New London-Waterford Speedbowl Cancels Saturday Event; Remainder Of Season Unclear

In a surprise move that left many in the local racing community with more questions than answers, New London-Waterford Speedbowl management announced Friday evening that their Saturday event was being cancelled.

A status on the Speedbowl page, which was posted just before 7:30 p.m. read: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the September 15th races at Speedbowl have been cancelled. We will post updates on both Facebook and our website.”

The same message was posted on the track website.

Attempts to reach track general manager George Whitney were unsuccessful. Attempts to reach track owner Bruce Bemer were also unsuccessful.

Mike Serluca, who assists the track with public relations and social media, said he was not told any reason for the cancellation and that he knew nothing about the schedule going forward.

Saturday’s schedule was to include events from the Valenti Modified Racing Series and the Northeastern Midget Association.

“All I know is they cancelled the show for tomorrow,” Valenti Modified Racing Series president Jack Bateman said. “I don’t know anything else. I just heard it was some legal crap going on.”

Northeastern Midget Association president Tim Bertrand said he received a message that the event was being cancelled and had no other information concerning why.

Multiple Speedbowl employees who were at the Friday night racing event at the Stafford Motor Speedway said they had not been contacted by anybody from the track informing them of the cancellation.

In a Facebook Live posting Serluca said: “I will let you guys 100 percent honestly know, nobody told me shit, they just posted it on the Facebook and didn’t really say anything. No heads up, no nothing. I don’t know why it’s not open tomorrow. … I wish I had some answers.”

The Speedbowl is scheduled to have three more Saturday events (Sept. 22, Sept. 29 and Oct. 6) and their finale event Oct. 20-21.


  1. Last week at the Start Classic they announced that the ISMA raindate for October at Waterford was called off. So you had figure something was up.

  2. Something we all knew would happen sooner or later, SAD for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Totally sucks for all the regular racers.

  4. Seems curly moe and Larry couldn’t get their way and had to do this. But yet they don’t want to see the track close. You 3 will get your karma sooner than later

  5. This thread should set the record for post.

    I have this feeling we are about to see a block buster headline soon which will fill in the blanks.

  6. all I have to say is choose your friends wisely there’s about 3-5 people that everyone loves and thinks we all owe them the world. When they are the ones who did it.

  7. This sucks for the regulars that supported the track this season through thick and thin. And then they pull the plug on MRS and NEMA the night before their event, I cry BS!

  8. Hillary 2028 says

    You don’t think that someone pulled the plug for them?

  9. Hillary 2028 says

    Maybe, but why cancel the supers and not mrs until the last minute.

  10. Of the three men charged in the sex traffic ring two cases have been adjudicated with the ring leader cooperating with investigators in the only remaining case which is Bemer. Who interestingly is due in court on 9/18. Is a plea with him afoot as well after refusing the previously offered deal? Are the civil cases encompassing the Speedbowl being negotiated and having an impact?
    It may be speculation but it isn’t hard to imagine that the entire mess is coming to a head and the Speedbowl season is simply an innocent victim caught in the crossfire.

  11. the reason is clear!!!!
    they ran out of fried and chicken nugfers.
    i also heard the reason is they tried to gwt cash up frobt fron pwople
    i was walji g throygh waterford and management kbew i was rich and started begging me for $$$$

  12. I think ISMA’s cancellation was their decision and not the track’s. They announced it multiple times at Star last week. NEMA’s makeup was still supposed to be that same date. Legal, civil, and moral issues aside, I just hope this isn’t the beginning of the end for the race track.

  13. Please don’t take this Post Sean as being negative or disprespectfull to the speedbowl. You really have to wonder what the deal is.

    Bruce’s criminal jurry trial is like two weeks away and the ambulance chasing lawyers in the Civil litigation are resentlessly all over him trying to take everything he owns and maybe give 5% of it to the victims. Seeing how Bruce has already pledged millions to satisfy potential judgements you have to wonder if he just struck a plea on the criminal trial and reached a settlement in the civil cases.

    It all would make sense! If he looses the criminal case which would have to be beyound a reasonable doubt in the jurrors minds would mean he surelly would get destroyed in the civil litigation.

    Sorry to write this but I think this really could be the deal! We will all have to sit and wait for the next chapter of the Bowl to be written!!! Hopefully the thieving lawyers will allow someone to buy it and keep it a track and not become a distrubtion center or something!!!

  14. this waterford is a dump anyways
    pot holes in parking lot
    people pissing under bleachers
    close thos crack house

  15. Best Option would be a FULL SALE but does anyone want an aging racetrack that needs LOTS of work, I think the track can be profitable but NOT WITH BEMER and anyone associated with him in control due to both fans and teams will not show up.

