October 22, 2017 General Member Meeting
Location: Sleep Inn Theatre Room
Attendance: See sign in sheet.
Brandon Beeter called the meeting to order at 1:07 pm.
Derek Olson made a motion to approve the February 12, 2017 meeting minutes. Seconded by Jeff Barta. It was approved.
Financial Report. Deb has some Profit and Loss statements if anyone wants to see them. There is nothing in there about the banquet from last night. There is $32,342 in the banks right now. We had a loss last summer. We raced every night this last year. We lost money every night we raced except for the Tour and Outlaws. We raced 16 nights. 8 of them we lost $3,000 and 6 of them we lost $6,000. The Sprints and Late Models both lost money last summer. The crowds were small all summer long. Expenses were up a little. Advertising was the same as last year. We still have $5,000 out in sponsorship money. We are down about $20,000 from last year. That is including the sponsorship money. Brandon said if we want to bring in the special classes we may have to drop a class. Probably the Mods. The Sprints and Late Models aren’t as big as they once were. We lost money on the Sprints and Late Models last year. Late Models we lost about $3000 and the Sprints were down $4600. The crowd was no different if they were there or not.
Judy Mock said the dust was a big issue this summer. Some are watching on TV. Can we block out DarnTV to a certain area? Brandon said there are ways to do it but they aren’t the most effective. Brandon said he didn’t see a spike in his numbers when the attendance was down. Kevin Eklund heard from people that they were staying home with their family to watch the races. Some have said they don’t like the concession prices. Brandon wonders if they would be here every week even if they weren’t watching on TV. If they watch on TV once they may still come back next week. One issue is getting out of the fairgrounds after the races. It would be nice if the trailers could leave a different direction. It gets ugly down there. The north gate is open but only until 10-10:30. They close it before 11:00. It’s a dirt track. People should be ok with getting dirty. But if it gets to dusty and you can’t see the races then we have a problem. We need some good clay. It would help starting at 7:00 pm also.
Tim said if you dig in the dirt there is moisture down there. Our track seals over instantly. It takes rubber immediately. We can either farm it half way through and go home at 11:00 and the rocks come out or no farming and home at 9:00 with dust. The rocks were the biggest complaint at Motor Magic. If we farm it the rocks come up. The track did get better throughout the year with watering though. The best dirt is not on the track. Its in the infield. There was no help from mother nature this year. There was no water in the pond. Everything was city water. City water doesn’t work good on dirt.
Sprints/Late Models. Jeff Barta said that we have to have more money to have them there. It’s the starting money that kills us. Its $1500 to win if we bring in 30 cars. If we bring in the NOSA sprints or the NLRA late models would that have better racing? Would it bring in more people? The fans now are wore out on the same Sprint show. We want to have open communication with the East. The NLRA want to come here and so do the NOSA Sprints. Brandon is going to open the line of communication between us and them. Its hard to get them to come here on a Sunday night. Over east they get 30 late models. We can talk to them and see if they are interested in coming over.
Ron Huettl said we race too many nights. There were no rain outs this year. Its more nights then we are use to. Car count was down. Everyone gets burnt out. Do we want to take a couple of extra nights off throughout the year? Can we open the grandstand for practice? The fair doesn’t want the grandstand open. We get charged more if its open. It almost triples if we open the grandstand for practice nights. We made money all 3 nights that we had practice nights. Ron didn’t like the idea but it worked out to do it. If we keep doing it more people will come to it. We are keeping it once a month otherwise it will get to be too much. We don’t pay for water. What about a well? We can’t afford to dig it. 2017 was the one more year for the Sprints and Late Models.
Enduros are dying. They are almost full time racing now. Our car counts are down also. The fair was 65 and the Motor Magic Enduro was 35 cars. The fair asked why down? We need to sit down with the Enduro guys and set a better set of rules for them. They are becoming race cars. The problem is on regular race nights there is no one in the stands.
State of the Track. Our advertising budget needs to change and we know that. We are working on changing it. We want to get out into the community more. We need to promote ourselves. Lots of people at the mall show didn’t know there was a track here. Us as a group need to spread the word about the track being here. Every track is having the same problem. Brandon and Robby spoke with M&S and they aren’t going to help us out. They won’t lower their prices. Concessions are out of our hands. We would like to see something in front of the current weekly sponsor. We need to make good public appearances.
Adam said we need to sell the stories of Nodak. If they come every night they know the stories. We need to get the stories out. Fans want to know more and want to know about the drama. People want to know the family, and stories of Nodak. We need to get kids excited about Nodak and get them to make their parents bring them. Out of the 12,000 kids tickets we gave out we only saw 640 come back in. We need to have drivers hand them out. Maybe even bring their car to the school. Teachers just put the ticket in their box and no one sees it. We need to get them into the hands of the kids. We need to show off the drivers. The kids day was good and we gave out kids tickets there also. We also gave some out at Finishline also. There are only a select group of drivers doing these things though. So many guys show up to race and that’s it. Can we pick a Saturday and put 10-15 cars in a parking lot somewhere. People don’t see cars unless they are at the track. Enclosed trailers are hurting us. You can’t see the cars anymore. How can we used the enclosed trailers to our advantage? Maybe doing a tour of the trailer also. Maybe lettering on the back that says follow me to the track. People don’t know what’s in the trailers. We can’t tell everyone to put stickers on their trailers.
