Cold Open: Speedbowl Sadly Turning Its Back On Promoting Short Track Racing As Public Entertainment Choice

Two weeks from this coming Saturday – just 17 days from today – the New London-Waterford Speedbowl is set to open for the 2021 season with its Blastoff Weekend. 

Did you know? 

Chat up many longtime devotees of the short track racing scene in Connecticut and the questions and queries of the Speedbowl’s current existence run the gamut. 

Do they have a schedule for this season? 

Are they opening this year? 

Is the track shut down for good? 

When was the last year they had races there? 

This was an actual statement spoken by a 20-year plus local racing fan attending the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway on April 10: “It’s really too bad we lost the Speedbowl. It stinks that the place got closed down.” 

No, the Speedbowl is not closed down. Yes, they ran events in 2020. Yes, they intend to run a full schedule in 2021.

But those who think the track is closed temporarily or even permanently shouldn’t be faulted for harboring that misconception because it’s essentially the message being sent by track operators in their inaction on all fronts of promotion of the facility, events there or participants. 

Speedbowl management has gone to full radio silence regarding anything related to promoting the facility as a public entertainment venue. 

Outside of announcing the 2021 schedule in January, Speedbowl management has made zero effort to promote the facility, events at the facility or any regular teams or competitors at the facility since the end of the 2020 season. 

During divisional meetings with teams on March 20 Speedbowl general manager Mike Marfeo was asked by multiple competitors about the lack of promotional and public relations efforts by management and also why management wasn’t more encouraging of media coverage of events. 

Multiple attendees confirmed that Marfeo essentially responded by saying he doesn’t like working with media outlets local to the Speedbowl because they’re not willing to commit to focusing on producing all positive stories to help the business. 

And if that’s one man’s opinion then so be it. But it’s hard to wag a finger at the media for not giving you enough positive promotion when the management staff of the track does absolutely nothing themselves to offer positive promotion of the track. 

And yes, the track has seen a revolving door of management groups come and go over the last five years. The constant exhortation from Speedbowl defenders is that operators of the track are unfairly picked on by the racing media. Their regular refrain is “But they’re working so hard to fix things, give them time.”

And that would be a fine defense if it was true. It’s not. When asked by competitors in March about the lack of promotion and public relations efforts Marfeo told competitors that would be changing immediately. 

And nothing has changed. 

There has been no new focus. No promotion of events to fans. No promoting of competitors who support the facility. Since the end of the 2020 season the track’s social media channels have been used almost exclusively as a communication tool with competitors and a place to offer holiday greetings. Nothing changed after March 20. 

And we’re not talking about spending thousands of dollars or hiring multiple employees. This isn’t like doing construction on site. It’s promotion. It’s someone who works for the track going on social media and promoting events and competitors who support the facility. It’s not heavy lifting. It’s just making a very simple effort. 

When it comes down to promoting racing events to current or potential racing fans, a big part of that marketing challenge has to be understanding who the competitors are that are best to market to potential ticket buyers. During the SK Modified divisional meeting in March Marfeo was asked a question by 2020 Speedbowl SK Modified division champion Tim Jordan. The question was followed up with Jordan asking Marfeo if he knew who he was. Marfeo said he did not who Jordan was.

How does management even begin to try to promote a business where the product you’re selling is racing and the general manager can’t pick the reigning champion of his premier division out of a lineup?

If you’re selling cars you best know the ins and outs of the cars you’re selling. If you’re selling meats you better know the difference between chicken and beef. And if you’re selling racing it would certainly help to actually know who the racers are that you’re selling to potential customers.

The Speedbowl is a place that has all the right bones in place to be a mecca of short track racing in the right hands. It’s sad to see what is one of the most unique public sporting venues in the state being transformed into what is essentially a site for private club racing. 

Through its history part of the allure of the Speedbowl was not just about the amazing racing on the track, but the passionate and raucous personality of the fans who brought it to life every Saturday night. The diehards cheering their favorites endlessly. The kids on the fence picking who their next racing hero will be. 

