NASCAR ends agreement with Speedbowl following owner's arrest - WFSB 3 Connecticut

NASCAR ends agreement with Speedbowl following owner's arrest

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Bruce Bemer. (Danbury police photo) Bruce Bemer. (Danbury police photo)

NASCAR said it terminated its connection with the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in the wake of a sex trafficking investigation involving its owner.

Bruce Bemer, who owns several businesses in Connecticut in addition to the Speedbowl, was one of the several men arrested last month on charges of patronizing a trafficked person.

NASCAR posted a statement to Twitter.

"NASCAR has terminated the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sanction and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race sanction with the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, effective immediately," the statement read.

NASCAR did not say if the termination was related to Bemer's arrest.

The attorney for the New London-Waterford Speedbowl James Sconzo released a statement on the decision by NASCAR. 

"We are disappointed on behalf of our fans and our staff...We are in the process of responding to NASCAR," Sconzo said. 

According to the FBI, Bemer was involved in a ring that delivered young victims with mental issues to wealthy "clients" throughout the state for the purposes of sex and money.

It's a case investigators had been looking at since Jan. 2016; though, the FBI believes the ring had been operating for decades.

Police said Bemer told them he had known Robert King, who was arrested for promoting prostitution, had brought him eight to 10 different boys for sex on multiple occasions for the last 25 years. 

Documents said Bemer paid about $200 to $250 each time.

Thursday's announcement came after about a half dozen officials at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl resigned this week. 

"I understand nobody wants to be tied to to a scandal like this whether it be true or not obviously they pressed charged," race driver Jason Paquette. "They have evidence"

This week, attorneys representing the alleged victims went to court to seize Bemer's assets.

Former New London-Waterford Speedbowl owner Terry Eames said he's fielding calls from frantic fans and drivers that he's known for decades.

They're crushed. Their cars are built for Waterford," Eames said. "Their whole life is centered around Waterford and around the Speedbowl. They just don't know what to do."

Drivers told Eyewitness News they were still hopeful that there will be a 2017 season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Eyewitness News asked Paquette his opinion on the topic.  

"I hope there is," Paquette said. "But you don't know."

"They'll probably be racing there, but may not be NASCAR sanctioned," Speedbowl fan Steve Besade said. 

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