As I spent my spare time investigating my state of residence, Connecticut, this summer, I couldn't overlook the high octane chances of race days in the state. I don't normally go to racing events, which people refer to as a sport and I disagree. But, for the sake of investigation, I went out and saw the spectre. Lime Rock is probably the best known of the motor speedways in Connecticut. Nestled in the northwest hills in a place that has virtually no residents, this is one of the state's premier racing venues. I was fortunate in that I got to attend the Le Mans series race weekend where there are cars from all over the world. This is not your local stuff, folks. This is real professional racing, and if you follow it, you know that Le Mans is an international circuit. If you watch Grey's Anatomy, you will also note that Dr. Dreamy, Patrick Dempsey is one of the circuit's race car drivers. He wasn't there this year, but he does come.
One of the great things about Lime Rock is the atmosphere. You can pretty much wander wherever you want. There are lots of places to view the race from and there's lots of good food and drink available. It is a road track, so you won't get to see the whole track from anywhere, but you can choose your spot. Your tickets do not limit you to one seat.
Other advantages of attending events at Lime Rock are pit row walks where you get to see the cars up close and personal, meet and greets with the drivers where you get to see them and their cars in the off track work spaces, and you may even get to take your picture with the Michelin Man. It's a lot of fun, and the access and freedom of seating are two of the biggest perks of this environment. You will pay for all of this, however. Lime Rock is the most expensive track in Connecticut to attend an event at. But, Lime Rock is also a club. So, if you are a member, you get plenty of chances on the weekend to race your own car at Lime Rock. Pretty cool.
In the wilds of northeastern Connecticut is Stafford Motor Speedway. This track is an oval and caters to a variety of events. They have weekly local racing and NASCAR's Whelen racing. It's a casual track with general admission and no assigned seating. They do also turn their infield into a monster truck venue a couple of times a year, so that the locals can see something different.
One of the perks of Stafford is that the locals are the friendliest bunch in the racing world in Connecticut. These folks will make you feel right at home no matter what's going on. They love to get out and party at the race track. The food here is also fabulous. The pricing here is good with most events being less than $20, but weather is a factor here. The police in Stafford Springs will shut the place down if they think that the storms are too much. It's not even in the hands of the operators here. If they shut down, they do offer rain checks, which is good. But, they do not offer refunds which can be frustrating for those of us who don't have every weekend free to go to the races.
There are two other raceways in Connecticut. I didn't learn a lot about them this summer. Hopefully, I will get a chance to next summer. The speedway in Thompson has several events and has been a NASCAR historic speedway for years. They have both major and local events and they do change their status from time to time. They are currently a road course instead of an oval course. It doesn't sound as if that's always been the case. I'll learn more when I get a chance to get over there and see for myself.
The other one is Waterford's Speedbowl. This is a small oval track that does both local and Whelen racing. It's a short track, hence the term bowl. This place would remind you a lot of Bristol with NASCAR. It's again, a weekend spot with friendly locals and lots of different styles of racing. The pricing here is also moderate and the seating comes with great views.
Racing is just one of many things that most people don't associate with Connecticut, but it's here and we do enjoy it. I never thought that I would enjoy going to races, but I have to say that I will be back and come to see some more. It's not even so much about the racing for me. It's the wonderful cars, the wonderful participants, the wonderful fans and the great atmosphere. It's something that makes you happy you got off your couch and went somewhere for the day. I mean, you can watch Lime Rock's Le Mans race on television. You probably have a better view of the race that way. But you don't get to meet the spectators, the race car drivers or Dr. Dreamy sitting on your sofa. So, Once again, come see us in Connecticut and experience racing Connecticut style. You'll be glad you did. You'll be surprised. You'll have a lot of fun. You'll enjoy.