Now cultivating a fan base for the track has become an afterthought for management. Getting that next family to come down and cheer on the drivers putting on the show isn’t important anymore. It’s all about getting cars in the pits and charging people for the opportunity to go drive fast. Those drivers, who used to be potential heroes of the children on the fence, are now seemingly just nameless faces that keep the back gate racing club operational. Each one another stack of dollar bills rolling through to the pits to race in events that few outside of their friends and family are aware are even taking place.

Short track racing operators should be working feverishly to develop new racing fans interested in attending their events and helping short track racing grow and flourish again. It’s a truly sad state of affairs when promotion from within has disappeared to the point that much of the current existing short track racing fan base in Southern New England doesn’t even know that a track that is still very much open is actually still operating. 


  1. “Multiple attendees confirmed that Marfeo essentially responded by saying he doesn’t like working with media outlets local to the Speedbowl because they’re not willing to commit to focusing on producing all positive stories to help the business.”

    I’m imagining someone with an orange spray tan and a hideous orange combover.

    Looks like somebody is expecting lots of bad news from the track.

    Make sure the factual news about the track is positive, is always positive, and is only positive. If the track can do that, they get what they want. It’s up to the track to make sure it does not produce any negative news.

    By the way, when I drove by today, I didn’t see any Winnebagos in the parking lot. That’s a good thing, right?

  2. The Atomic Punk says

    The fan meant to say “I hope the place gets closed down”. Me too fan, Me too.


    LOL Shawn you and your friend DAFAKE keep bashing the bowl .its embarrassing ! the bowl will have more cars than Thompson in each weekly division despite your business plan! LETS BET ON IT OK??? parking lot will be filled with campers too ! they don’t need you or DAFAKE. the bowl will remain after Thompsons oval closes and Bruce Bemer will still be out on appeal ! you cant stand it ? well to bad .Just like Trump to DAFAKE Bemer is in your heads forever your predictions of the tracks demise were wrong so live with it. NO mention on the passing of a speed bowl legend and fixture on your website ? Alan Coull? not politically correct enough. the man lettered hundreds of race cars that completed at several tracks and not one snippet? Very disappointed …

  4. knuckles mahoney says

    At the end of the day who really cares if the speedbowl doesn’t promote the track events? It’s to their own demise. Really, this is news worthy?

  5. really amazing to me that the gm doesn’t recognize the top division champion from last season. lots of work to be done there, maybe by somebody who’s actually willing to do some promotion?

  6. Stephen J Jesus says

    Not much different from any short track in New England. None of them advertise in local print or radio. And they wonder why spectator counts are down. Pretty soon racing will be a participant sport only

  7. Saw the headline an said oh boy. That’s gonna tick off some of the Speedbowl faithful so here we go. Actually it was a nicely balanced carrot and stick piece that would have been a good sounding board were it not for one unfortunate fact. The operator isn’t normal. His goals may not be the same as other track operators. His history with media and especially RaceDayCT is not normal. RaceDayCt since the spring of 2017 has been reporting on the the status of the owners legal situation that by it’s very nature can’t be compartmentalized as separate from race promotion. It all ends up so very personal. The owner likely hates RaceDayCt more then most outlets because it’s singular mission is racing and gives the Speedbowl the most exposure that by circumstance has been negative. The current owner may not even care about growing the fan base as much as being appreciated by the one he has that does give him a measure of respect and appreciation whereas he’s considered a pariah in most other circles.
    There’s only one thing normal about the Speedbowl and that’s the loyal fan base. Otherwise nothing that has happened since the spring of 2017 with the facility is normal the least of which was finishing the renovation and getting the track open in a pandemic with a knife hanging over the owners head constantly. Making the lack of race promotion normal by it’s abnormality.

  8. Sell it!

  9. OLD SCHOOL SPEEDBOWL REGULAR is exactly the kind of response I was expecting from the Speedbowl faithful. Kind of meandering mishmash of, barbs and disjointed score settling the most energized of Speedbowl fans are known for. There will likely be more so buckle up.
    He did allude to one thing I whole heartedly agree with that is reason for a lot of optimism. The Speedbowl will likely be racing long after Thompson’s racing surface ends races there. I don’t agree it will be under the current owner out on appeal but a new owner that does believe strongly in race promotion, that will use social media and RaceDayCt to generate interest in the track and perhaps even compete with Stafford on an equal footing.
    It’s inevitable only the time frame is in question.

