METRO ATLANTA QUARTER MIDGET ASSOCIATION HISTORY
In April 1973, there was an article in the Marietta Daily Journal announcing a display race at Sandy Springs ball park in Marietta Georgia. Three families had been racing in Huntsville, Alabama and decided it was time to start an Atlanta Area Club. These members were the Dressens, Gassaways, and Carrs. From this small exhibition race, three more families joined with them to form the Metro Atlanta Quarter Midget Racing Association. These three families were the Mixs, Elams, and the Fowlers and these six members are the chart members of this organization. The first president was Dave Dressen.
Permission was given by the county to hold Sunday afternoon races at the ball park in the parking lot. A track was “painted” and hay bales were brought in for each race. The first race was held May 13, 1973 with nine drivers. National QMA president, Bill Hawes, came from Huntsville, Alabama to present the trophies for the race.
The “timing tower” and “concession stands” were card tables. Hay bales were borrowed and returned each race day. It was work, but it was fun. Eight races were held at Sandy Plains.
Displays were held at Treasure Island in Marietta, Dixie Speedway, West Atlanta Raceway and at the State Fair that summer and the membership increased to 14 families by the end of the 1973 season.
By the Fall of the same year, they had built an asphalt oval track in Powder Springs. It was a 1/16 mile oval track and was located 3/4 mile west of Powder Springs on Hwy 278. The Powder Springs track was at least 200 years back into the woods and you had to cross a railroad track to get to the race track. In 1984, a proposal was sent to Cobb County Park and Recreation Department to consider building a new track. In 1985, the Powder Springs track property was sold and zoned industrial. The Club began to look for a new track site.
In October of 1988, Cobb County Parks and Recreation Department spearheaded by Commission, Emmett Burton, voted to build a track at the Marietta location of 1773 County Farm Road. The Marietta track was a concrete 12-degree bank speed bowl. Financial was a joint venture between MAQMA and Cobb County Parks and Recreation Department. The County was convinced that this sport was beneficial to the children and wanted to offer this opportunity to Cobb youngsters along with their other recreational programs.
February 1, 2001, the Club received a letter to vacate the property. All of the Club’s property was stored in two self-storage buildings until it was given to the Lanier track. Cobb County said that the Club could move to Fair Grounds and the Parks and Recreation Department would help with the move. However, that was canceled by the County.
The Club then asked the Mayor of Powder Springs if they could move back to the old track. That was eventually canceled because of the danger crossing the unguarded railroad tracks. Cobb County had property in West Cobb and the Club was on the master plan for years. The property was to have a remote control airplane strip, QM track, and other recreations. When the nearby resident became aware that a QM track was to be built, they contacted the County Commissioners to protest the noise and the Commissioner upheld their request.
An exhibition race was put on in the City of Canton. The club was promised a place on the property to be developed. The property was never developed. Still looking for a place to race, Club members went to the Cherokee County Parks and Recreation Department’s meeting to ask for the property to build a track. The Club was told by the Chairman that there was a piece of property that they could use. The Club jumped the gun and started clearing the property before a contract was signed. Once again neighbors found out a QM track was being built and contacted the Cherokee County Commissioner. The Commissioner said that the Parks and Recreation Department did not own the property and had no right to give it to MAQMA.
In time, all the members left the Club except the Treasurer, Jack Slayton. He continued to pay the storage building each month until he was told some racers wanted to build a track at Lanier. He agreed to give them everything as long as they called the Lanier Track, MAQMA.