Shawn Monahan In No Rush To Fill Race Director Position At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

New London-Waterford Speedbowl general manager Shawn Monahan

New London-Waterford Speedbowl general manager Shawn Monahan

As the news of the departure of Scott Tapley as race director at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl went public Wednesday, the rumors of his likely successors at the shoreline were rolling in like Tsunami tide.

But, three days removed from the close of the first season at the track under the ownership of Bruce Bemer, New London-Waterford Speedbowl general manager Shawn Monahan said there’s no need for any rush to fill the position.

“I’m one day into this,” Monahan said. “I’m definitely not into making any quick decisions. As one door closes another will open. I feel extremely confident that we still have phenonomonal team and I just have to be very careful about who I choose to fill that position. I’m not going to jump to a quick conclusion.”

Monahan said he wasn’t surprised when Tapley told him he was leaving the track. Rumors of Tapley’s courtship by new Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway owner and Whelen Modified Tour team owner Ed Partridge have been floating since Patridge took over at Riverhead in mid-August.

Monahan said Tapley left on good terms. The Speedbowl concluded its season Sunday with the running of the inaugural Bemers Super Bowl of Racing Weekend.

“I had heard rumors that Scott was looking at going to Riverhead, and nothing was confirmed and Scott didn’t lead me to believe anything until the conclusion of the racing event [Sunday], which I thought, looking back on it so fresh, it was respectful for him to wait,” Monahan said. “We had such a successful season, there wasn’t any bad blood. We still get along great. His departure has not been in a negative manner. He just has an opportunity before him to better himself.”

It marked the second time in less than three years that Tapley has vacated the New London-Waterford Speedbowl race director position.

After spending two years under previous Speedbowl race director Tom Fox, Tapley was named race director at the track in 2011. He left the Speedbowl following the 2012 season to take over as the Valenti Modified Racing Series race director. Tapley parted ways with Valenti Modified Racing Series in June 2014.

Under the new ownership of Bemer, Tapley returned to the track as race director prior to the start of the 2015 season.

“I think that the New London-Waterford Speedbowl has the best racing at any track I’ve ever visited as far as short track racing,” Monahan said. “And I’m so fortunate that I get to run the track that I truly believe in. I think that with the passion that I have behind it, it really needed Scott Tapley to break us off of the negative path that it was on prior to the new ownership and it has put us in the direction that we needed to go. As a door closes another will open and I feel confident that we can have good, fair racing at the track with a new race director. I will be very careful and strategic on how I choose that person.”


  1. Everybody can make all the negative comments they want about the situation with race director, but at the end of last season we didnt know if there was ever going to be another race held at the Bowl. So what if a few mistakes were made by the new management team during the year. If I had a choice between the two scenarios I would rather be worried about the selection of a new race director than being worried about the end of racing at the Bowl. Just my opinion.

  2. Agree with Mike 100%. I have been lucky to live long enough to be attending the Speedbowl since 1959. I have watched the Bowl go through numerous owners, and management teams. I have seen the good as well as the bad and ugly. I have seen car counts go up and down, its all cyclical just like the economy. Sure a race director is an important part of the success or failure of any racetrack but it is not the only thing that’s important, you need a good team from top to bottom. Everyone needs to remember Mr. Bemer got into this deal very late and I personally think he did a very good job in the time he had to prepare for the 2015 season. Hindsight is always 20-20 and sure there are many things us fans and most likely Mr. Bemer feel the management team could have done better. Mr. Bemer did not get to be as successful as he is by making poor decisions. He did what he thought was best at the time and no one can fault him. After all it is Mr. Bemer’s money at risk and not ours. Remember Mr. Bemer did not come to the game with hands on racing experience. I am sure Mr. Bemer used the 2015 as a learning experience and fact finding mission. It is my guess Mr. Bemer will make whatever changes necessary to bring the Speedbowl back to being successful as it was in the 1960’s. Lets face it, Mr. Bemer picked up the pieces from the devastating Ames era. I’m sure 2016 will be better than 2015 regardless of who is running the place.

