Plans For 2020 Racing Season Remain Foggy At Speedbowl

Back in February, New London-Waterford Speedbowl general manager Mike Serluca expected early to mid-June to be the time a return to racing would be celebrated at the historic shoreline oval after the facility was closed for the 2019 season. 

Then the COVID-19 global pandemic came along and drastically changed those plans. 

Now, with new state guidance in place that allows for the reopening of short tracks in the state, it remains unclear what 2020 holds for the Speedbowl. 

Stafford Motor Speedway management announced Saturday that they expect to run their first event of the 2020 season on June 26. 

At the Speedbowl there are currently no plans to return to running events. 

Serluca was furloughed in April by track owner Bruce Bemer and remains furloughed with no timetable for a return. Serluca said Saturday that Bemer wants to assess plans to move forward for this year after Stafford Speedway opens.  

“Had the Coronavirus stuff not happened I’m confident that everything would have been done and we would have been opening,” Serluca told RaceDayCT Saturday. 

Under the new guidance for outdoor activities, those operating professional sporting venues must submit a reopening plan and get approval for that plan through the Connecticut Department of Economic Community Development. Serluca said the Speedbowl has not submitted any reopening plans to the state. 

“We kind of figured all the closure stuff gave Bruce a little extra time to fine tune some things as far as the facility goes with a couple changes he wanted to make,” Serluca said. “Nobody expected the swift changes moving forward in reopening stuff.

“I know everybody wants to go back racing, I know everybody wants to be back at the track. But at this stage of the game, with the amount of money invested at the track, Bruce doesn’t want to do anything halfway at this point. I know that we’re not going to compromise the integrity of what we’re doing over there just to say we did something this year.” 

Two new grandstand structures were constructed in April at the track. Further construction plans include the building of a scoring tower and repaving of the midway. 

“There’s fencing that needs to be done on the midway,” Serluca said. “There’s some fencing that separates the parking lot from the midway that has to be done. And once the tower and the fencing is done they’ll repave the midway, but that can’t be done until after the tower is done.” 


  1. There it goes again… that giant flushing sound from Waterford.

    🚽 🚽 🚽 🚽 🚽 🚽 🚽 🚽 🚽 🚽 🚽

  2. Hey the real good fellow, I just want to express my frustration and realization regarding The Waterford Speedbowl. I was a youngster and we were listening to a 15 minute diatribe by a Racing With Jesus Minister. My dad was passed out, woke up during the middle of it and broke into a Jonny Cash song. I will always remember him singing and him being wicked pissed for wasting his time. His false teeth came flying out, caught them, and shut up after that. I still have my dad, does not want to go to any races this year(a Trump voter), and we both miss watching Teddy. I miss Waterford and quite frankly I will miss Thompson. I would like all of this to go back to the way it was. To late for that. Teddy gone, Waterford? Thompson? What happens in the future is anyone’s guess. I for one am just wishing….

  3. Help ! bring back the SNYRA {southern N.Y..Racing association

  4. Chalk one up for karma. Hirschman in second makes minor contact with the leader that’s a local boy and gets sent to the back of the pack in a home job. Karma has not forgotten the Silk take out. Eventual winner Showtime even said the 60 got a raw deal. Tough bunch of locals at Mahoning. Thought Emerling could race to the front but the competition was stiff. Great bullring. 17 or so caution wreck fest that ended on a green, white, checker after the management screamed enough already.
    Another race with packed stands and almost no precautions to be seen. Very disappointing. A lot of thanks to the fans for a great turn out and support and the health risks barely mentioned. I don’t get it. The track managements seem to pay lip service to safety up to the time the stands start filling up and the money is rolling in. I didn’t hear the announcer mention distance and masks once although he did mention hand sanitizer stations. .It’s actually kind of like an alternative world where you leave all your troubles including the health risks at the front gate.
    We’ll see if Stafford can adhere to some kind of safety protocols. I’d like to think our experience coming back from the abyss might make a difference but I’m not so sure.
    Speed51 feed worst I’ve seen so far.

  5. ” I know that we’re not going to compromise the integrity of what we’re doing over there ”
    Perhaps not the best choice of words under the circumstances.

  6. ”Strange Days” When the music’s over turn out the lights seems like it would be a appropriate thought!

  7. Anarchy 2020 says

    Ok we got some insight of what is or is not going on at Waterford. Meanwhile Thompson. What’s going on there. Also waiting to see how Stafford will do? I wouldn’t call Stafford the guinea pig considering all the tracks that are allowed to open in New Hampshire. And there’s been plenty of tracks open elsewhere. Dafella must be happy that Waterford and Thompson are following his guidance. And livid Stafford is not. Waterford will eventually be finished and open. Thompson is more concerning if you ask me.

  8. Fast Eddie says

    Odd to see that through all of this, Thompson Speedway has not said ANYTHING about what might become of their 6-race circle track series. It would be nice of them to give their fan base a clue or two as to what their plans might be. At least the Speedbowl has said something and sounds like they are still looking to complete the rebuild and race at some point. To me it’s looking like the capital state of Modified racing may be a one-track state until the Speedbowl gets going.

  9. James Scott says

    The place is looking great. I do believe it will be back better than ever this season or next.

  10. Tommy silva says

    I applaud stafford for getting things rolling. I applaud Waterford for making a statement that they have no idea. At least something was said. But WTF Thompson?can’t make a statement dodge calls from the press I call BS flag on that!

  11. Anarchy 2020 says

    Is Terry Eames hiding in a bunker?

  12. It’s always foggy at the shore.

  13. sour grapes of boystown says

    Thompson is done .. Waterford will open better than ever .. stop the hate its pride month

  14. sour grapes of boystown says

    Waterford will open better than ever….Thompson is DONE ..stop the hate its pride month !

  15. I agree there is a brighter future for the Speedbowl. Maybe not now or even a year from now but at some point.
    The ownership is challenged and management dated.. The good news is the town accepted the facility as a race track with all the permit approvals and the debate on alternative uses less relevant for the time being. It will have a better chance of being sold in the future as a going concern and not a huge fixer-upper basket case.. It’s near a population center and summer vacationers and better positioned then any track in Ct location wise. The track itself is the perfect size, a good surface and you can see all the action.
    What the track needs is new ownership and a management that is not stuck in a past with that good ole boy mentality. Dare I say it? The much reviled Speedbowl may have the best survival quotient long term of any circle track in Ct.

  16. Anarchy 2020 says

    I think Stafford and Waterford will be fine. Would it kill Thompson to say anything? I know they only care about the road course. I still see them rice burners headed north on 395 every weekend. I guess the writing was on the wall with their big announcement over the winter. Speaking of fog, is dafella going to teach us about how fog is formed? And why it’s so prevalent on the shore.

  17. Jennerstown entry list out. Coby’s new 10 on it as well as Solomito’s new 66. For spice there will be Amy Catalano and Hirschman. 35 cars so apparently big money is not necessary to get cars or attract Big Money.

  18. solsticeson says

    That creep that owns the Water Bowl should just sell n go away,Mebbe Thompson needs better management too. At least the Arutes have been keeping it fun at Stafford,

  19. Bernie 20never, no tires for anyone says

    “Plans For 2020 Racing Season Remain Foggy At Speedbowl”

    Have they tried turning the lights off? I hear it helps with fog.

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