New London-Waterford Speedbowl Management Aiming For Aug. 1 Reopening For Racing



Management of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl met with potential track employees on Saturday at the facility and indicated ownership is targeting a reopening day of Aug. 1 for the long dormant facility to return to weekly Saturday racing. 

The Speedbowl was closed for the entirety of the 2019 season because of construction issues involving the replacement of the main grandstand, which was demolished in early 2019.

The last event at the Speedbowl was run in October 2018. Construction on two new main grandstands was completed in recent months. 

According to multiple parties in attendance the potential employees at the meeting met with facility manager Rich Turcotte and Mike Marfeo, who was introduced as the trackโ€™s new operator along with Turcotte.

Marfeo is a former Legends car team owner/competitor with long ties to Seekonk (Mass.). Speedway. He also participated in Legends events in the past at the Speedbowl as recently as 2018. 

Attendees were told the track is planning to run an open practice on July 25 with the hopes of hosting its first racing card of the season on Aug. 1. Those in attendance were also told that track officials expect clearance on all town inspection issues by early this week. 

Attendees were told the track would be looking to portray an improved image during events. It was expressed that employees would not be allowed to smoke while working or mingle in the grandstands during events. 

The track is expected to reopen without completing plans for a new officialโ€™s tower, which was expected to be built behind the start/finish line between the two new main grandstand sections. It was expressed Saturday that track management will use a coach bus parked between the grandstands as an official’s tower for the time being.

Turcotte said last week that track management will not speak with media outlets regarding any opening plans until an official announcement is made by ownership. 

Last Sunday track management posted the following on their Facebook page: โ€œWe will be posting some exciting news about our 2020 season in the coming days along with photos of progress that has been made on the grandstand reconstruction- so make sure you check back on our page.โ€ 

Since then Facebook page has displayed multiple photos of improvement progress at the facility. 

Mike Serluca, who took over as general manager of the facility in September 2018 announced on July 8 that he was resigning from the position effective immediately. Serluca, who had been furloughed by ownership in April during the height of COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, said he was made aware that plans to reopen the track were in the works without his knowledge. 

The Speedbowl will face some new competition on Saturday nights in state. Stafford Speedway management has three Saturday events scheduled for August, including the Twisted Tea Open Mod 80 on Aug. 1. Stafford is set to host its NAPA SK 5K on Saturday Aug. 8. Stafford will also host its Lincoln Tech Open Mod 80 along with its inaugural CBYD 811 Pro Late Model Open on Saturday Aug. 22. Stafford is expected to announce more Saturday events to be added to the schedule for September and possibly October. 

Comments

  1. Mark Church says

    So glad to hear that you’re going to be reopening I hope everything goes well my mister Speedbowl I used to go there every Saturday night I’m in North Carolina now

  2. Mark Church says

    So glad to hear you’re reopening I used to go there every Saturday night from when I was you about 5 years old I really miss it I’m in North Carolina now hoping maybe I can get up there next year I’d love to go back to it see erase๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘

  3. I attended the meeting and it was said that Rich Turcotte and Mike Marfeo are managing the track together. Their is no General manager as they are the management team for the Speedbowl. I don’t know where you get the information from but it is not all accurate

  4. Bill,
    Nowhere in the story was it mentioned that anyone would be the โ€œgeneral managerโ€. The story very clearly states Turcotte and Marfeo will operate the track.

  5. Great news, that’s been a long time coming. The only question is why they picked August 1st. White mountain is hosting the NWMT, and Stafford has the Open modified race both scheduled for that day. I don’t think it will affect the fans, but it might affect some competitors. All in all, so glad to see the track reopening.

  6. Glad weโ€™re not losing a race track Goodfella let everyone no when they should show up for all the beer youโ€™re buying every one seems your MIA now that the Bowl will open ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  7. I am happy the bowl is planning on opening. I believe they have the best on track racing in CT. It will be really interesting to see how this goes, who comes back after a year and a half off? How do they do going head to head with Stafford which now has multiple events scheduled for Saturdays? They share a few of the same divisions SK SKL and Street stocks. On the other hand they are losing some competition from Seekonk and Thompson which between them have 2 scheduled races. I keep looking for updates on Seekonk and all that is posted is Friday racing resumed without a crowd and Saturday racing will be back when the state allows fans. So maybe Waterford picks up some ACT late models from drivers who want to run more regularly.

