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Editor: Rich Bailey
Last updated: 6/29/22
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2022 Schedule

Thomas Radley Event
Willamette Speedway

Woodburn Season Opener
Cascade High School
Blown Alcohol, Yakima
Independence Parade
Independence Days
Marion County Fair
Blown Alcohol, Medford
Oregon State Fair
Fall Classic
Bauman Farms TBA
Christmas Parade

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Blown Alcohol Thunder
Get series info here!
Winter Rod and Speed Show
Current Info
Sponsorship 101
How to find and
serve a sponsor
Thunder in the Pipes
stories by former PIR and SIR Promoter
Jim Rockstad
Don Garlits
The crash that lead to his last race as a full time pro driver
Johnny and The Distractions
A solute to one of Portland's greatest rock bands ever!



A Wet Spring and a Cruel Chain Reaction of Double Trouble From Woodburn All the Way to Yakima

It all began at the Season Opener in Woodburn when a band tensioner in a fresh transmission gave way at the starting launch and the band welded itself to the drum. During the chain reaction of doom and gloom the engine blew a head gasket and it was discovered that the rings had to be replaced. After three rainy weekends and countless weekday hours the car was ready to go to Yakima.

The trip to Yakima was typical. A fun time until we got into town. I wasn't there for more than 45 minutes before getting flipped off in town by the locals...twice and almost had a collision with a box van on a double round-a-bout I was not used too. The breaks on the truck worked great!

Back at the track and after some Safeway chicken we had our first stanza later in the evening with former teammate and all around good guy Troy Hanneman. It was a good run for us accept I left a little too early and didn't get a time. But everything worked and the car got down the track until a stream of smoke exited the engine at the end of the run. Back at the pit we check the screen which was clean, checked the compression and it was good, and finally the valves were good. The problem is likely oil getting past the rings which is a first here.

So the game plan is to display the car in Independence and then do the Marion County Fair. After the fair, the engine will be removed and taken to Don's Machine to be rebuilt before racing the car again.


AmericanTrucks' 2014 Silverado Customer Spotlight Build Breakdown 

AmericanTrucks is back with another installment of our Customer Spotlight series. In this episode AT host, Eric Donaldson, joins Silverado owner, Theresa Suefer, in an in-depth build break down. 

Eric gets in to each of the modifications on Theresa's build and shines some light on the inspiration behind them.

Check it out here: https://www.americantrucks.com/profiles/147044


Dragster Displayed at Speedway Community Event

What a great grassroots community event that the Capitol Auto Group Dragster was a part of this past Saturday! The community came out in droves including the Eugene television stations KMTR who filmed our car, KEZI and KVAL, along with our friends at radio station KRKT to support the motorsports extravaganza birthday bash for Thomas Radley, a 14-year-old who sadly has stage 4 bone cancer.

Everyone from all walks of life came out to the Willamette Speedway from families, classic car people, stock car fans, and even the once-maligned biker crowd (who I had not heard about in years) showed up but bless their hearts they came peacefully to support Thomas!

At noon, these one-time outlaw bikers started and revved up their bikes and joined others to wave as a parade of Police SUVS, the county SWAT team, the local Fire Department, marine rescue operations, a long limo, and finally, a McLaren containing the birthday boy himself entered the facility and made a lap around the giant parking lot. Over 1,100 cars were on display. We fired up the Capitol Auto Group Dragster twice and the interest in the car was great all day long. We also presented the last shirt and publicity picture I had from last season to Thomas.

This was a good opportunity to make sure the car was running correctly and everything worked well before heading to the track in a few weeks. This event was a real hootenanny that will be remembered for some time even though we wish it wasn't for this reason and wish Thomas the best with more birthdays to come. Thanks to Brent Sanford and Dave Morris for their help at this event. Job well done!


Winter Rod and Speed Show and Swap Meet a Big Hit

Albany, OR - The Winter Rod and Speed Show was likely the most successful event in it's 15 year history. This year we put the "speed" back in the show and had a strong showing of dragsters and a nitro funny car including Gregg Lawrance's Nitro A/Fuel Dragster, Albany's own Garrett Bateman and California transplant Dennis Taylor's Mustang funny car. Also on hand was Jame's Taylor's new car pictured sitting next the the always present Capitol Auto Group Dragster. A blown alcohol drag boat was also on display and both Willamette Speedway, Woodburn Dragstrip and Race's for Christ had booths at the show.

This year a swap meet located in the back building was added to the show which boosted attendance through the roof on Saturday under the watchful eye of Jim Billings. On Friday night was our openning entertainment night feature the classic rock band back again who rocked the show. If you missed them, they will be "back again" next year.

As for the cars, a beautiful selection of mostly midvalley-owned hot rods, muscle cars and classics filled the floor to an appreciative crowd. A big thanks to our show sponsors AA Towing and SCA Detailing of Salem.

Read More Event Coverage Here