  10. Waterford = Really great on track racing too many off track issues. I root for them just because it would be a shame to see a track that produces such good racing close. It would be a shame to see any track close. Did they add a tour type modified race to their schedule? When I looked at their schedule, I didnt see any scheduled.

  11. I don’t see anything wrong with what Shawn wrote. He isn’t wrong. It takes zero effort to regurgitate pictures of race cars and say “three more weeks until opening day”. Go hire Kyle Souza to do it for you if its that much of a hassle. Anyone who thinks publishing articles that do not call out short tracks on their issues isn’t helping keep this sport relevant for the next 30 years.

    Can someone buy Terry Eames some lottery tickets in hopes of buying this thing back? LOL!

  12. Tom Curley used to say it best. Some promoters prefer to have eight divisions with ten cars in every division, filling their pockets with the pit gate bounty. Curley once said, “I prefer to sell tickets, that’s where I believe it works.” If you’d like some more on the philosophy, I implore you to check out this link –
    Shawn is 100% correct with this exposé. No fan, diehard or not, is going to drive down to the coast and buy a ticket to watch Club Racing and they certainly won’t pack the cooler if they don’t know the place is even open!
    It’s not difficult, barely even time consuming, to throw up a picture on Facebook or give a couple sentences for a new sponsor or billboard. Radio silence in the time of Social Media is disgraceful and lazy.
    Waterford is too good a racetrack to be left to such circumstances.

  13. ‘bowl = drama queen

    You all got it all wrong. The ‘bowl is so wildly popular, it doesn’t need any promotion or advertising.


    I crack myself up!!!!!! 🤪🤪🤪

    There is so much more competition for entertainment dollars 💵 nowadays, tracks had better get the word out that they are operating, and competing for those fans. A business should always be working to attract new customers.

    If the track shuts down, a Winnebago dealership might go in there. 😜

  14. You know that old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity?

    Well, it took the ‘bowl to prove that wrong. 😑

    Imagine what it would be like to get stuck in It’s A Small World at Disney Land and have to be bombarded with that song forever. Well, the relentless drama of the ‘bowl is just that.

    It’s comical too. 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡

    And just a reminder, I was right, again.

  15. Sad… really sad… used to love the bowl…

    couldn’t even tell you who the defending champions were if it wasn’t for the graphic they recently posted on social media that who ever did it took little to no effort to produce…

    If you don’t want to deal with the media that is fine… but Social Media that you (the Speedbowl) can control on your own… you can LITERALLY control what ever narrative you want… and it’s FREE

  16. Let this be a reminder that even though it might feel “negative”, we all want the place to succeed.
    RaceDayCT literally exists to give us racing news in CT, it’s a pretty wild accusation to suggest tracks closing down is the motivation here.

    This needs to be a learning experience.
    I will defend and support this place until either it or I die, and I won’t hesitate to point out flaws in the system.
    When I have potential fans and sponsors that are shocked to know the track is still open, there’s a problem.
    Lets just hope PR is as important as I was told it would be.
    Its just too bad the response will now be reactive instead of proactive.

  17. 2x Mod Fan says

    Stephen J Jesus, I haven’t seen anything for the Speedbowl at all during the off-season, but I did know about the races that were going on at Thompson and Stafford. I have seen more promotions, articles, and post for go kart tracks than I have for the Speedbowl. I follow a ton of tracks and racing sites, and even those people thought the Speedbowl either wasn’t opening or was going to be delayed. When you have meetings with drivers for the season before and you have no clue that you’re talking with the defending track champion there’s something really wrong. This is sad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the track doesn’t open. I seen other people talking about how they’ve gone past the track and nothing has been done. The charter bus is still sitting where they were supposed to build a new Tower and press box. They also just posted something about holding a “Job Fair” the same day they are supposed to be holding a track test. How do you wait until now to start hiring new employees?

  18. The ‘bowl is just a perfect candidate for a reality TV series. The place is just overflowing with drama already. I’m shocked it hasn’t been a reality TV show. The ‘bowl drama could make The Madhouse look like a bunch of geniuses.

