Tag Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Thompson Speedway’s 2016 Road Course Schedule Sees New Offerings and Return of Fan Favorites

(THOMPSON, CT) – Since the re-opening of the 1.7-mile road course at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) in 2014, the facility has worked on developing a robust and varied schedule of events that will cater to drivers and fans alike. This year’s schedule will see the return of some events that have quickly turned into annual traditions and new events will complement the already robust road course schedule.  The most important is the launch of Thompson’s own Summer Road Race Series, which will offer New England racers and fans the opportunity to try something completely new in a friendly one-day format.

“We are delighted to continue on with some of the road racing traditions that we have started over the past several years.  In addition, we are looking forward to hosting our own Summer Road Race Series, which will be headlined by the Legends. Last year they provided some of the best racing we have seen on our newly renovated road course has opened,” TSMP General Manager, Josh Vanada, remarked.

The road racing season will once again kick off with the 2nd Annual Icebreaker, Road Race Style on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30. This event will be first opportunity of the season to race, giving competition license holders the opportunity to dust off the racing cobwebs after a long winter. The event is open to holders of all licenses eligible for regional competition in SCCA, NASA, IMSA, PCA, VRT, ChumpCars, LeMons, VSCCA and BMWCCA. The event is unique in its format, giving drivers much more track time than is typical.  An addition to this year’s event will be the first TSMP points race for the INEX Legends.

The next event on the schedule will be the inaugural Vintage Motorcycle Classic, on Sunday, May 15, immediately following the Historic Oval Invitational. This event will include a track event, swap meet, antique motorcycle show, and vendor area.

Another returning event will be the Open Wheel Weekend on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, featuring the Formula Lites, along with the INEX Legend series. The Formula Lites, a new open-wheel racing series with machines based on Formula Three cars, held their inaugural race at TSMP last year. This series is part of the development ladder for young drivers looking to move up into Formula 1 or IndyCar. They will be joined on Friday by the INEX Legend cars, who will be returning to the 1.7-mile track, as one of their five road course stops in the schedule. The weekend will also see Formula Vee and Formula F cars, two of the oldest open-wheel classes, take to the track.

The premier event of the 2016 road course season will once again be the 3rd Annual Vintage Motorsports Festival on June 23-25. This event showcases cars from each of the periods in which the Thompson road course has operated, and embodies the rich history of the track. The 2016 event will see over 150 cars, including sports cars, open wheel, production and sports racers, race wheel-to-wheel throughout the 3-day event, and will be co-hosted by VRG (Vintage Racer Group) and VSCCA (Vintage Sport Car Club of America).

The Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series, one of the most popular endurance series in the country, will also be coming to the road course at TSMP for the first time on July 1-2 to run a 12-hour endurance race on the 1.7 mile track.

TSMP will play host to StarFest, the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s (MBCA) largest national event, for the first time this year,. This event sees MBCA members from around the country converge on the “Quiet Corner” of Connecticut for track events on the road course and autocross skid pad at TSMP, Road Rallyes, a Concours d’Elegance and more. This event will be August 3 – 6, 2016.

Other returning events will include the 24 Hours of Lemons, “GP du Lac Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg,” which will be held on August 12-14.

The SCCA New England Region will once again run two regional races as part of the New England Road Racing Championship (NERRC) series, on July 22-23 and October 7-8.

Thompson will also be launching its own Summer Road Race Series to be held on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.  This series will give drivers a cost-effective way to race on the road course, with a one-day format providing the opportunity to get a full weekend’s worth of racing in one afternoon. This series will be held on June 5, July 10, and August 7 with classes for Fiat 500 cars, small bore (including Miatas), big bore and the INEX Legends. Registration for these events will be available through the TSMP website, beginning February 1st. For more information about the series, contact the TSMP office at 860-923-2280.

In addition to racing events, the 2016 schedule will see the long-awaited return of Skip Barber Racing School to the track where it first started as it will hold several schools throughout the season on the road course.

TSMP will also host several car shows throughout the year, including the New England Dustoff Volkswagen & Audi meet on May 1, Honda Fest on June 12, and Toyota vs. Mazda “Bragging Rights” on September 18.

With a full schedule on the docket for 2016, there is sure to be something for every race fan and driver at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. For more information about our 2016 schedule, including ticket prices, visitwww.thompsonspeedway.com or call 860-923-2280. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to stay up to the date on the latest news and events.

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.

ACT ANNOUNCES SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND TRIPLE-HEADER

ACT ANNOUNCES SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND TRIPLE-HEADER

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