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Thompson International Speedway - Thompson, CT
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member dremoto
N 41° 58.906 W 071° 49.606
19T E 265816 N 4651617
Quick Description: Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut, USA, is a 5/8th mile paved oval racetrack that was once known as the Indianapolis of the East. It was the first asphalt-paved racing oval track in the United States and is now under the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series banner. Each year Thompson hosts one of the great fall variety events "The World Series of Auto Racing" highlighted by the ISMA Super Modifieds and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. This event frequently draws over 600 race cars
Location: Connecticut, United States
Date Posted: 11/10/2008 3:30:36 PM
Waymark Code: WM54RF
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Team Farkle 7
Views: 14

Long Description:
Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut, USA, is a 5/8th mile paved oval racetrack that was once known as the Indianapolis of the East. It was the first asphalt-paved racing oval track in the United States and is now under the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series banner. Each year Thompson hosts one of the great fall variety events "The World Series of Auto Racing" highlighted by the ISMA Super Modifieds and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. This event frequently draws over 600 race cars in 15 separate divisions over three days.

Following cleanup from the hurricane of 1938, John Hoenig built a combined 5/8 mile paved oval and 1.6 mile road racing course on his farmland in the northeast corner of Connecticut.

In the 1960's and 1970's, Thompson's Sunday night program was a who's who of modified greats such as Carl "Bugs" Stevens, Fred DeSarro, Fred Schulz, Ron Bouchard, Ed Flemke, Leo Cleary, Smoky Boutwell, and Geoff Bodine. During this period the track hosted memorable special events which drew legendary Southern drivers like Ray Hendrick in the famous "fire" #1 to battle the locals. Other surprise stars included Long Island's Fred Harbach and Rene Charland from Massachusetts.

Thompson has had some of the Northeast's most spectacular races. In the late 70's, the track drew 55 winged Super Modifieds to their World Series race. By owner's choice, all 55 started in spectacular fashion.

During another World Series weekend, after a tragedy earlier in the day during a heat race which killed a crew member, Modified legend Richie Evans strapped into a super modified owned by legendary driver Nolan Swift and lapped the entire field of cars. Evans was even more brilliant in the modified division capturing the prestigious Thompson 300 and a host of other tour races. Evans once charged from back in the pack late, was fourth with one lap to go and pulled out a stunning victory on the final turn.

During the energy crisis during the 1970s Thomspson hosted a unique division called the "Open Competitive" division which merged the Super Modifieds with the Modifieds. Later, Thompson tried a lower cost stock-cylinder-head modified division which chased away some of the tracks regulars.

Until the 1980s the track had a unique barrier outside turns 1-2 and 3-4 comprised of dirt fill.

The track has endured some tragic moments which have claimed the lives of DeSarro, Harry Kourafus Jr., Corky Cookman, Tom Baldwin, Sr., John Blewett III, and most recently Shane Hammond (April 6, 2008). DeSarro's death prompted a memorial fund-raiser which drew the Northeast's best drivers in an open competition Modified race with no purse. Both Evans and Bodine mounted their cars with wings.

Baldwin and Blewett died while competing in the same race on the tour, three years apart.

NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart paid a memorable visit to Thompson, and after besting Ted Christopher in a celebrity match race, took Christopher's backup modified and started 24th and last in the night's feature race. Using a racing line unfamiliar to track regulars, Stewart smoked the field and won.

Hoenig's son Donald and grandson D.R. continue to operate the family-owned facility. The road course is abandoned, serving as paddock and staging areas for the oval track. Thompson operates a very successful Thursday night NASCAR weekly racing series along with many special events. The Hoenig's also operate an 18 hole golf course and clubhouse/restaurant on the property. - Credit Wikipedia
Type of Track: Oval Paved

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Roscoe45 visited Thompson International Speedway  -  Thompson, CT 10/24/2010 Roscoe45 visited it
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