Not quite a year after starting up, Valley Motorsports Association (VMA) held the first annual general meeting with 43 members in attendance. It was a celebration of accomplishments and plans were made for the future.   

President Chris Unrau said it's exciting to be gaining a critical mass of people who are excited about motorsports in the region, proving there is an appetite for the sport locally.  

"It is building community, giving people a place to go and practice their sport that they enjoy, or participate in observing it, or helping crew on a car. Whether you're a spectator or fan crew racer, there's lots of different places for people to get involved. All in all, it's been an incredibly busy and exciting first year, and there's even more on top for this year." 

Victory Lane at the Watermelon Cup 2023(From DHCS social media) Victory Lane at the Watermelon Cup 2023 - James Wall winner and President Chris Unrau holding the Watermelon with two volunteers.

Despite a minor financial loss, VMA was satisfied with the financial performance of the first year transforming the former ALH Motor Speedway, 3 miles West of Morden, to Dead Horse Creek Speedway, thanks to many volunteers and sponsors, reported Unrau. The non-profit organization was able to raise $20,000 for the BTHC Foundation expansion project with just two events last year. 

Unrau said support is growing and explained why it is so popular in this area. 

"I think inherently in a rural area, we are just going to have a higher percentage of our population that are gearheads, people that just enjoy that kind of thing, motorsports. Where a lot of us come from a farming background, so we know what it's like to make a diesel engine run or whatever, so it's just part of our heritage, part of our background, part of what makes us a rural community."  

Someone speaking at the AGM

VMA describes itself as grass-roots enthusiasts whose mission is to advance Motorsports for the region's enjoyment.  

"As more people get involved and participate, you tend to get this critical mass where I pull in my friends and they see what it's all about, get excited, enjoy the sport, and then they pull in their friends. So, it's kind of a little bit of a snowball effect I think that's happening. We've always had a strong contingent of people in this region that participate in Motorsports. Whether it's auto racing or tractor poles or motocross or car shows or just driving a Harley, there's lots of gearheads in this area, so I think that's a big part of it."  

Unrau said VMA plans to add at least one event this year in May to the July 5/6 Watermelon Cup and the August 23/24 King of the Corn events, called the Cadillac Cup with preliminary plans for a drag race or tractor pull in the works.

At each event there is feature entertainment. The Cadillac Cup will have a free style motorcross performer, an airshow like last year at the Watermelon Cup, and the King of Corn event will end the year off with fireworks and a live band.

Brothers Keep performing at the King of Corn event(From DHCS social media) Band "Brothers Keep" performing at the King of Corn event.

"If anybody wants to be involved with what we do, be a part of what we're doing, there's a lot of opportunities for volunteering, for helping out, participating in various different ways. We need people to help drive equipment. We need people to help maintain the facilities. We need people to sit at booths at the events, security, ticket takers, you name it, there's all kinds of opportunities to get involved. It's a real good time. It's a family atmosphere." 

Unrau said he does this because he loves motorsports, he loves building community and it's a lot of fun.  

The AGM concluded with a working session to brainstorm and to suggest improvements for the five board of directors to implement in the upcoming season.