Truckin’: Todd Owen Overcomes Rough Day To Win SK Mod Feature At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Todd Owen celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl (Photo: Mitch Bombard/TK Race Photos)

It was a day of immense swings of luck Saturday for New London-Waterford Speedbowl driver Todd Owen. 

The bad luck started on the way to the track when the rear end blew on Owen’s truck hauling his race trailer about three miles from the Speedbowl. 

With some help from the Flannery family Owen was able to make it to the track for the show. 

“My trailer is not something you can’t just grab someone’s pickup and haul it there,” Owen said. “So it made it a little bit more of a project. The Flannery’s are just awesome people. They had a truck to help us out. They let me borrow a $300,000 truck to get my trailer home. Nobody in this world nowadays would ever do that. They’re just good people.” 

After getting to the track and making the show, the good luck swung Owen’s way late in the SK Modified feature. 

Owen took the lead from Kyle James on a restart with two laps remaining and went on to win the 35-lap SK Modified feature Saturday at the Speedbowl. It was the second consecutive victory for Owen, the reigning division champion, who went winless in his first six starts at the track this season before last week. 

Rob Janovic Jr. of Waterford was second and James, of Ashaway, R.I., was third. 

Owen was running fourth with two laps remaining when Timmy Jordan and Eric Berndt wrecked in a battle for the lead. 

“I don’t know what happened up front,” Owen said. “Timmy and Eric wrecked. I was going to be fourth. They made contact, Timmy overcorrected and pounded the fence and they put Eric to the back. I had a restart next Kyle James and drove by him.

“Tonight we were a little off. We were going to be fourth. I was OK with that, go home in one piece. Sometimes in my racing career I’ve been the guy to not have the luck go my way. Tonight it definitely went my way.” 

Owen came into the night third in the SK Modified division standings at the Speedbowl with Jordan on top and Berndt second, 10 points off the lead. At the end of the night Owen had moved to second, two points behind Jordan. Berndt sits third, six points off the lead. 

Tom Abele Jr. of Norwich won the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature. Evan Bourgeois of East Haddam was second and Tyler Chapman of Ellington third. 

Derryck Anderson Jr. took the checkered in the 30-lap Late Model feature but was disqualified following postrace tech inspection giving the win to Josh Hedges of New Bedford, Mass. PJ Evans of Uncasville was second and Jason Palmer of Berlin third.

Tony Macrino of Waterford won the 25-lap Street Stock feature. Aaron Plemons of Uncasville was second and Shawn Gaedeke of Groton third. 

Brody Monahan won the 25-lap Truck feature. Tyler Chapman of Mystic was second and Kyle Gero of Uncasville third. 


  1. Looked like a drunk Mini Stock driver getting cuffed and stuffed at the front gate last night.

  2. Speedbowl has got to get there s–t together.Horrible calls,the track and facility are in desperate need of attention.How much more can the teams,fans,drivers,owners,and whoever else take.The ship is sinking,bring your buckets.Someone HELP this once great facility.

  3. Longtimefan says

    Kevin T, What calls were bad?? What are you referring to???

  4. Mark Andrews says

    Of course no specifics with the criticism.Just general things like a mini stick driver.well which one?then.bad calls.what calls?what were the circumstances? Attention what kind of attention.Probably not even at the track at all this season.Just more bull**** from haters who don’t like the place.Be specific if your going to have the guts to be a critic.

  5. Attendance lagging, car counts sagging, fans ragging so who you gonna call? That’s right it’s the Monaco Modified Tri Track Series to inject some much needed energy into the moribund track. Hold it together an few more weeks race fans help is on the way.


    watch the video. Owen is one of the toughest to pass. once Berndt finally got by without beating him up or wrecking HIM he was FLYING . I saw no malice or error on Berndt part .Jordan ran outta talent there ,tried to overcorrect ..hard racing . isn’t it good a drunk is removed from the facility? .especially if he was driving a race car ? …aside from the food service and low car count .. (fireworks? ). its pretty standard fare at the speed bowl. If you don’t like the place don`t go ! the on track product remains solid with two groove racing .. cant say the same for other CT Tracks

  7. MARK ANDREWS. If you where there,look around.Last week,this week,every week.Not a hater at all,just want to see the place prosper.