    But to add to what Mitch said… everyone wants to see the place succeed, but when there’s all this idiocy going on, it is detrimental to call it out. Ignoring it won’t make it go away, just make things worse. Just as ignoring disease didn’t make it go away, ignoring bad management won’t make things better, you just get a crappy product, if the place survives the bad management.

    Letting ownership and management know they aren’t getting it done and people aren’t going to drink the kool-aid is what needs to happen.

  19. Bob Freeman says

    I really try to avoid most of these conversations regarding the Speedbowl. But Shawn is 100% correct here. It is not hard to throw out a couple of releases a week – like one showcasing an event on the schedule and a second looking at a competitor’s plans for the upcoming schedule. An hour tops a week. I should know because I used to do it. A track has to make its own noise.

  20. Fast Eddie says

    It seems the ownership directive to management was to concentrate on the back gate. But if management doesn’t literally recognize their customers (racers), that doesn’t look promising. I understand their theory if they are trying to get some of the past history out of the spotlight, but I think not having a little simple info to promote an event is throwing money away. If people don’t know you’re open, potential revenue is going elsewhere. If that potential revenue did show up and had a good experience, simple word-of-mouth would bring in more.

  21. RIP Alan B. Coul. If you didn’t know him or take a second to give regards Then you don’t know the Bowl and probably shouldn’t comment on how it’s run.

  22. David Dykes says

    Let his detractors say what they will, but Shawn Courchesne is spot-on with this piece. I worked in PR at Waterford for a number of years, and promotion should be viewed as a vital factor in working toward a successful opening day. This is April – it should have began months-ago. I was born & raised in Waterford, know a lot of people here, and can’t begin to tell you how many have asked me if the Speedbowl was even still open – that’s sad for those of us that care about the place. And Bob Freeman is correct – all it takes is a bit of effort; it’s not like you have to be Hemingway or Joyce. Thanks to the Internet, things are actually easier now than when I started.

  23. Jussayin,
    If he was such an important part of the history of the Speedbowl why is it that his passing wasn’t even mentioned by them on their website, Facebook page or Twitter account? One would think management would take the time to memorialize or even simply recognize him right? They didn’t. Thank you for helping to make my point about what this column is all about.

  24. I think the article Shawn penned was fair, truthful and balanced.

    Shawn writes ; “The Speedbowl is a place that has all the right bones in place to be a mecca of short track racing in the right hands. It’s sad to see what is one of the most unique public sporting venues in the state being transformed into what is essentially a site for private club racing.”

    “Through its history part of the allure of the Speedbowl was not just about the amazing racing on the track, but the passionate and raucous personality of the fans who brought it to life every Saturday night. The diehards cheering their favorites endlessly. The kids on the fence picking who their next racing hero will be.”

    These are two paragraphs that really tell what could potentially be the tracks future and what was the history of the track. I experienced it, supported it for many years and was part of the culture. Some of the best drivers that ever graced the racing community in modified’s, late models and BGN competed at the shoreline oval. Go on YouTube, Sids View history of the Speedbowl, it’s there to see. How many other tracks have their history documented that well. The parking lot would fill with cars and the overflow would park on both sides of Route 85 from Route 52 to Lakes Pond Church. Stands packed, SRO, yes the good old days. Even though the track has experienced and transitioned through a multitude of management teams, it still exists and that draw is still strong.

    Things have changed and times have changed but that culture hasn’t changed. The night of the week is perfect, Saturday night one of the two weekend days most don’t have to work and the kids are out of school. Teams don’t have to take time off work to travel, it’s all there, every piece of the puzzle is there. Now we are waiting and hoping for the right team to assemble those pieces and bring the plan together. Blaming negative public opinion about the owner expressed through media sources for their internal and external issues is getting old. It is the issue and will continue to be the issue until there is a change at the top. But when the owner appears to have no desire to sell and calls the shots, it is what it is and we will have to see what the next chapter will bring.


  25. The last Tweet from the ‘bowl was Feb. 5, 2015. They ain’t even tryin’ to use what’s free and easily accessible. Ain’t even tryin’.

    A Twitter handle they used for a little bit (@speedbowlnews) went dead. 💀

    May 8 is getting closer. Don’t worry, 😉 everything will be just fine. 😝😝 {sarcasm alert} 🚨

  26. Happy to see Bob Freeman & Dave Dykes posted and I highly regard their opinions. Thanks guys for your candor, honesty and past hard work at the Speedbowl that made it the powerhouse it was years ago.

