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November 2008 - MMRA Newsletter

Hello Racers!

We just wrapped up a great 2008 racing season.  We set a new record for Future Stars memberships, and came close to our overall record membership count.  Despite outrageous gas prices, we still saw great support at our major events, and thanks to our Canadian friends, we introduced Baby Grand racing back to the Las Vegas Bullring.

We are already hard at work on 2009 plans, and it should be a great year.  Gas prices are down, and our inexpensive racing should appeal to diehard racers who want to race regardless of the economy.  What are our plans you may ask?

First off, we are going a different direction to start off the year.  For the past several years, we have traveled to Florida during Speedweeks to kick off our season.  We don't have any members in Florida, kids are in school, and the weather is often rainy or cold.  As such, we are looking at options farther north, and later in the year.  You can help with our planning.  If you have a young racer still in school, please e-mail to let us know when your spring break is.  We are hoping to find a good time when lots of our kids will be out of school anyway.  Please e-mail to mmra@MMRAracing.com

As those of you at the banquet heard, we are also going to make changes to our points system.  We want the new system to accomplish two goals:

1.  Encourage more racing - This is at the core of what MMRA is all about.  We want to encourage more racing, by more racers, more often.  Awarding points at more races, and counting more races for points, is a very effective way to do this.

2.  Bring more racers into the championship hunt - The last several years, our program has been built around Touring and Grand National races which rewarded travel.  This was great because it brought racers together from different areas, on different tracks, to see who was the best.  In the current economy however, it was leaving too many racers out of the competition.  If you couldn't afford the time or money to travel, you knew you wouldn't win the championship.  That will change in 2009.

Here are the specific changes we are working on to reach our goals in 2009.

1.  Longer season - Jan 1 - Oct 15

2.  More Races - Extending the season will allow us to increase the number of races we count from 10 to 12 next year. 

3.  No Travel Required - You won't have to attend a Grand National race as one of your scores.  All 12 of your events can be run at your local track.  If you can't afford to travel, this will allow you to still be in the championship hunt.

4.  Championship Weekends - EVERY local group will be able to designate one or more races  in the same weekend, as their "Championship Weekend".  At these once a season local events, there will not be any car count factor applied.  The winner will receive a full 40 points.  This will encourage racers from other areas to come race with you, and also give your local racers a chance to get some great scores.

5.  Special Events - These events which will be held separate from any local series will also offer full points regardless of car counts.  One example would be the Las Vegas Bullring race - which is already booked for May 2-3 2009.  These events can be organized by racetracks, independent promoters, or multiple MMRA groups working together. 

The key to winning the 2009 MMRA championship in your division will be how often you race.  You don't have to travel, but the more races you run, the quicker you'll fill in your 12 scores, and then be able to drop lower scores.  You can be sure to compete for full points at your local championship weekend, and at other special events or championship weekends in other areas.  To get more races in, see if your group can run double features each day you race.  Also be sure to encourage all the racers in your area to join MMRA so you will have the maximum number of cars count for points.

In addition, consider if helping to organize a special event is something that you and your group could take on.  Is there a new track that you would like to try out?  Can you work with another group to "meet in the middle" at a track for a special race?  If so, submit your idea to MMRA for a special event.  You'll help to spread MMRA racing to new areas, and also have a shot at big points toward the championship. 

Although the points system may be changing, when it comes to rules, our goal is to keep things as close to the same as possible.  We have a few proposals to look at with our competition committee, but in general, if your car was legal in 2008, it should be in 2009.  We want you to spend your time and effort racing and making your car faster, not changing things to meet different rules. 

Everyone is nervous about the economy now, but I believe 2009 could be a great year.  Gas prices are down, and I expect the recovery from this recession will be almost as fast as the entry was - and hopefully it will be soon.  If things stay slow however, you can race locally and contend for the national championship.  If the economy recovers, you can pick some great special events to travel to for new competition, and fun experiences with your family.

Although MMRA may not have much sponsorship income, we also haven't lost sponsorship we were depending on.  We will be here to support your racing program no matter what the economy does.  At the same time, we are always looking for support for our special awards programs.  Do you know of a company that could help our series by sponsoring special end of season awards, or providing a points fund?  If so, please let us know and we will be sure to follow up and offer them a great value for their money.

Thank you for racing with MMRA, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2009!

Pete Neimeier
President, MMRA