Weather Wonder: Thompson Speedway Management Ready To Plow Through Icebreaker Weekend

Thompson Logo 2016 300x250In addition to preparing for everything that surrounds one of the biggest short track racing weekends of the season locally, Thompson Speedway general Josh Vanada has been forced this week to take on the additional role of amateur meteorologist.

The forecast for Thompson Speedway’s Icebreaker 2016 weekend might look fairly negative, but Vanada and his team are taking the optimistic approach and are ready to take on everything Mother Nature has to offer and get the Connecticut racing season started.

Thompson’s weekend schedule includes practice on Friday, qualifying for all divisions and six features on Saturday and six features on Sunday, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opening Icebreaker 150 and a 75-lap Pro All Stars Series event.

“We’re on for all three days,” Vanada said. “As we see it, the latest forecast for [Friday] is looking clear so I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. Hauler parking and practice is on.

“Saturday I think is the day that everyone is concerned with. There are some forecasts that are for 1-3 inches of snow, there are some 3-5 inches, there are some that say we’re really not going to get anything but a couple of snow squalls later in the evening after we would be done anyway. I’m not all that concerned about Saturday. We have plenty of options. Should that storm come in about 5 o’clock we should be almost done with our race program, so we’ve got some options to complete the remaining program on Sunday. We’ve got the Air Titan here to expedite any track drying.

“Sunday really looks like the best day. I know that folks are concerned about the cold, but frankly, last year the high was 42 degrees on Sunday of the World Series [in mid-Octobert] and we didn’t have sunshine all day. They’re calling for mostly sunny skies to basically wall-to-wall sunshine on Sunday and 42 degrees. It’s not all that much different than the World Series Sunday last year and last year we endured snow squalls. I’m really not very concerned frankly about the weather.”

A big concern for Sunday is the possibility of accumulated snow on the track from overnight storms, mixed with temperatures in the 30’s and steady winds making for wind chills in the 20’s Sunday morning, though Vanada is not concerned.

This past Monday about five inches of snow fell on the track and by midday Tuesday, despite cold temperatures, it was gone.

“We have a very recent track record of having snow and very cold temperatures the following morning with sunshine and it did its job,” Vanada said. “When we received that snowstorm on Monday, by about 12:30 to 1 o’clock all of the asphalt areas were bare, except for the top of turns one and two, in which case we would just shovel those and make sure we remove the snow from that area because it doesn’t receive as much sunshine as the balance of the racetrack. I’m not concerned at all if there was any accumulated snow on Saturday that we could not get the race in on Sunday. I think the sun will do its job.

“I obviously want to put in the caveat that based on the forecasts that I’m watching I’m not concerned about accumulating snow, but should something freak happen, that would be different. But based up on what I’m watching that doesn’t seem to be the case.”


  1. darealgoodfella says

    The ground is saturated. The infield will be dangerous. The parking areas will be mud bogs.

  2. Please cancel. I just got the feeling in my toes back from the October race. It’s also supposed to be breezy on Sunday. At Thompson that means 20 mph winds. If it’s on ill be there though. For 48$ they should through in a free hot chocolate.

  3. Is there anything you don’t know????

  4. It’s a tough call. They could wait a week and end up being a complete washout. As of now it looks like Sunday is going to be a long cold day though.

  5. I’m on the fence right now. Could go either way. Probably will be a last minute decision. Have to wait and see.

  6. gab drou says

    Leaving from quebec city tomorrow morning to race at Thompson where should I look to know if it is cancelled

  7. darealgoodfella says

    gab drou, probably the best thing to do is follow Jimmy Wilson on Twitter, he’s the Tour Director. He’s good about Tweeting news. Follow “@jmmywilson” on Twitter. That is the correct spelling.

  8. clueless….they just dont care about the fans or the racers…..The almighty dollar is what they care about.

  9. I hope they cancel the event.It is not enjoyable to battle the low temperatures and winds at Thompson.

  10. Fast Eddie says

    Thank-you to the Thompson Speedway staff! The World Series was pretty cold, and the first couple of laps of the Whelen Modifieds were through a snow squall. If it’s dry, then it’s race time! I love racing more than I hate the cold. I’m bringin’ my layers of clothes and comin’ on down!! There may not be a comfortable race around here until mid-May or June, and I need a racin’ fix NOW!!

  11. darealgoodfella says

    Forecast has improved. Far less chance of precipitation, slightly less wind. Hope the place drains and dries out.

  12. The forecast has improved if you follow the Boston area channels. They are saying the best chance of any rain or snow on Saturday is out on Cape Cod because of the way the storm is tracking. Plus, the sun will be out all day Sunday so it should not feel quite as bad as the Saturday nights or cloudy Sundays at the World Series. They are in a tough spot because if they postpone a week because people think it is too cold, it could rain next weekend and they would not be able to run the race until after the Spring Sizzler at Stafford.

  13. darealgoodfella says

    We don’t want the event canceled. We want Thompson to be successful, and for that to happen they need fans to show up. This cold and windy weather will keep plenty of people away, especially parents with kids and the older folks. That’s usually a good amount of the people in the stands.

