Drivers, fans excited about saved Speedbowl season - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Drivers, fans excited about saved Speedbowl season

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Racers and fans said they are excited about New London Waterford Speedbowl. (WFSB) Racers and fans said they are excited about New London Waterford Speedbowl. (WFSB)

Drivers and fans are thrilled that the New London-Waterford Speedbowl is expected to reopen for this racing season.

Car owner and former Waterford Speedbowl driver Jason Paquette said he is anxious to return to the track he's called home for decades.

A lease deal has been inked with track owner Bruce Bemer to finally start the 2017 New London-Waterford Speedbowl season.

Paquette said his car was "ripped apart for winter maintenance" and he "was getting ready for the first opening race" when he "found out the racing season had been canceled." 

The track's opening was postponed last month after its 63-year-old owner Bemer was charged in connection with a sex trafficking ring in Danbury.  The arrest led to Nascar pulling its sanction and track officials leaving resigning.  

Former driver George Whitney is now stepping up to save this season.  

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Chuck Coursey, a spokesperson for the owner of the track, confirmed the lease agreement with Whitney Farm Racing will help preserve this summer's racing season and jobs at the Speedbowl.  

"That's where I grew up going there every week with my parents’ grandfather and everything so see someone doing something like that it’s kind of a shame,” Greg Payne, of Westerly, said.

Bemer's attorney is urging fans and the public not to prematurely pass judgment on his client.

"Now that I know that they're going to open I'm going to do my best to get the car back together and get some practice days in...and get back on the track,” Paquette said.

"I'm so excited for my customers and friends who've built cars all winter long and put their heart and soul and lots of money into these cars,” racing fan Stephen Besade said. “And they've had nowhere to go to enjoy them and their efforts."

In a few weeks, the drivers will get on the track and start warming up for the season. That season could get underway this month. 

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