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Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is a 5/8 mile paved oval with 15 degree banking and a 1.7 mile road course located northeast of Thompson, Connecticut. The long dormant road course was brought back into service for the 2014 season. There is also a 1/10th mile high banked oval for 1/4 Midgets called "Little T Speedway".

Last Updated: 2019-08-08

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Track Facts

Elevation: 430 feet Latitude: 41.981091 Longitude: -71.82636 Time zone: EST/EDT (-0500/-0400)

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Historical Note

The 5/8 mile paved oval opened on May 26th, 1940, operating through October 19th, 1941. It reopened after WWII on October 14th, 1945. Early records are confusing, as the track is 1/2 mile measured on the inside and 5/8 mile measured on the centerline. A 1/4 mile paved oval for midget racing operated from 1949 to about 1965.

The Thompson oval was used for SCCA time trials beginning in mid 1945. Subsequently, Thompson was the site of the first permanent road circuit used by the SCCA. A road course which used the larger and smaller ovals was used in 1951. The "Old Thompson Raceway" road course was introduced in 1952.

A 1.56 mile paved road course operated from 1952 through October 8th, 1956. A 2 mile paved road course operated from May 26th, 1957 through 1967. A 1.7 mile paved road course operated from 1967 to around 1978. A paved dragstrip operated in 1958 and 1959, using the front straight of the oval.

The current 1.5 and 1.7 mile paved road course configurations entered service in 2014.

Thompson is still owned by the Hoenig family, descendants of the track's builder, John Hoenig.

The track has also been operated as New Thompson Speedways, Thompson Raceway and Thompson International Speedway.

References

Terry O'Neil, The Golden Days of Thompson Speedway & Raceway. Deerfield, IL: Dalton-Watson, 2018 , ISBN 978-1-85443-298-8 .

Allan E. Brown, The History of America's Speedways: Past & Present. Comstock Park, Michigan: Brown, 2003 , ISBN 0931105617 , pp. 185. Order from National Speedway Directory

Pete Hylton, Ghost Tracks: A Historic Look At America's Lost Road Racing Tracks. Benton, Kentucky: Legacy Ink, 2007 , ISBN 978-0-9796976-1-6 , pp. 37-41. Order from publisher

R. A. Silva, Thompson Speedway History. Thompson Speedway Official Program, 1990 .

Track Office

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
205 East Thompson Road
Thompson, CT 06277

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
P.O. Box 278
Thompson, CT 06277

oval@thompsonspeedway.com
roadcourse@thompsonspeedway.com

Track Maps and Imagery

Video Overview

The initial road course used the 1/2 mile oval (still present and operating) and a 1/4 mile paved oval which no longer exists. The 1/4 mile shared the front straight of the 1/2 mile oval and otherwise was in the infield. This road course did not use the front straight; it traveled counter clockwise on the outer oval, turned acutely onto the inner oval avoiding the front straight, and then acutely back onto the outer oval. This course was only used in 1951 for some SCCA Time Trial and some very short sprint races.

The "Old Thompson Raceway" used a course which resembles the modern course and in some cases uses the same pavement. Start/Finish was shared with the oval start finish. The long straight was similar to the modern pit straight; cars would continue west to the two "golf course turns" which today are part of the access road. After the golf course turns, the track continued straight, crossing the modern track and continuing straight through what is now the garage area. It then joined the oval slightly south of the current join, and left the oval about midway through the back straight. The first version then turned up a fairly steep hill that has since been removed, and turned and descended to join the long straight.

The "New Thompson Raceway", used from 1957 through 1967, did not use the ovals at all, and used a segment that extended onto the Weaver property to the south. This map shows that raceway:

The New Thompson Raceway shared the "golf course turns" with the original race track, but turned to avoid the oval, rejoining the straight in the opposite direction for a short distance. It then turned left (north) to make a tight loop to go south of the Hoenig property, eventually returning to the front straight very near modern pit out. The property to the south is now called the Weaver property, after George Weaver, a promiment early SCCA racer who operated the first two Thompson road courses. The property was originally acquired by Briggs Cunningham to support the construction of Thompson 2 (New Thompson Raceway), but by 1967 it was owned by George Weaver. The Thompson 2 era ended when Weaver and Don Hoenig failed to arrive at a lease agreement for the Hoenig property after the 1967 season.

Under Don Hoenig's management the road course returned to a variant of Thompson 1 (Old Thompson Raceway), now under a new name, New Thompson Speedways. This new version made use of a different exit from the oval and new turns added on the east end to extend the track. Subsequently, large parts of the hill that Thompson 1 climbed after exiting the oval were removed, creating the large, flat B paddock space of today's track.

In the late 70s, the SCCA stopped using the road course because they felt the pavement was deteriorating. After 1978, the road course fell into disuse. The Hoenig family eventually decided to redevelop the facility, and the new Thompson Road Course (Thompson 4) opened in 2014. The modern track is a major part of the New England racing schedule.

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Getting There

The track is on East Thompson Road a short distance southwest of the marked location on the map.

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