Racing To Continue In 2018 At Speedbowl; George Whitney Out As Operator

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl

The 2018 racing season will continue at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl under new management, RaceDayCT has learned exclusively.

George Whitney, who has been operating the track since June 2017,  has terminated his lease.

Mike Serluca will take over operations of the facility for the remainder of the 2018 season.

“Basically all the rain outs killed him,” Serluca said of Whitney’s decision to terminate his lease. “He did the best he could and he has decided gracefully to step away.”

The Speedbowl is scheduled to have three more Saturday events (Sept. 22, Sept. 29 and Oct. 6) and their finale event Oct. 20-21. Serluca said all four events will go on as scheduled.

Serluca said he is leasing the Speedbowl for the final four events and will also serve as the track’s general manager. Serluca has worked for the Speedbowl this season assisting with public relations and social media coordination.

“We owe it to our fans and drivers that have supported us all year long to finish out the season and work toward stability for next season,” Serluca told RaceDayCT. “That’s my goal, to have everything going smoothly while we get through this rough period.”

Before this season, Serluca had previously worked for the facility under former general manager Shawn Monahan during the 2015 season.

Mystery has abounded concerning the remainder of the 2018 schedule at the track since Friday evening when it was announced that the track was cancelling its Saturday feature.

A status update on the Speedbowl Facebook page, which was posted just before 7:30 p.m. Friday 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 also posted on the track website.

Attempts to reach Whitney since Friday have been unsuccessful. Attempts to reach track owner Bruce Bemer have also been unsuccessful.

Competitors Pleased Season Will Finish As Scheduled At New London-Waterford Speedbowl


  1. Thank you Mike

  2. Viva race fan says

    Well let’s see how it goes the only person that really truly cares about that place as Mike super proud that he’s in that spot he’ll do a good job for mr. Beamer.

  3. Good luck Mike. Unfortunately, I think you’re gonna need it.

  4. Great news for the racers and fans!!!!
    Let’s hope for a bright future!!

    Try this on for size…
    Serluca worked previously for Monahan…
    Monahan is now close with the Hoenigs….
    Monahan convinces Hoenig to hire Eames…
    Hoenig buys the Bowl and Monahan and Eames run both ovals…

    What’s the Vegas odds on that???

  5. Support the track or it will be gone.

  6. so the cancellation was not due to environmental issues? it was a lease issue? Is Whitney going to pay everyone for the last show ? how are the touring series going to react to this – will they come for the last show? Time will tell… wish you luck Mike

  7. I wish you can continue and be in charged of the track Mike Serluca
    You’ll be an excellent operator.

  8. Finally some good news from the bowl. Mike is the right guy for this. I wish him much success. I am sure many people will help him in anyway possible to be successful. Good luck Mike!!

  9. Thank you mike, We all know as racers it costs a lot of money to run the track and it’s very hard to keep t going due to the bad weather this year. Looking forward to next year and hope you and other supporters can keep it going for 2019. Thanks again and we will be there for the last 375 tour race.

  10. “We owe it to our fans and drivers that have supported us all year long to finish out the season and work toward stability for next season,” Serluca told RaceDayCT. “That’s my goal, to have everything going smoothly while we get through this rough period.”

    Thanks Mike Serluca for jumping in to complete the season! I sincerely hope you achieve your goal, and then some!

  11. Great news, right guy for the job, he has the heart and desire to make it go. Congrats Mike!

    Al, biggest mistake they could ever make. We don’t need another road course that’s all Hoenig cares about.

  12. THANKS MIKE!!!

  13. a few weeks ago I seen serluka borrowing cigarettes now he has the money to leese a track and pay insurance and race winnjngs? Did he hit the lottery this past weekend? Something stinks here

  14. Thanks Mike we need to keep the track running

  15. Hopefully not good

  16. Good luck to Mike. He seems nice, and well intentioned. Seems like a guy that will pour his heart into it.

    As for Terry .. Terry ran the bowl for years with rainouts, crappy car counts, and bad press. Think about it. He ran it for years that way. Not to knock Whitney, he really tried but Terry’s better at that game and there is no way the town will allow a road course there anyway. I say let Terry have a hand in it partnered with a guy like serluca who has the energy to shake babies, kiss hands, and call ex racers on the phone to ask what can we do to make racing and the speedbowl great again?

  17. What business is it of yours if he asked someone for a smoke. Get over yourself you narcissistic tool

  18. Terry had good car counts and fans and he still stole everyone’s money at the end. Keep Terry away!

  19. This is interesting, the whole point of the lease was to simulate that Beamer was not involved to make people feel better about working and coming to the facility. Make no doubt about it with George gone, Bruce is back!

  20. Hillary 2028 says

    Word is that the whole DEP thing was old news and dealt with months ago. Maybe when they had to deal with that issue other projects were put on hold.

  21. Hillary 2028 says

    Mike definitely has his heart and soul into the place. Won’t hurt that he’s good friends with Monahan and maybe even Terry as I’m sure they will help him out with any advice or whatnot.

