Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) is one of the premier motorsports facilities in the Northeast, featuring the first purpose-built road course and first asphalt high-banked oval in America. The track that became known as the “Indy of the East” was born of the calamitous hurricane (“The Long Island Express”) that devastated much of New England in 1938, including the Connecticut farm of John Hoenig. Rather than rebuilding his farm, Hoenig constructed a race track on the site – a 5/8s mile oval with turns banked at 26 degrees.
Hoenig opened Thompson Speedway on May 26, 1940 for a race featuring what are now called sprint cars. Dizzy Vance won the track’s debut event for car owner Louis D’Amore before an overflow crowd… and motor racing fans have been flocking to the northeast corner of Connecticut ever since.
Following World War II, Thompson became a hotbed of stock car racing. In 1951, the newly-organized National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (aka NASCAR) staged a Grand National race at Thompson won by Neil Cole. While NASCAR would return on a number of occasions with legends like David Pearson and Bobby Issac visiting victory lane, Thompson’s weekly racing series became the springboard for many of stock racing’s biggest stars and continues to be a major draw for New England’s racing fans.