  8. Mark Andrews says

    Kevin T….looking around? really?.give me examples of the bad calls,name the guy they cuffed.give examples of wha attention the facility needs? You still have offered nothing.

  9. Mark Andrews,
    As far as someone commenting that someone was cuffed, my understanding is there was some sort of confrontation involving a track official/employee and Mini Stock division driver Tommy Silva which ultimately led to the Waterford Police becoming involved and taking Silva out in handcuffs.

  10. Mark Andrews, the list is long and you know it.

    How’s the control tower doing? Still a school bus? Perhaps an Winnebago would be more appropriate.

    All the new amenities that were publicized and still never happened.

    Just do a search and you will find all the promises that have gone unfulfilled.

  11. Mark Andrews, there’s not enough lipstick in the world.

  12. Bring Back Alcohol Alley says

    Its funny when bowl lifers try to defend the track like what’s going on there now is the same as how great it was 15 years ago. Place hasn’t been run right since bemer got there. Just a revolving door of managers every other year who don’t do anything better than the last one. Place just continues to survive off support from people who don’t care that the owner won’t fix anything. I thought shawn foster as the manager would change things or bring new life to the place, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. That stupid bus is the perfect symbol for the place. Instead of doing things right way just put a rundown bus next to the track for years.


    HEY DAREAL. where are all your old sources at Waterford P+Z you moron ?? LOL. Mark Andrews asked specific questions.. Shawn provided answer on the police interaction,(thanks. Shawn !.) no mention of alcohol though … perhaps someone can list the other capitol improvements you speak of that have NOT been completed. applications / approval pending? the “bus” IS an eyesore yes. I guess if they replace it with a tower and additional seating you would say its not sufficient. Even your buddy Terry Eames bashed the new bleachers saying they weren’t viewer friendly.., this is the guy who asked for volunteers to risk their personal safety to “fix” the old stands so he could squeeze a few more bucks for himself … perhaps the present owner cannot get a liquor / food service/vending permit due to his criminal history? . parking and pits got additional paving. of course the stands, fence, observation towers etc.. yes they need more food offerings and it should be more affordable. vendor told me he pays track a stipend / portion of his receipts. too little offerings and too pricey HOWEVER NO ONE is preventing people from bringing in their own food and drink ( that’s what I do) and that’s great! as for the bathrooms that’s always an issue . some improvement has been done but nobody is perfect with bathrooms although I remember back in the day Thompson had attendants for the big shows when I owned a car . Stafford much better too but they get gnarly about halfway thru the event. fact is if not for Bemer there would be no track. if not for his behavior he would still be hailed as the guy that saved the speed bowl ..sad but true .I LOVE the racing, the teams/fans and the track MORE than I HATE the present owner ..sorry its a free country PS DAREAL tell me whos got a brighter future Waterford or Riverhead or your beloved Thompson ?? Riverhead and Thompson falling apart. low counts, track surfaces damaged unsafe limited events.

  14. Mens room still smells… “aside from the food service”….. I go to Stafford and waterford every weekend for years… staffords “food service” is VERY VERY bad compared to waterford. Grab some BBQ or pizza or the incredible ice cream.. stafford $15 for 3 or 4 SUPER SMALL chicken tenders and MAYBE 10 gross French fries.. hate on waterford all you want..the food at the bowl is 1000000× better then stafford. Oh yeah and just alittle bit cheaper. $21 for a peppers and onion and soda? Yupppp garbage food with insane prices. I always eat before going to Stafford and NEVER eat before going to waterford. Haters will hate I guess.

