Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Thunder Road President Tom Curley Nominated For 29th RPM Promoter Of The Year Award
Green Lake, WI – Racing Promotion Monthly (RPM) has named the recipients of its “Regional Promoter of the Year” awards for 2004. Short track stock car racing promoters in eight regions were tabbed for the honors, with each promoter placed on the National ballot for the 29th annual “RPM Auto Racing Promoter of the Year” award. The award, voted on by over 1,000 members, is considered the short track industry’s highest honor among promoters, and will be presented at the RPM Promoters Workshops in Lake Mary, FL during Speedweeks in February.

Regional Promoter of the Year winners included Frank Plessinger, Eastern Region/Hagerstown (MD) Speedway; Ted Austad & The Stone Family, Southern Region/Ogelthorpe (GA) Speedway; Richard Chrysler & The Chrysler Family, Central Region/Kil-Kare (OH) Speedway; Bob & Susan Allen, Northern Region/Arlington and Redwood (MN) Speedways; Robert Lawton & Everett Sather, Great Plains Region/Boone (IA) Speedway; Lanny & Beverly Edwards, Southern Plains Region/Devil’s Bowl (TX) Speedway; John Paden, Western Region/Silver Dollar (CA) Speedway; and New England Regional Promoter of the Year Tom Curley, Co-Owner and President of Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, VT and the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) sanctioning body.

For Curley, the nomination is the third of his career, which began in earnest in 1979. “It is a real honor to be chosen as the 2004 RPM Regional Promoter of the Year,” he said. “I am proud to represent Thunder Road, ACT, and the New England Region, and am very grateful to my fellow promoters for nominating me as a finalist for the RPM National voting.”

Thunder Road, ACT’s flagship high-banked, ¼-mile asphalt oval, holds weekly Thursday night events during the summer months, with special events in the spring and fall. The New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl, held in October, is considered one of the most prestigious short track events in the country, highlighted by the winner kissing a Vermont bovine in Victory Lane each year.

Curley is credited with inspiring the short track “touring” boom of the 1980s, beginning with his creation of the NASCAR North Tour. When NASCAR defected after the 1985 season, Curley formed ACT, which has become a nationally-respected, innovative leader in short track racing. ACT and Curley introduced the GM ZZ4 “crate” motor at Thunder Road in 1999 as a means of reducing the ever-increasing cost of competition for Late Model racers in the Northeastern United States and Canada. After a successful transition period, Thunder Road and the ACT Late Model Tour now run exclusively with the factory-sealed power plant, and several area tracks have begun to adopt the motor for their weekly Late Model divisions.

“Tom is one of the most thorough, most focused people I know,” said Lee USA (NH) Speedway General Manager Peter Watson. “His vision for the future development of a racing division is unparalleled. I often see something he has developed, and I think ‘We should be doing that here, too.’” Lee USA Speedway hosted the ACT Late Model Tour’s $50,000+ New England Dodge Dealers National 150 in September 2004. The event received national media attention by drawing a 76 teams from New England and Canada, including several of Lee USA’s regular Late Model competitors. The event will return in 2005, with a companion “Super Series” event held at Thunder Road under the same format.

“This award really is a tribute to the entire ACT staff and officiating crew,” Curley added, “and to our associate tracks for supporting and believing in what we are trying to accomplish for the betterment of the fans and racers in our region.”

“He knows what he wants, and he demands it from his people,” Watson concluded. “If someone like me has a new idea to think about, we’ll go to Tom to help us carry it out; he is the tool, the man that everyone listens to.”