So there, in the e-mail in-box, advance info for this year's Northeast Midget Association Boston Louie Seymour Memorial race appeared last week, just has it has for six years now.
There was a nice promo piece trumpeting the fact that all five past Seymour Memorial winners headed up the entry list for this Saturday's race. It also announced that “ Midwest standout” Dave Baumgartner would be heading east to compete.
“ NEMA Notes” were also part of the e-mail. They pointed out that there have been no two-time winners of the Seymour race at Seekonk Speedway, where it's always been held. They mentioned Howard Bumpus as NEMA's hottest current driver and the team of driver Drew Fornoro and car owner Gene Angelillo as the most successful team in club history.
It's all enough to get race fans salivating over this weekend's race. It's enough to get us heading down to Seekonk, ready to enjoy NEMA's premier race in NEMA's 50th season at the race track where NEMA debuted 50 years ago.
Only we won't find NEMA at Seekonk this Saturday. If we want to watch the Boston Louie Memorial, we've got a much longer drive ahead of us, down Route 95, through Rhode Island, past New London, Conn., and then up Route 85 in Waterford to the Waterford Speedbowl.
So why, in the 50th year of NEMA racing, is the track where they first raced, a track they'd visited religiously the last few years, not on NEMA's schedule, not only for the Boston Louie race but for any at all? That's a good question.
NEMA certainly wanted to return to Seekonk Speedway this season. There was every expectation that it would. Evidently, however, as far back as last November Waterford also expressed an interest in hosting NEMA's premier event.
NEMA then contacted Seekonk to get an early commitment from them for a 2002 date. Reports are that the folks at Seekonk, in the midst of shutting down their facility for the winter, had to defer a decision.It's not hard to imagine that they also might have been a little miffed at having to decide with the new season still months away.
Still it's apparent both parties kept the lines of communication open, even if NEMA ultimately did award the event to Waterford. At one point it even looked as if the two parties would put together a new weeknight date. Reportedly they were in the final stages of negotiating a deal for a special show that would have invited open-wheel hotshot Danny Lososki and jack-of-all-race cars Kenny Schrader to play in NEMA traffic before Seekonk decided it needed additional sponsorship support to make the show worthwhile, despite the commitment of at least one sponsor brought to the table by NEMA.
So fans at Seekonk Speedway, as well as midget fans who would travel from the four corners of the earth to see what they'd argue is the best combination of car and track in short track racing, get left out in the cold.
And Waterford gets to boast, as it did in the aforementioned press release, that Waterford is “ considered the best midget track in the Northeast.”
I guess it is now.
At least Seekonk has something special planned for Saturday. It's the Pro Stock edition of the Cumberland Farms/Providence Journal Mid-Season Championship.
Every division at Seekonk has enjoyed such a moment in the spotlight. The Pro Stocks wrap up the series with a 50-lap feature that pays $2,500 to the winner …
If big Pro Stock races get you excited, then head out to another Connecticut track, Thompson Speedway, tonight. Its Pro Stocks compete in a special 75-lap feature, going the extra distance for the first time in2002 …
Thus far this season over 50 different competitors have raced a Pro Stock at Thompson this year, including local Dennis Coates of Wrentham. That's an impressive number in a season that's seen depleted Pro Stock ranks at other tracks. Most of these teams expect to be on hand at Thompson tonight.
As always on summer Thursday evenings Thompson's Sunoco Mod, Late Model, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions also will compete.
To get to Thompson take Route 44 into Connecticut, go North on State Route 21 to State Route 193, turn right and than follow the signs.
THOM RING is a Sun Chronicle correspondent. Send racing news to P.O. Box 600, Attleboro, MA, 02703 or via e-mail to email@example.com