O’Reilly Auto Parts Becomes Official Partner of Triple Crown Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

O’Reilly Auto Parts Becomes Official Partner of Triple Crown Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

O'ReoilyThompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) is pleased to announced O’Reilly Auto Parts as the official sponsor of the Triple Crown Championship for the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) divisions. The Triple Crown Championship debuted in 2015 as a mini-series for these two divisions that consists of three events. Competitors’ finishing positions in these events earns them both TSMP championship points and Triple Crown Series points. The Triple Crown will pay its own point fund and award the top three.

This year’s events include the Icebreaker on April 8-10, For the Fans Night on July 9, and the Sunoco Modified Twin 25’s race on August 24. The Triple Crown Champions will be crowned at the Annual Awards Banquet in December, along with the regular TSMP division champions.

About O’Reilly Auto Parts
O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. is one of the largest specialty retailers of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment and accessories in the United States, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets. Founded in 1957 by the O’Reilly family, the Company operates over 4,500 stores.

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to display the Championship-Winning Mertz Racing Sunoco Modified car at the 2016 New England International Auto Show

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to display the Championship-Winning Mertz Racing Sunoco Modified car at the 2016 New England International Auto Show

TSMP will be exhibiting from January 14 – 18 at the New England International Auto Show, located at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

(THOMPSON, CT) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) home of one of the oldest paved oval and road course racetracks in the country, will once again return to the New England International Auto Show at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on January 14-18. On display in the TSMP booth will be the Stan Mertz – owned No. 6 Just Get Dirty Apparel Company / Morningside Lawn & Landscape Sunoco Modified car, driven by multiple championship-winning driver, Woody Pitkat. The particular car that is on display is the one that Woody Pitkat drove throughout the 2015 season to seize his title.

In addition to getting a close up view of one of New England’s most beloved race cars, attendees will also have the opportunity to win a family four-pack of tickets to the 2016 Vintage Motorsports Festival on June 23-25, by stopping by the TSMP booth.

Show attendees are also encouraged to stop by over the weekend for a driver autograph session and to try out a state-of-the-art racing simulator, provided by the Motorsport Experience (www.motorsportexp.com). On Sunday, Woody Pitkat will be signing autographed posters from 12PM until 4PM. In 2015, he won both the TSMP Sunoco Modified Championship, the Modified Racing Series Championship, and also finished third in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings. The Motorsport Experience racing simulator will give fans the chance to drive a Modified around an exact replica of the TSMP 5/8-mile oval with real-world dynamic chassis motion, realistic steering forces with incredible road feel, paddles, sequential and H-pattern shifting options and aluminum race pedals with adjustable braking pressure.

Ticket prices, hours and more information for the New England International Auto Show can be found on the website www.bostonautoshow.com.

Visit the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park website www.thompsonspeedway.com for our 2016 schedule and event information, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

75 Logo FINAL

Russell Dowd, the Voice of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, to Retire in 2016

Russell Dowd, the Voice of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, to Retire in 2016

THOMPSON, CT – Russ Dowd, the Voice of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) for over thirty years, has announced his retirement. Dowd, a resident of Woodstock, CT, has spent some 46 years behind a microphone.

Dowd has been a familiar part of the Thompson landscape most of his life. He first raced go karts on the old Thompson ¼ mile oval and then raced NASCAR Modified cars until 1980. Shortly thereafter, Thompson’s race director, the late Bill Slater convinced Dowd to join Rich Bonneau in the announcer’s booth at Thompson. He then went on to announce at tracks up and down the east coast including thirteen years at the Stafford Motor Speedway. He also worked at The New London – Waterford Speedbowl, Westboro Speedway, Riverside Park Speedway, Pocono and many more but he always considered Thompson to be home.