    Thompson… if you run this event this weekend, make sure there is massive amounts of hot chocolate, and hot beverages.

  14. It is easy to see why Thompson has long been considered the worst run track in the northeast. All the people I am talking to are not going…..When you have been going racing for 40+ years you really don’t need to go and be uncomfortable for 2 days when you can wait…….Racing in the first 3 weeks of April in the northeast is just plain stupid….unless your only real interest is the cash register.

  15. darealgoodfella says

    Other tracks have cancelled/postponed events that were scheduled for this weekend due to the C-O-L-D. Williams Grove just did so due to the cold, and their weather was not as cold as what we are supposed to get.

  16. And beer

  17. I wonder if any of the complainers have ever gone to a Patriots game in December? Probably didn’t complain about the cold for that.

  18. There is more then the local classes and the mod tour there this weekend. Many have hotel rooms all reserved. Pass alone has drivers from Quebec, the Carolina’s and Maine plus pass is already racing next weekend. Thompson has a little bit more to worry about then a few fans that expect 70 deg weather in April. It’s called the icebreaker not the heat wave. Get over yourselves and support the track and drivers that have put the show on for so many years.

  19. I am kind of shocked at the complaints about the scheduling. This race has always been scheduled between the last weekend March\first weekend April and the second weekend of April depending on when Easter falls just about every season for over 30 years. It’s not like you can look at the calendar and say “Wait! What are they trying to pull this season?”

  20. Some guy says

    Bob npt….Are you serious???….lets see what the difference is…?…Football, an outdoor fall/winter sport…in which you will be outside for 4-5 hours…..or auto racing, a spring/ summer sport in which you will be outside for sometimes 3 days….to even compare the two is laughable.

  21. I can’t think of any other sport where people bitch so much. No wonder racing is constantly losing population.
    It’s a 3 season sport. Either go to one of the most anticipated traditional races in New England or stay home. Why do people decide to go on the internet and complain? GO or DON’T GO. These comments are absolutely ridiculous.

  22. this will be the first icebreaker in 30 years that we will miss , last year at the world series when the snow began to fall my wife said thats it for now on if its not atleast 55 degrees we would not attend the race and i kept my promise. we called the hotel to cancel our reservations and the girl said we were the seventh cancellation since weds i do agree with previous posts that we need to support our local tracks thompson cant control the weather. they decided to run the race weekend and i am good with that, we just do not do as well as we once did with the cold weather.

  23. Scaremy Badley says

    It’s gonna be more than a few fans staying home because of the price to sit in the cold. I’ll wait for Stafford where I can get 3 hot dogs and an order of fries for less than 8$, 14$ plus for the same food at Thompson, price gouging at it’s worst.

  24. Fast Eddie says

    To all the guys that are positive about this event, I’m with you!! To all the guys that want it sunny and warm; if you want to go to the races in April then you should move south and/or west! It’s APRIL! It’s NEW ENGLAND! It’s rarely warm out this time of year! Are you guys new to the area?

  25. Some guy: Racing spectators sit in the grandstands for the same amount of time as spectators in other sports. Racers and race teams know what weather theyre dealing with so they have to prepare for it or they have the option to stay home (they are all adults after all). Bring a propane heater, bring warm clothing, sit in a heated vehicle for a few minutes or again… stay home.
    Racing has always been a 3 season sport. If you dont like it then maybe you should find another sport. You say the tracks are greedy… you think they dont realize the cold weather will keep some people away? You think they wouldnt prefer 70 degrees all weekend?
    This is a beautiful sport. I thought the snowfall in the pace laps of last years World Series was a cool little moment. Those moments are what makes racing great.
    So please, either go to the races or stay home. While making your decision, keep the bad vibes off of the internet.

  26. RaceDayNH says

    People complaining about cold weather at the “icebreaker”!?!? I really hope this is just the vocal minority. Also, heaven forbid the track cares about $$$. If they made every decision just to please fans they would go bankrupt…. I get some of the things people complain about on this site but this one has got to be the most pathetic.

  27. Observer says

    One more reason people might stay away, is Fanschoice TV. Sit in the comfort of your home, and watch the races.

  28. Some guy, EXCUUUUUSE MEEEEE for not knowing the difference between sitting in the stands at Thompson or sitting at Foxboro in cold weather. I’ve only been doing both for the last 40 years, so you would think I would know the difference by now. Thanks for learning me the difference.

  29. darealgoodfella says

    Wall Stadium canceled this weekend card.

  30. Justafella says

    Wall cancelled because the owners son and Jimmy Blewitt are racing at Thompson

  31. Wall cancelled because the weather we were supposed get has moved south and will affect them. We will have a good weekend.

  32. Some of the old racing fans that have been going to the ice breaker for over 40 years are in their late 60ties late70ies… weather makes it tough to tolerate ..also $48.00 is a hard price being on a fixed income . I remember opening day at riverside in March was 75 degrees that was nice. But sitting there all day and freezing ( I’ll take a pass )…..

  33. SeekonkFan says

    I remember an opening day at riverside that went in to the 20’s before it was over. 2 years ago at the icebreaker on sunday it was in the 60’s.

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