how much of a “success” this event was. 42 cars across all 5 divisions. But yeah lets give it a chance and maybe get 3 shows for next season. As for the oval, I will agree with Dingus, why not try a Sunday weekly show? Oh that’s right, Sundays are for the road course which takes precedence. So that will never happen and if it could happen it would have already. So lets put this into perspective shall we? Thompson has a double feature night and draws 14 cars. Waterford has a double feature night and draws 27 sk’s. So with my ridiculous logic, how can I be content watching a boring 14 car race on a 5/8th oval when I compare it to non stop action of a 27 car race on a 3/8th bullring? Like I said I really hope your wrong when you say Thompson is happy with the way this season went. If they are then next season will be no different. And I actually do support the place as I’ve attended all oval track events there this year. Although sometimes I wonder why I keep giving the place a chance only to be disappointed most times. Believe it or not I do want the place to succeed and hope for the best.

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