Midnight Madness: The unique regional race in the dark

By J.A. Ackley
Aug 17, 2022 | SCCA, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, New England Region (NER) SCCA

Photography Credit: James Ray/New England Region SCCA

No, it’s not an endurance race. Instead, the third annual Midnight Madness at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park consists of the typical schedule you’d find at an SCCA road racing event–just in the dark.

I came from circle track … I came from night racing,” said JB Swan, chairperson for New England Region SCCA Road Racing. “I thought it would be a cool idea.”

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park consists of a 5/8-oval, which, of course, has lights. NER adds 12 light towers strategically placed around the remainder of the course. Racers, though, cannot use their headlights.

We did not want headlights because of the glare in the mirrors,” Swan said. “We were afraid people would mount LED lights, and point them up. You run marker lights, so you can see the car, front and back.”

The day’s festivities begin with qualifying in the morning. First round of races occurs in the afternoon. The final round takes place after the sun has set.

Swan said the reaction from racers has been “very positive.” This year’s Midnight Madness has attracted 115 entries.

Photography Credit: James Ray/New England Region SCCA

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Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
8/17/22 1:19 p.m.

I like the idea of the lit-track-no-headlights rule.  In Lemons the glare can be pretty intense with some of the LED setups.  You get used to it, but it certainly doesn't help positional awareness.

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