“For nearly four decades, Russ’ voice has boomed over our PA,” recalled TSMP General Manager, Josh Vanada.  He’s become synonymous with the character of our facility, and our presentation has been, in large part, his. We will certainly miss him, and all the contributions that he has made over his accomplished career. We wish to express our sincere gratitude for his dedicated service, attention to detail, and his deep care and concern for Thompson’s best interest. Thank you, Russ, and congratulations!, Vanada concluded”

Dowd began his broadcasting career in his teen years when he announced Go Kart races at Woodstock, CT Fair. He went on to develop his skills and got his first radio job in 1969 while serving in the U. S. Army in Washington, DC.  After leaving the military, Dowd returned home and went to work at WESO & WQVR radio in Southbridge, MA. He was soon named News Director and then Operations Manager. He spent the next 27 years running those stations.

“I leave the announcer’s booth with very mixed emotions,” Dowd said.  “Thompson Speedway has been a huge part of my life. Not only have I worked the announcer’s booth, but have served as the Track’s General Manager and its Director of Operations. Thompson is in my blood. However, there comes a time when things must change and I feel that that time has come. I can’t begin to thank Don Hoenig and his family enough for all of these wonderful years. I also wish to thank virtually everyone I have had the privilege to work with over the years. It has been a very special experience and I feel fortunate to have been able to be a part of this historic speedway.”  In 2014, Dowd was named the Best Short Track Announcer by voters on the Speed51.com web site.

“I certainly will miss being on the PA system on race days. I’ll miss the fun that we have had over the years in the booth and will miss the camaraderie that exists with a great group of people who work and have worked in race control. I have had a chance to work with some of the very best announcers in the business and I was able to learn from each one of them,” said Dowd.  I have been very fortunate to have been in the booth for every race held at Thompson since I became an announcer and have had the pleasure of doing play by play of all 130 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races that have been run at Thompson along with Tour races at both Stafford and Waterford, Riverside Park and elsewhere”.

Dowd’s retirement does not mean that he will disappear from the Thompson scene. He will continue to provide assistance to his administrative successor to make for a smooth transition.  Fans can also expect to see him on some race days and he might even make an occasional guest appearance on the track’s PA system.




Waterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour (ACT), in collaboration with the Waterford Speedbowl, Seekonk Speedway, and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) has scheduled an ambitious schedule of ACT Championship events for the 2016 stock car racing season. The Triple-Header will match up the best of the three tracks weekly racers with the best of the American Canadian Tour.

There will be three events raced on three totally different disciplines. Waterford is a third mile, Seekonk Speedway is a ¼ mile, and Thompson has the super-fast 5/8th mile. The events will include a special $7,500.00 point fund for the local track teams which participate in all three of the events, as well as championship points for the ACT competitors as part of their $30,000.00, $10,000.00 to win, 2016 overall Championship point fund.

“We had great support from local race teams at the final event at Thompson during the World Series last fall. The three Southern New England tracks, Waterford, Seekonk, and Thompson have become an important addition to our ACT weekly business model over the past decade. This program of three races, tied together with an independent point fund, should be lots of fun to follow for southern New England Late Model fans and teams throughout the 2016 season,” said Tom Curley, President of ACT.

The ACT Late Model tour raced at both Seekonk and Waterford for several years. Thompson hosted the touring teams in 2015 for the first time which resulted in an emotional win for eight time ACT Champion Brian Hoar. Thirty-seven teams entered the inaugural event, fourteen of those were local Thompson teams. That success brought the promoters from the ACT affiliate tracks together to create the Southern New England Triple Header.

“We are proud to showcase our Late Model competitors in ACT’s Southern Triple Header. This is a great cooperative effort by all three tracks spearheaded by ACT. We are excited to see the impact that this will have on our competition level and on our ACT event at the World Series,” said Josh Vanada, General Manager, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

The opening event will be a 100 lap event on May 21, 2016 at the Waterford Speedbowl. The last ACT event run at Waterford was in 2010. It was won by Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. The 97NH team also won the last ACT event run at Seekonk Speedway in 2007. This year’s 150 lap Triple-Header event will take place on Saturday, July 16, 2016. The final event, a 75 lap contest, will take green at the Thompson World Series spectacle weekend which takes place on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

