The Thompson International Speedway in Connecticut, known as the ‘Indianapolis of the East’, will be largely unfamiliar to our readers. Yet, built in 1940, originally as an oval and later incorporating a road course, it hosted rounds of the NASCAR Grand National series and, in September 1958, the SCCA Divisional race illustrated in the photographs here.
These were taken by John Vigle, himself an SCCA Regional compeitior during the 1960s in a series of Saabs, BMWs, Fords and Lotus-Cortinas, and were sent to us by his son, Sean.
Chuck Daigh’s Scarab took the race victory but, despite this success, the 1958 C-Modified title was won by Walt Hansgen in a Cunningham Lister-Jaguar.
Whereas the nearby Lime Rock course thrived and eventually became home to TransAm and IMSA rounds, Thompson’s lustre gradually faded in the 1970s.
“Lime Rock was lush with green foliage, as opposed to Thompson, which offered sand and evergreens,” says Sean.
Today, Thompson hosts NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series races – the lowest level of NASCAR racing – and varied races for stock cars and modifieds.