    I wonder what the schedule will look like? Will we see the wings and wheels event as previously constructed? Will that new American Modified tour finally have a race? That is a big dollar show with limited capacity. I assume they will be limited like Stafford currently is.

    I am curious how they will pull off the bus for a scoring tower. I can not see them getting a good vantage point of the racing making penalty calls in the scoring tower difficult. Its always nice to see a track that has been closed awhile reopen. Best of luck to them

  8. It’s impressive what they’ve done. The new management team is looking to the future and they have chops..
    Stands are way back from where they used to be and don’t appear to have the rise. Looking forward to fan reaction.
    Agree it’s the best circle track racing experience in Ct with a good view of the entire track.
    Good ole boy mentality may be in for culture shock if these guys are serious but the dark cloud of ownership still remains. It will never be 100% go time until the guy that owns the track is out of the picture
    Good luck Speedbowl.

  9. chicken coop says

    That explains the bus in the parking lot, by the ticket booth. Scoring equipment is not as complex, as in the past, a temporary structure, like a bus will work. as for conflicting dates, i guess we’ll see what happens. it appears only modifieds will be conflicted?? who knows, we don’t even know what divisions they plan on running. This is still a good thing, i’m very excited to get back to the bowl.

  10. ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿฆ„2020 says

    Is it true 13 cars showed up to Thompson for open practice?

  11. Viva race fan says

    Interesting Chooses

  12. ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿฆ„2020 says

    Who cares about conflicting dates. Waterford runs Saturdays and Wednesdays and has almost forever. Everything is conflicting this season. I’d hope to think Stafford would not have scheduled their Saturday night shows if they’d known Waterford was going to open.

  13. Let the games begin………..

  14. 2020 I counted around 13 cars for Thompsons open practice on race monitor but I believe it was relatively short notice and on a Wednesday. Still not an impressive amount to get your hopes up for good fields when they hold races. Honestly I dont know which track holds more promise right now Waterford or Thompson.

  15. sour grapes of gossip and thievery says

    oh boy here we go. you upgrade the facility and the same cast of characters with now 2 ringmasters at the helm. now really beginning to wonder what Bemer is thinking.. obviously happy with improvements but if you want to take advantage of the improvements and bring the track back to a top notch place why have leased,rented and or allowed incompetent people to be in charge ? There ARE people in racing who COULD get the job done .I am beginning to think this is Bemers HOBBY and nothing more and we will continue to see a recycle of the same armchair monday morning quarterback promotors/race directors and biased officiating that has plagued the place for years. the racing product is excellent. you made some much needed improvements ..if its a business and you want it to succeed using the same old stale bitter backstabbing thieving gossiping morons isn’t going to help. oh no smoking ? no chitter chatter with the people in the stands?? ?? yup that will make the bowl great again!! WTF. yup I really want to go .. I have an idea get a real proven promotor ..allow him or her to mentor someone of your choosing. get some honest reliable employees. and let a pro take care of the concessions .. including alcohol sales.. PS whats the cost to get in for weekly show?? oh boy hold on to your wallets!!!!! has that been announced..? me thinking its going to be the same old story.. but all the new stands/lights paving etc cant make up for dishonest employees who don’t care or have their own personal vision on what the speed bowl should be… GOOD NEWS SHAWN your site is going to be busy !!! I hope I am wrong ..de real may be right after all …

  16. “THANK YOU SIR MAY I HAVE ANOTHER???”

  17. 2020, it was more like 20 from the Thompson divisions. 4 old school cars and 2 Nema cars as well. I was there at 1:00 pm on a Wednesday, not the ideal time. Maybe have it 4- 9 pm IMHO !!!!!!

  18. I guess I am wondering why they did not take this year off as well, complete all the renovations including scoring tower/press box, concessions and open in 2021 with a new and improved facility that would grab attention? However, I guess no better time to test the waters with Thompson floundering around with a fork stuck in them.