2016 ACT Southern New England Triple Header

Waterford Speedbowl Saturday May 21 100
Seekonk Speedway Saturday July 16 150
Thompson (TSMP) Saturday Oct 16 75
For additional information contact the ACT office at 802.244.6963, media@acttour.com,waterfordspeedbowl.com,seekonkspeedway.com,thompsonspeedway.com

Thompson Mourns the Loss of a Great Competitor

Thompson Mourns the Loss of a Great Competitor

(THOMPSON, CT) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park today expressed its deepest sympathies to the friends and family of a former track Champion Ron Bouchard.  Bouchard was a regular competitor at Thompson from 1972 through 1980 and was a real fan favorite.
Donald J. Hoenig, a long-time friend of Bouchard, spoke for the track when he said that everyone at the Thompson Speedway was deeply saddened by his passing. “He was not only a wonderful personal friend, but was a marvelous driver and a great golfing companion”, said Hoenig.
Bouchard won a total of 37 races at Thompson and was the Modified track champion in 1978. He also won the prestigious Thompson 300 in 1980. Bouchard went on to compete in NASCAR’s top division The Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup, Series where he also enjoyed great success.
Thomspon Speedway Motorsports Park Expands NASCAR Racing Schedule in 2016

Thomspon Speedway Motorsports Park Expands NASCAR Racing Schedule in 2016


(THOMPSON, CT) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP), the famed 5/8-mile oval in Northeast Connecticut, announced the expansion of its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule to 10 events in 2016. The announcement was greeted with excitement by many teams and drivers who are looking forward to competing in more races at the historic speedway. The schedule is highlighted by four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) events, the return of the Triple Crown Championship for the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions, and the inaugural Fan and Driver appreciation month.

“We’re excited to release another creative oval schedule,” stated Josh Vanada, General Manager of TSMP. “We’re proud to showcase our talented drivers in three additional events.  It’s a privilege for us to honor both our fans and drivers with their own special events in July. It’s the least we can do with their great support throughout our 75-year history.  It will be an exciting year with traditional favorites and some new, exciting formats.”

This will be the 30th season that the track operates under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) banner, offering Sunoco Modified, Late Model, Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stock competitors the benefits of NASCAR membership, awards, as well as state and national championship competition.

The season will begin on Friday, April 8  – Sunday, April 10 with the 42nd Annual Icebreaker. This year’s season opener has been enhanced to include twelve divisions of racing throughout the weekend. It will once again be headlined by the return of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with the first championship race of its 31st season, and include TSMP’s four NWAAS divisions, the NEMA Lites, and the Vintage Outlaws. The most notable addition is the Pro All Stars Series, as they will do battle in a 75-lap main event on Sunday afternoon, marking their first event at the 5/8-mile oval since 2012. The North East Street Stock Tour and New England Pro 4 Modifieds will be opening their seasons on Icebreaker weekend, also. As another new addition, Thompson will be organizing their own Truck race, including a generous and consistent purse. Fans will once again be invited to the Icebreaker Fan Appreciation party on the track Sunday morning for the opportunity to meet the stars and cars and enjoy some live entertainment.

The Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks races at the Icebreaker will be their first in the Triple Crown Championship series. Both divisions will participate in three events in which their finishing positions will earn them both TSMP championship points and Triple Crown Series points.  The Triple Crown will pay their own point fund and award the top three.

The regular Wednesday night season will start on May 18 with the Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Circuit One Events. A new event in 2016, the Limited Sportsman Long Distance will be an opportunity for our Division III drivers to be showcased. Known for their wheel-to-wheel racing, the drivers of the Limited Sportsman will headline the only NWAAS event in the month of May. They will be joined by the Sunoco Modified, Late Model and Mini Stock divisions.