  27. Earl wrote,

    “Blaming negative public opinion about the owner expressed through media sources for their internal and external issues is getting old. It is the issue and will continue to be the issue until there is a change at the top. But when the owner appears to have no desire to sell and calls the shots, it is what it is and we will have to see what the next chapter will bring.”

    Yer preaching to a choir ol’ feller. Well, a very specific choir.

    I was saying that years and years ago. I didn’t create the “negativity”, and talking about it certainly is not the problem. You and others were then saying it would be my fault for all the troubles and travails the track was going through because all the issues at the track were getting attention. It was the issues all along, not the attention to them.

    If Earl can put down the kool-aid and step away from it, so can the rest of you.

    Hallelujah !!!!! Kumbayah !!!!!! Can we just get along?????

    See, I was right. Even Earl can finally get it.

    😝 😝 😝 😝 😝 😝

  28. Earl, very nicely put.

  29. I’ll second that. Well said Earl.

  30. Doug wrote, “I’ll second that. Well said Earl.”

    Does this mean you are also recanting your previous position that the ‘bowl should be supported to further enrich the owner to benefit his victims?

    If you really are agreeing with Earl, you are also recanting and contradicting yourself. But then, you are Doug, et al., idiots one and all.

    Let me be clear… nothing about the ‘bowl changed because what was reported in the media or discussed on public forums. It’s been a non-stop SNAFU. So all your bitching and moaning that the discussion of the ‘bowl failures was somehow going to cause Armageddon never happened. The ‘bowl has been in a self-imposed super slow motion 🚽 swirly, for years.

  31. 🌈🦄2020 says

    “It’s really too bad we lost the Speedbowl. It stinks that the place got closed down.”
    Somebody should show this guy how to look up and read Racedayct.

  32. Any positive news from the bowl will always be forshadowed by Bruce Bemers legal issues. Very sad.

  33. Doug wrote, “I’ll second that. Well said Earl.”

    Doug, you’re flip-flopping more than Mitt Romney.

  34. I didn’t have time to go into detail earlier, but to add to Earl’s great write up…

    Running a race track is similar to any other entertainment venture. The promoter actually has two bases to satisfy, the fans and performers. None of the fans want to see a bad program, and the performers want to participate in an engaging experience with fan recognition. Take away the fans and you might as well race as a club or with R/C cars. Take away the cars, and there’s no reason for fans to show up at all.

    If we look at successful enterprises, they make sure both sides look forward to attending. Competitors want a safe facility with fairly applied rules and decent purses, fans want an entertaining show.

    How does that happen? A great step is taking positives from places that do well! How do tracks, promoters, and sanctioning bodies that are on the upswing do things? What do fans think of the events? Do fans or competitors look forward to coming back?

    All of this stuff requires listening to feedback, press, and social media commentary. Some will be stupid, “Hot dogs should always be $1” (in 2021) or “I won’t come until tickets are $5”, others might be useful, like how well a certain track moves the show along, a certain track has a cool food or beer selection, even comments on seating or bathrooms. The same goes for comments from competitors. An official’s call will always upset a certain loud someone, but may earn respect from lots of folks who don’t comment if done fairly and predictably.

    The key is to take a hard look and learn from legit complaints or negative coverage and improve. Local racing is a tiny bunch of doers and a small market of fans. A rising tide will genuinely lift all boats. I see it as more of collaboration around the sport we love vs. competition.

    A better experience on one night makes both sides want to attend more nights.

  35. Barry,

    That’s a nice write up. But in the case of the ‘bowl, fans are looking for something different. Will there be a show? Right now, we don’t even know if there will be anything to complain about.

    The ‘bowl has been decrepit for years and years. Then several years ago, it was said that the stands and such were going to be demo’d immediately after the last race, to begin the rehab. That never happened. Then Bemer bought the place, everyone had high hopes that the ‘bowl would be rebuilt, then Bemer got arrested and convicted, yadayadayada. Then the stands were torn down, and apparently too much was demolished, and there is still significant rehab that is in limbo. This is far different than the quality of track food and how well a track can run a show and keep it moving along. For years, this was Lucy ruthlessly yanking the ball from Charlie Brown over, and over, and over, and over and over, and over, ad infinitum. Those fans that spoke out were ruthlessly attacked as being negative.