  15. Ummm, beer. Loved those 16 oncer’s on a warm summer night.
    A different view on the history albeit from an outsider.
    Historically the Speedbowl was a place that racing people went to try their hand at promoting races and ended up having their hopes crushed for all kinds of different reasons.
    The track wouldn’t be running now without Bemer so lets start there. He bought the place at auction it was so pathetic. He committed to keep it as a race track something that wasn’t clear at first then proceeded to catch up on a lot of deferred maintenance that was needed just to get the track open. And it was OK up until the scandal. Then the grind through the courts that seemed to drag on forever. While it was going on invested another huge amount of money for the obvious which would be stands and the less obvious environmental upgrades. Without any of that there would be no bus to mock and no fans or race cars either.
    Bemer skates on the charges but he was proven to be a generally bad dude so the dark cloud hanging over the track remains.
    If Bemer is to continue to own it there is no reason to do anything more. It’s open, he’s getting some revenue, his shelf life is limited so it is what it is. A track with race events twice a week. That like him or not would not have happened were he not to have bought the track.
    The Patriots tried a defensive coach leading the offense and we Pats fans know how that turned out. If you thought Foster with no experience, with very little authority to make the changes you all sight as being necessary could actually do it you were kidding yourselves. The same guy still owns the track.
    The immediate problem isn’t the bus or the rest rooms or forgive me for saying this beer, it’s car counts. A challenge last year Foster was keenly aware of that he never really had the authority to make bold, expensive structural changes to improve and it hasn’t has it?
    Do you like a perfectly ripe, big fat juicy peach when they’re in season? That’s what the Speedbowl is. Best racing surface in Connecticut and beyond, perfect distance, all the most basic improvements in place including permits to keep it a viable track indefinitely. All that’s needed is a new owner to pick that peach, the dark cloud instantly dissipates and it’s off the the races (pun intended).

  16. There is a lack of SK modifieds this year. Maybe drop them completely next year which would probably increase the SK light car count.

  17. Doug wrote, “The track wouldn’t be running now without Bemer so lets start there.”

    Well, I think it is safe that the track would be running with who ever bought it, not just Beemer. So don’t make him out as some savior.

  18. Hillary 2024 says

    Jesus. As soon as I read that a mini stock driver was cuffed and stuffed only one name came to mind. And what do you know, it was that very name that shawn mentioned. Wonder what the altercation was even about. He hasn’t been racing the past few weeks. There is definitely no consistency for car counts at the bowl. Some nights they are good in a few divisions and bad for the rest. And then a week later the divisions that had a poor showing are good and vice versa.

  19. Someone more in the know can correct this but at the time of the auction it was not clear what the new owner would do with the property. A desirable piece of land, the track in disrepair so I would not agree that the property continuing as a race track was a foregone conclusion.
    Savior has divine implications and the current owner is certainly no savior very much the opposite in some respects. But he was a businessman that did resurrect the track for personal and/or financial reasons. To me that’s not inherently noble it’s just a historical account of what a guy with a lot of money decided to do with an asset he bought that happened to benefit the racing community.

  20. Doug,
    There were only two serious bidders at the auction. In reality, on the day of the auction, few actually knew who Bemer even was or his plans for the property. The other group, led by Rocco Arbitell and Peter Borelli, had stated intentions of keep the property operating as a race track. Green Flag: Waterford Speedbowl Expected To Remain Race Track Following Foreclosure Auction

  21. chicken coop says

    Da not so real.. thinks the track would still be running no matter who bought it?? Clearly this troll was not at the auction… Most of the serious bidders had no intention of keeping it a racetrack….. As for car counts, the ownership of the track has absolutely nothing to do with lack of cars. Many claimed publicly they wouldn’t compete there with the the owner, yet they are ALL now competing there weekly… The car count is mostly a financial issue, at every track, in every state, in every region. Hitler could own the track, and racers will still come, as long as they can afford it. A Nascar sanction won’t help with car counts, Seekonk, Riverhead, and tracks all over the country prove that. When racers in weekly lower divisions are spending close to 200 dollars PER tire, and close to 200 dollars for race fuel for one night of racing, and competing for 50 dollars to start, and a few hundred dollars to win, after also spending a couple hundred hundred on pit passes for their team, never mind the overhead expenses of owning a race car, it wouldn’t matter if Roger Penske owned the track, MANY teams, in all divisions will just not race. If you think Bemer is making a profit from the track, you are delusional… As long as tracks continue to require teams to purchase tires, fuel, ect.. from the track’s “Guy”, and not open up options for teams to save money, buying elsewhere, or direct, many cars will continue to stay home.

