January Meeting Newsletter

Meeting 7-9pm-ish on January 10th, 2024, with the monthly meeting going down at Laurel Auto Clinic, aka “Carl’s Shop” Laurel, MT. While the temperature and a light dusting of snow softly fell, only the bestest, fastest, and smartest club members were in attendance tonight: Carl, Kindra, Chris, Lane, Micah, Darrin (last one to show, just like at his new job…) Luke, Christine, Bryant and David, along with two fellas representing Archie Cochrane Ford; Estephan and Trevor.

—-*Carl Jones (El Jefe), Lane Baumann (Treasurer), and Kindra Munda (Secretary) graced us with their presence this evening*—-


Lane reports that the club’s finances include “all the money”. Current balance accrued to the penny this month is:

Unfortunately, Lane couldn’t just stand up and whip it out, but we all believe how big the balance is. Bridger runway light debt is still outstanding, and many attempts have been made to rectify outstanding balance. This debt is now pushing 3 years, and suggestions have been made to just drop off the payment on the doorstep. We have been scolded after trying to push the payment on the airport people. Suggestions include going to the airport, Googling the fixture description, and just buying one and dropping it off. Another attempt will be made soon.

*First item for discussion was AxWare. It is time to renew our club subscription on the timing software. One year is $189, with 3 years being $510… a savings of $56. The majority voting for renewal was for the 3-year block, with one person voting no. (Since Kindra was sitting in Matt’s seat, it was her duty to follow in the footsteps of Matt and vote opposite…. Regardless of the sound logic that each idea may have presented.) Live timing was also discussed, with it having a one-time fee of $245. Live timing would include YR providing the server and we would run it ourselves. Positive aspects would include taking pressure off the board person by putting the timing on an app and being web based. ORM (Online Race Management) was another option that included AxWare taking care of everything, but the cost was $100/year with $35 in fees for each event. Concerns include having racers looking at their phones for times rather than having attention on the event, causing potential safety issues. The majority voted against using ORM, with one member in opposition, and she was ashamed that she had to vote this way. Another aspect of AxWare that has been brought to our attention is “Announcer’s Window”. This feature would allow a running list of times, staging queue, and constant updates of 5 or so very fast, athletic, good-looking racers brought up and displayed on a monitor. The constant updates and delayed time display for most recent past runs would also take some pressure off the board person. This monitor would sit outside the trailer and allow for display of everyone’s fast and graceful times as they are recorded. Bryant mentioned he has plenty of monitors that could work in this application. More to come.

*The next order of business was …. (wait for it….) This year’s ***AutoX SCHEDULE*** (yay!) Jason Davis with Archie Cochrane is still down to party. Estephan and Trevor will talk with Jason about how to possibly pick up the tab for the Metra, and/or possibly sponsor fees up to a certain amount for the Metra events. Another idea discussed tonight was to move Tech Day to Archie Cochrane Dealership to help promote Archie Cochrane Ford AND spread the word about Yellowstone Region 108 SCCA. Lane was chosen to be the designated voice of YR 108 and speak with Jason personally about how things will line up. The majority voted to allow (mostly) free reign over what those details will be. Only 2 hard++ rules were decided:
1. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to register. This rule will be checked at the registration table the day of the event. Drivers must show a valid ID at sign up.
2. Make sure all sponsored entries understand their cars will need to be passed for safety (pass tech inspection)
As opposed to hard rules, there were no soft rules. YR 108 is just very excited to have a sponsor.

*Co-op with Bozeman was discussed. Loren has details, and everyone is encouraged to go and show their support. Loren has been an outstanding supporter of YR events. Dates will be on the final printed schedule, but in case anyone forgot, the date is September 7 and 8. So then the topic was, “Who will be the Lone Ranger to go on this epic adventure to help coordinate with Loren”? Matt was volun-voted to be this Lone Ranger, and since he wasn’t here tonight to give another option, most all voted in majority. One person opposed even though she does not wish to be chosen herself for this task… (She probably drives a CoRoLLa….) Loren mentioned that if more people registered and showed, it would be more likely that the full course could be used. This idea is very intoxicating to many club members. Personally, I think this is a smashing idea and am very much looking forward to going. So please. Tell your friends and let’s get as many cars as possible up there so we can help support the other guys. An idea we thought about was loaning cones if necessary, and YR for sure bringing up our timing stuff. Matt will hash out the details, but details might be for proceeds to be divvied up like 80/20 or let them have all proceeds because we will be using their sanctioning. Either way. Come. Drive. Have fun. It will be fabulous. Maybe we could all go out to dinner or something.