    And here we are today. The replacement palace has not materialized, it is still a shambles. What’s going on is a guess. We are wondering if there will be any show.

    Are any teams getting ready to run at the ‘bowl?

  36. Just Woke Up says

    Maybe the Biden administration has imposed a media blackout on the Speedbowl just like it has on the southern border…….


    some fool actually hopes terry Eames wins the lottery and will buy the place ? LOL if this wasn’t so sad it would be funny. Eames is the very person who bled the track dry, failed to pay his bills, vendors and competitors forcing a foreclosure auction …where were all those racing families mentioned as potential buyers ? pasteryaks, cerevolvos, mike bebe?? even the arute family?? eddie partridge? Doug Dunlevy ,Kobyluck perhaps Shawn Monahan ? ?? only the latter commented as far as I know .How about Preece and Logano?? ?? they could pool their monies and buy the place right ???…the guy who couldn’t make the deal now owns or operates three tracks in new hampshire ??? all knew the place needed hundreds of thousands in capitol improvements ! if your wishing for a lottery win make it the Kortewegs. as for Bob and Dave . yes the track could use some PR for sure unfortunately Bemer has failed and or is too cheap to hire a quality promotor of find a family friendly COMPETENT AND RELIABLE person to lease the facility . the on track product will remain the same and there will be racing and the crowds will be based on what is dictated by COVID state restrictions. if you don’t like it don’t go . the people that will attend don’t care they just want to see racing .same for the teams and drivers wishing to compete . hopefully better vending on the midway ,additional bathrooms and some good weather and I will be there ! stop the hate

  38. In memory of the now past great JD who’s idea of tactful disagreement was more like that of a ram in rutting season let me take a stab at tactful disagreement with a couple points in this article.
    The theme is the self defeating practice of not using every tool available and especially the no cost options to promote racing events at the Speedbowl. This being the second making of that point, Wall being the first.
    With regard to he Speedbowl the same history that I believe causes the owner to hold ill will toward RaceDayCt also has a flip side. Since the spring of 2017 a contentious, on again off again relationship has existed between the Speedbowl and RaceDayCt. It opened with George Whitney shutting out the web site and RaceDayCt ceasing stories on the track. It rallied back with Serluca, Mike being more of a bridge builder that in this case was between a rock and a hard place but information did flow. After Mike leaves it’s back to a kind of hit and miss deal with the track once again completely disinterested in building a mutually beneficial relationship.
    No doubt hard words have been exchanged with various people at the track over the years. That and the fact every bit of information was either obtained like pulling teeth or in the case of race results like the track doing RaceDayCt some kind of favor.
    I’m sure I am not right on all the details but believe I have the gist correct following this closely the whole time. Mr. Courchesne is a professional but not a robot so if this article includes a measure of strident urgency then that seems understandable. Not to say the points are not valid but each one made with a gravity that in some cases exceeds the charge in my view.
    Is the premise of this article fair? I suspect so but the possibility that having been treated shabbily by the track at times may enter into it as well. Much of the time trying to do work that benefits the track via event reporting and furthering the connection to fans.
    What I do think may be unfair is the club racing reference and perhaps using anecdotes to imply no information exists on the tracks plans for the season. We’ve all seen people make comments right here and get the information wrong that they supposedly just read. A fan or fans at the track saying they aren’t aware of things isn’t exactly the highest level of fan based polling seems to me. The track concentrating on the back gate I just don’t know. That particular point has been made about a lot of tracks including Stafford after some of their sketchy regular show fan turn outs in the past. I’d ask is it a specific strategy of management or a bit of dot connecting like I’ve been doing here.
    The schedule was published January 2nd on Facebook. Since then there has been sparse but periodic references to the upcoming season that has had essentially the same consistent message. Concentrated on the race teams but in many respects the race teams and the fan base are one when it comes to the Speedbowl with that interwoven grapevine of theirs like no other.
    I’ve mentioned it before and will again. Last year a schedule, teams to compete on the track and fans in the stands was produced in a matter of a few weeks after a one year shut down and renovation that few had confidence would result in racing. That was a testament or abuse of the Speedbowl fan base but the fact is it happened. Then good energy as races clicked off with increasing car counts and in spite of mandatory masks when seated and no beer. Compared to last year, this year the track has been an open book on their intentions since the beginning of the year. A classic low bar but you get the idea.
    Clearly there is no excuse for not knowing who Jordan is but perhaps that message was received loud and clear. The track now going out of it’s way to honor the champions with a public award ceremony in front of the fans. A unique event for sure that could have had an article right in this space were the track not so pig headed and clannish but then again that’s the point of the opinion piece isn’t it.
    Just so we’re clear here I’m not questioning the integrity of Mr. Courchesne or the reporting. I’m merely saying that this is an opinion piece, that there is a history here and that no journalist no matter how professional is impervious to human emotions after being treated like crap when trying to do his job.