    Frankly I am not one bit concerned about the stands pushed back after Adam Gada almost went through the fence, what a disaster that would have been, hint, hint, can you say increased safety? No rise, who freaking cares, be thankful there are safe new stands! Fan reaction? It should be thank you for the shiny new stands. Always someone out there that has to stir up the ๐Ÿ’ฉ. Stay at Stafford and donโ€™t worry about Waterford since you wonโ€™t go there anyway.

    I agree with sour grapes, get a professional management/promotional team in there, not ham and eggers to bring the facility back to itโ€™s full potential and battle for the #1 spot in racing entertainment.

    Good luck Waterford, bring back the glory days when the parking lot was so packed they were parked on both sides of 85.

  19. wmass01013 says

    I dont care who you get as PROMOTER, GENERAL MANAGER, CHIEF COOK AND BOTTLE WASHER as long as BRUCE BEMER is owner you wont get NASCAR, you wont get some sponsors, you wont get some drivers/teams, you wont get some fans,even with new stands new scoring tower no matter the gate price!

  20. I don’t know but is it possible they have to have at least one race just to keep themselves “grandfathered” as to the town regulations etc? Could this be a one and done thing where they say sorry folks we got only 10 cars and we can’t keep that up this year… It makes no financial sense to go against Stafford on Saturday nights.

  21. Rich,
    No, the “Must race once per per year to keep zoning regulations in place” has been a long spread myth. They didn’t run any events in 2019.

  22. -incompetent people to be in charge ?
    -same old stale bitter backstabbing thieving gossiping morons
    -armchair monday morning quarterback promotors/race directors
    – dishonest employees who donโ€™t care

    Is that some Speedbowl insider shorthand that has meaning? Sounds like a typical Speedbowl infighting smear.. Aren’t these a couple of the guys that got the track to the point it is now? You like the improvements and all but now they are incompetent. Or are we talking shirts and skins here. Serluca is the shirts, these guys are skins and you are on the shirts team.
    Employees can’t smoke and should be doing their job not BSing with fans. You don’t like that. Behavior that’s professional but still want the track run in a professional manner just not that kind of professional.
    Return to the glory days huh. That’s more nostalgic whimsy then reality. Whatever the Speedbowl was the best thing for it now is to leave the good old boy mentality in the last century with the demolished stands and do the opposite of whatever it was. A grungy grass roots track with some personality and good racing but stuck in the 1970’s hanging on by a thread and not exactly a welcoming place to a more diverse new generation of fans.
    And the convicted felon owner. There’s that as well. Just the kind of tidbit that keeps a whole lot of shoreline vacationers away when looking for local entertainment.

  23. sour grapes of hope and comprehension says

    DOUG not sure on your intent.. I have been going to Waterford my entire life 50 +yrs. the SHOW is good. what got it here to this point today as you say is Bruce Bemers Money!..he saved the track like it or not . a convicted felon sex offender. there were some loyal employees in the past however when Eames took over the revolving door of dishonest thieves, gossip hounds and those only looking for what they could get out of their employment ensconced themselves at the bowl and why not ? who was their role model Terry Eames.. ? LOL stop it with he could have sold the place , he could not, he didn’t want to pay his creditors until it was bled dry for his own pockets .bounced checks to competitors for gods sake .no one interested since that ownership and even up til this latest “team” interested in running a legit straight forward no nonsense BUSINESS operation. Clearly this is Beamers hobby.as long as his name is connected with it its a steep hill to climb. SO why not back away and let some real professionals do their thing .. yes everyone longs for packed stands, great car counts, the urine river in the turn one heads. the beer cups piled high behind the catch fence in turn one . the drug and alcohol abuse in the parking lots and of course those great verbal and physical disputes on and off the track. its a different world. I believe the product that is short track racing is still a desirable endeavor REGARDLESS of NASCAR sanction. no one cares about NASCAR means nothing . will NEVER and I mean NEVER watch or attend another cup race or support them in any way . I would like to support a speedbowl that offers something similar but closer to home than Seekonk or Stafford. I will see this new management team and make my own judgements .. I doubt it will be successful and I hope I am wrong. I really do ..history says different .I don’t think Beamer will sell and the money means nothing .. why spend the millions and have some hacks run it ?? . arrogance plain and simple ..mind games.. jury is out.. hey Goodfella ! I will buy you a ticket and we can have a beer how bout it ??

