Dirt Grands National Event -
2006 QMA Dirt Grand Nationals -
Quarter Midgets of America awards three National events each year - an Eastern Pavement Grands, a Western Pavement Grands, and a Dirt Grands. All three events are to award a National Champion in each class and division. Car counts range from 200 all the way up to 1,000+ cars challenging for the titles. Clubs vie for the prestigious events by putting together a bid package containing information about their track, location, the local surrounding community, and the club members willingness to put on the week long events. The I-5 members were hungry and willing, but they faced a major obstacle...........the Dirt Grands had never been hosted West of the Mississippi River. That was about to change.
Winning the Bid -
Events are applied for and awarded 18 months in advance. But the work involved starts long before that. In late 2004, the bid proposal was put together, along with a rule change proposal that would allow the bid to be legit. The Terre Haute and Hagerstown clubs had alternated hosting the event since it's inception, and they would be skeptical about letting the prestigious event move over 2,500 miles away. At the February National meeting in Las Vegas, the club from the tiny town of Elma, WA found support for their vision, and the 2006 QMA Dirt Grand Nationals was awarded to the I-5 QMC. They were on a roll. In just 18 months the club had built a facility, empowered itself within the local community, and was awarded a prestigious National Event. The next 18 months was when the real work would happen, and they were ready.
Getting Ready -
Focusing on making sure the event was organized and nothing was missed, the club encountered a new problem that turned out to be a blessing. The track is located on the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds property, and the dates of the event were smack dab in the middle of the Grays Harbor County Fair Week. Working together with the Fair Board, an idea was hatched to encompass the many things the race club and the County Fair had in common - kids games and rides, entertainment, and food! It could not have been planned or worked out any better. The only drawback was the many QMA members who missed the event and expressed regret over doing so. When the final checkered flag fell, the club was able to sit back and enjoy what they had worked so hard for. The goals were now complete, and the membership took on a new slogan - Where the Legend Begins!
Ready to Race -
The racers in the I-5 QMC proved up to the challenge as well, putting their names in the record books with 4 National Titles from 3 of it's drivers at this one event. The I-5 drivers have always been ready to race, and this week they showed the QMA organization that they could do it in style. An event like the QMA Grand Nationals is not an easy task to undertake, and one day the club will be ready to undertake the process again. The I-5 QMC, the Grays Harbor Community, Elma WA, and the Grays Harbor Raceway and Mini Raceway proved they were ready in 2006. The car count set a record for the Raceway facility, the Fair set a new attendance record that year, and the memories taken from that week in August of 2006 are etched in trophies as tall or taller than the kids who earned them. The I-5 QMC and the Grays Harbor Mini Raceway was on the map!
2006 QMA Dirt Grand National Champions -
|Seth Cooper||Jr Honda||Little Wheels QMA|
|Brandon Traino||Sr Honda||Blackbird QMRC|
|Allison Journey||Hvy Honda||I-5 QMC|
|James Bickford||Jr Stock||American QMA|
|Chance Crum||Sr Stock||Washington QMA|
|CJ Christian-Benning||Lt Mod||Baylands QMA|
|Aaron Stowe||Hvy Mod||Little Wheels QMA|
|TJ Hartman||Lt 160||I-5 QMC|
|Matt Scott||Hvy 160||American QMA|
|Austin Kochenash||Lt B||Oaklane QMRC|
|Matt Scott||Hvy B||American QMA|
|TJ Hartman||Lt AA||I-5 QMC|
|Alex Bowman||Hvy AA||Pomona Valley QMRA|
|David White||Jr Half||Portland QMRA|
|Garret Johnson||Briggs W/F||I-5 QMC|