  16. please fer rif of al choholic
    this guy is a joke
    he writes bull crap all the time
    this is a racong site
    not your pwrsonal thought
    let me guess you ar not too smart and of coyrse very poor

  17. al choholic
    gwt of this site please
    all my buddies hate you too

    hey dareal please help me get this guy off

  18. this site please

  19. Jeffrey,

    I don’t know why you make stupid misspelled comments about this guy Al Coholic for.

    If you follow the situation here his theory could be unfortunatelly true.

    You claim to be so rich, why don’t you take some of your money and take a spelling class or get a spell check system on your phone, computer or what ever your using for these giberish posts you constantly put up here.

    I’m not trying to be rude but have some dignity boy..

  20. Maybe someone didn’t like where the infield water got pumped to even though it’s the same place it’s always been pumped to. Stay tuned

  21. Paul, Jeffrey and Dareal are one in the same they just use different ailiases when convenient. Don’t believe any of the jiberish he prints. I think it is comical what some people will do to attract attention so as the saying goes, if you ignore it, it will go away.

  22. Thank you Humphry.

  23. Bruce Bemer leased the track he has nothing to do with the speedbowl shutting down. I think people need to get the facts before putting anything on social media. The man has not been convicted of anything and the last I checked you are innocent until proven guilty. In my opion Mr. Bemer is the best thing that ever happened to the speedbowl. He has done renovations and really cares about the track and its fans.

  24. Viva race fan says

    Bingo . Bruce is and was the best thing for bowl.

  25. Rich I agree to an extent. The man obviously had good things in mind for the track. I believe that if the right team was in place, that place would thrive. Their are many who just don’t want to be associated with it for obvious reasons. I hope it is around for a long time. It is sad to me what it has become promotion wise. Put the right GM in there. Give George credit for trying.

  26. Rich, seriously? Do you think Bemer is not involved with with what happened this weekend? Do you really think he knows nothing about the cancellation? Do you really think he is just going to let his leasee just shut down an operation he owns creating a revenue shortage that will not allow him to collect the money he is owed? Bemer is more involved than you think, he is calling the shots behind the scene and Whitney is just the puppet.

    Mike Serluca, I feel bad for you bud trying your best to right a sinking ship only to get back doored like you did. At least someone could have had the decency to give you the heads up on what was going to happen.

    The Speedbowl lack of management team strikes again!

  27. The only one who knows is George Whitney, and oh guess what… Not available for comment.

  28. Dadgumit Rich. An interesting take for sure. And bold.
    What we know is two defendants have taken plea deals with the ringleader agreeing to cooperate fully. That is never a good sign for the odd man out.
    A lease is great but if the asset you are leasing is a named asset in a civil case there is a certain reality that may trump the legalities.
    The bet. 2 to 1 that this week Bemer pleas out. 1 to 3 a civil case agreement is reached to some degree. 1 in 50 if that if all happens that a person dumb enough can be found with deep pockets to take a declining property and keep it a racing facility with structural and environmental issues and an aging demographic.
    But fingers crossed.

  29. Doug, according the article linked above. Bruce was offered a plea with no jail time and turned it down earlier this year. He now goes to trial and faces 20 years. It’s an interesting article. The sooner the legal mess ends the quicker the bowl can get a new owner and the dark cloud can finally be lifted from it. George tried but his hands were tied too. Anyone wonder what happens if he is found innocent of the charges-at trial?? That would be interesting to see what would happen. I am not here to judge. But the whole thing is sad and affected so many peoples lives.

  30. Waterford was the talk of the town at Seekonk tonight. Anyway I was told that the DEP (Environmental protection) had an issue with how the water was pumped out or something. Who knows if that is the whole story, the real story, or just a story. It would make a little bit of sense given the late cancellation and the term unforeseen circumstances. No one I talked to knew if it was a one week thing, couple weeks or season ender.

    Good show at the konk. It was fan appreciation day they gave everyone a hotdog and soda with paid admission ($14), fans made signs and paraded around the track. car counts; pro stock 18, late model 14, sportman 28, trucks 18. They had to run a consi for the sportsman, when is the last time you have seen one of them in a local division at an asphalt track.? If Waterford remains closed you could do worse than going to Seekonk on a Saturday night.

  31. The story does read bemer put 25 million in assets for victims. My guess is the bowl was one of them. If this is a grandstands issue, or epa violation, or something with the track physically that forced a cancellation thats explainable and would have come out or will come out.

