Terry Eames To Lead New Operational Group To Run Thompson Speedway Oval In 2020

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park oval in 2020 under new operational control (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

With Stafford Speedway bringing short track racing in Connecticut back to life in 2020 with their season opening event last Friday, the next biggest question being asked by many is when will racing return to the state’s other short track facilities? 

In regards to plans for the historic oval at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, an answer arrived today. 

RaceDayCT has learned exclusively that the Thompson Speedway oval, under the operational control of Econn Motorsports, will host two events and two open practices this season. 

Open practices will be held at Thompson on July 8 and Aug. 5. The track will hold it’s first racing event of the season, the Bud 150 featuring the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, on Aug. 19. Econn Motorsports will also promote the Sunoco World Series, featuring the Whelen Modified Tour, Oct. 9-11. 

Econn Motorsports is a newly formed race promotion and consulting firm headed by former Thompson Speedway general manager and former New London-Waterford Speedbowl owner Terry Eames. 

“Absolutely excited to be back in the promotion business,” Eames told RaceDayCT. “I’m very excited to continue on with the 80 plus year legacy of Thompson Speedway.” 

Eames took over the general manager position at the track in September 2018. The general manager’s position at the track was eliminated earlier this year in the wake of budget cuts due to COVID-19 global pandemic shutdowns. 

“The job of general manager was a casualty of COVID-19,” Eames  said. “The Hoenig family [facility owners] and I remain on great terms and we look forward to working on this and other things together.” 

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150, which was originally scheduled for April 5 and later postponed indefinitely, has officially been cancelled. 

Further details concerning the open practices and the events scheduled will be released in the coming days. Tickets for the events will only be available through advance online purchasing and events will be run under strict reopening guidelines directed by the State of Connecticut. 

Econn Motorsports can be reached by email at EconnMotorsports.com or by voice or text at 860-327-5544. 


  1. Better than nothing I guess.

  2. So they need a under card and where are the purses for these shows?

  3. So what does this mean? The owners of Thompson are essentially renting the track out to the Eames group to promote?

  4. Doug,
    Basically yes.

  5. Purse? Yea, right! Pay Thompson to race is more like it.

  6. And now we are back to you have to trust Eames with the money, which didn’t go so well when he was the owner promoter of Waterford. Best of luck to the vendors and drivers. I would hate to be the proud owner of a ministock in the greater CT area. Not much opportunity for racing this summer in the region.

  7. Any idea if they are Nascar sanctioned? I believe Nascar mandated a minimum amount of races 5 or 6 to be a Nascar sanctioned track. Did Nascar change their rules with current pandemic we find ourselves in? I am not sure how many drivers will show up for the reduced purses announced earlier this year if Nascar points arent involved. Are the purses going to be the drastically cut purse or will they be increased to a more livable wage? Actually it would only be the Aug race where Nascar points would be earned. Then again there is no way a New England driver has a shot at a pts championship this year when some tracks down south have about a month of additional races to compete in. I guess we should be happy they open at all this year and we know of at least 2 tour races in CT. So we got that going for us, which is nice.

  8. Premier pump says

    So where is the money coming for the purs for the weekly divisions. This should be interesting. Wonder what happened to all the money that was donated earlier this year from people to the speedway.

  9. Has Thompson officially canceled their race season?

  10. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Good luck with the world series in the middle of the second wave. Can’t run a regular show? It would work great for the capacity restrictions. Place would be half empty anyway. Should be fun trying to get a ticket for one of these events. Future looks bleek.

  11. sour grapes of anarchy says

    boy first NASCAR with the noose now another rock to bleed for Terry Eames.. gee haven’t a heard this before “investors” LOL too funny.. running the show OMG the covid crisis will delay the foreclosure of the Thompson Oval for years … where is rocky arbitell or shawn monahan .. perhaps they can make another investment .. how about finkleday .. tri county and the multiple vendors left holding an empty deposit bag.. hell is frozen over ..Jesus is coming. The end is near ..why didn’t he ask the sex addict /trafficker to run the bowl ??? oh wait this is possibly the next bombshell to drop???

  12. Steve,
    There has been no official communication from Thompson Speedway regarding the 2020 season. That said, it’s fair to say today’s announcement essentially confirms that to be true.

  13. This is further evidence that Thompson wants out of the circle track business.

  14. PLEASE stay optimistic ! and support your local short track .Tough time’s right now in the racing community

  15. Carl in right. At this point look at the trajectory of Thompson’s moves not just now but over years. This isn’t news, it’s the next logical step down the curve. There’s a menu of ways to be negative but what’s the point.
    The good news is Eames for some reason is stepping up. All that nonsense about the Speedbowl deal gets repeated constantly. What isn’t repeated is the guy got crushed by real estate values and a economic crash at perfectly the wrong time.
    It seems illogical stepping into the breach and putting money on the line in a pandemic. What makes it logical is they will be working with NASCAR to save a couple of the crown jewels of the NWMT season.
    A multi day World Series extravaganza……..unlikely. One day event in both cases capped by the NWMT race is what people want to see the most. Capping attendance with NBC Sports Gold will work. Stafford has written the manual on how to make it work with two successive reduced capacity sell outs and streaming.
    All that stuff about a reduced payout for support divisions may be out the window. The Eames group can do anything they want as far as the support divisions and purse is concerned it’s their show. It won’t be the same but it will be darned good. In what is shaping up to be a condensed succession of great events with means for more to enjoy them.

  16. The reason Eames got “crushed” by what you call real estate values is because he ran the infrastructure into the ground without putting a nickel into it. It is his own fault the property was devalued and he received the value of what it was worth based on the condition it was in.

    Thompson is “renting” the track to Eames, he takes all the risk and Hoenig reaps all the benefits.