  24. sour grapes, thanks, but I’ll pass.

  25. If any comments typify the Speedbowl the dumpster fires you dump on the thread sour are completely in tune with the track.
    So you’ve been going to the Speedbowl for 50 years have you. How does that qualify you to routinely throw grenades at pretty much everyone as far as I can see. Conflating them along with a vast conglomeration of unspecified others accusing them of everything from incompetence to hinting at felonies.
    You spend the better part of your first entry trashing Rich Turcotte and Mike Marfeo then imply in your ‘second you will wait to see how they do before making a judgement. Shoot first then aim aye sour grapes.
    While we’re at it how about trashing Terry Eames for the umpteenth time. Not relevant to pretty much anything but everyone always loves a good golden oldie. Why we’re at it lets accuse him again for the umpteenth time as being the worst person in local racing and perhaps a felony or two in the process.
    Meanwhile Bemer the actual convicted felon gets the velvet glove treatment.
    Glory days. I still would like to know when that was like maybe under Tatersall in the 1970’s I know since I started going on occasion since the 80’s the track was always the same bare knuckle, backward, grass roots experience. It was part of the unique attraction. The track was a nightmare in the 80’s with that slab of concrete on the front stretch and the dip in turn one that was a sucker bet to any that tried going low. God help any outsider that came in to navigate that surface. Kortewegs spent a ton of money including resurfacing the track and went broke.All the owners have found ways to fail including the Arutes that tried navigating the Speebowl quicksand and bailed out. The Speedbowl is littered with failed attempts to make a go of it yet Eames is the never ending target of your vitriol.
    So we have sour grapes trashing the new guys before they have run an event. And Earl that agrees but not wanting to “stir things up” mentioning the stands while conveniently ignoring the avalanche of negativity the owner “stirred up” by doing what he did. Maybe you two should consider looking at yourselves as being part of the Speedbowl problem.
    Earl has said Bemer walked away from at least one and maybe more offers to buy the property. It’s his hobby you say. How about this. He keeps the track because it’s the one place where people like sour grapes, Earl and hundreds more will not judge him as long as the track is a track. Where he’s reviled pretty much everywhere else how do you put a price on that?
    A new start involves the improvements……check. Next will be making the stands a family friendly place where shoreline vacationers can bring their children and not have to deal with drunk, foul mouthed, smoking good old boys. An inclusive place where women, minorities and young folks don’t feel like they’ve time warped back to last century where anything goes. A good start there would be to ban Blaze Brodeur. Finally and most importantly convince the owner to sell the property.
    If all that happens I still say it could have the greatest consistent drawing power of any track in Ct. on multiple week days. It’s hands down the best full track viewing experience for sure. It’s custom made for opens and special events that can draw from a densely populated area and summer vacationers.
    The really good news is the track improvements have been done confirming the town and neighborhood have accepted it as a track. As well as Bemer being old and maybe sickly having a shorter shelf life then the the stands.

  26. ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿฆ„2020 says

    Dafella will pass. He ain’t going anywhere at least for the next 2-5 years. And if Tommy Barret is racing on any particular track? Forget about it.

  27. sour grapes, Doug has no intent, purpose, goal, objective, reason, etc. None. He doesn’t go to the track, has no content to offer the forums, and acts as the judge and jury of all others. Simply calls everyone else wrong just to do so and create an illusion that he’s right about something.

  28. The future of the Bowl remains unpredictable. A key ingredient to a potential resurgence would be Keith Rocco running regularly again at the shoreline oval. But, I’m not sure that’s going to happen without a NASCAR sanction (likely impossible as long as Bemer owns the track). Was the complete Terry Eames/Speedbowl story ever written? Certain readers enthusiastically rip Eames at every opportunity, while Shawn tends to focus on his promotional skills and the financial challenges he faced at the Bowl. I guess those of us who are not insiders may never know.