Do we need to let all the kids in for free? What ages? 7 and under free is what we have now. What about 13 and under free? Maybe with high school idea they get in for $10. Not all schools have id’s though. It also makes it harder on ticket takers also. Maybe 12 and under free and 13-17 is $8 or $10. On a regular nights its $13 at the door for adults and $16 for specials. Ron said that the board makes the business decisions. The general members can not make a motion. There are only a couple of things that are voted on by the general members. Robert Seekings said we want to get the kids in early to get them hooked. K-12 got kids tickets. We can still give tickets to the kids even if they get in for free. It’s cheap advertising. Jeff Barta said he was driving through Grand Forks and didn’t know they had a track. Was told to look for the sprint car. Can we get an old car for Nodak and put stickers on saying when the races are and where. We could put it at the weekly sponsor for the week. Maybe we could put it at the track.
It could possibly be at MPF one night. Who has a car we could use? Ryan Sebo may have a car. It was brought up in the past to do it. No one took the time to do it. Adam said that billboards are getting cheap. We may be able to get one for the season cheap. The Seekings have a car available to go anywhere. Brandon has a digital sign we could use. KXMC and KMOT will come if we call them also. Adam can get 4-5 cars if he needs them right away. Steve Pierce said back then he knew how to promote product back then. We need to get across to new racers that the sponsors want something back. We want to keep sponsors happy. We need to make sure we have a place to race.
What do we do for the sponsors. Do we want to do a booster night? With no purse? We haven’t had to do that for a while. Mandan/Dickinson do opening night half pay. First night it was no pay. Jeff Barta never remembers the car count being low when we did the booster night in the past. Will we lose out of town cars. Maybe the first night after the fair do a booster night. Car count is down after the tour. Ryan Sebo asked if Mandan does something on the first night or first night of racing. No it was just opening night Ron said.
Sport Compacts. Where are we sitting? We can’t run the class and dump it Ryan Sebo said. People are going to assume we are going to cut them. We want to see the class be full time. There is interest on Facebook. Want to see us keep with them. It was just a part time class. People are wondering why would they run one if they are only running half the season. Jason is building cars and cages. It’s a good beginner class. We want to see the class build up. We are looking at numbers. They would like to see a 2 year commitment about 8-10 nights a year to build the class. Do we want to increase the number of nights here? We want it to be known they will be there for at least 2 years. Ron said we need a starter class. Are there too many classes? Do we want to do 6 nights again? Jeff Barta said we fought with the Legends when they were here getting cars to come. Do we want to have 6 races again or a part time schedule? They would like more then 6 nights. Maybe 8 nights. They aren’t that expensive to have there. They usually bring a couple people each for the pits also. They can put on a good race. They worked together and helped each other.
The cars in the pits aren’t paying the bills. There aren’t a lot of pitmen traveling anymore.
Board Member Reduction. We started the year one board member short. Then 2 resigned in the middle of the season. We couldn’t fill all 9 positions last year. We were considering dropping 2 one-year terms. It may help speed up the meetings. If we want to change it we can do it now. Jeff Barta made a motion to change the board number from 9 to 7 in the by-laws. We will drop 2 one-year director terms. It was seconded by Rick Huber. Motion passed.
Jeff Barta thought we had a line on some dirt. Eric Folstad called to meet about it and it was gone last year. We can speak for some but some of them needed it gone right away and it was during the fair. There may be some North of Minot. We are checking on it. Are we paying for Keller to move it? Dale is working with Watne’s on them paying for fuel. Spencer may help with trucks. What do we want? Clay with big rocks in it. Do we want to do a foot around the whole track? Is there anything we can do with the dirt we have? Add wood chips or manure? Do we need to get rid of the top dirt. Tim Anderson said this isn’t the 80’s. The cars hook up harder then ever. We are abusing the dirt and we have holes from the cars also. Tom Henderson said people were complaining about the dirt before the flood also. Is the dirt the problem? Maybe it’s the racing suspension. We have the canopy in front of the grandstand also. We can’t defeat mother nature. Do we want to start the races later? Is the racing better when the sun goes down. The moisture is able to stay longer. It helps the track and driver. In June and July we still
have sunlight until 10:00. Are we talking with other tracks to see what they are doing? If the tracks get some moisture to them they get rough. Drivers like smooth dry tracks. Fans want wet/tacky/hammer down tracks which get rough. We need fans. Its dirt racing. You will get dirty. The dirt is part of dirt track racing. We have 452 fans that will be there no matter what. We have to figure out how to get 800 more fans. Jeff Barta said a perfect racing track is smooth/tacky/fast. If its dry slick they bounce off of each other. Tacky tears stuff up.