  22. Chicken Coop,
    Clearly, you were not at the auction either. I was, I reported on it, the link to the story from that day is below. There were only two serious bidders at the auction for the track and both of them intended to keep it a track.

  23. Hillary 2024 says

    All these years later and there’s this new argument of how the auction went down. You people are comical.

  24. Shawn Courchesne 10/18/14
    “When the bidding was over Bemer was being called a savior by those track supporters.”

    There’s that word again “savior”.
    OK then that’s settled. Not my intent to go down that side road the intent was historical accuracy. Specifically the current owner is responsible for two very significant rounds of renovations with the track as it exists now no longer on death watch wondering if the stands can pass muster for one more year. Now a fully functional facility with a lot to offer going into the future. It could be true that some other party may have done it but that’s speculation. The current owner did and regardless of who or what he is it was he that did it.
    Regarding car counts the observation has been put on the table that tracks are not responsible for car counts. I did not intend to imply it was an ownership issue and in fact many of the teams that stayed away did come back, the Gada clan being the most notable. But forgetting the owner for a minute does the track have the power to create policies, an atmosphere and pay purses that will attract race teams or is it simply a matter of you get what you get? Why can’t the Speedbowl poach some of the 30 plus SK Light teams that race at the other state track to the north? Or the 23 or so that show up for the SK’s?
    On Wednesday Waterford has under 10 Bandalaro’s, under 10 Legends, high teens for the Super X division and over 20 X-Cars. If you struggle with car counts why not take the strength that’s the Super X and X-Cars an make them part of the Friday show? Why even have the mid weeks show? Legends and Bandalaro’s are feeder divisions, they aren’t working so why not cut the dead wood and build on the strengths?
    Just across Long Island Sound Riverhead gets 30 plus Legends, 20 Crate Modifieds and 14 to 18 Tour Modifieds on a weekly basis. Is that just luck of the draw or is it because they do something to encourage teams in those divisions to participate?


    ask jiggs where the legend business has gone and why. he may have a good answer for you . more children are in legends and sk lites..I remember the days where the little t or silver city was PACKED.(feeder program) they are like a ghost town now. Stafford does well with wild thing carts ??? racing is too expensive these days. gotta have the enclosed haulers and all the latest and greatest. for gods sake look at the limited sportman division. what do the “Camaros” cost ..BFR chassis with a crate motor and aftermarket skin pricy /cheater shocks …… 20/25 k? +give me a break ! I remember great racing at all three CT tracks, the park and seekonk /riverhead.. with at least 3 to 4 heats and a consi in all divisions ..priced right outta business. combining wed night with Saturday it too much and you won’t get it done before midnight UNLESS you run qualifying early like they used to do at the park for lower divisions. Stafford sets the standard and still suffers from below the glory days car counts with the exception of the skl`s. the answer is money….plain and simple

  26. I’m all for everyone having their own opinion & perspective, and there’s a few good ones in this thread, but the amount of comments filled with false and/or inaccurate information on a variety of topics here is mind-bending. I’m not disputing that there are things ownership, staff or even the competitors could do better at the Speedbowl, but members of the racing community who are so badly misinformed on things both past & present about the track are also part of the problem… and they could do better too.

  27. At first blush it’s just annoying. But after taking a breath and giving it a little thought it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that comments like “Sids” are unhelpful. One would presume Vault Production’s Sid, wagging his finger saying shame on you all for not knowing what I do. But I won’t tell you. No corrections, no insights, no nothing just that big old finger wagging.
    My lord how do you expect people to get informed if you’re going to limit yourself your index finger gesturing.
    If Courchesne can take the time to correct the record on occasion give some thought to joining him in trying to bridge the ignorance gap. Nothing fancy just start with the widest gaps.

  28. Doug,
    I hear what you’re saying, but I also think Sid was just fine in packaging his comment the way it was. I don’t think he left that comment looking for a back and forth. I think he just wanted to make the point clear that it’s disappointing how many people spread untruths about the place just to try to cover up and such. The fact is, the people that are spreading the misinformation know full well that what they’re spreading isn’t true. And sadly, in the world we live in today, if you try to correct them, it typically just turns into a nasty back and forth because so many people who spread misinformation just have the sociopathic tendency to argue that what they know is a lie really isn’t a lie.