    Painful as it may be, Thompson will be the next track to fall, it is becoming painfully obvious.

  17. Anything they do this year is a bonus. The 2021 schedule will be more telling as far as which direction they go. Maybe they just run special events like Jennerstown does. Run 4 WMT shows and a few SK $5k events with support divisions. The foundation is always modifieds there. If you draw a lot of modifieds you will draw a lot of fans. Best of luck to them.

  18. I’m with Carl…

    Months ago, there were calls for “someone” to rent the oval and run events as the ownership wasn’t interested. “They” should do this, or that… Never an “I” plan to do this to help.

    “Someone” has now stepped up with good intentions. Why not support this person? Maybe see how you can contribute to make things work out? I’ll be buying a ticket even if things need improving, because there has to be something to improve upon in the future, and the people who are making an attempt deserve support.

    It’s far too easy to sit in the peanut gallery and complain about what “they” do, while doing nothing but complaining, second-guessing, and Monday morning quarterbacking. If you do nothing to support your local tracks, all you’ll have is “I remember…” websites and social media pages.

    The track where I personally learned to love the sport on a local level is a mall now. Things can be worse…

  19. Terry Eames is like the Grimm Reaper, the coroner, a Phoenix, a cat that has consumed numerous lives. It’s what follows him around, whether he likes it or not.

    Being optimistic isn’t going to help, not being negative is not going to help.

    We are the customers and consumers, we do not support businesses. We buy products because we want the products. I don’t go buying stuff because a business is about to go under in order to try to save them.

    The simple fact is that the younger generations are not into motorsports like the older generation. We are no longer a novel car-centric society.

    Yeah, I’m not promoting, I’m not a promoter. Never have been. Never will be. No interest in doing so. How many here are capable of stepping up and becoming a promoter? Yeah, looks like a big fat ZERO.

    Thompson made big mistakes when they let the animals go wild and cause all sorts of trouble. It went down hill after that. Gotta keep the Neanderthals, Troglodytes, Deplorables, tribes, and others in-line or they will ruin it for everyone else.

  20. Fast Eddie says

    Thompson Speedway will be running races this year. The whos, whys, wheres, and what ifs not withstanding, Thompson Speedway will be running races this year. With COVD-19 leaving the world in a complete upheaval, I’m doing my best to deal with the here and now along with the constantly changing immediate future. I will be going because I love watching Modifieds run there.

  21. To All:
    It seems like going over the rules for the comments here is becoming a bi-weekly exercise. Just want to let everyone know again, and maybe go a little deeper. There are two very basic general rules: 1. No Vulagariy; 2. No threatening others.
    But, that doesn’t mean you can just come on here and post whatever you want about anyone you want. If you come on here making specific accusations about certain people then you better back up whatever comment you’re posting with some proof of those allegations. If you’re going to come on here and call someone a criminal you better include a link to a public record proving their criminal actions. And if the intention of your comment is simply to disgustingly disparage someone because you don’t like them personally, it’s also not going to fly here. I really try to be pretty liberal with allowing the dialogue here to run its course naturally and without my involvement, but it seems lately it’s getting harder and harder to allow that. Most of the regular commenters get that and stay within the boundaries. Let’s be adults here. There’s nothing adult about using a fake name to lob insults about people or spread lies about people. And please people, just please stop thinking that submitting a comment six more times after it doesn’t get approved the first time is going to somehow get it published. Thank you.

  22. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Eames always seems to get a negative reaction from people for whatever reason.

  23. crazy larry says


  24. Its hard to judge Terry Eames, he did get into financial trouble with Speedbowl but he also kept it a Race Track when he could have sold it off for a profit. The guy luvs racing but also luvs the money. As a promoter he is one of the best, as a financial partner one of the worse. If somebody else is counting and signing the checks I think we will be ok.

  25. The guy’s only job is to put butts in the stands. The one job people often come on here and say is a lost art. He does not have to worry about the ownership duties. Just put together a good oval card that will draw fans. Right now he has a good foundation with the iconic WMT events the track hosts. He also has a weekly program that is in tatters. Let’s see where all this goes from here. My only hope is we don’t have to wait for December to find out what 2021 will look like. The plan needs to be implemented sooner rather than later. I assume there is a plan of course. Hopefully this is the end of the reduced purse nonsense too.

  26. “Terry Eames To Lead New Operational Group To Run Thompson Speedway Oval In 2020”

    That does not sound like putting butts in the seats is the only job. Moreover while Terry Eames may have name recognition and a magnet for some it sounds more like a team effort of sorts for what will be a huge undertaking no matter what.

  27. You have to cheer for Terry Eames to be successful with this venture. The alternative is most likely no more oval racing at Thompson. In that regards, I will attend the World series if it goes off as it was previously scheduled. Who knows it may be the last oval event at the Big T. Best of luck to the group.

  28. All i here is rumors about what he did no facts if he did not step up none of you would be going to Thompson but he should have run this all by Goodfella poor Terry.

  29. Yes, best of luck to the group that will run Thompson Speedway in 2021. I will be at the World Series in 2020.Two observations I would like to make are : 1,,, Try to stick to two divisions perhaps one open wheel and one full body. if you must, add a third division, but now stop. 2 . I have been fortunate enough to travel to many states and I realize after talking to many race fans how lucky I am to have a 5/8ths mile PAVED oval twenty five minutes from my house. I think of that fact often when I am on I-395

  30. I agree with Brian. I think he’s spot-on. I will support any attempt to keep an oval show a Thompson. I’m getting tired of being limited to Facebook groups, “Good Old Days” websites, and youtube videos about “used to be” oval tracks. I’d like more access to realword oval races (modifieds in particular) so I can continue to get my “annual fix” of Northeast oval track racing. Every additional track that stops operating is likely gone forever.

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