Depending on one’s point of view, Jim “Timex” Morgan is either a man who used his money to divide the world of local TQ Midget racing or, as some others insist, someone who was unfairly punished by an existing TQ series, and with no other place for him to race, helped form a new rival series that they say is providing a positive alternative.
Either way, in what has become a split area TQ Midget racing scene, Morgan is hoping for an eventual reunification in the TQ ranks. If that doesn’t happen he will continue to provide his allegiance in future years to the new After Hours Imaging Empire State TQ Midget Series.
Since 1988, there was just one local TQ Midget racing sanctioning club in the area, the traveling Casey’s TQ Midget Racing Series, which has since been renamed the New York/Pennsylvania Midget Association (NYPAMA).
Following a disagreement in 2011 between Morgan and the Casey’s series management, Morgan was suspended for verbal abuse. After serving his suspension, he asked to be reinstated in the Casey’s group but has not been allowed back into the fold.
This led to the formation of a second and new rival club, the After Hours Imaging Empire State TQ Midget Racing Series. Now both series operate independent of one another and are both self-managed.
The NYPAMA travels to various tracks but races mostly at Holland Motorsports Complex. The Empire group competes exclusively at Elegant Builders Raceway Park (EBRP) in Lancaster.
Often both series run at separate speedways on the same night, negatively affecting the car counts of both.
While both EBRP and Holland managements have contracts that allow each group to race at their respective tracks, neither speedway management has any control over decisions made within the group.
“I had issues with some of the ways things were being officiated and managed in the Casey’s group and I voiced them,” said Morgan. “They didn’t like it and they suspended me. When I served my suspension, I asked to be reinstated.” He’s still hoping to be reinstated.
NYPAMA public relations director Joe Barber countered a few weeks ago. “Let’s just say that when we decided when we were the Casey’s series to not let Timex back in our series all that I’m going to say is that it was in the best interest of our series for a few different reasons,” Barber said.
“So after the suspension I had four race cars and I wanted to race,” Morgan said. “So a few months ago I approached a bunch of drivers and owners and asked if they would like to get together and form a group that wanted to race at Lancaster. I told them if a series was formed I would put up the money to sponsor it.
“They agreed to it and through my company I own, After Hours Imaging, I gave $30,000 of my money to the new Empire series. Of that amount, $20,000 was given to Elegant Builders Raceway Park promoter Ralph Galluzzi to pay the Empire race purses throughout the whole season. The other $10,000 went into an account that is the Empire series 2013 point fund that will be paid to the drivers at the end of our season.”
Morgan said that he made sure that he was not part of the new Empire series board of directors and is merely a driver in the series.
How has the new Empire series fared in its short history?
“We’ve had good racing and I think the drivers like the fact that we have a race purse that is posted and guaranteed before each event,” Morgan said. “It’s true we’ve had low car counts so far but my hope is that by the end of this season we have 12-15 cars per race.”
While Morgan is involved with trying to help grow the Empire group, ultimately he hopes that the Empire and NYPAMA camps can somehow mend their fences and unify back into one sole group.
“Hey, do you think I like to spend $30,000 on a series in a world of two rival racing groups that are split up?” Morgan asked. “No way.”
• The Race of Champions (ROC) Asphalt Modified Tour will make a stop at Holland on Saturday night for the Holland 100. Also on the night’s card is the weekly Holland NASCAR Pro Modifieds competing in the “Battle for Western New York” 35. It’s a non-handicapped event, so any area teams from other speedways can come and draw for starting positions.
Non-NASCAR Pro Modified teams must purchase a 10-day $50 temporary NASCAR license for the NASCAR Pro Modified 35-lapper. Local fans Mike Piscitello and Rob Laskowski have spearheaded a lap sponsorship program for the Holland 100. Modified supporter Jim Schaefer has donated $1,000 to be divided among the top three finishers in the Holland 100.
• After a long layoff since its June 8 rainout, Little Valley Speedway continues its special event season tonight at 7 with the $3,000-to-win ULMS Super Late Model/$1,000-to-win BRP Can Am Series doubleheader. Advance sale tickets for the Aug. 22 appearance of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series visit to Little Valley go on sale today. For more information, call 938-9146.