Racers and fans were ready for Saturday’s delayed season opener at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, which was delayed after the track owner was arrested in connection with a sex trafficking ring.
But before the green flag is thrown by the starter, town officials have to give the track a green light.
The season has been delayed six weeks after track owner George Bemer was charged back in March connection with an extensive human trafficking ring, based in Danbury.
On Saturday, 60 cars showed up to practice along with 300 spectators.
"Saturday, every driver that was there wants to come back,” George Whitney, who is the new manager of New London-Waterford Speedbowl, said. “There were drivers walking around that didn't have their cars done. That are going home and rushing to get their cars done."
The long-time New London-Waterford Speedbowl competitor Whitney has been rushing to prep the track. He signed a lease agreement to operate the track and open the gates to fans on Saturday. Fans such as track sponsor Mike Chauvin, who maintains all the fire safety equipment.
"I was here for practice. It was exciting to be back,” Chauvin said. “You can feel the comradely in the air. You can feel the vibe."
On Monday, a structural engineer along with town building inspectors inspected the racing facility off Route 85. They were making sure the grandstands were repaired as ordered earlier by the town.
"It's kind of overwhelming but it’s all coming together. Saturday was a big, big Relief,” Whitney said. “Cars came in... everything worked like clockwork."
As for Glastonbury resident, Bemer is scheduled back in civil court this Wednesday in connection to the alleged victims in the trafficking case.
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