Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Thunder Road President Tom Curley Named 2004 RPM Auto Racing Promoter of the Year
Lake Mary, FL – Three times was the charm for fiery Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl President Tom Curley at the 2004 Racing Promotion Monthly (RPM) Auto Racing Promoter of the Year awards ceremony Thursday morning. In its 29th year, the Auto Racing Promoter of the Year award is considered the highest honor among short track stock car racing promoters.

RPM recently named Curley as the 2004 New England Regional Promoter of the Year, and entered his name into the final balloting for the national award for the third time in his career. Over one thousand voting RPM committee members chose Curley, one of eight regional finalists, to receive the award.

“I am so thrilled to have won this award,” Curley said. “After being known as the maverick, the temperamental renegade promoter for over 25 years, it’s a great feeling to know that my colleagues think that I’ve made a difference. I’m very, very appreciative to RPM and to everyone else for honoring me with this award.”

A nationally-respected, high-banked, ¼-mile asphalt oval, Thunder Road opened atop Quarry Hill in Barre, VT in 1960 under the direction of Ken Squier. While working with Squier, Curley began his at times-controversial career there in 1978, as well as the former Catamount Stadium in Milton, VT. He formed the NASCAR North Tour in 1979, and created the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) after NASCAR defected in 1985. Along with partners Rex Robbins and Bob Harmon, Curley aligned the Stock Car Connection in 1987 with the former mid-western ASA and southern All-Pro racing series, and in 1992 created the current ACT Late Model Tour.

Thunder Road and ACT have been consistent leaders in short track innovation. Recent developments include a changeover to the GM ZZ4 “crate” engine program, which has since been adopted as a cost-cutting measure in many forms short track racing across the country. Curley played a key role in developing a new 8” slick racing tire with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 2004, with the tire being considered a major breakthrough for Late Model-type stock cars.

Curley’s plans for 2005 include operating a 19-event schedule at Thunder Road, while also opening the newly-organized “Tiger Tour” for the track’s intermediate Tiger Sportsman division, a series expected to boast as many as 40 entries per event.

A redesigned ACT Late Model Tour schedule and a pair of $10,000-to-win events has increased pre-season interest to surpass that of any previous year, and has drawn the attention of race teams from far beyond the regular hub of ACT supporters. One of the teams turning its attention to ACT is that of Lynn, Massachusetts driver Mark Durgin. “Tom Curley…” said Durgin, “like him or hate him, he’s the man.”