From the desk of Ron Hedger, EMPA President
We’re pleased to report that we en-countered many EMPA members
hard at work during the February races in Florida. Besides their obvious racing interest, everyone expressed gratitude at being away from the nasty Northern winter for a week or two.
On opening night of the World of Out-law STP Sprint series events at Volusia Raceway Park, we presented the “Al Holbert Memorial National Driver
of the Year” statue to 2013 WoO champion Daryn Pittman prior to him
receiving his champions ring from World Racing Group officials.
Along with his appreciation, Pittman expressed his pleasure at earning the award the same year that friend and longtime rival Freddy Rahmer was voted “Richie Evans Northeast Driver of the Year,” noting that the duo ran one-two in the Williams Grove National Open in 2013. We thank member Joe Jennings for sharing his photos of the event.
Former member Kevin Kovac tells us that he is leaving his position as publicity director for the WoO LM tour to assume a full-time position with a racing website devoted to the late models. He will, of course, resume his EMPA membership, meaning that everyone entering their 2014 work in the Pocono Raceway writing contest will have to step up their game a notch or two to stay competitive.
Speaking of the writing contest, we remind those planning on entering any of our professional competitions that the entry deadlines for 2014 will come even earlier this year, as the convention begins the day after New Years and we need to have the en-tries judged and the trophies ordered well ahead of the convention. It’s never too early to start thinking about which story, photo or video you will enter and putting the top possibilities aside.
If you have suggestions for improving the contests or can offer insight into needed rule changes, please send your thoughts to Dino Oberto (Writing), Bob Yurko (Photography) or Ron Hedger (Video) so they can be considered. We are also collecting possible topics for the very popular legal seminar at
email@example.com and Earl Krause always appreciates suggestions for EMPA Hall of Fame consideration. Send the name and supporting information to Earl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to new member Kimberly Forcellina of Race Pro Weekly. A number of members who did not renew until after the convention have recently done so. We sent a reminder in January to everyone who had not renewed and the response was encouraging.
For those who have yet to do so, we will be dropping everyone who has not renewed from the database soon, so this will be your last newsletter.
And, as always, we remind members to recruit fellow media members for EMPA membership during your rounds of the speedways this season. Most of our new members tell us they had thought of joining but didn’t take the plunge until someone encouraged them and explained what we do and how much they could learn by attending the annual convention.
Tim Southers of NASCAR recently asked if the sanction could send our members updates from their wire service, so we supplied him with everyone's e-mail address. Should you decide you do not want the updates after checking a few out, please send me a note and I will have Tim remove your name from their media list.
Convention chairman Brett Deyo and committee member Len Sammons have confirmed the dates for the 2015 convention and returned our contract to the Crowne Plaza. They are also investigating another location for future use, as a major hotel has asked to bid for our business. While we have had no problems with our current location and it has received rave reviews from the membership, it is always good business to explore options. We did so last year with our trophy suppliers and saved a considerable amount over past years.
While we have yet to set a date for the spring board of directors meeting due to a number of scheduling conflicts, it will certainly be held before everyone gets buried in mid-week racing. If you have concerns or suggestions, please bring them to my attention or the attention of one of the board members in the near future.
For those who were not present for the business meeting at the convention, I would be remiss if I did not mention that longtime Penske-man and EMPA member Dan Luginbuhl again made a sizeable contribution to the association in January. While we have yet to decide how it will be applied, it will certainly be put to good use in updating our operations. If you see Dan in your travels, please thank him.
If you win an award, get married, hit the Powerball lotto or do anything else of interest to the membership, please let us know and we’ll send the word along to the other members especially if you hit the lotto.
Board of Directors:
Ron Hedger, President–518-369-1941 or
Dino Oberto, Vice President –570-401-8168 or
Len Sammons –609-888-3618 or
Earl Krause –609-888-3618 or
Brett Deyo –845-728-2781 or
Until next time.....