Monday, May 27, 2024

Major flooding forces SRX move from Thunder Road to Stafford

As catastrophic flooding hits Vermont, the Superstar Racing Experience has been forced to move its 20 July race from Thunder Road Speedbowl to Stafford Motor Speedway, creating a doubleheader at the latter after hosting the season opener yesterday. Thunder Bowl will return to the calendar in 2024.

“In what was supposed to be one of the biggest weeks in the history of our iconic race track, has been turned upside down by a once-in-a-lifetime natural disaster and subsequent State of Emergency,” reads a track statement. “While we feel the immense pain of losing this major event for our business, it pales in comparison to those around our beloved state that have lost everything.”

President Joe Biden declared a federal state of emergency for Vermont on Tuesday as torrential rainfall has resulted in the state’s worst flooding since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. On Friday morning, state officials confirmed the first death due to the floods after a citizen drowned in his home. Additional flood warnings were implemented on Friday as rivers continued to rise. Neighbouring New York also has a state of emergency declaration for certain regions.

The flooding forced Thunder Road to postpone its premier Governor’s Cup, which was originally scheduled for yesterday. The track hoped to make up for the loss by adding a Last Chance Qualifier to its Late Model All-Star Race that was to support SRX. However, the situation resulted in both being called off.

“Throughout the last week, the state of Vermont and city of Barre, VT have been devastated by intense rain and catastrophic flooding, leading to a declaration of a state of emergency by President Joe Biden,” commented SRX. “Our thoughts at SRX are with the people of Vermont.

“After two days of conversations between SRX Chief Executive Officer, Don Hawk, Governor Phil Scott and Thunder Road track owner, Chris Michaud, we have collectively made the difficult yet necessary decision to move the location of next week’s race from Thunder Road Speedbowl to Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT.

“While we’re disappointed to not visit Thunder Road this summer, SRX is announcing that we have awarded Thunder Road a 2024 race date. Thunder Road will refund all tickets that were purchased for this year’s race.”

In SRX’s place, Thunder Road will introduce a First Responders Appreciation Night and special grassroots races to fill the 20 July slot. 2023 would have been the track’s first time welcoming SRX.

Stafford, which has hosted SRX since the inaugural season in 2021, kicked off 2023 with Denny Hamlin winning.