There will be racing at Connecticut's shoreline oval, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, during the 2017 season. Speedway officials announced Monday afternoon via their Facebook page that an agreement has been reached to lease the track to longtime competitor George Whitney of Whitney Farm Racing, LLC.
Bruce Bemer, the owner of the facility, was arrested in March and charged with allegedly patronizing a trafficked person. According to a Hartford Courant report, Bemer was involved in a human trafficking prostitution ring that allegedly enticed young men with mental health problems with the lure of money, drugs and vehicles.
Since that news broke, NASCAR withdrew its sanction from the race track and canceled the traditional NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour date at the track. Shawn Courchesne of the website RaceDay CT also reported that a number of track employees including race director Tom Fox left their positions at the track.
All of that news led to a significant amount of uncertainty surrounding the track's future. With Whitney now coming to an agreement to lease the track, all signs point towards the track opening its gates in the coming weeks.
“The Speedbowl is my home track and I am proud to be given the opportunity to give back to a track that not only has supported family racing for generations, including mine, but has the best short track racing in New England," Whitney said in the statement released by the track.
Currently, the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Modified Touring Series and Valenti Modified Racing Series have scheduled events at the track. NEMA and ISMA joined NASCAR as sanctioning bodies to remove events at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl from their schedule.
Additional details about the track's 2017 season are expected to be announced in the coming week. An updated race schedule is being reviewed and will be posted as soon as dates are confirmed.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com