  22. Hillary 2028 says

    Working towards stability is what’s sorely needed. He’s got the right mindset for sure.

  23. Hillary 2028 says

    You have to admit though this season has got to be one of the worst in recent history. Low car counts. Stands pretty empty except when the weather was nice which was hardly ever. And a ton of rainouts including the biggest money maker of the season, wings and wheels. Alot of income must have been lost this year.

  24. Hillary 2028 says

    We’ll probably never know what exactly happened and it’s really non of our business. Just move on and be happy the season will go on and hopefully next year will be better. I’ll still ask the question though. Why was last weekend canceled at the last minute and why couldn’t George just finish out the season and then quit? Saturday should have been a big money maker.

  25. Something stinks. Serluca had no idea what was going on when racing was called off, then all of a sudden Whitney cancels the lease and Serluca takes over? WTF???? This is a mess. Keep your money in your pockets people, stop throwing good money after bad. Make sure the purses are guaranteed. Perhaps put in escrow.

  26. Read between the lines. If rain outs killed Whitney it’s a money situation. My guess is he owed so much money venders they wouldn’t deliver without paying up.

  27. Geoff Nooney says

    I got paid and it cleared from the last show, I stopped in since I was in the area to say hello and see whats up instead of making assumptions.

  28. Bruce is entitled to come back to his track, that he bought, with money he earned. And I’ll welcome him. We would be driving past a warehouse or Costco if it want for him. I think the state is blowing this way out of proportion, makes me wonder if they we’re just looking to crucify a possible Republican donor? Seriously, what he did was nothing a bunch of my friends didn’t do after a long night of drinking, except it was usually Osaka spa…
    And heck, if it helps, I’ll run your car at my expense and the track can keep the purse. Like we do this for money!!!

  29. Bob g., just because your buddies did it too doesn’t make it right. They are just as wrong and deviant as the guys that have already PLEADED GUILTY.

  30. Geoff, stop kissing butt, it’s not going to get you a feature win or make you any points.

  31. old observer says

    Screw the negativity, The Bowl is still alive for now. Hope they continue to operate for a long time. The sport can’t afford to keep losing tracks!!!

  32. If you think Beemer was ever out of the loop you are a fool. Let’s see what the Hartford Courant has to say about today’s court appearance. That may shed some light on the future.

  33. A person is innocent until proven guilty. Bruce Bemer is entitled to do anything he likes as an owner so if finishing the season with a bridge builder like Mike Serluca is the call most would agree it’s a great thing for all.
    But definitely not on board with this waive of group think that went from stoning Bemer and boycotting the track in April 2017 to numerous folks saying all is forgiven so come back and we’ll pretend nothing ever happened. And out right disturbed that the current waive of attacks on the DOJ by some at the highest level of government and talk media has somehow filtered into our little world here of racing via Bob g implying Bemer is being persecuted based on politics.
    Our justice system for better or worse is the cornerstone of civilized society. As the Speedbowl racing season winds down it shouldn’t be asking too much to let the Bemer indictment come to a verdict either way without trash talking the people that enforce our laws and keep us safe. Especially since the two other guys involved with him have already admitted guilt, been convicted and will do time.

  34. Viva race fan says

    He pleaded not guilty to trafficking and as l read he had nothing to do with that he was charged. I see it as soliciting. Geez I’ll bet no-one has ever paid for favors of any kind it’s all the same. Time will tell . Looking fwd to going back to bowl with Mike S at the helm. I wasn’t interested in supporting George and all people he hired to help him with all the people Bruce fired and thru out. Not good bussiness sense .

  35. Courant reporter David Owens on 8/24/18
    “Bemer, who is charged with patronizing a prostitute and patronizing a trafficked person, rejected a plea offer that would have allowed him to avoid prison. He is due in court Sept. 18 and, if convicted, faces up to 20 years in prison.”
    To my knowledge it’s the two charges with the big enchilada offense being the trafficked individual deal.
    David Owens is on vacation but has said that he expected Bemers court date yesterday to be a continuance and that his trial is scheduled to begin in November.
    Since nothing will be happening in the meantime lets enjoy and support the races at the Speedbowl. Never know when they will be the last with this decades long palace of high drama.

  36. A person is innocent until proven guilty. But when a person admits to the offenses and then turns down a no-jail offer from the prosecutors, and the others involved already pleaded guilty and have been sentenced, then there’s some gambling going on. Not sure what all the other terms and conditions were of the no-jail offer, but going to trial now to get an acquittal after confessing is kinda interesting. Perhaps trying to then say that it is impossible to get an impartial jury after all the publicity about admitting to the dirty deeds.

  37. Hillary 2028 says

    Who would think that? He’s the owner.

  38. They where taking advantage of individuals not capable of making their own decisions it’s not a simple prostitution case he admitted it when he was arrested how would you feel if your child or sibling was victimized they all should rot in jail

  39. knucklesmahoney says

    His attorney will argue that the police strong armed, and bullied him into a false confession. There will be video tape of the interview, and then the jury will decide. Why else would he turn down a plea of no jail time vs 20 years??

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