Our much anticipated and extensive trip through the Northeast mecca of short track racing is coming to an end, sadly. Just two more stops to go and we'll be heading home. Nonetheless, I was very excited to be visiting Waterford Speedbowl again and seeing Seekonk for the very first time. Both tracks were in the process of wrapping up their 2011 seasons with Waterford running a regular show that was somewhat competing with Stafford Springs' Carquest Fall Final race.

On the other hand, Seekonk was hosting its huge DAV Fall Classic races and the stands and pits were filled to capacity. From our base near Mystic, Connecticut, we traveled up I-95 to Seekonk, just east of Province and arrived early in the day on Friday. This provided an opportunity to take a side trip to Cape Cod.

We made the trip all of the way to the very northerly tip of the Cape to Provincetown, a very unique village where dogs are revered so much they have their own drinking fountains downtown. This is the place where author, TV personality, and world traveling chef, Anthony Bourdain, got his start working in seafood restaurant kitchens.

But first things first, Waterford offered a surprise when we arrived on October 1. A group of racers who were sponsored by a local AMSOIL distributor was waiting for us to show off their cars and trophies that had been earned during the season. Terry Eames who runs the track, met us and was very gracious in letting up display our bus up front and next to the main grandstands and also let the AMSOIL race team display its cars inside the fence near the fans.

Waterford Speedbowl

I first came to this track back on August 29, 2005, to visit several of the NASCAR Modified Tour teams. I liked it then and I really like it now. This is a large facility that not only provides well for the fans but is very accommodating to the racers.

Waterford started out as New London Speedway and opened on April 15, 1951. It was somewhat a dirt composition at first and after three races the dust was deemed a problem. It was then paved and a short time later named New London—Waterford Speedbowl. There was a lot of competition from numerous tracks in this region at that time, but Waterford outlasted most of them.

This medium banked track hosts the SK Modifieds, SK Light Mods, Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros, and Super X Cars on a weekly basis on Saturday nights. This is an area where the Modifieds rule and the closest track that “competes” with Waterford is Stafford, but it runs its programs on Friday nights.

So, many teams opt to run both tracks and in 2011 Keith Rocco won the track SK Mod championship at Waterford and came in Second in points in the same class at Stafford. This is something we heard for years about racing in the Northeast. A team could conceivably run three or four races a week in and around New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. From our base in Mystic, we could reach any of those states in three hours or less.

In 2001, the track began running the Wild 'n' Wacky Wednesday series designed for more inexpensive racing, both for the teams and the spectators. It's a family night where Mom and Dad can take the kids on an outing and enjoy the racing programs at a discount over the weekend shows.

There was a threat of rain on this Saturday night, but it never really materialized. So, the racing action proceeded. I was impressed with how many teams were on hand. There were a large number of Legends and Bandoleros cars. It's always good to see younger drivers building their experience and confidence in these types of cars. And head-and-neck restraints were being used throughout the classes