The Midwest TQ Racing League presented by Jenmarco.com held their annual Pre Season Meeting on March 16th at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville, Ind. Representatives from 16 different teams were on hand to listen to Greg Staab, the MTQRL Director of Racing Operations, discuss the upcoming race season.
The meeting began with a phone call from MTQRL co-founder Mark Frechette welcoming everyone. Although he was unable to attend the meeting Frechette reiterated his commitment to the league.
“When the MTQRL was formed a 5-year plan was put in place for the development and growth of the league,” said Frechette. “2013 is the final year of that plan, but not the final year of our commitment. Jen and I will be taking more of a background role with the MTQRL in the future but we are still 100% committed to the MTQRL’s success and we see the MTQRL continuing for the next 30 to 40 years or more.”
“There is a great group of people in charge of running the league. Greg Staab is in charge of the race day operations and an Executive Team consisting of myself, Jen and Sandy Lowe is in place to manage the business side of the MTQRL.”
“At this time I would like to announce an addition to that team — MTQRL President Chad Cunningham. Chad has been around racing for several years and many of you know him from his years of announcing TQ races. He is the current track announcer at the Lawrenceburg Speedway and will be a great asset to the MTQRL.”
Frechette then wished everyone a successful 2013 race season and turned the meeting back over to Staab.
Staab then addressed several items to those in attendance including the 2013 race schedule and new tracks, engine and fuel tech, sidewinders, sponsors, tires, Raceceivers, insurance, pit age limits, designated work area, tommy tip overs, and MTQRL t-shirts.
2013 Race Schedule
At this time the 2013 schedule has not been finalized. We are waiting on word from the Shelby County Fair Board on the status of their temporary grandstands. At this time the Fair Board does not have the start date from their contractor on when construction will begin on the rebuilding of their grandstands nor the dates the temporary grandstands will be in place. Once that information is available additional race dates at Shelbyville will be added to the schedule along with an event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Madison, Ind.
In an effort to be fair and open with the competitors Staab mentioned a possible problem with the race at the Morgan County Fairgrounds. Staab had spoken with Morgan County three times and had been given a race date of Friday July 26th. It was learned yesterday that the local radio station was announcing a garden tractor pull on that date. Staab was unable to contact the Fair Board President on such short notice before the meeting and at this time is not sure of the status of this race. Staab will contact Morgan County next week to get this matter resolved.
Staab also mentioned new tracks for the MTQRL in 2013 are Montpelier Motor Speedway (Montpelier, Ind.), Gas City I-69 Speedway (Gas City, Ind.) and Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, Ind.). Staab was able to secure dates at these facilities due to the support of our teams in 2012 and our car count of almost 25 cars per event.
It is important that we have the support and car count this season as well. The main reason the MTQRL was able to secure dates at Montpelier was due to the TQ group that ran there last season averaging less than 15 cars per event.
The July 18th date at Lincoln Park will be in conjunction with USAC’s Indiana Sprint Week and will be an opportunity to showcase the MTQRL three-quarter midgets in front of its largest crowd to date.
With several new tracks on the schedule the teams will need to learn the track surfaces so we don’t turn cars over and tear up equipment. Competitors will also need to be on their best behavior at these and all tracks.
Engine & Fuel Tech
Several competitors have mentioned to Staab that they would like to see engines and fuel teched. Staab is working with Terry Eaglin to buy a telescopic device to check cubic inches. To check fuel for nitro a fuel sample would have to be sent to a lab for testing. That test is very expensive and costs $550. If a protest for fuel is filed there will be a $550 protest fee required to cover the cost of the test.
No decision has been made on dates for the sidewinders due to the schedule not being finalized.
There are several new and returning sponsors to the MTQRL and the competitors need to support them if possible.
Returning sponsors include Jenmarco.com, Jackson Oil & Solvents, Tony Stewart Racing, Tony Stewart Foundation, Duane & Sonja Alexander, Pace Performance Coatings, Indy Race Parts, American Racer Tires, and Chris Pedersen (RacePhoto1.com).
New sponsors are the Elwood Sanitarium Haunted House and Gunslinger Paint. The Elwood Sanitarium will sponsor the new Polesitter Award while Gunslinger will award a gift certificate for half price off a full paint job at season end.
Tony Rose of American Racer Tires addressed the crowd and announced that he will have special pricing for the MTQRL which will be announced at a later date. He also stated that it is very important for the competitors to support the TQ races at Montpelier. Montpelier has decided to push open wheel racing at their track this season by scheduling ten midget and five three-quarter midget races this year.
Raceceivers, or one-way communication with the MTQRL officials, is still mandatory. It is each drivers responsibility to have a working Raceceiver (Frequency 454.000). If drivers are having trouble hearing while using a Raceceiver the problem is usually in the earpieces not the radio itself.
At tracks where the MTQRL purchases the insurance everyone that purchases a pit pass and is in the restricted area with a defined duty has secondary excess accident medical expense benefits of $50,000 and accidental death benefits of $10,000.
All drivers who are properly licensed in the MTQRL and have paid the appropriate license fees have additional secondary excess accident medical expense benefit coverage of $50,000 with a $50,000 deductible. This coverage is in effect at all MTQRL sanctioned races.
Clarification of Minors in the Pit Area
Racing has always been a family sport and we do not wish to deprive anyone of that time with their families. Therefore, minors will be allowed in the pit area at tracks where the MTQRL has control of the pit gate as long as the proper forms have been signed. No exceptions.
All minors must have an Annual Parental Consent, Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement signed by both parents (or legal guardians) in the presence of an MTQRL official, or it must be notarized.
In addition, at each race a Minor’s Assumption of Risk and Release and Waiver of Liability must be signed by the minor, one parent (or legal guardian), and be witnessed by an MTQRL official. If the waiver is not signed in the presence of an MTQRL official it must be notarized.
If you need copies of these forms to be notarized please contact Sandy Lowe at email@example.com.
Minors, other than drivers, are not allowed on the racing surface and must remain in their immediate pit area at all times unless escorted by a parent or legal guardian. The race track is a dangerous area and it is the parents’ responsibility to make sure minors are supervised at all times while in the pit area. If we continue to have issues with unattended minors we may be forced to implement an age restriction in the future.
Designated Work Area
A discussion was held on having a designated work area during the feature. Staab will formulate a set of rules for the designated work area including what type of items may be worked on and the amount of time, if any, which will be given to complete those repairs. The designated work area procedures will be announced prior to the first race.
Tommy Tip Overs
Cars will be allowed to restart after a “tommy tip over” if the officials see no visible damage and deem it to not be serious in nature. If a car is able to restart it will be charged with a spin and the two spin rule will be in effect.
Chad Cunningham announced that the official MTQRL t-shirt will be available soon from Blackouttees.com. They are currently finishing up the final touches on the design, and once finalized, t-shirts will be available for purchase. Additional details to come.
If anyone is interested in having driver t-shirts made, contact Chad Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may use your own design, or Blackouttees.com can customize a design for you. No minimum order to buy, and plenty of options available to make you and your fans stand out at the track!
The MTQRL would like to thank everyone who attended the Pre Season Meeting. Keep checking www.mtqrl.com for further updates to the 2013 season and race schedule.