The Midwest TQ Racing League held their annual Pre Season Meeting on Saturday March 3rd at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville, Ind. Approximately 40 owners and drivers were on hand to listen to Greg Staab, MTQRL Director of Racing Operations, discuss plans for the upcoming race season.
Staab worked hard over the winter months to come up with this schedule which includes a nice variety of tracks. There are also a few weekends noted as ‘Off’ to give teams a break during the season. In September there a several dates listed as TBA/Rain Dates which will allow the rescheduling of any possible rain outs.
Charlestown Motor Speedway was originally listed with a race date on May 26th but has been removed due to the track owner deciding to leave his speedway closed for the year. This leaves a prime race date open and a replacement venue will try to be found for that date.
The June 10th Kokomo Speedway date, although not listed on the tracks website, is confirmed with a signed contract.
For the 2012 season there are four races at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ind. With the track prepared correctly, as was the case last September, a good racing surface can be created.
The Rush County Fair Board (with input from Greg Staab) will be prepping the track at the three MTQRL dates in Rushville this season. By following his direction we should continue with a surface that will be racy.
After an absence of several years TQ racing will return to the Morgan County Fair in Martinsville, Ind. At previous TQ races the conduct of the competitors had been an issue. It is very important that everyone is on their best behavior for this event so that we can continue at this track in the future.
A representative of the Shelby County Fair Board stopped by the meeting to let everyone know they are glad to have the MTQRL back racing at their facility again this year.
The MTQRL will be publishing a bi-monthly newsletter in 2012. This newsletter will be distributed via email and will be used to promote both the league and its competitors. If anyone would like to contribute articles to the newsletter please contact Sandy Lowe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The January-February newsletter, which included a recap of the 2011 Awards Banquet, has already been sent out to approx. 70 different addresses. The next newsletter, March-April, will include a Season Preview with the subsequent editions documenting the race season. The final newsletters of the year will include a Season Review along with a Banquet Review.
One feature of the newsletter will be a “Driver of the Month.” For each month of the racing season the driver who scores the most points in that month will be named the “Driver of the Month.” There will be an article published in the newsletter documenting his success that month. A driver can only be named “Driver of the Month” one time. If he is the top point earner in another month the next highest point earner will be honored.
A Racing Sponsorship Signup packet was passed out to all car owners outlining Jackson Oil & Solvents fuel incentive program for 2012. If any owner purchases four drums of methanol and displays the appropriate decals they will receive one drum for free. Staab will be contacting Jackson Oil to see if some slight changes to the program could be made due to TQ’s not using that much fuel during a season.
Tony Rose of American Racer Tires addressed the crowd about a cross promotion he was working on between American Racer and the MTQRL. The details will be finalized before the first race and a press release will be sent out at that time.
Rose also wanted everyone to be aware of a program American Racer conducts where a competitor can win a set of four (4) tires. If you run American Racers on all four corners of your car and win a feature submit a photo of your car from victory lane showing the American Racer decal. You will then be entered into the random drawing for a set of tires (one winner per month) from all the divisions American Racer supplies tires for.
Rose also stated if there was interest he would be willing to conduct a tire seminar at a race prior to hot laps. He would be available to answer any questions or concerns about American Racer or any other brands of tires.
Many of the league partners, including American Racer Tires and Jackson Oil & Solvents, will be returning in 2012. One change will be the title sponsor. Vincennes University will not be returning as the title sponsor but will remain involved with the MTQRL in a smaller capacity. This will not have any adverse effects on the operations of the MTQRL for the 2012 season. Talks are ongoing with a possible title sponsor in 2013.
A complete list of the contingency sponsors will be posted to the website prior to the first race.
We need to work together to promote the races. One possibility would be posters to hang in stores or staple to telephone poles. If anyone knows a company that would be willing to sponsor these posters let us know.
KING OF THE TQ SERIES
Terry Eaglin and Greg Staab are friends and there is no animosity between the two groups. They are working together to minimize any schedule conflicts.
It was brought to the league’s attention that the points awarded for the semi feature are not fair to the heat transfers. It is now possible for a car that doesn’t transfer through its heat and then wins the semi feature to earn more points than a heat transfer. This will be looked at with possible changes before the start of the season.
Fred Steed has a sponsor that is a DJ/Karaoke that would like to perform at a race during any down time and/or a pitch in before or after a race.
Helmets – For the 2012 season all helmets will have to be rated Snell 2005 or higher.
Seat Belts – Greg Staab would like all belts to be two years old or newer. The current rule states four years old or newer. Staab will take this under advisement and make a ruling before the beginning of the season.
DECATUR COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
Greensburg mayor Gary Herbert has approached the MTQRL about participating in a race at the Decatur County Fairgrounds in Greensburg, Ind. on April 28th. This race would be held in conjunction with the Decatur County Tourism Board as part of their participation in the Indianapolis Speedway Community Challenge.
A discussion was held among those in attendance as to the benefits of this race to three quarter midget racing in general and the MTQRL specifically. A decision will be made in the near future as to the MTQRL’s involvement with this event.
A discussion was held regarding the possibility of the MTQRL competing at indoor races in Fort Wayne next winter.