    Although if it were a plea deal or civil case settlement, would they be posting banquet festivities at the track for the 19th? It would be a seized asset and im no lawyer but i would venture a guess your not holding that there. Besides im pretty sure civil cases come after criminal cases. Hes innocent until proven guilty regardless of the hyperbole.

  32. It might be interesting to check out George Whitney’s face book page. He tends to communicate things there more openly than with some of the racing media outlets.

  33. It’s interesting to see all the passion when this story broke over time kind of melting away with several folks here going to bat for Bemer and suggesting he may not be guilty or they may not be able to prove he’s guilty.
    William Trefzger was involved to the same extent the Bemer was involved, allegedly, and is doing a year in prison. That reality didn’t exist in January and refusing a plea deal doesn’t mean a new one can’t be offered and taken after prosecutors have successfully boxed you in over time.
    The legal system continues to grind away toward what we all hope will be justice for all involved.
    “legal crap” from a third party is thin for sure. But it sure sounds more ominous then pumping water.

  34. The real crime here is our so called justice system these animals are getting a slap on the wrist preying on vulnerable human beings. I know this is about the race track which I hope gets a new owner and doesn’t close just absurd

  35. Hillary 2028 says

    I think elect may be on the right track. To be specific I’m hearing a retention pond needs to be built before any more events take place. Why the fire drill with only 3 races left? That’s a good question. I’d guess they were doing everything they could to run this weekend until the last minute. It’s no secret that word going around a few weeks back was that wings and wheels was going to be the last race of the season. Coincidence? Financially they must have taken a huge hit this season. Like 9 rainouts and really only a couple of nights when the weather was real nice and somewhat full stands. I bet this weekend would have been a big crowd with the beautiful weather and touring series. I think that’s it for this season. I just hope that’s not it for good.

  36. This is simple stuff, the environmental issue was on the list with the stands being replaced. Maybe the town succumbed to the pressure with the stand replacement however, DEP provides a time line for abatement and if it is not met then they drop the hammer. Obviously it appears the DEP issue was not addressed in a timely fashion. Don’t blame the State, blame the owner/lessee for not upholding their end of the bargain.

    Lack of management team strikes again!

  37. Ok people lets talk here. Bemer owns the track a d I personally hope he retains ownership. I have read all the articles and court things. 1st in my opion the man just may be innocent. Anyone to turn down a plea deal for no jail and risk many years in jail if convicted just may be innocent in my mind. Bemer didn’t need to buy that track he bought it for the racers and the fans to still enjoy the track. Bemer has done renovations to make the speedbowl better. 2nd the midia loves to lie to make the story better. If Bemer is found innocent then what? I think it is poor that everyone can be judge and jury. I agree with Rich. Bemer is the best person for the track. If he sells then what and to who. A developer? I also belive Bemer has nothing to do with the cancellation on Saturday. He leased the track and gets rent. Bemer is a landlord he cant dictate what happens or goes on there he is a LANDLORD. I hope Bemer can brush aside the negatively and work with the positive people that go to the track. I hope Bemer stays owner so the track get get the modern renovations it need and stays a race track. I also never heard of Bemer bothering anyone at the track. He has been nothing but professional there and what we do in our personal lives is really not the publics business. My rant is over and i hope that Bemer can go back to the track get a good crew and let us know that 2019 the speedbowl will open and be a great year.

  38. Hillary 2028 says

    Norm Wrenn has deep pockets and was ready to purchase it.

  39. Hillary 2028 says

    But did he turn down the deal before or after the other two agreed to cooperate with the prosecution? So the actual trial is Tuesday? I thought it was next year for some reason.

  40. So you hope Bemer can brush aside the negativity do you Bc. Negativity may be the least of his problems.
    Gotta say some of you guys seem to be operating in some kind of alternate bizarro world. One where racing is the center of the universe and accusations of illegal behavior and indictments are intrusions on your enjoyment at your favorite track.

    Nice spread of opinion in this thread. Shouldn’t have to wait to long to see what directing this is going to go.

  41. If he took a plea deal in the criminal matter he would be admitting guilt and will surelly loose big time in his civil litigation with the alleged victims. Remember criminal evidence has to be boyound a reasonable doubt, civil only has to slight the scales slightly by a prosperous of the evidence.
    If he cuts a plea on the criminal matter simultaneously with the civil litigants it’s done for him.
    Let’s hope this is not what’s happening. The plaintiffs atourney could of requested the races to be cancelled to avoid any potential liability to the asset.

  42. Strange that Goodfella isn’t schooling all you people.

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