  39. 🌈🦄2020 says

    All just woke up did was take a page out of Dafella’s playbook. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Not surprised to see that Dafella has the most comments on this topic at 9. And he ain’t finished yet. He hasn’t gone and will not ever go to the track but he did drive by the other day. Must have been traumatizing to see the new stands. And just like last year Dafella, no teams are planning on running there and won’t be open in a couple weeks. Also there is no open practice Saturday.

  40. Frankly, the ‘bowl has been doing the absolute minimum needed to maintain the illusion that it will be operating. As in years past, we’ll have to see what happens on May 8.

  41. I believe dafella mentioned Mitt Romney in a comment directed at Doug. Now unless someone has evidence that Mitt (a MA Republican politician) has anything to do with the Speedbowl, I guess that unfortunately opened the door for just woke up to fire a volley. I guess all’s fair in love and war 😀.

    Anyway let’s get back on subject and play nice for a change.

  42. Will the speed bowl have any new food trucks or a beer truck?

  43. It looks like Mike Marfeo has been a more important player in the recent history of the Bowl than we may have realized. From a recent (March 9) AARN article by Steve Barrick:

    – In recent years, Marfeo has become a specialist in administration of distressed speedway operations. Marfeo said it was he who had encouraged Bemer to buy the Speedbowl at auction, then stepped into the background as he track was rebuilt. “Then I was called in to reopen the track last year,” Marfeo related.

    There’s no mention of other distressed tracks that Marfeo has helped, nor is anything said about Marfeo’s “co – GM” (I don’t remember his name) at the Bowl last year. However, it’s interesting that Marfeo may have been instrumental in Bemer’s purchase of the track.

  44. Rafter Fan,
    When Bruce Bemer acquired the track in 2014 he and I spent many hours talking about how he came to be in the position to be at the foreclosure auction. I can remember a number of people he mentioned back then being in the background counseling him on the acquisition. Mike Marfeo was not a name I ever once heard him mention.
    As far as being a “specialist in administration of distressed speedway operations”, I know he has told many Speedbowl competitors and employees that he has single handedly brought numerous short tracks in America from the brink of closing down back to success. I’m guessing Mr. Barrick, who is not one to typically fact check much, simply took Mr. Marfeo at his word. I’m confident Mr. Marfeo could tell Mr. Barrick that he invented breakfast cereal also and Mr. Barrick would likely publish that too.
    I’ve done extensive research trying to find any evidence of Mr. Marfeo’s claims of bringing numerous short tracks back from the brink of shutdown and could not find anything indicating that to be true. When I asked Mr. Marfeo during a conversation not that long ago if he could tell me some of the other tracks he has worked for he said he didn’t want to name them.

  45. Brian, since the only source of communication relative to the Speedbowl’s plans for 2021 seems to be released through their own media sites that would be a question that needs to be directed to them. Good luck.

  46. Shawn, thanks for that answer. Something did not seen right there with the claims Marfeo was making. If he was that intimately involved in the operation he certainly should know all the players in the game including the 2020 track champions. Sounds like smoke and mirrors on his part. It would be interesting to find out who he really is, maybe just Bemers personal bean counter?

  47. Shawn – thanks for the sharing that info. Again, not terribly surprising – unfortunately.

  48. Speedbowl Timeline:

    Seriously, with all that, there’s no need to make 💩 up.

