Connect with us


Sam Rameau Faces Litany Of Track, Tour Suspensions

After his team’s involvement in a pit brawl last Sunday at Thompson Speedway, tracks and tours across New England and beyond have suspended the racer and his team indefinitely.

Sam Rameau waves to fans before a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event in 2022. NASCAR became one of several organizations to suspend the driver indefinitely after an incident at Thompson Speedway last Sunday. (STS/Jeff Brown)

Consequences are piling up for Modified racer Sam Rameau.

Rameau and his team were at the center of controversy Sunday evening at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, when they were involved in an infield brawl in the waning laps of the weekend’s Sunoco World Series.

And in the wake of the conflagration, sanctioning organizations are washing their hands of the Westminster, Mass. racer.

The American-Canadian Tour and Pro All Stars Series, the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series, the Race of Champions Series, JDV Productions and others issued statements on Wednesday indefinitely suspending Rameau, his father Randy, and the Rameau Family Motorsports team from participating in their events. And on Friday, NASCAR followed their lead, issuing their own suspension.

And after Friday’s announcement, where the Rameaus are able to race in New England is a very short list.

Rameau’s wrecked car awaits a tow after a lap-85 incident in the Outlaw Open Modified Series feature at Thompson Speedway. (STS/Jeff Brown)

Sunday’s altercation occurred in the final circuits of the Outlaw Open Modified Series Sunoco 100, the seventh of ten feature races for the day’s program. Rameau had just wrested the lead from Keith Rocco, but quickly came under fire for the top spot. On lap 85, George Bessette, Jr. made a play for the lead, but the two racers made contact entering turn three. Bessette vaulted over Rameau’s front end as Rameau was stuffed into the turn three wall.

Bessette was able to soldier on, while Rameau expressed his displeasure from alongside his mangled car. As the field gridded for the restart, Bessette’s car stalled on the frontstretch, necessitating a push to the infield.

Videos shared on social media this week show Rameau and his team awaiting Bessette’s arrival, dragging Bessette from the car and erupting into a physical confrontation. One crewmember can be seen attacking another with a helmet.

Bessette soldiered on after the crash, but stalled out shortly before the race resumed, necessitating a push into what would become an all-out brouhaha. (STS/Jeff Brown)

Bessette and a track official reportedly received medical attention after the brawl. A police presence near the Rameau team’s hauler was evident following the race, but as of Friday no arrests or charges had been publicly disclosed.

Sanctioning bodies and track operators, on the other hand, were quick to render judgment.

ACT and PASS, co-promoters of Thompson Speedway’s oval-track operations since 2020, were the first to issue a suspension to the Rameaus, publishing a terse release on Wednesday morning.

“Due to the violent actions by you and your team on Sunday, October 8, 2023,” the release read, “you and your entire team have been permanently suspended from any events by ACT and all connected or sanctioned tracks, PASS Racing and all connected or sanctioned tracks, and Thompson Speedway.

“This type of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

ACT and PASS’ joint announcement of Rameau’s suspension was the first to be published, opening the floodgates for followup suspensions.

In addition to its namesake touring series, ACT and managing partner Cris Michaud operate Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt. and White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H. PASS and owner Tom Mayberry sanction competition at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway.

The Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series, an all-star Tour-type Modified series that races at Thunder Road as well as Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and New London-Waterford Speedbowl, was next to announce a suspension. The series confirmed plans this week to make its Thompson debut as part of next April’s Icebreaker.

The New York-based Race of Champions Series followed suit, issuing its own indefinite suspension to Rameau and his team.

Ben Bosowski, the owner of New Hampshire ovals Lee USA Speedway and Hudson Speedway and a part owner of Claremont Motorsports Park, suspended Rameau from events at his tracks as well.

“After careful review of the events that transpired at Thompson Speedway during the World Series we feel as if allowing Sam Rameau, Randy Rameau, and team to compete at our facilities would be condoning the horrible actions of his team,” Bosowski’s statement reads in part.