Ron Huettl said it could be shit dirt. We can’t afford to do the whole track though. We could do 3 inches that would be about 1,000 yards. We could add dirt and see if it helps. If it works for a while then we’ll know it’s a dirt problem. We need to deal with the rock problem. We can pay Command Labor to pick rocks. What about kids picking rock? No, they get bored after a while. Jeff Barta said 51 belly dumps were brought in and it didn’t go that far one time. Who picks the rocks? Can we have drivers pick rock before the drivers meeting? We pit outside the fence now and that is an issue also. It was asked how can we make it mandatory to pick rocks? If there is one less rock out there that is good. We can’t make it mandatory and there can’t be any penalties. But we can make it an investment in the track. We can’t pick before the races its too wet and too packed. The rocks need to be picked on the backside.
What about making wind rows and screening it? The rocks come back on the track from outside the track. Ron heard that doesn’t work. Clay is hard to run through it and starts compacting. Its not a weekend thing. We can bring in new dirt and take the old out.
Kadi Ruby said she could like to have a Historian committee for the Hall of Fame. That way then the fans could vote for the Hall of Fame and the inductees could also. Robbie Conway has been nominated. Wondering about just doing Robbie Conway next year as the sole person. Its getting to the point that the list is getting smaller and smaller. There aren’t so many each year now. Kadi brings the suggestion to the board on how many to add. She went to past inductees this past year. That is the solution she had that worked for this year. Then there is no vote from the general public? The Conway family doesn’t want any favors. They want it to be fair. Robbie was always self-conscious of cheating. He wouldn’t want to get in that way. They want nothing given to them. The board needs to make the decision. We are going to go away from the board voting on the hall of fame. Kadi still needs support in the hall of fame work. Brandon is willing to sit on it. We need a Hall of Fame committee. They will be their own entity eventually. She doesn’t have time to get donations right now. It’s a possibility though. Need to decide if we want to keep it or it needs to be its own entity. It could be its own entity and then there could be Hall of Fame night at the track.
Elections. Brandon asked who is interested in running. Why do you want to run? Tell us about yourself. Dale, Jami, Brandon are all in for one more year. Robby and Stu are willing to run again. Chris Seekings grew up around racing, he is part of an anti-drug campaign. He hears about the problems. Scott Joern is putting himself out there for the club. Doug Thompson wants to throw his hat in the ring. He can’t do it right now though. He wants to help make sure that the track keeps going in the right direction. If not all the spots get filled the board can fill a spot later. He wants to help out but he can’t at the moment. If a slot is still open then he would like to be considered. Mike Schmaltz has helped with the reshaping of the track. He helped out a lot at the track. Asked if he is nominated will be accept it? Yes, he will. He didn’t get paid as a weekly paid employee. Bob Fuegmann has some interest. We have 200 members and only 37 come to the election meeting. Robby helps out all the time. You need to put the time in if you are on the board.
Brandon opened the floor for nominations for Vice President. Craig Kastner nominated Robby Rosselli. Trevor Haas seconded. Trevor Haas made a motion to cease nominations. Seconded by Steve Pierce. Nominations ceased. Robby Rosselli is the new Vice President.
Brandon opened the nominations for Treasurer. Deb Chapman said that for the books, purse and taxes she usually worked on things for about 20 hours a week. We do have an accountant who helps out. Judy Mock nominated Ron Huettl. Ron said no. He is out of town so much that he can’t. We do use Quickbooks online so he can look at it and help out also. The purse could get separated out also. Ron will help get whoever started with it. Part of it is this person has to be able to say no we can’t do that. Bonnie Joern nominated Scott Joern. Seconded by Jeff Barta. Robby Rosselli nominated Bob Fuegmann. Seconded by Trevor Haas. Jason Olsen nominated Deb Chapman. Deb accepted the nomination. Seconded by Derek Olson. Dale Nordstrom made a motion to cease the nominations. Robby Rosselli seconded. Kadi Ruby said she could help out with payroll, sales and quarterly taxes. She does it at her job. The first vote was Bob-15, Scott-8, and Deb-15. That eliminated Scott. Seconded vote was either Deb or Bob. Bob Fuegmann is the Treasurer. Brandon opened the nominations for the 2-year director. Craig Kastner nominated Mike Schmaltz. He didn’t accept the nomination for the 2-year term. Tim Anderson nominated Stu Kragh. Seconded by Robby Rosselli. Scott Joern was nominated by Kadi Ruby. Seconded by Nate Joern. Rebecca Seekings nominated Chris Seekings. Seconded by Steve Pierce. Ron Huettl made a motion to cease the nominations. Seconded by Kraig Brandvold. Stu Kragh is the 2-year director.
Brandon opened the nominations for the 1-year director. Betty Nordstrom nominated Mike Schmaltz. Seconded by Robby Rosselli. Mike Schmaltz nominated Jeff Barta. Seconded by Deb Chapman. Trevor Haas made a motion to cease the nominations. Seconded by Judy Mock. Mike Schmaltz is the new 1year director.
Steve Pierce made a motion to destroy the ballots. Seconded by Judy Mock. It was approved. Congratulations to the new board members. Kadi said if anyone is interested in being on the Hall of Fame committee to see her. Betty is willing to help.
Robert Seekings made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Tom Henderson.
Meeting adjourned at 3:46 pm.
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