    Hey Shawn, maybe update that thread. So much has happened since then.

  49. 🌈🦄2020 says

    That is interesting Rafter. I had never heard of him before last season. Speed 51 had a bigger write up about the schedule over the winter. I heard that Dick Williams is involved with the 5 extra distance extra money sk races. So between Racedayct, Speed51, AARN, the bowls website, both FB pages how in the world can someone not know the track has been and is opening?

  50. Viva Race Fan says

    Maybe this here is why he don’t make any media .
    Bruce owns the track and its his money so what his actions are is up to him. We’re lucky that it may even open this year. Depression is a hard thing and some have more trouble than others. Good Luck Speedbowl. I’ll be in turn 1 any day there open.

  51. Bemer has scraped right through the bottom of the barrel in searching for people to run the 🚽 so he can stay out of the public.

    We all know what’s needed to complete the rehab of the place, it’s what we’ve been promised for years and years. We all know the stands swayed in the breeze, restroom facilities are a dump, concessions were deplorable. This was all supposed to be remedied years and years ago.

    So now a specialist in turning around decrepit tracks gets brought in? 😝😝😝😝😝😝😝

    How many of these specialists are there in existence?

    The list of what has been needed has been well known forever, just need to get it done. It hasn’t been done because nobody wants to spend the moolah 💰 💰 💰 💰 💰 💰 💰 💰 💰 💰 .

    May 8 is fast approaching.

  52. Earl 🤡 wrote, “… and play nice for a change.”

    Sez my little ankle biter.


  53. WeldingWonders says

    “ hate me because I’m beautiful and smarter than you.
    “And just a reminder, I was right, again.”
    “See, I was right. Even Earl can finally get it.”



    233 is gonna pull an Insipid Cybil(Doug)
    234 ug, stop making (vulgar emoji) up. There is no grudge, so your last post is nothing but (vulgar emoji)
    235 You (Doug) are a depraved cretin of negotiable virtuosity. That goes for you and all your other screen names.
    236 Wall destroyed itself. The Turkey Derby was a turkey
    237 You really are a very special idiot.
    238 But after decades of mask use, what kind of idiot
    239 GP, this is for all the special idiots out there:
    240 You’re (GP) still a very special kind of idiot.
    241 I’m imagining someone with an orange spray tan and a hideous orange combover.
    242 ‘bowl = drama queen
    243 Doug, you’re flip-flopping more than Mitt Romney.
    244 But then, you are Doug, et al., idiots one and all.
    245 Sez my little ankle biter.(Earl)

    TOTAL INSULTS IN 2021 THROUGH DAY 113……………………………245

    NEW TRAUNCH OF INSULTS SINCE DAY 108 ……………….…………..13



  54. Can someone please make a list of recently revived short tracks? Don’t worry, it’s not a long list.

    And how many were revived by this Marfeo guy? Look him up on LinkedIn, his accomplishments must be listed.

    Tracks are closing, not coming back to life.

    These revived short tracks must be named places like Dracula Speedway, Zombie Raceway, Vampire Speedway…

  55. Look, the track clearly needs huge crowds to produce much needed revenue. But for some odd reason, the place is not doing much to promote itself. That is very strange.

    It spells of a very high risk situation, as in they are doing the absolute minimum to create an appearance that they are not shut down, when there appears to be no signs of life. They aren’t even trying. With the opening of the season just a couple weeks away, there should be promotional blitzes going on, but yet, there is radio silence. All I can think of is why spend money and effort to promote something that isn’t going to happen?

    This has all the signs of another episode of Lucy yanking the ball from Charlie Brown yet again.

    Will I be right again? I certainly hope not.

    The place needs huge crowds to survive. Gotta get the word out.

    The Speedbowl has been averaging grandstand crowds of about 500 people or less on regular Saturday nights since 2017. I’m pretty sure they don’t have any worries about crowd restrictions.

  57. 🌈🦄2020 says

    You know who else doesn’t have any worries about crowd restrictions? Dafella. He thinks the bowl needs to be packed this year to survive. During a pandemic.

  58. Darealgoodfella,
    Just bad reporting by the Journal Inquirer on that fact.

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