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David Fazzino

Thompson road course progress

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David Fazzino

THOMPSON — There are some small signs that the road course at Thompson Speedway is coming back to life.

 

“We’re moving forward, we’re 100 percent permitted,” said track general manager Jonathan Hoenig.

 

The road course, some of which is still used as a driveway in front of the current paddock area and also as an entry area on to the current oval by race cars, was in operation from 1952 to 1978 before being abandoned.

 

The first sign of its rebirth sits proudly at the entrance to the Speedway property where a new registration booth has been constructed, but most of the other activity is not so easily seen.

 

Hoenig said there has been some tree-cutting toward the back of the facility, behind the paddock area because the soil located under those trees is necessary for the re-construction of the road course. It’s also where the skid pad and autocross areas will be eventually located.

 

But the real construction, outside of the building of a new garage/classroom facility this summer, won’t take place until after the final events of the racing season. That’s because some of it will spill over onto the current gravel area where many of the track patrons now park.

 

“We didn’t want to disrupt our NASCAR and other large events (such as the Summer National drags, the Warrior Dash, the World Series of Auto Racing and the auto swap meet) which use almost the entire facility,” Hoenig said.

 

Hoenig said the 1.7-mile road course will not affect what is happening on the oval track.

 

“We’re sticking to our guns, there will be no major sanctioned spectator events (on the road course),” Hoenig said.

 

Instead, it will be a course for Auto Clubs such as the Sports Car Club of America to rent and use and for testing purposes, as well as training people in defensive driving skills and the like.

 

“It just takes us back to our roots,” Hoenig said. “We want this to be a motorsports facility that can accommodate all with a broad focus and help keep this place going into its 75th year.”

 

The oval, which was the first paved facility in the United States, will be celebrating its 74th year in operation in 2014.

 

Read more: Thompson Speedway Notebook: Signs of road course returning - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin http://www.norwichbulletin.com/mallard/x964684673/Thompson-Speedway-Notebook-Signs-of-road-course-returning#ixzz2agHPMiP7

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racing rookie

Check out their new website www.thompsonspeedway.com and look at the progress gallery. They are making big moves and looks like it will be open for next season!

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