TSMP will hold Military Night on Wednesday, June 1, honoring our military and veterans with discounted pricing. The event will feature the 3rd Annual Late Model 20/20 Sprint, once again showcasing TSMP’s top-tiered fendered division. Known for its unique, segment-style format, the Sprint will once again be run in the same format that it has been for the past two season. A complete inversion of the second segment will set the stage for a charge to the front for the front-runners of the first segment. The final segment will be ordered by lap times of lead lap cars. The winner will not only take home $1,000 in purse money, but will also be a guaranteed starter for the American-Canadian Tour race at the World Series.

The NWMT will return on Wednesday, June 15 for the 2nd Annual Mr. Rooter 125. The only 125-lap event of the four NWMT races at TSMP, this one is guaranteed to be exciting with pit strategy playing a big part. TSMP’s four NWAAS divisions will also be in competition, as well as the NEMA Lites. This will be their second of three stops.

TSMP has dedicated July as Fan and Driver Appreciation month, kicking off with “For the Fans Night” on Saturday, July 9. This special event will give fans an opportunity to attend a weekend race at a reduced ticket price – only $12. The event will include Ladies Night, honoring females in all positions of motorsports. Fans will also have the opportunity to take home a trophy as a souvenir, as all drivers will be given two – one to keep and one to give to a lucky fan. This event will include the second Triple Crown race of the season for the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions.

“For the Drivers Night” on Wednesday, July 27, will show appreciation for drivers, with free admission for them for that night’s event. Cash bonuses will be added on top of the already substantial $22,000 purse for the four NWAAS divisions. The highlight of the night will be the Sunoco Modifieds, competing in their 3rd Annual 20/20 Sprint, with a purse of $2,000 on the line for the winner of the race.

One of Thompson’s most popular summer events, the Budweiser ‘King of Beer’s 150 on August 10 will see the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour return for their 3rd time in 2016. The program for the evening will include six divisions including TSMP’s four NWAAS divisions and the first of two stops for the NEMA Midgets.

Back to School Night will return on Wednesday, August 24. This event will feature the Sunoco Modified Twin 25 Lap races, giving fans double the open-wheel excitement, and drivers the opportunity to make up some ground in the NASCAR and TSMP points. This will also be the final race in the Triple Crown series for the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions.

#WayBackWednesday, the final event of the summer stretch will be a throwback event, held on September 7. It will feature many of the cars and drivers of the rich 75-year history at TSMP, and will include local involvement from racing museums and historical organizations. Past champions will be invited to gather, giving fans and competitors a great time to reflect and celebrate the rich history at Thompson.

The final championship weekend once again promises to be the one of the largest short track racing events in the country, with 15 divisions on the card for the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, Friday October 14 – Sunday, October 16. This three-day extravaganza will see many champions crowned, culminating on Sunday afternoon with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the International Supermodifieds (ISMA), NEMA Lites and Thompson’s own Limited Sportsman and Sunoco Modified divisions. Thompson’s Late Models will start off the racing for the weekend with a 25-lap feature on Friday evening. The American-Canadian Tour will return for a 75-lap feature on Saturday, after a great showing at last year’s World Series with a field of over 35 cars. They will be joined on Saturday by the NEMA midgets, Pro4 Modifieds, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Thompson’s Mini Stocks, the North East Mini Stock Tour, the Trucks, the North East Street Stock Tour, and the Lite Modified division. In addition to an action-packed weekend on track, fans will also be treated to a variety of off-track activities. The NWMT will once again arrive with a Hauler Parade on Friday afternoon, giving fans the chance to cheer for their favorite driver as their car enters. TSMP will also offer fan hay rides on Sunday morning, which will tour the paddock area, take a lap around the track, and feature guest appearances from some of the drivers. When all is done, 13 drivers will emerge as champions at the end of the Sunoco World Series weekend.

The new Season Pass program, launched by TSMP at the end of November, makes racing more affordable than ever for teams, drivers and fans. With a variety of options to choose from, and savings of nearly  $125 (25% off) the season pass is another way that TSMP is making it easier to come to the track for those dedicated fans and drivers that are an integral part of racing at the speedway.

For more information about the 2016 schedule or Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, visit www.thompsonspeeedway.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.