  29. RickyinMass says

    u rite dureel. Sible hides in his baycement. u the reel branes here. u alwaz rite about toyletbol. inportent thing is koved an beetin trump. tel us mor bout trump dureel. we al luv it.

  30. WeldingWonders says

    โ€œWell, I hate to say it again, but I WAS RIGHT!!!!! Iโ€™M RIGHT AGAIN!!!!!โ€
    โ€œI can say it again, I AM RIGHT AGAIN !!!!!!!!โ€

    STARRING DAREAL โ€œNEVER WRONG REGARDING THE SPEEDBOWLโ€ GOODFELLA

    EPISODE 34: STILL WAITING FOR DAREAL TO BE RIGHT

    darealgoodfella says
    May 24, 2017 at 10:16 am
    Teams, the employees, staff, fans, sanctioning body, fans, series, fans, etc. have all made it clear they are not supporting the track as long as Bemer is still the owner. They have pulled out and made it clear they are not going to be involved with the track. Without the cars, teams, series, staff, etc., and oh yeah, those paying customers, there is nothing going on at the track. Nothing.โ€

    NOPE NOT YET

    November 13, 2019 at 7:39 pm
    When Bemer was arrested and admitted to the deeds, I posted what was going to happen and what was not going to happen. I was right. That was incredibly obvious. The NLWSB was at a crossroads of trouble. It was dilapidated, needed rehabilitation, and the owner gets in really big legal trouble, trouble that rendered the โ€˜bowl insignificant to Bemer. The โ€˜bowl became collateral damage.

    KEEP WAITING

  31. ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿฆ„2020 says

    I agree with rickyinmass 100%. Dafella is always right about everything. We all love him. Tell us more Dafella!

  32. rules are posted but no schedule yet – so I’m assuming that there will be the same divisions running as 2018

  33. crazy larry says

    Itโ€™s time to hit the track!! Open Practice is set for Saturday July 25th from 11 am to 5 pm. All Speedbowl divisions are welcome. The cost for the 6 hour practice session is $100 per car and 5 people including the driver. Due to COVID regulations, we will be checking everyoneโ€™s temperature prior to entering the pit area. We are currently working on setting up online payment for practice and raceday ticket sales right here on our website. […]

  34. crazy larry says

    Itโ€™s time to hit the track!! Open Practice is set for Saturday July 25th from 11 am to 5 pm. All Speed-bowl divisions are welcome. The cost for the 6 hour practice session is $100 per car and 5 people including the driver. Due to COVIDregulations, we will be checking everyoneโ€™s temperature prior to entering the pit area. We are currently working on setting up online payment for practice and raceday ticket sales right here on our website. […]

  35. I’m guessing Waterford will be subject to the same restrictions as Stafford as far as crowd size. Looks like they’ve already set the standard for pit personnel.
    Bruce Bemer, although a convicted sex offender, did save the track from becoming a shopping plaza, or condo’s, and now has improved upon it, and doesn’t seem to be much involved in running it
    Hopefully they enjoy some success in these difficult times.
    As far as success hindging on Keith Rocco, that statement is debatable, especially given the insurgence of new young talent in the modified divisions recently.
    How does that saying go? If you build it, they will race. Well, I guess we’re all gonna have to wait and see what happens.
    Good luck to everyone involved.

  36. ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿฆ„2020 says

    If they do open I wonder if tickets will need to be purchased online. Looks like Wall speedway is going to be first come first serve on opening day.

  37. Rocco is not going to make or break the bowl so that is BS. If he is there, fine if not, time to make a new star!

  38. How did open practice go on Saturday? Did they have a good turnout? Anyone have some intell?

  39. Earl,
    No information posted by the track on social media channels. I have nothing official but I’ve heard from multiple people that there were about 40 teams practicing. Heard three SK Modified teams and three SK Light Modified teams.

  40. Thanks Shawn.

  41. Will there be food and drink August 1 Saturday night and if not can we bring our own ???

  42. BR Drove through there yesterday during practice The place looks amazing. It is now a first class Race Not sure if thy are going to be using the MH parked between the stands for announcers.

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