Ben Bosowski, owner of three speedways that host regular Modified touring events, suspended the Rameau team from all three facilities.

Lee hosted the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in May 2023, a race in which Rameau finished fourth. Claremont was scheduled for a July date but the event was canceled after a rainout.

JDV Productions will sanction racing at Monadnock Speedway next year, a track that would be a likely home venue for the Rameau team in the absence of touring competition.

JDV Productions, promoter of the Lee and Claremont events for the last two seasons, recently announced a lease arrangement with Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. next year. Rameau scored top-six finishes in both NWMT dates at the track in 2023, but he will not be welcome at the facility in 2024.

“JDV Productions and Monadnock Speedway stand in solidarity with Cris Michaud, Tom Mayberry, and the other tracks and series who view this behavior as unacceptable and will not tolerate it,” read the promoter’s statement.

Though NASCAR no longer sanctions racing at Thompson Speedway, the organization was present for the evening’s NWMT World Series 150, in which Rameau finished 21st in his fifth series start of the season. NASCAR notably suspended Tour driver J.B. Fortin earlier this year for his team’s involvement in a pit fight at Wall Stadium Speedway, a suspension that has since been rescinded.

NASCAR made its own announcement on Friday, suspending Rameau for conduct detrimental to the sport. Unlike Fortin’s suspension, in which anger-management training and fines were explicitly defined, NASCAR did not publicly outline any provisions for a return to competition.

This is not the Rameau family’s first brush with controversy. In 2018, Rameau was leading the Modified Racing Series points standings when a crew member allegedly attacked an official following a crash in the season’s penultimate race. Rameau was suspended prior to the season finale, and all points he had earned for the season were revoked.

Rameau and his team have been under fire for similar conduct concerns in other series as well.

Rameau sits in his car following his crash in the afternoon’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour World Series 150. The racer made five NASCAR starts in 2023, finishing 21st at Thompson. (STS/Jeff Brown)

And while suspensions for poor behavior are nothing new, the cascade of suspensions levied upon Rameau is unprecedented.

Indeed, past driver suspensions have generally not extended beyond the events of one track or sanctioning body, allowing a driver to race elsewhere and perform some measure of on-track atonement to earn reinstatement.

That path to atonement appears to be closed to Rameau.

After all, the Modified Racing Series, the organization that suspended Rameau in 2018, is the only major Modified option in the Northeast not to issue a statement yet. Even if they do not take action, a number of dates on a prospective 2024 schedule are likely to be unwelcome tracks for the racer and his team.

Rameau’s only option in 2024 may be road-tripping.

Either way, for the racer and his father and team, a period of reflection lies ahead.

If you like what you read here, become a Short Track Scene Patreon and support short track journalism!

Read more Short Track Scene:

Jeff Brown is a contributor to Short Track Scene. A native of New Hampshire and a long-time fan of New England racing, Brown provides a fan's perspective as he follows New England's regional Late Model touring series.



  1. Mike

    October 14, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    That’s exactly what should happen. I was assaulted by a competitor at Nashville Fairgrounds and the promoter looked the other way. My injury required a 2 hour surgery. And to beat it all, the promoter asked me the week before the next season opener if I could make the assault charges go away. (Incident happened at end of previous season.) He was getting sponsor money from the assailants father. That defined the promoter as a piece of shit in my opinion.

  2. Jim

    October 14, 2023 at 12:28 pm


  3. Henry Lecomte

    October 27, 2023 at 10:03 am

    I do not care for Either driver/team however I feel this is a little harsh why well we see fights in The Cup series yet hardly never draws a suspension. These cars are not cheap and when tempers flare things happen I feel the person using the helmet should receive a permanent ban and for Sam and the rest of his team should be afforded anger management and possible community service were maybe they talk about how to control your temper in such situations. And Again I do not care about either team I’m just voicing my personal opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




More in Modifieds