*Posters. Dan McArthy with Downtown NAPA is the sponsor for our posters. Carl mentioned that historically, there have been many, many, many leftover posters at the end of the season. Even after we throw away from getting taped to the event tables. Suggestions included reducing the order to 100 this season. Chris mentioned that Kindra will more than likely take a few more than usual due to her car being voted as one of this year’s representative cars. She confirmed that she WILL in fact take a few more than a normal person would. We voted to keep the layout the same, and they will be printed here shortly. Kindra volunteered to pass out posters to merchants. She says she will have a good number of posters put up around our fair city to help promote the fun, exciting and rather expensive and addicting hobby we all love and enjoy.

*Merch. Matt reported to Carl that the merch supply is very low, and it is nearing the time to order. Suggestions were made to order new colors of shirts, but after Carl explained the ordering logic and how each color in each size would equal about 1.3 billion boxes, it was decided to keep the colors the same, with the exclusion of black. The black was hot in the summer and not very feasible. Micah had an idea for a new logo and showed it to everyone. David said after viewing this masterpiece that he feels like we would be skiing. It was a mountain background with a cone slalom coming forward with YR SCCA underneath. Several people thought we should ditch the mountains. Since no one else had any new logo ideas to present, ordering will be put on hold until we can decide to keep the same design, or someone can come up with a logo we all like. So far, only one had dared to take on that task. If you think you can do better, show up to the meeting and show us your idea. I dare you.

*Build Wars. Matt remotely moves to have the Build War sticker removed from the trailer. It was mentioned by Kindra (who drives a *GR* cOroLLa…. Thank you) that rather than just take the sticker off, we replace it with a “SPONSORED BY:” area where it is now and let those who sponsor us each year vie for that spot. Should the sponsor change next year, then they would have the option to put on something to advertise their business. For example, this year Archie Cochrane could take this large and rather very important surface on the trailer. Estephan and Trevor seemed to think Jason would really enjoy this idea. It will be discussed and there will be a decision soon.

*Lewistown Raceway. Not sure what this is about, there is only the title note but no *ACTUAL* notes. The Secretary probably zoned out a bit, dreaming of warmer weather and driving fast. *sigh* But, on reading past minutes from October, it was noted that a club member would try to make contact with the owner to see if we could use the venue for AutoX. This is why we read every month’s minutes AND go to every meeting. So, the word on Lewistown Raceway is: No response yet. And I say ‘yet’ because even though contact has been attempted multiple times, and no response has been received, we can still hope to have this as a future venue.

* Memorial Day Weekend. Chris announced that the Riverton Autocross, a club from Riverton, WY, is planning their annual season opener in Cody, Wyoming Memorial Day weekend. They aren’t part of SCCA, but they have a few people who have come to the Metra events and think it could be fun to have us come down. This should also be the same weekend as the Mustang Rally in Cody, and there usually is a decent number of cars there and fun activities to do. Street dance, music, and hillbilly action. Probably a burnout event to go see. If you think you’d like to see what Wyoming AutoX is all about, come join us. The Mustang event brings in a few non-local guys and it is rather amusing to watch. Last year there was a Mustang guy from Texas that had a very, VERY nice touring setup who came to race with us after the rally. His car was impressive, but sadly, his times were not. So, check out our Riverton Autocross on Facebook. Lee Rohn is the guy, and he is working really, really hard to organize a great schedule of events. If you can make it to Wyoming, there is fun to have there too.

*RallyX Safety Steward. If anyone is interested in becoming a Safety Steward for Rally, come talk to Carl or Bryant. It involves an online class and a video, as well as an application and shadowing at a few events. It takes about a month total. Bryant will put it up on Facebook if anyone would like to start on this grand adventure. So far, the Rally season has been as exciting and as fun as I was promised it would be. Surely there is one (or two) among us that would like to step up and commit to this noble cause? Remember, without a Safety Steward, we couldn’t have any of this fun. Darrin and Luke have mentioned that they would like to do this. Thank you.

*Next Rally. The Next Rally event will be January 21, 2024 at Yellowstone Drag Strip in Acton. Please dress warm; frostbite and windburn are nothing to joke about. Work before the 21st involves taking the trailer out and plugging it in to allow the batteries every chance to survive. It was announced that BMP (Billings Motor Park) is not a good venue for February, and that the remaining season of Rally will likely take place in Acton. 

*Meetings. If you have an opinion about any of these topics, or SCCA and YR 108 in general, please come to the meetings. We have chairs. It’s warm, it’s fun. There is laughter, roasting, snacks (sometimes), and as always, an opportunity to enhance your club member experience. Also, there can be great feats of strength. Tonight, Carl lifted his project Mustang. With only two hands. And laid it straight on its side. I was not the only person who was extremely impressed. Darrin was so excited, he stood up INSIDE the cab as it was sideways. He was immediately inspired to start work on the dash assembly, even though there wasn’t even a motor in it. Yet. 😊 Should you want to see how this was done; I encourage you to make time to attend. Adjourned at 8:08 PM.