  29. On this site are real people that are ingenuous and value information provided by insiders. You refer to “them” meaning the disingenuous and purposely uninformed whose focus is to share their cynical views with reckless abandon. That’s putting far too much importance on the squeaky wheels in my view.
    Clearly the DiMaggio clan and Vault productions is an institution. The series on the Speedbowl was so professional and riveting I can’t find adequate words to describe how good it was. Other content as well none of it escapes most of us I’m sure. With regard to misinformation and some pretty raw, questionable commentary at times Vault Production produced Making Laps. This forum perhaps like Making Laps in a way you take what is offered with a grain of salt with generally low expectations as to accuracy depending on what topic is being discussed.
    Your site, your rules. I understand in the greater community of local racing you and Mr DiMaggio are essentials and any anonymous contributors to this forum including myself have a per comment expiration date.
    However I still invite Mr. DiMaggio to reconsider trying to be a little more constructive in helping those that do value accuracy in all things local racing to do more then wag his finger.

  30. Shawn, your 9:07 AM post is extremely well said. 😉

    People need to apply the stink test to what they are being told. Or maybe lots of people lost their sense of smell. How people believed the loads of BS that was being promised was shocking, more so than the loads of BS itself. And they followed like loyal sheep, only to be brutally embarrassed. I laughed.

    But people need to call out BS when it pops up, for when it is allowed to go unchallenged, that becomes the norm.

  31. Rafter fan says

    I agree with Doug that some specifics from Sid would be welcome. And, I also agree that Sid’s work with respect to the Bowl has been outstanding for many years.

  32. I’d definitely agree I embarrass myself from time to time in this forum. With regard to the wretched things you attributed to me could you do me a solid and copy and paste me saying it cause I can’t find where I did. Seems to me there’s a good deal of passion based inferring going on that may be leading you to a false conclusion.
    Cheers mate!

  33. Hillary 2024 says

    One of the best falsehoods I remember is when the new stands were being planned, I can’t remember if it was Doug or Da engineer. One of them claimed that the town or whoever was going to require an elevator to be built as part of the new construction. Got a good laugh out of that one.

  34. 😂 😆 😝 😂 😆 😝 😂 😆 😝 😂 😆 😝 😂 😆 😝

    Perfect, just as Shawn said. Here’s what Shawn said, “And sadly, in the world we live in today, if you try to correct them, it typically just turns into a nasty back and forth because so many people who spread misinformation just have the sociopathic tendency to argue that what they know is a lie really isn’t a lie.”

    I’m not going to search through almost ten years of broken promises to regurgitate it to those that live the lies and in deliberate ignorance.

    But just a couple gems that stand out in my memory from all that has been reported over the years…

    💎 There was no insider info, just what published by numerous sources. Time proved who was correct, accurate and truthful, and who was full of 💩.

    💎 The original tower was not supposed to be demolished, but it was and now there is that stupid bus.

    💎 There were numerous announcements that the stands were going to be replaced, but that never happened over several YEARS. The town made it clear that there would be no more letting it go, the stands were finally replaced.

    💎 The announcement that demolition and stands replacement was going to happen immediately after the last race. Again, more nothing.

    💎 The meeting that the dairy-farmer-guy-turned-photographer had with the town to make it look like the renovation was happening. Pure fantasy.

    💎 The reports of contacts with the town and the town saying they had nothing going on with the track regarding permits, plans, etc.

    Of course, there is so much more, and I laughed when I read it all.

    I used to challenge the false promises, get attacked, and then I was always in the position to say, “I was right again.”

    And here we are, some ten years later, and the track looks like somebody got caught with their pants down. After almost ten years, time has separated the truth from the 💩. And yet, some people still want to live in denial.

    I was right again.

    nyah nyah NYAH nyah nyah!

  35. So the truth has stood the test of time, the lies have proven to be lies, and the track is still a laughing stock.

    Congratulations to Todd Owen!!!!

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