  3. Management ! says

    I believe that GM Shawn Monahan may not be making the the next pick of the new race director . I like many others have heard that thus maybe Mr . Monahans last show . Mr. Bemer has sometime to think and hear from the people about change . Shawn did a ok job for Mr Bemers first year . But like everything in life we need change for the better . Shawn should start building his SK for next year just in case . I think we need a outsider who’s Not a influence or influenced by others is a better fit . Geez he hired Chris William who lol got fired by Emes . Brain surgeon at work there . Well what ever happens I’ll be there to support Mr. Bemer and the Bowl !!

  4. Management !,
    Mr. Bemer has made no remarks about any change in the position of general manager and has not indicated in any way that there could be any change. I think Shawn is preparing for the 2016 season because he will be the general manager of the facility.

  5. Management ! says

    It’s just in the rumor mill . I have heard from several players there maybe a change if not I hope it get bigger and better . Love to see the week night cars in the Saturday shows a lil more often .

  6. I would like to say as a fan for many years as the track went down hill , the short time you had to put a group together to run the track and pull together a schedule for the 2015 year ,they did one hell of a job , My racing hat off to Mr. Bemer and his crew . The track came back to life again and that was great .The excitement for fans was at an all time high from the last 10 years . Personally I can’t wait to see the new schedule for 2016 and Mr. Bemer your super bowl was one of the best weekends of racing this year thank you and your crew for that. I am not new to the track ,I have been going to the track from the beginning , I am no kid lol . I would like to see the track web site a little more user friendly and I would like to know if you are going to offer a season pass ticket for 2016 . Thanks again . Richard

  7. speed kills says

    I anticipate an announcement at or after the banquet from the gm and or the owner as to next seasons plans

  8. Management ! says

    I agree the web site SUCKS !! Take from Staffords it’s a great base to get us a better site and just posting on Facebook is such a bad idea . There are so many of us older fans who don’t use that form of media .

  9. Just saying says

    Hey Speedy, I sure hope they don’t make us wait that long for us to know who and what to expect for 2016. Memory has it the banquet was always held in January and if it was going to be sooner I would think it would have been announced by now.

  10. I saw Tom Fox in the pits on a Wednesday practice night. Wonder why?

  11. Tom Fox probably wants to come back as a driver, maybe of an x car…

  12. Management! Your negatively is just ridiculous. I wish guys like you would just either stay off the computer or stay home on Saturday nights. I think the staff did a good job for the short amount of time they had. This was Shawn Monahans first year and your ready to hang him? I thought the schedule, the special events, and the speedy Saturday nights were awesome. Just please let them do there job as they continue to try and give you the best race track in ct!

  13. Tune in to 94.9 today. Shawn Monahan will be on to discuss future plans for the speedbowl. The complaints are unbelievable. For the first time in what, 15 years? We know without a doubt the bowl will be open and alive and well for the coming season. It’s pretty amazing what they were able to accomplish this season with hardly any time. Good car counts, improved concessions, remodeled bathrooms and good promotions and better pricing for the kids, basically free for them. 31 sks for the nationals. I’m not sure I remember the last time 31 sks showed up for any race there. And actually Waterford had better car counts than Stafford which is usually pretty hard to do. So give them a chance if you’re not pleased with the way the season went. I’m betting next year will be even better.

  14. old observer says

    Be happy that the Speed Bowl is already making plans to race next year! I’m not a regular but made I all the full modified shows. Always good racing, The parking lot , gate men, pit ticket booth, & officials were all nice & cooperative to deal with. Wish it wasn’t 130+ miles each way.
    I’m sure if you want to offer constructive criticism , they will analyze your letters/emails etc. but probably not your continuing bitching (sorry Shawn for the word) on this website.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing