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Capitol Race Team Partners with The Children’s Cancer Association

The Capitol Dragster at the Cancer Relay for Life in 2018

Rich Bailey, driver of the Capitol Auto Group Dragster, will be partnering with the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) for the 2019 racing season to help deliver joy to seriously ill kids and teens in the Portland area.

“Cancer affects people of all ages and walks of life, so we thought we could do some good supporting this organization. The effects of cancer have enormous impacts on the entire family and CCA is there to make things just a little more tolerable by transforming even the smallest moment into a joyful one,” Bailey said.

Bailey is not new to the organization or donating his resources to the cancer fight. Bailey, a co-founder of the Winter Rod and Speed Show, along with Jim Billings and show sponsor Burgerville, have been donating a portion of the Winter Rod and Speed Show’s proceeds to CCA for many years and will again this year. Most recently, the 200 MPH dragster was displayed at the Relay For Life and Bailey has hosted many families affected by cancer at the track.

Bailey plans to host “a day at the races” for CCA-served kids and their families. Bailey will also display race cars at CCA-related events and even feature CCA’s logo on one of the cars.

“People always ask about the names on the car, so this will be an incredible opportunity to help build CCA’s awareness and give us a chance to direct people to CCA that may know someone that needs the support,” said Bailey.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with Rich and the race team and look forward to hosting CCA families at the race track. Thank you so much for helping us deliver many moments of joy for seriously ill kids and teens in our community,” said CCA Event Specialist Bryndis Hjalmarsdottir.

In addition to CCA, the Capitol Race Team is a part of the Drums and Disabilities charity. The race car competes on the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series race circuit, which has races in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.



Bailey's Blog:
The Pomona Pit Rat Report

The new DHL Top Fueler looks sharp but DHL is not new over in the Kalitta camp.

Of all the races I could have made it to the Winternationals was a poor choice. The last time I was at the Winternationals Don "the Snake" Prudhomme was still driving the Skoal Bandit Top Fuel Dragster but it just wasn't as great this time around as it was in back then. Let's start with the rain. Being from Oregon, I felt right at home with cold temps and lots of rain. Regardless, they got the race in after having to stretch it out until Monday. Hat’s off to NHRA for handling the situation as well as anyone could.

The other thing that was troubling was the shortage of cars in most of the classes including Top Fuel. This made qualifying anti-climatic. Sadly thought it wasn’t just the rain and short fields that were disappointing, it’s what the pro Mello Yello series has evolved into. What was once a spectacular sport, has turned into a sport no longer very exciting even though the cars go 300 MPH.

Gone are the long burnouts and the cackle from the engines. There's the shorter track and lots of aborted runs. Also gone is the persona of open access to just about everyone’s pit area. The welcome mat has slowly evolved into a no trespassing sign other than signs welcoming corporate guests of it’s current sponsor. Granted, I have seen this for several years but now with the independent teams evaporating before our very eyes it’s much more obvious that it's more of a country club setting for VIP's than it ever used to be.

Now, every row in the pro pits is just about taken up by one multi-car team and endless hospitality trailers. What used to take one semi to support a professional team now takes two hooked together and a special tent to grind clutches. There is usually another tractor trailer at the top end of the track loaded with additional parts and machines. Add up the cost for three semis per car to conduct business around the country twice and it’s not a wonder the pro pits are beginning to thin out. Of course every team has their descretion of how many trailers they need on the road but the point is what small independent team can afford to compete with all that? One single car team I used to do PR for went through four engines at the World Finals alone!

Once Billy Meyer said let’s take drag racing to the next level. Congratulations, we are now there but it didn’t help. Instead, going to the next level made everything worse. Now, it cost so much to race one of these cars that the ROI (return on investment) isn’t what it once was. In 1990 everyone had a deal and you could budget a team for a full season for under $500,000. Now, it takes three million per year and counting. Usually, the Winternationals is known for all of the new look cars and new sponsors coming out. Not this year. Other than a smattering of news regarding the multi-car teams, Jim Dunn appeared to be one of the only teams to have a fresh new sponsor program that included a wrap on the semi and on the car.

Usually in National Dragster's first issue there’s a “What’s New” section that gives its reader’s the scoop on exciting new sponsors and paint schemes. Not this year. Really the only big news besides a second Top Fuel team for Force was the reverse, that Tony Schumacher would not be racing at Pomona. Making it to “the next level” never improved the sport’s popularity with major sports publications either. USA Today didn’t even bother to report on the Winternationals while dedicating a lot of space to a stock car race that hadn’t been run yet. All “the next level” has done for drag racing is increased operating costs and consolidated the pro classes into a half dozen teams.

As someone who has supported this sport my whole life, I take no joy in reporting this. There have been a lot of suggestions made leading up to this year’s Winternationals about cutting costs. The longtime fans knew this day would eventually come. Now major league drag racing is at a cross roads and it’s time get serious and cut costs so more teams can once again enter the sport before just the big three are left.

- Rich Bailey



The 2019 Winter Show Another Grand Slam for Racing and Car Fans Alike!

The Winter Rod and Speed Show was another grand slam yet again this year! There was a great turn out of people both days and rave reviews by many of them! Many commented that they thought the 12th annual show was the best Winter Rod and Speed Show ever! Perhaps it was, but there really hasn't been a bad one which makes this show one of the best indoor shows in the Pacific Northwest in spite of th small market. But the midvalley is still a hotbed for nice hot rods.

There were a few of the usual snafus like yours truly forgetting little details like plates for the exhibitor pizza feed prior to the show opening but other than that it was a great all around event! The cars were incredible and the quality of them was awesome. Lots of socializing by old friends went on as well. Unlike other shows, there is a heavy emphasis on racing and Jim Moore's new Funny Car (pictured) drew a lot of attention through out the two day show.

Thanks to everyone that entered a car and braving the wet weather. Thanks to our vendors, the car clubs especially for their participation, our VIP guests in no particular order: Kenny Youngblood , Joey and Cherie Severance, Steve Hamilton and Alan Paradise and the VIP volunteers: Russ Casady, Steve Majerak, Dave and Carolyn Wilson, Meagan Wilson, Jason Grassman My wife Susan Susan Murphy Bailey, Nicole Dooley, Dayle Langley, Ken Parsons and my partner since the start of this 12 years ago the awesome Jim Billings! And a special thanks to our sponsors Burgerville, AA Towing, Woodstock Motorsports, KLOO FM, KRKT, KYKN Radio, Bi Mart, Flatline Fab and Salem Blue! And finally we appreciate everyone that supported our efforts by coming to the show! This event will be back in January of 2020!

- Rich Bailey

Crew News:
Cap Racing Welcomes Steve Majerak

Capitol Racing welcomes Steve Majerak to the race team as our newest team member. Steve will do a great job servicing the car as well as proudly represent our sponsors. I met Steve last year when he entered his beautiful Challenger into our winter show. Sadly he recently sold the Challenger but indicated he would be interested in joining the team. Today he made it official after giving it much thought. Steve will be a great fit and a team player along side Russ and I which is most important.

We are still looking for one more crew member. Must have some experience in racing or good mechanical skills. Also, must be reliable, be able to travel and have the drive to work hard and have fun without a lot of hang ups that would get in the way of being successful on the team. Call 503-370-9164 or Email us here if interested!

- Rich Bailey



Dry Weather and Great Turnout Greet Another Great Christmas Parade

The annual Festival of Lights Holiday Parade was a giant success yet again for the city of Keizer, located just north of Salem. Salem gave up the parade and everything else associated with the Christmas Holiday in the last few years. For an example, this year the City of Salem didn’t even bother to put up street decorations downtown. So, the move to Keizer turned out to be the best thing for the parade as Christmas is still in style in Keizer.

Salem’s loss proved to be Keizer’s gain as thousands lined the streets and this year's event may have had it's biggest turnout of spectators ever since moving to Keizer. The parade was supposed to have ended at Glynbrook Street but Instead the street was packed with people forcing the parade to continue an extra block south of Glynbrook. Other than the cold but dry weather the parade went went off with out a hitch.

The Capitol Rocketeer Group Dragster looked awesome again this year as we tried LED tape lights we had special ordered from Norvac's Electronics. Now that we know it works, next year we are going all LED on the body and showcase the engine with usual white lights. A big thanks to the team including my friends Russ Casady Steve Majerak Dave Morris and Jason Grassman that hade the event possible.


Top 5 Blown Alcohol Thunder Finishers Honored at Posh HoJo Plaza Hotel

The top five finishers in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series were awarded for their great season at the posh and upscale Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Yakima, Washington. The awards event was held in conjunction with the Renegade Raceway Award Banquet held simultaneously.

Leading the way with his third Championship title was none other than Brent Jones of Stevensville, Montana. Runner up honors went to Canadian Dave Kroeker, the third place recipient was Spokane’s Jeff Cassell, Jim Seivers had a very impressive season by taking fourth place and Dave Newton rounds out the top five. In addition, special awards were also given out in several different categories.

This season, the six race series began in Boise with stops in Spokane, Yakima, Billings, Butte before returning to Spokane. The Blown Alcohol Thunder competitors would like to thank Good Vibrations Motorsports, TCS Torque Converters and Flatline Fabrication for their support of the series in 2018.


Corvallis Rolls Out the Red Carpet

This past Saturday we had the dragster at the Corvallis Burgerville. Customers and even people driving by stopped to look at our retro “Rocketeer” version we still had on our chassis from Bauman Farms the week before. There was a consistent flow of people, mostly families much of the day. I signed pictures for the kids and even ran out the last of our publicity cards!

Everyone that stopped by were really nice and I was told that someone even went in and thanked the management for having the car there. A common remark to me was “wow I had no idea this was going to be here!” To make things even better, a reporter from the local newspaper came by and did a short interview with me and a customer and published the story.

Here is the Gazette Times newspaper link from our car display at the Corvallis Burgerville:


The Rocketeer Returns to Bauman's

The Rocketeer was back for at least our annual appearance at Bauman Farms!

For the last couple of years we have thought about switching bodies for our annual trip to Bauman Farms since it's a kids event and it's halloween. With the help of Dave and Davie Morris the body was switched for the event. Sadly though it was just for one day as the rain moved in sooner that expected. Leaving the car there overnight would have been irresponsible as inclement weather got worse over night but lightened up some on Sunday. The event itself was a big hit for both the kids and the adults. No decision yet on when the "marketeer" body will be back on the car.


Sunshine Equals a Good Fall Show

The sunshined for two streight weeks allowing us to have a second car show in as many weeks to kick off the Winter Rod and Speed Show application drive. And it was a success as most of the cars that were there plan to be in that Winter Rod and Speed Show slated for January 18-19. About 35 cars were in attendance! Thanks to Burgerville for giving out gift cards. There was also a free drawing that kept everyone's interest.

About 35 cars packed the Albany Burgerville lot for the Winter Show Kick Off.


Fall Colors Car Show a Big Success!

The Fall Colors Benefit Car Show was a big success thanks in part to the nice weather and the willingness by the local car enthusiasts to help someone in need. Close to 100 cars filled the lot of Rock-n-Rogers classic 50's diner as well as the surrounding lots. The family made $2,225.00 to help with Brad Chrisman's rising medical costs due to his cancer diagnosis. A lot of great items were donated for the silent auction. If you missed it well lets just say it's fair to mention that you missed a great show.

Of note: None other than Alan Paradise the notable Hollywood screenwriter who created the blockbuster Pearl Harbor as well as the recent Snake & Mongoose movie anmong many others was on hand. He even entered a car in the show. He was a litle surprised when I knew who he was.

Of note: The only bad situation that occurred was that someone stuffed the ballot box for the People's Choice Award. But they were caught red handed, horsewhipped, shot at close range and banned from any future shows. The real winner was then awarded the fabulous trophy.


Capitol Dragster Popular Attraction at Air Show

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster has so far been a popular feature at the Oregon International Air Show held at the Hillsborro Airport. The event caps off a trifecta of major Oregon summer events in 2018 which also includes the Oregon State Fair and the Western Days celebration in Monmouth and Independence.

This is the first time in several years the dragster has been to this premier event. Headlining this year's air show is the Canadian Snowbirds and a C130 among other big planes. Bring your camera!


Fall Closes in on 2018 Race Season

Summer is officially over. Time for the little resort towns to prepare for the winter and the very last stop of the year for the ice cream truck has come and gone. For drag racing in many parts of the country it’s really no different as guys and the ladies hang up their fire suits and begin to wonder about next season. Meanwhile, dragstrip operators begin to plan for next year while placing the christmas tree and other equipment into storage.

The Fall Classic at Woodburn was the last race of the 2018 racing season for the Capitol team. Unfortunately, it didn’t end as we would have liked. On Saturday, it was windy and it rained off and on throughout much morning and early afternoon. Unfortunately, we had some starter issues and went through four of them before crying uncle and finally driving up to Portland to buy a new one at a Baxter Auto Parts store. We installed it and presto the problem was fixed. A good kid by the name of Heyden from California helped install the starters and we hope to get his help again next year.

On Sunday, we fired the dragster up first thing in the morning and it sounded super so we were optimistic that the car was going run great and it was going to be a good day. Finally, it was our turn to make a run only to push out a head gasket at the no. 2 cylinder right where it did at the Night of Fire race. So rather than go to Yakima in a couple of weeks for the NHRA Super Quick race we are ending the season now and figure out what is going on with the no. 2 cylinder before we run it again.

However, there are still a lot of events we will be doing and we will display the car every weekend until the rainy season begins in November and then end the year with the Christmas Parade in Keizer.

-Rich Bailey

Capitol Racing Goes Interactive at the 50's in the Fall Car Show!

The Capitol Dragster was at the 50’s in the Fall car show hosted by the Rollin Oldies Car Club in Lebanon. It was a chance for Russ and I to work on the car as we made it sort of an interactive display and it went over well. Even though we worked on the car we still let the kids sit in it and lots of pictures were signed. We had not had a chance to work on the car since Spokane due to the long two week run at the Oregon Sate Fair which happened immediately after the Spokane race if you include the set up day.

While we were taking a lunch break, all of the sudden a familiar face arrived to help, Rick Klampe, our former crew chief. If was like old times and we jelled like we used to while working on the car. He might be coming back next year and I have to say I really enjoyed all the years we raced together. This was a good test and it went well. As for the engine, by and large it’s fine but we need to replace some Jessel adjuster cups and a bent push rod so we opted to do that this week and hopefully be at the Fall Classic for the last big race of the year at Woodburn.

-Rich Bailey

Dragster a Surprise Hit in Albany

The Capitol Dragster was on display at “Antiques in the Streets” in Albany this past Saturday. There was a steady group of people including small families that came by to look at the car. At the end of the day the dragster won the “more muscle” award. Thanks to Russ Casady for all of his help! Who would have thought this event would draw so many families but it did.


BIG Exposure at the Oregon State Fair!

The Capitol Dragster was on display at the Oregon State Fair for the entire 11 day run which is a first after many partial appearances there in the past. On the weekends it has been crazy busy as over 100,000 people from all over the state converged on the fairgrounds for the annual event that includes just about everything including concerts, thrill rides, attractions, livestock and lots of things to buy. The Capitol Dragster was the only race car on the property and it represented its marketing partners well.

This year the dragster was displayed in the GK Machine's "Motor Mania" display area located near the midway near their spectacular five engine tractor puller. It is estimated by an employee at GK that a photo was taken nearly every one to two minutes of someone in the dragster during peak times! The display was staffed nearly 90 percent of the time during daylight hours.

A big thanks to GK Machine and the Oregon State Fair for this very special opportunity. And of course a giant thanks to Russ Casady for doing a great job interacting with the crowd and staffing the display every day during the fair. This was without a doubt our best fair yet as the weather has been excellent and the interest in the dragster has never been bigger then it was here.


Adventures Both Good and Bad in Spokane at Season Finale!

I shouldn't be telling you all of this but racing is mechanical and sometimes things don’t go your way when the engine is constantly looking for the weakest link. Especially on a blown alcohol engine! But except for their nitro counterparts and jet cars blown alcohol is the most exciting racing you will see on a dragstrip. The best way to sum up our weekend at the Nitro Summer Nationals in Spokane was that it resembled a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows. But overall, I would have to say it was a “cruel summer” race, the second one we had this year after the very sad state of affairs in Boise, Idaho where nothing seemed to go right.

So, what were the highs in Spokane? For my teammate Russ Cassidy and I, it was the adrenalin we both got trying to get the car ready for the third round while retorquing the valve train, packing the chutes and servicing the car on time before getting called to the line. Another highlight was being part of a special moment by taking a 10 year old boy with bone cancer over to the Warped Speed Jet Car team to meet driver Richard Smith. And in addition to the entire Hare family, who always root for us when we roll into Spokane, Jeremy Hare stepped in when we were short on help and did a great job. We also got some help from Brent Jones and Jeff Cassle, two of my fellow racers. And finally, the Spokane fans that supported our team through kind words and strong t-shirt sales.

What were the lows? On the top of my list was a crew member who never bothered to show up and help us on Saturday and instead used the comp tickets we gave him to watch the races with his wife from the grandstand. After all of this hard work the week before, he just fizzled out without ever saying a word to us. Another low was our air bottle that leaked overnight causing the car not to run on the first pass Saturday.

The best we could get the car to run was a 7.35 at 185 MPH on the second qualifier. Needless to say we never made it to the FINAL FOUR. When we got back to the pits after the second qualifier we noticed three push rods had moved in the valve train. We were advised to torque down the towers which we did. What came next was a financial victory.

I’m not sure where to start other than to say my instincts were right and I made a judgement call that saved our new engine from becoming a boat anchor. In front of a giant crowd, under the lights I did my burnout and as I moved towards the starting line something didn't sound 100 percent right so I had to decide in seconds whether to run it or play it safe. I decided to shut myself down to the surprise of people around the starting line who didn't notice anything was wrong and never attempted to shut me off. We towed the car back to the pits on the "tow of shame" right in front of thousands in the stands and it turned out to be the best decision I could have ever made as we had a loose rocker tower and three loose push rods. Had I made the run it would have been catastrophic.

So we will have to go back to square one and regroup with the blown alcohol thunder series in the books for yet another year. I may have a big announcement soon on a new crew chief. If we can get him on board and we've been talking off and on since Boise, I think things will go back to the way they were prior to this up and down season.

-Rich Bailey

Dragster Gets Back in the Sixes at Woodburn for Rock'n Weekend!

It was a busy weekend for the Capitol race team. First, aside from my 27th anniverary on Friday, July 27th, we made an exhibtion run Saturday night at the Night of Fire Drag Races at Woodburn Dragstrip. It was our first six second run with our new engine as it ran a 6.95 at just 185 MPH. Unfortunately, I heard something and noticed some smoke and got off the throttle or it would have been an even quicker pass.

It turned out I had destroyed a head gasket and an intake gasket on the run. We tore the engine down to check for further damage but there wasn’t any thank goodness. I was just glad i didn't oid down the track as I was real worried at the top end but then we saw Ed Jones coming down the track on two wheels and knew then that everything on the track was okay!

So, with the car tore down, I was thinking it’s 11:30 at night how are we going to make the Guitars under the Stars event on Sunday with the engine all torn apart? Well, without saying anything, everyone went the extra mile and we got it back together (in display mode) finishing at 1 AM so we would not miss our gig in Lebanon the next morning.

The Guitars Under the Stars Music Festival was pretty good as we saw our friends Marv Ross and Doug Fraiser from the rock group Quarterflash who had several top forty songs in the 80’s including the hit “Harden My Heart” that is played heavily on radio to this day. Quarterflash put on a great show for everyone who braved the hot weather! And the sound was perfect. Kudos to the techs they had the sound perfect.

Rich Bailey with Quarterflash Guitarist and song writer Marv Ross

The heat warnings and the local news media fanning the flames all week didn’t help the gate as the turnout was fair at best but we still had quite a few people look at the car. Speaking of "fair", the dragster will be back at the Oregon State Fair in August. Right now, the plan is to do an event next Saturday and then get the car ready for our next race in Spokane on August 27. Special thanks to Keith McCurdy, Dave Morris, Russ Casedy and Dave Wilson for all the help!


Capitol Dragster Displayed at Marion County Fair and Car Show

The Capitol Dragster has been on display all week at the Marion County Fair and on Sunday July 16, it was part of the car show also held at the fair. The car drew a lot of attention on Saturday as over 475 people stopped and had interaction with the car. Our friend James brought a clicker and took track. That number was surprising as the display had off and on foot traffic through out the day. Over 30,000 come to the Marion County Fair held at the Oregon State Fairgrounds each year. Sunday's car show is the first one at the fair in over 10 years.

Revved Up Giveaway”— Win $5k in Challenger Parts from AmericanMuscle

PAOLI, Pa. (August3, 2018)—With the recent addition of model year 2008+Challenger parts to AmericanMuscle comes its debut Challenger parts giveaway. The “Revved Up Giveaway” begins on August 3, 2018, where potential entrants canenterdaily for their chance to win a $5,000 Challenger parts shopping spree from AM’s catalog.

This giveaway runs until October 31, 2018, giving entrants exactly 90chances(one per day) to win a huge prize package for their ‘08+ Challenger with their choice of anything from Accessories, to Exhausts, to Wheel and Tire packages.

Entrants can visit daily to fill out the sweepstakes form until October 31, 2018 for their chances to win a grand-prize package worth up to $5,000. Get there soon before this offer turns into a pumpkin! The more entries made, the better the chances;so enter now and enter often! A finalist will be selected for the sweepstakes on or around November 7, 2018.


Dragster Makes it to the Final Four in Butte, Montana Over the 4th Weekend

The Capitol Auto Group Racing Team had a very busy 4th of July Weekend. First, we brought the car home for a parade and display in Independence, Oregon. As always, it was a giant hit as I signed over 150 handout cards and there was always people looking at the car. We are very fortunate that the local Chamber of Commerce gives us this space as it’s a very valuable opportunity for us. The car’s popularity and how we present it give the event another feature to occupy people’s time while they are looking around before the fireworks.

The following day we drove most of the night after work to get to big sky country and arrived at Lost Creek Raceway around 3 PM on Friday. We had to repair a spark plug hole that was stripped and once we did that with the help of Brent Jones we made our first run against Dave Newton. Dave had a traction problem and I beat him with a 4.82 at 147 MPH which is not bad for this mile high track located less that an hour from the Continental Divide!

On Saturday, we changed pulleys. We then noticed a crack in the burst panel and changed the pulley back. In the first qualifier, 1 got a single due to the odd number of cars. This time the car ran a 4.77. On the second pass against Brent Jones the car ran quicker as we stopped the clock with a 4.62 and we got into the Final Four where the quickest four cars face off. I had to run Jonsey, who is a three time series champ in the B final. And what a final round it was! We both ran identical 4.64 ET’s but he got the win light with a better reaction time.

Even with the loss I was happy we got our consistency back and the car is now running with the best cars in the field which was a far cry from the start of the season. We have gone from last place all the way to 6th with two more Blown Alcohol Thunder races to go. Special Thanks to Russ Casady, Frank Munz and Richard Huffman

Next up is the Marion County Fair Car Show this weekend!


Capitol Dragster Shows Improvement at Renegade Raceway Nitro Nights Race

The Capitol car just before re-baring the engine at Renegade Raceway June 30.

It turned out that we didn't need to push the car down the track at the Nitro Nights Under the Lights race at Renegade Raceway in Yakima. The car ran fine on its own and ended up in the middle of the pack just one car out of the top four. While any racer would prefer being at the top of the pack and nothing less, we have been struggling with the new engine and it finally came around in the first stanza of the round robin affair.

We went to Yakima with a race car that wasn't happy and wasn't getting down the track without problems. Our former crew chief who chose to leave the team before Yakima worked very hard and did a great job making repairs every time a new one popped up and it wasn't his fault that we had so many goblins in the mix dating back to April. It was simply a matter of working all of the bugs out and there were a lot of them. The car had poor oil pressure and a possible transmission problem even up to the time we left for Yakima. But we had a plan after vowing to push the car down the track if we had too!

With the help of Jeff Cassle we re-bearinged the engine just as soon as we arrived on Friday and Brent Sanford who is now back with the team re-torque the heads. There was a leak which we thought may be the result of the head gaskets but since it was fuel we elected to change the intake gaskets instead. Once done, we fired up the car and it still leaked. Then it was discovered that it was leaking from the injector on the hat and the fuel made it's way down to the block. All of that work for nothing of was it? It turned out to be great training for our new crew member Russ Casady. It also made us work as a team which we had not been doing prior to Yakima.

We fired the car again and got much better oil pressure and the leak went bye-bye. The car was now ready. After a pre-race parade that went haywire, (think of the marching band in the movie Animal House that went the wrong way) the team was ready and we took on Brent Jones in round one. Jonsey ran well but we were no slouch either as it posted a 4.59 which was the fifth best time out of the tough ten car field that was in attendance.

When we went back to the pits we were happy to find zero material in the oil filter and we were nearly ready for round two. As the chutes were being packed it was discovered by Brent that we had two stripped out spark plug holes! We did everything possible to fix the problem but we were unable to find any certs anywhere in the pits so we had to forfeit the second round.

While I was disappointed at the time, it was still a much improved outing over the "cruel summer" race we had in Boise just two weeks prior. We entered the Renegade Raceway gates with a car that was not running well and we left with a car that can now contend for a final four appearance. Thanks to Brent Sanford, Russ Casady, Jeff Cassle and Dane Lachelt's team for all of the help this weekend in getting the car race ready...finally!

-Rich Bailey


Dragster Displayed at Relay for Life

The Capitol Rocketeer Dragster made an appearance at the Relay For Life cancer event this past Saturday at the Chemawa Indian School track near the Keizer exit. It was a great benefit for the race team to be involved in as we really like to support cancer related events. Cancer survivors and family members of all ages sat in the race car with the oldest being 88 years old! Rich Bailey got a chance to address the crowd about his connection to the disease. The car ended up being displayed from 9 to 5 PM.

We raffled off the driver's seat during a fire up. A girl and her dad walked up and offered 5.00 to sit in the car for the fire up. They were asked if she was a cancer survivor? Her dad said yes not once but twice. We were hoping to raise a little bit more than that but we let her sit in it anyway. Then a few minutes later a guy offered 100.00 for his friend to sit in the car. So, we still got the money we were after for the fundraiser plus we made a young girl’s day!


Capitol Racing Welcomes Russ Casady

With the exception of Otis Pettit, the Capitol team has not had much regular help in the crew department this year. And while we didn't have one of our best outings in Boise due to a combination of problems, one of the bright spots was the addition of Russ Casady who did a lot of the driving and towed the car to the line as well as did light pit chores. We have decided to bring Russ on as an official crew member since he did a good job and is willing to help out as often as he can. He is also likable and gets along well with the other teams and the public. Welcome Russ!

Dave Morris also joins Capitol Team
Capitol Racing welcomes Dave Morris. Dave has excellent mechanical skills and is a great asset to the team. He has been working on and off for the last few months.

Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen Passes

Drag Racing as well as the world of pop culture lost the legendary "Mongoose" Tom McEwen who competed and won in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. The goose was not only a great marketer but innovator as well.

Thousands if not millions will remember their orange hot wheel tracks with the mongoose and snake diecast ars that put drag racing on the national map as well as in our lives. He later was the namesake for Mongoose bicycles. If it wasn't for this star power, some of us would have never been luered to the drag strip. May this racing legend live on in our hearts forever.

One of my biggest thrills was interviewing tom McEwen for this website. Head this excellent interview that even got Tom McEwen's stamp of approval. READ THE MONGOOSE INTERVIEW HERE



Capitol Racing in Christmas Parade!

The Capitol Dragster was towed through the Festival of Lighs Parade on Saturday Night, December 9th. A big but rather cold crowd was on hand. Photo by Janell Schomus. View the parade from your computer on You Tube at:


Capitol Auto Group Racing Featured in Roddin & Racing Magazine!

Capitol Auto Group Racing is featured in this month's issue of Roddin and Racing a tabloid magazine. A full page is devoted to the "Marketeer" The tabloid is available free at all NAPA stores throughout the Northwest.



Capitol Team Awarded at Banquet

In addition to being a top five finisher, the Capitol Team was voted "Most Professional Race Team" by their peers that included drivers and crew members who participated in the Drag Blown Alcohol Thunder Series in 2017. The awards were presented at the fancy Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Yakima Washington.

The big winner of the night was Brent Jones who won $1,000 and finished in first place. Second was Kelly Flansaas, third was Alvan Baher, fourth was Dane Lachelt (not pictured) and fifth was Rich Bailey. Finishing sixth was Larry Demott (far left) who also won the most improved driver award.



2017 Racing Season in Review

What a busy year it’s been for the Capitol Race Team! We started the year off by participating in four car shows and won the biggest, the Portland Roadster Show. This meant a lot to me personally because we have a brand new paint job which I designed and did all of the layout and prep work work on. My good friend Jeff Lewis who I've known since high school did the actual painting.

Once we got into the Summer months we shifted into race mode. May didn’t start out so well for us with a couple of races in Woodburn and Yakima but when we got into June we really went on a roll! In Spokane, we qualified third with a 6.89 at 200 MPH before going out in the semifinals in an elimination style race to Brent Jones. This was the first time in Spokane we hit the 200 MPH mark.

The following weekend we raced in Boise, Idaho in front of a giant crowd at the Great American Fox Hunt. Again, we ran a 6.89 at 201 MPH and made it to the final round where we again met our nemesis Mr. Jones. In the final he got crossed up and I passed him then my car got out of shape and he passed me so I lifted to save the car. I have been racing a long time but I have never taken a loss that hard before. It was a race we should have won but I got the best reaction time for the race award, we sold a ton of shirts and we got some great coverage in Drag Racing Online so it was still a verty good weekend for Brent, Troy and I.

Next, we returned to Yakima where we once again went to the finals after running a 4.26 in the second round. This was my best run ever in the eighth mile. But as we were getting ready for the final we discovered we melted three pistons all in 4 seconds during the previous round! We brought the car home and did the Western Days Parade and displayed the Capitol car at the festival grounds. It was a hit as thousands saw the car! The next weekend we swapped engines before returning to Woodburn for the Night of Fire race. On the first run it ran another 6.89 at 200 MPH. The following day we stayed over and did some testing but we could not repeat the six second performance.

We then went back on the road and took our longest trip ever over the continental divide to Billings, Montana. We still had tune up issues but on the last run it appeared we were headed for another final round when I lost a blower belt which slowed down the car. On the way home we dropped the trailer off in Spokane for the Nitro Summer Nationals a week later. This would be a tough race as 14 cars were there for an eight car field. We qualified seventh but lost another blower belt in the first round.

After Spokane, we chose not to compete in the last points race of the year in Idaho Falls and instead displayed the Capitol Auto Group Dragster at the Oregon State Fair which was a giant success! We finished the season fifth in points out of 24 cars that raced in our class so not a bad season. As always, we appreciate Capitol’s support and next year we will aim for number one!


Local Racer Gary Lewis Passes

Long time racer Gary Lewis of Keizer, Oregon passed away after a short bout with cancer. Gary began racing in the 60's racing a Willys gasser and then went on to help Nyles Klampe on his Comp Eliminator dragster. Gary then returned to the driver seat of the Lewis and Shrewsbury blown "Norwester" Willys that also competed in Comp eliminator. Gary then reunited with Nyles (who sadly also died this year) to campaign a nitro funny car previously owned and driven by none other than "Smoky Joe" Lee. After a short stint with the funny car, Gary finished his career in the NHRA Super Gas class before retiring from racing.

On a personal note from Rich Bailey:
It was Gary Lewis who encouraged my career in racing, hand lettering and graphics more than anyone else. He was both like a father and a very close friend to me. Gary also painted most of the Capitol Auto Group Dragsters until handing over the paint gun over to his son, Jeff Lewis who will keep Gary's tradition of incredible paint work alive for years to come.

Thanks Gary for all you did for me!


30 foot Race Car Trailer For Sale

For Sale: 2014 Cargo Mate 30 foot tag trailer. Includes: fully lined interior walls and celine, 110 out lets inside and out, LED light, rubber simulated floor, work bench and modular cabinet, deadbolt for added security. chrome package, custom wheel package, brand new tires, spare tire, sway bars, hitch. All graphics and stickers easily removable with a heat gun. Must sell $11,000 firm. Call Rich at 503-370-9164



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The American Build Giveaway will award one grand finalist with a grand prize of $17,760 to customize their F-150, Silverado, Sierra or Ram Truck, because ‘Murica. Imagine how many mods that could be purchased with that loot- almost limitless possibilities. If those odds aren’t good enough, there will be a secondary prize drawing for the chance to win one of 76 limited edition American Build Prize Packs- score!

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For the grand prize drawing, entrants can sign up to win on or starting on October 19th, 2017. For the secondary prize drawing, entrants must use the hashtag “#americanbuildgiveaway” on social media posts. Deadline to submit is March 20, 2018, and no purchase is necessary to enter to win. Official rules are available on the giveaway form; void where prohibited.



Capitol Dragster at Eugene Roadster Show

The Dragster was at the (Eugene) Roadster Show this past weekend held inside the Bob Keefer Sports Center in Springfield. It was a benefit for “Branches of Valor” which supports veterans. Because the show was so far away, we were not there other than to set it up on Friday and pick up the car on Sunday night so I don’t know how well it went. The next event on our schedule will be the Festival of Lights Christmas Parade in Keizer.

Winter Rod and Speed Show Kick Off at Burgerville A Giant Success

Between 35 and 50 cars many from the Rollin Oldies showed up for the Winter Rod and Speed Show kick off. The weather was but clear which lead to the successful turn out along with a Burgerville lunch! The Fall event was designed to recruit some cars for the Winter Rod and Speed Show as four cars entered and dozens more took applications.

Capitol Dragster Returns to Popular Bauman's Fall Festival in Gervis

This past weekend the Capitol Auto Group Dragster was displayed at the annual Bauman Farm’s Fall Festival. This is agriculture’s version of Disneyland! There was a giant crowd both of the days the car was there and it was located in a great location. It was solid kids and adults from 11 to 5 with very few breaks both days.

It was crazy busy as the Capitol team went through the rest of their autograph cards for the year. Hundreds of kids sat in the car and of course bored dads came over to look at the car and had lots of questions as well. It was a very big weekend in terms of exposure for our sponsors! A big thanks to Richard Lytle on Saturday and Dave Morris on Sunday for making this event possible. The Bauman event continues through the end of October.


Capitol Team Ends Racing Season

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster finished the season at the Fall Classic at Woodburn Dragstrip. Frankly it was a very disappointing weekend for the Capitol team and it wasn't the way we wanted to end the season. On Saturday, the engine pushed out an intake gasket but the car still ran a 7.38. The engine was then fixed and ready for Sunday since we had an extra set of input gaskets in the trailer.

On Sunday, we raced Scott White in an AA Super Charged Willys. At the hit, the Capitol car was out first but the chute cable shook loose and parachute blossomed right off the starting line while White was on a clean 6.70 pass. Had the chuite stayed in it would have been a good race. The Capitol car will be displayed until the rainy season begins. At that time we will install our Rodeck engine from earlier this year.


Dragster at 50's In The Fall Car Show

A great time was had by all at the Fifties in the Fall Car Show. Great weather attracted a good crowd and over 200 cars were on display for the public’s approval. We fired the Dragster up twice during the event to a large crowd and the display generated a lot of interest all day. A lady came up and expressed interest in the car so at random we put her in the driver’s seat and fired it up. Her timing was good as she wasn’t expecting such an exciting opportunity that will be a life time memory for her.

It was just dumb luck but they judged our tow vehicle and it won the best modern truck award and it wasn’t meant to be part of the show. A big thanks to Troy Hannemann and Richard Lytle for their help in making this great event possible for the Capitol team!

Hands on, Mobile Marketing at it's Best:
Dragster a Big Draw at State Fair

The Capitol team delivered maximum exposure and a lot of good will at the Oregon State Fair for our sponsors and the sport of drag racing at large. Even though we would have been happy displaying the car in one of several grassy areas around the fair, to our surprise the Oregon State Fair staff selected one of the best locations at the entire fair! We were placed at the center of the main isle and not only that but they even allowed us to display the trailer with the car giving Capitol and all of our marketing partners a big presence at the fair.

We have done a lot great public events over the years including the State Fair but this was one of the best due to the prime location. The car was a giant draw most of the time and we had personal interaction with hundreds if not thousands of people as we stayed with the car most of the time over the four day period that the car was on display. As usual we let the kids sit in the car, autographs were signed, hero cards were given out and we gave over 1,000 coupons for the Woodburn Dragstrip.

The dragster was supposed to have been racing at the final Blown Alcohol Thunder race in Idaho Falls but due to some ongoing mechanical problems we chose to stay local and display the car instead. This was a good move as it was hands on, mobile marketing at it's best and arguably nobody does it better than us. A big thanks to all that helped including: Richard Lytle, Brent Sanford, Brad Christman and Dave Wilson. The four day run in the heat couldn't have happened without them!


Capitol Dragster Displayed at Albany Burgerville Car Show

It was a little bit of post-eclipse madness as the Capitol dragster along with a dozen of the finest hot rods in the mid-valley displayed at the Albany Burgerville. The event was billed as the Post Eclipse Car Show and held on the Saturday after the much anticipated and worried about solar eclipse. A big thanks to everyone that came and a big shout out to the Albany Burgerville for supplying all exhibitors a 10.00 gift card! A second show is planned for October.


On the weekend of the big eclipse, we headed to our biggest race of the season, the “Nitro Summer Nationals and Jet Car Finals” at Spokane County Raceway. The crowd was the biggest I have seen there in years as the facility was filled to capacity during the Saturday night portion of the show and Friday’s crowd wasn't too bad either. I love the fans in Spokane as there were lots of families that were in the stands who came by our pit area. One family in particular comes down and cheers for us anytime we are towing back from a run. An effort has to be made to do this since the return road is quite a ways from the grandstands and we appreciate their support greatly. Their young daughter also presented me with a drawing of our dragster which I now proudly display in the trailer!

As for the blown alcohol cars, this was a round-by-round elimination style event and there were 14 cars trying to get into an eight car field. As with the last couple of races the car sounds great when we start it in the pit area but on the track it’s not performing as well as it sounds, but it is improving with each run down the track. During the first round of qualifying, the car died after the burnout. We noticed that the timing was moving around which caused the problem because the cam was moving back and forth. We worked until 1 AM on Friday night and then much of Saturday to get the problem fixed.

On the last possible qualifying session we managed to get in the show as the 7th seed with a sub par 7.49. We were relieved to have made it in because we thought that we didn't qualify. But then we had to face the reining series Champion Dane Lachelt from Canada in the first round. I knew I had to have a good reaction time against Dane but I also knew it probably wouldn't be enough. As the lights came down I was 10,000th of a second too quick and red lit. I stayed in it to give the giant crowd a show but then shredded a blower belt at three quarter track and that was it. After I was done racing, I did some unplanned color commentary up in the announcer’s booth with OJ Stephens and surprisingly everyone said I did a great job.

It looks like we have 5th place sewn up for the season out of 22 cars that competed in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series. We are out of fourth place by just two points so the dilemma is do we go all the way to Idaho Falls or do we settle for fifth on Labor day weekend? My choice would be to go to Idaho but it will all depend on if we wounded our engine on the last pass in Spokane when i shredded the belt.

Our next event is the “Post Eclipse” Cruise-in this coming Saturday at Burgerville in Albany.


The Capitol Auto Group Dragster went on the road for race number 6 in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series, in Billings, Montana. This was our first ever venture to the east side of the Rocky Mountains. It was a 1,000 mile trip just to Billings but our truck didn't let us down the whole way thanks in part to Jeff Marsh at Canby Transmission who got us successfully on the road after a carrier bearing went out on the truck just prior to our trip.

After a disappointing test session at Woodburn Dragstrip the week before at the Night of Fire race, it was a little bit of a risk to venture out that far with a bad tune up and a questionable tow truck but the team has been slipping in the points standings since missing the Butte race and we were counted on to be there. Plus, we were all due for a vacation to escape the Oregon heat. If anything, the trailer signage alone gave our sponsors a lot of unique exposure on what seemed like an endless highway of beautiful scenery over the Continental Divide. Once we got close to the track in big sky country, a circle of sun beams surrounded by clouds reached the ground to greet us at the entrance of this beautiful facility. Perhaps it was God's way of saying welcome to Yellowstone Dragstrip?

On our test pass which didn't count, the car ran similar to how it was running at Woodburn the week prior - blubbery but we still managed to beat our opponent, Dave Newton who had problems with his transmission on the run. On the second pass, the car scrubbed off two seconds and ran a 7.70 but we still lost the round to Denton Schillreff who was the eventual runner up. The pass was an improvement for the mile high altitude but still not quick enough and put us in the middle of the 10 car field. On the second qualifying pass we beat our opponent, Al Baher of Spokane who had problems of his own. However, the blower belt shredded off at half track which slowed the car down on what otherwise would have put us the final round for sure.

Over all it was a great trip and we had no regrets.We enjoyed spending time with Larry and Rae DeMott and Dave Newton who graciously opened up their homes to us while we were on the road. We sold some t-shirts at the track and the fan turnout was good. The team left Billing still in fourth place in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series and with a better tune up for our next race at the Nitro Summer Nationals in just two weeks at Spokane County Raceway.


Cap Racing Shakes Down Engine

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster participated at the Night of Fire race at Woodburn Dragstrip. This has become the biggest event of the year with thousands of fans and they even open a farmers field to accommodate all of the spectator’s cars. We debuted a new Chevy engine at this race and on Friday night it didn’t disappoint as I ran a 6.89 at 200 MPH on its first run! My reaction time was the best ever, a .0008 reaction time.

On Saturday, our spirits were high but the Friday night run gave us a false sense of security because on Saturday night the car fell on it’s face and I had to abort the run. As a result we decided to stay over Sunday and test the new engine. It was a brutal day. We made five runs but didn’t make a lot of progress. I think it might not be the engine at all but a torque converter since the car sounded great in the pits but would not respond to any of our tune up changes on the track. So we yarded out the transmission in 90 degree heat as a last resort at the end of the day.

A big thanks to Jeff Marsh from Canby Transmission and Superior Torque Converters for getting us a new torque converter and checking the transmission in time for our next race this weekend in Montana!

Capitol Racing Team to Participate in Racer’s Igniting Hope Project

The Capitol Auto Group Racing Team is particpating in the “Racer’s Igniting Hope” project. Racer’s Igniting Hope was started by Texas Top Alcohol Funny Car racer and rock music studio producer Nancy Matter. The Capitol Team will be donating all of their used NGK spark plugs to Racer’s Igniting Hope which will recycle the used spark plugs into color coded keychains to raise money for DIPG (an incurable Childrens Cancer) and select vetted military foundations. “We can help these families rather than fill a landfill” Matter said of the program.

These spark plugs must be delivered in 1,000 unit lots to a machine shop to be drilled for cost effectiveness. The first 1,000 of hopefully 10’s of 1000’s more will go to the machine shop by end of next week according to Matter. The Capitol team will ship its first box of plugs to Matter on Friday. “I always kept our used plugs in case we ever needed to re-use them so we have accumulated quite a collection. But we are in great shape with NGK so now we have a box full to gladly donate to this important cause” said Rich Bailey, race team owner.

The keychains also will also include a picture of the race car the spark plug came from. In addition, the Capitol team will run “Racer’s Igniting Hope” decals once they are finished. Any racer wanting to donate used spark plugs can send them to Nancy Matter at 660 Franklin St. Lewisville TX 75057.

New Engine Ready for Night of Fire

After hurting our Rodeck engine in Yakima, The Capitol Auto Group Dragster has a new engine on loan until we can get the Rodeck engine back together. The new engine, owned by team member Troy Hanneman looks quite a bit different and has raised some eye brows with it's massive carbon fiber hat. The pistons for the Rodeck are on order and have already been shipped. We are still waiting on rods because we want to make sure we have enough funding to get through the end of the season before ordering them. Rods usually take only a couple of weeks to get.

The new engine combo will make its first appearance at the Night of Fire drag races at Woodburn Dragstrip July 30-31 before heading on to Billings Montana for a Drag Blown Alcohol Thunder race. We had the opportunity to have the car at the Bite and Brew at Salem's Riverfront Park but some ongoing delays in getting the car finished and limited access into the park made it impossible to get it in the park so we plan to have it there next summer.


Dragster Wows the Crowd at Western Days Parade and Fireworks Show

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster gave the sponsors the exposure they expect at the Western Days Parade and the fireworks event area that followed on July 4th. Thousands lined the streets for the seven mile parade. There was enough people watching the parade to easily fill Reser Stadium. Right after the parade the dragster was on display at the festival grounds where thousands gathered to see the best fireworks in the valley. There were very few times where people were not looking at the dragster from 1PM until 10 PM when the fireworks began. It was a big day! Thanks to Brent Sanford, Richard Lytle, Diana Gunzman and Susan Bailey for all of their help.

It's a good thing we are committed to drag racing because after a weekend like this, anyone with any sanity would quit. But that's not the case here. We are professionals and Brent, Troy and I can handle just about anything the goblins throw at us. It's really too bad that the reality show fell through because our second race in Yakima would have been a very entertaining episode.

Our crazy weekend began after we had changed out the bearings and I went to the auto parts store. As I was leaving I backed into a telephone pole. The pole looked okay so I never got out to look at the truck. When I finally got out at my next stop at Fastnal, I was surprised to see the bumper was bent up pretty good. Oh well I thought, more fauder for facebook and the website. That night we did have something to smile about as we had the second best run of the night against Brent Jones as we ran a 4.39, our best run ever on the eighthmile at Yakima. Brent ran even quicker on the run and beat me for the no. 1 position.

On Saturday when we returned to the track, the awning was mangled up from wind gusts that came in after midnight and even lifted two 5 gallon buckets that secured the awning. At least the car and the trailer were not scratched. The good news was that I bought a second awning on Friday but we never put it up so at least we had a replacement. On the way to the track we noticed something wrong with the ride and it turned out we have a truck tire beginning to separate so I made my usual trip to Les Schwab in Wapato. Fortunately, they had a used tire that fit so I had them install it.

Meanwhile back at the track, Brent noticed a fuel leak. So where do you get 1 1/4 inch fuel line on a Saturday in Yakima or any place else? To make a long story short we were referred to one store after another. Finally the last place we looked even said on their readerboard that they have hydraulic oil lines and fortunately they had 18 feet of it in the back that they didn't think they had! And all we needed was 14 feet so we got lucky on that one! By this time it was about 4PM so we had to high tail it back to Les Schwab to get the truck. I stopped at a close by store to get some barnyard buzzard on the way to the track but they were out. No dinner tonight until after the race.

Before the first round at 7 PM, Troy and I hooked a tow rope from my truck to his truck and pulled out the bumper perfectly. You could almost never tell unless you were looking for it. Now it was time for racing after a parade for the fans. We raced against the "Hell Raiser" altered of Wes Garvin and got the win with a 4.40 which got us in the middle of the pack.

After between round maintainance we were ready for round two. This one was do or die in order to get into the final round and we went aggressive on the tune up and gave it more air using this pulley I call "the Parts Breaker". This time we raced against my friend Don Harder in the "Hart Breaker" funny car. At the launch I had a .022 light and the car launched like a rocket with the wheels up in the air to about mid track! At the finish line I rang up the best run of the night so far with a smoking 4.26! We earned a trip to the final round but unknowingly, I damaged the engine on the pass and we lost seven pistons all in four seconds. It was dissapointed for sure since we didn't know about the damage until we got back to the pit.

We already have engine at Keith's but in the mean time, we will put Troy's engine in the car and plan to be back to racing in time for the Night of Fire race in Woodburn. After all that I'm happy to announce that the truck and trailer got back to Salem with out any problems. And most of the problems we had worked themselves out including the bent bumper!

Here are the Blown Alcohol Thunder points totals after the Lost Creek Raceway event, July 10, 2017 near Butte, Montana.

1. Brent Jones 214
2. Kelly Flansaas 160
3. Alvan Behar 115
4. Rich Bailey 110
5. Dane Lachelt 105
6. Frank Miller 90
7. Kyle Hanson 76
8. Larry DeMott 60
Wes Garvin 60 (tied)
Jim Seivers 60 (tied)
Don Harder 60 (tied)
David Spease 60 (tied)
9. Dave Newton 50 (tied)
10. Jim Atwell 30 (tied)
Pete Korona 30 (tied)
Shane Harder 30 (tied)
Mike Weise 30 (tied)

Check Out Blown Alcohol Thunder Here

Wow! What a great weekend for the Capitol team! We went to the final round in front of a full house in Boise, Idaho! It was a great trip that started with a caravan behind Derek Snelson's jet car, driving most of the night in rainy conditions until we all had enough and stopped at the Eldorado Motel along side I-84 in Baker City. The next morning the weather improved and we got into Boise at about noon, just in time to do a car display at a Little Caesar's Pizza shop in the middle of town.

One thing I noticed was how nice and down to earth the people are in Boise. I was surprised how many people stopped by to see the race car and how friendly they were. A lot of attractive people live in the area and there is a housing boom and big retail developments are going up every where. Boise's progress puts Oregon and it's strict anti-growth land use laws to shame. And it's a clean city too. I never saw anyone on street corners with cardboard signs.

After getting to Firebird Raceway late in the afternoon we got the car out and then Brent and I went out to dinner with Derek Snelson. We met up with Ed "the Outlaw" Jones, Wendy Jones, Richard Smith and their support crews at Buffalo Wild Wings. Ed, Derek and Richard are all good friends of mine so the dinner alone was a highlight of our trip.

Saturday was race day and all of the Blown Alcohol Thunder cars were pitted together in Firebird Raceway's pro pits. Firebird has an impeccable reputation and I can see why. It is well kept and the employees are all so friendly. There's not a rude person to be found and the fans are the same way. It's drag racing's version of Disneyland. I sold a ton of shirts and ran out of Adam's Rib BBQ sauce along with handout cards. The people that work at and own the track are all very friendly. I saw it everywhere I went at the facility.

At 3 PM we were supposed to have had a test run but a bracket car oiled down the entire track so we headed straight into the first round at 6:30 instead. It turned out I needed that test pass because I got shut off at the line costing me 10 points and $200.00. There was a slight oil leak but at least we were able fix it as a bad helical caused a loose pan bolt. We also have had a problem with fuel milking the oil and the oil pressure went down to 45 pounds when we tested the car on the stand prior to the second round. We drained and then added new Royal Purple oil.

In round two, I came loaded for bear. The oil preasure was still a little low but I decided to go for it and I'm glad sure glad I did. I got the best reaction time of the race from Good Vibrations Motorsports which was good for a $100 dollar bonus. My reaction time was a .022 in a hole shot win over the Rocky Mountain Thunder funny car. But the big news is that I had an ET of 6.89 at 201 MPH which qualified me to go to the final round.

In the finals, we faced Brent Jones. It was a good race till I got squarely and was faced with a split second choice: lift or risk losing the car. He had the momentum and was passing me so I chose to lift since I would not have been able to pass him at the finish line. At the time, I deeply regretted that decision but the next morning I realized it was the right move. I don’t lift very often.

On Sunday we headed for home via Yakima where the car is now in place for our next race in two weeks. Just after we left the track we found out that Derek blew out a tire and totaled his truck. Derek and Ray along with the trailer and the jet car are all okay. They had the blow out at the best possible place since most of that route has embankments including Cabbage Hill which they just drove down. Had it happened there it would have been curtains.

On a sad note: Our Blown Alcohol Thunder Racing Series was in consideration to be the subject of a national reality TV show. We learned in Boise that the television execs wanted a different type of program that the producers were are unable to deliver with our group.


Photos by Annette Barton (other than the lamas)

What a great weekend in Spokane. We went from zero to being the third quickest car in just a couple of hours on Saturday. We started the weekend being escorted out of Yakima by a couple of lamas. We arrived at Spokane County Raceway with plenty of time to spare before the Friday night qualifying session at dusk. It got cold quick. When it was my turn to make a run alongside Dane Lachelt, the track was like racing on glass. It was a white knuckle ride especially at the top end. The results were a disappointing mid 7 second run which I conveniently blamed the track for it since I was all over the place on that run.

That night it was a cold one and I could barely sleep in the trailer. I woke up really early and turned the heat on in the truck! Later that morning we changed the bearings before we had another qualifying session at noon. This time the car ran even slower! The track was better so I knew it wasn't the race surface but the car! We were down to one more qualifying session so Brent and Troy came up with a new tune up and it worked! The car jumped into the third qualifying slot with a sizzling 6.89 at 201 MPH, our best run in Spokane ever! We improved by a whole second thanks to my team! Since I get most of the fun I let them play with the tune up and it's obvious they know what they are doing.

In round one, we faced Alvan Baher in the "Reaper" Altered who made his best pass of the weekend but I still managed to get around him with a 6.91. In the semis, I raced my close friend and on-track menace Brent Jones. I got the starting line advantage and it was nearly a side-by-side race all the way down the track. At the finish line Brent beat me by less than a car length. I rang up another 6.89 to his quicker 6.70 and the crowd loved it! On every run I was stuck in the right lane and I really had to do some driving to get the car down the track especially from the eighth mile mark to the finish line.

Overall, it was a great race and we even had a very nice family with their young daughter wearing one of our shirts rooting for us every time we would come back to the pits after a run. Those are the moments that we love and will always remember. I also got to meet a hero of mine, the legendary and famous promoter Bill Doner. We had a great conversation. On Sunday, we packed it up and headed home. I ran over my suit case full of clothes before we left but other than that everything went well.

- Rich Bailey


What a week it's been, a week of hard work and hard knocks which are quite common in drag racing and we always seem to get them at the start of the season before everything smooths out. It all started last week in Woodburn when we heard a clicking sound when the engine was turned over by hand just prior to our second run. To make a long story short the process of elimination pointed to a bad gear drive. I even drove up to Portland to buy a new one during the race but to no avail so after the race we took the car to Brent's house where we tore it down.

John McCurdy getting ready to degree the cam while the heads were off.

After doing some haggling online that included four bottles of Adam's Rib BBQ sauce, I was able to pick up a new Pete Jackson gear drive from Brad Becker. They don't make Pete Jackson's any more so it was a good find. On Thursday night Keith and John McCurdy came down to help with the install and to degree the cam. We all thought it would be a two hour slam dunk but even after the install of the new gear drive the noise persisted.

So, we pulled the heads thinking maybe that's where the noise was coming from. Sure enough there was a slight clearance problem with the bigger pistons on the corner of each cylinder so Keith did some grinding and then the heads were back on the engine but the binding click continued. At midnight, it pretty much looked like our Yakima plans were dead in the water. The next morning, Brent Jones who was in route to the race recommended installing the whole valve train and not just one set of rockers to test it like we had been doing. We reinstalled the entire valve train and presto we were back in business. Evidently, the valve train preassure needed to be evenly distributed. So it was the gear drive all along.

The dragster minus the back panels ready to be stuffed in the trailer.

By the time Brent and I put the car back together and stuffed it in the trailer it was 3PM. Concequently, we reached Portland during the rush hour and hit the Friday night traffic resulting in a delay of an extra hour as traffic crawled to a snail's pace on I-205. Once we hit I-84 the traffic lightened up. Other than that, there were no problems on the way over to Yakima other than driving through a bug storm.

We managed to get into Renegade Raceway before dark but we still had some work to do to the car so we couldn't make a run until race day. There was a good crowd on Friday and I managed to sell some shirts and sauce in spite of not making a run. On the way to the hotel there was a malfunction at the railroad crossing and the gates were down for no reason. There wasn't a train in site so Brent went out and held the gate up. As he did people on the other side of the tracks who had been patiently waiting bolted over the tracks before I could even cross. Who knows how long they had been wating?

The trailer needed new tires so I slipped into a local Les Schwab on Saturday.

On Saturday, we went to the track believing the car was going to run flawlessly. After all that hard work we deserved it right? I had noticed the trailer tires were darn near bald so I took the trailer from the pit and headed to a local Les Schwab since those tires were a blowout waiting to happen. Six Hundred dollars later and I was back to the track with the best trailer tires money can buy. I was hoping that more shirt sales would put a dent in the tire bill but sales on Saturday went flat! After I got back we warmed the car up and it sounded great!

After a two hour delay I was getting a bit antsy but finally we were called to the lanes. I was matched up with Kelly Flansaas in the Rocky Mountain Thunder funny car, whom I had a score to settle from last season. They are a great group of guys and an old high school friend Jeff Johnson works on the team but was sidelined for a year after having a stroke. I was happy to see him back.

At the hit, the car launched hard but then at about 200 feet the car lost power. I thought I may have pitched a belt but it was worse than that, the bottom pulley got loose causing the belt not to spin. When we returned to the pit, we thought we had broke a crank but fortunately the problem was fixable so the three of us; Brent, Troy and myself tore down the front of the engine and had to retap every hole. Time also was spent finding a tap and 6 new grade 8 bolts but fortunately we found them. We had everything reassembled just in time for the second round with not a second to spare. That night I have never been more proud of my team! It was a thrash like you would not believe.

We were in the back of the pack and had nobody to race due to the odd number of cars but we were hoping for a shot at the "B" final since I didn't think I could out run the top two cars that were down in the 4.20's. As we fired the car something didn't sound right and Derek Snelson wisely shut me down. When we got back to the pit we found that a couple of rockers had gotten loose. We never had the chance to check anything prior to heading for the starting line since literally every second was spent fixing the pulley.

Brent and I ended up at Shari's around 1 AM eating gravelberry pie while our good friends, the Canadians, pitted next to us had Troy up until 6 AM back at the track. I think Troy aged 10 years overnight! It as a good thing Brent and I went to Shari's instead.

The next morning Brent and I returned to the track and together with Troy we fired up the car. If the engine started right up and sounded good after fixing the valvetrain then we would go ahead with our plans to move on to Spokane in two weeks. Otherwise, it would be take the car home and start digging again. Not only did the car fire up, but the "Coach" one of our Canadian friends nextdoor helped us set the barrel valve and it sounds better than it has since originally installing the engine.

This past weekend gives us a lot too look forward to. Hopefully the rest of the season will go much better. Even with all the problems we had, we are much farther along then had we stayed home. I got some points and nearly broke even on the trip. We broght Brent's daughter and grand daughter along and still had a lot of fun the entire weekend.

-Rich Bailey

Former Champ Nyles Klampe Passes

Nyles Klampe has sadly passed away from cancer. Nyles was a former NHRA Division 6 Champ in Competition Eliminator. Later he teamed up with Gary Lewis and raced a nitro funny car for a couple of seasons in the early 1980's. Nyles was a long time friend who got me into the sport. I can’t emphasize the impact that Nyles had on my life. He was a unique person, a winner in life and a true champion. In a twist of fate his nephew Rick Klampe served as the Crew Chief of the Capitol Auto Group Dragster for five years. Nyles will be missed by all who new him. Nyles' obit here

-Rich Bailey


Check Out a Brand New Episode of's Hot Lap

Justin and his 2014 Mustang GT are back and faster than ever! Stage 4 of Justin’s build is focused on pushing his GT’s boundaries and making some serious gains. To help accomplish this, Justin added various race parts including a Roush R2300 supercharger, McLeod RST Twin Disc Clutch, Forgestar wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompsons, and much more. Now that Justin’s build is done, we want to see Steph take on Justin at the track. Who’s with us? View It Here





Bad Gear Drive Limits Testing to Only One Run at Woodburn Opener

So, how was the first time out? Well, it was a sweet and sour one, good and bad. First the bad, we made one run the entire weekend and it wasn’t stellar. The car only ran a 7.41. We originally blamed it on the tune up but it wasn’t all that fat as there was barely any alcohol in the puke tank. The reason for the one pass was that prior to our planned second run, Brent and Troy heard a click noise and then we spent the rest of the weekend chasing down the problem.

It turned out to be the gear drive, so today I drove all the way to Portland looking for a new one to salvage the weekend and neither NAPA or Baxter’s had one other than one in the NAPA computer which was located in Indianapolis. Come on guys less air fresheners and more parts!

The good was that we had the sense to stop testing before we really hurt the engine badly on a second run. We also were able to catch the problem before our next race this coming weekend in Yakima. AIso, I got that first run of the season behind me and we now know what we have to work with. There are alway a few butterflies not knowing what is going to happen mechanically before that first pass.

Another positive is that we were able to buy a parachute from Dennis Taylor so that took care of another problem we had. Thanks again Dennis! We sold quite a few shirts over the weekend. Finally, we got to see a lot of friends that we have not seen in months. So, over all it wasn’t that bad of a weekend for testing. Now it's a race aagainst time to get the car back together in time for Yakima this coming weekend. Photo by Terry Knickerbocker.


Season Preview: Bailey's Blog
It's a New Season and a New Look with Eight Big Races on the Road!

Everything is new again for the Capitol Team. This includes a new paint job, new t-shirts, new uniforms, a newly reconditioned truck, a new hemet and a leaner and meaner driver. This year the big challenge will be making all eight races on the road including two three states away without running out of money. That's a tall order for me but we managed to do it last year.

After completing the engine thanks to Keith McCurdy, Brent Sanford and Troy Hannemann we are resting up before really turning it loose for three months! First, we will hit the Season Opener at Woodburn Dragstrip next weekend which will serve as a test session. Then we are off to Yakima on Memorial Day Weekend for the Dee Adams Night of Fire race which is also the opening Blown Alcohol Thunder race. Word has it there will be 10 cars at that race including first timers Wet Garvin and Don Harder's funny car team. We won't be the only ones that will need to bring their "A Game". Last year's series runner up Brent Jones will have to turn up the wick and Series Champion Dane Lachelt will have to set down his two bottles bottle of rye for this one.

After Yakima we're off to Spokane and then a new race at Firebird Raceway in Boise before returning to Yakima for Nitro Nights Under the Lights at the end of June! In July we are back home for the Western Days Parade before going back on the road to Butte Montana. After Butte it gets sticky. Do we leave our stuff in Montana for a three week break or bring it all back home again before going back to Montana for the second Big Sky race in Billings which is a few hours north of Denver? I still haven't figured that one out yet but I'm leaning towards leaving the rig in Montana.

After Yellowstone Raceway in Billings which has always been on my bucket list we're back in Spokane for the Nitro Summer Nationals before coming home for the Oregon State Fair. Then it's back on the road one more time for the Blown Alcohol Thunder Championships in Idaho Falls at a brand new track called Sage Raceway. We end the season at the Fall Classic at Woodburn, Sept 23-24. Then it's fall display time.

It's taken me twenty years but I feel my career is where I've always dreamed it could one day be: a touring pro drag racer even if it's not nitro in mid-sized markets and not at NHRA national event tracks. But this is how the pro's did it back in the 70's at small tracks all over the country and now we get to face the same challenges they did. We got the tracks, the sponsors and the best teammates which I can always count on. Now the pressure is on me win one of these races and not blow our stuff up in the process. Otherwise, this dream is over and it's back to the local car display circuit which I also enjoy.

-Rich Bailey

Bailey's Blog
Working Out Pays Off For Driver that was Almost on Death's Front Door!

Hows that for a headline? So often we are more concerned about what to do with the race car than we are about improving the driver! Oh, he's expected to sharpen his starting line skills over the winter but not much else is expected as health and well being are often taken for granted. A long as he has his license all is well with the race team. Or is it?

You might have seen my blog about my carb addiction a while back but I didn't fully explain the situation I was in at the time, but I will now. I applied for my NHRA driver application renewal this past January. Part of the process is getting a physical. Well the long and the short of it is I passed the outward physical part but on the inside I was in such poor health that the doctor refused to sign my medical certificate.

He said my A1c levels were so bad that he would not sign off on my license until they went down substantially. I didn't know what an A1c was. But I do now. It's your average blood sugar levels for three months. I was like at level 10 and that my friends is walking death! That's Heart Attack Grill time! That's a stroke any minute! Since, the doctor had me on the "hook" as he put it I had no choice but to go on a diet and work out while increasing my meds. Otherwise, my driving days were over.

I have psoriatic arthritis and have had it for over 20 years. While all this was going on I forgot I had it and joined the gym immediately. The last time I joined the gym I had to quit because of the arthritis. I thought my work out days were long passed! Well here I am at 55 years of age and I'm working out almost daily. I feel better now than I have for years. I do a 20 minute cardio and then I do light weight exorcizes for another 25 to 30 minutes.

Where I still struggle is with the carbs (and who doesn't ?) but I have done much better. I have cut out the morning drive thru, the fires and the pop. But was this enough? Well, in the middle of all this I had to get my USDOT physical from a different doctor so I went to a USDOT clinic and had them do the NHRA certification as a back up plan. Well, that blew up in my face! He wrote all the DOT stuff on the NHRA forms which was more information then they require. I sent in the forms to NHRA in order to cut some time off the three month wait with my primary doctor. It turned out that the A1c was written on the form and it was still too high even for NHRA. So, my goose was cooked since NHRA rejected the forms from the USDOT doctor!

The three month mark finally arrived with my primary doctor and so I went in to do the blood test on a Friday. All I could think of over the weekend was what am I going to do if the A1c test is still too high and the doctor doesn't sign off on the forms? Monday arrived and I got the A1c was a level 6 which was perfect! In fact, everything was back to normal. I got my license yesterday and now I'm ready to race for two more years. Until then, I'm keeping this new life style going. I feel 35 again and I'm enjoying life in the fast lane!

-Rich Bailey


Best in Class at Roadster Show!

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster won "Best in Class" at the Portland Roadster Show held at the Portland Expo Center. The Portland Roadster Show is the biggest indoor show in the Northwest as over 22,000 people attended the event in 2016. The crowd around the car was good all weekend especially on Saturday.

This year was especially sweet as a lot of work went into painting the car over the holidays. Painter Jeff Lewis had two cars in the show this year as Steve Marcus also won Best in Class in the Altered class. Also congrats to Don Burgoyne who won in the nostalgia class.


Capitol Auto Group Racing Named NGK Spark Plugs Racer of the Month!

Capitol Auto Group Racing is NGK Spark Plug's Racer of the Month! Thank you NGK! We have always used NGK products and one time a crew member suggested that we try to get them as a sponsor. We thought we had no chance but it was worth a try, and here we are ten years later and they are still with us! They are truly the racer's choice for excellent, high performing spark plugs! March is also the month that the picture above is on the NGK Calendar and the banner on their FaceBook page.


Community supports Walery's Arreciation Night in droves!
Walery's Pizza Night a Big Success!

A grass roots movement on Facebook to support Walery's Pizza which was damaged by a crack head who caused $20,000 in damage Was a success. The whole thing began when your's truly posted on Facebook a suggestion to patronize at Walery's on Tuesday night in order to help Walery's recover some of their losses. Walerys was stuck with paying the first $10,000.

The idea spread like wild fire on Facebook in just three days. In addition, Mike Adams shared the idea on Gator Gaynor's show on KYKN. On Tuesday the place was packed all day and night. In fact, the pizza parlor had to close early because they were getting low on pizza dough.

Owners Dave and Marsha Walery were overwhelmed by the community support and thanked the hundreds of people that streamed into Walery's on that unforgettable Tuesday. Now that's supporting your sponsors!


Capitol Renews Team Partnership for 17th Consecutive Year

Promotion Motorsports Services LLC happy to announce that Capitol Auto Group has officially renewed our marketing partnership for the 17th consecutive year. "I would like to thank the management of Capitol for staying with me through thick and thin. This year we have supplied them a newly designed paint scheme that they can truly be proud of. It’s going to be a great season on the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series circuit" Said Rich Bailey driver and team owner.

Capitol Auto Group is one of the premier auto dealerships in the Northwest and is based in Salem, Oregon on the Parkway. They sell sell four of the leading brands including Chevrolet, Cadillac, Toyota and Subaru along with a great line of pre-owned cars. Look for our Capitol Deal of the week on the side bar of this page or go to to see there current inventory.

Dragster Scored Best Engine at the Left Coast Sha'Bang Car Show!

The new Capitol Dragster scored the best engine award at the Left Coast Sha' Bang car show held at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The award was totally unexpected!


ProMotion Welcome Guild Mortgage!

ProMotion Motorsports Services LLC would like to welcome Guild Mortgage and lending agent Vince Ventura to the race team's family of high quality sponsors.
Vince has 19 years in the mortgage industry and this is his 10th year of supporting ProMotion Motorsports. "We are glad that Vince Ventura continues to support our race team now that he has joined Guild" said team owner Rich Bailey.

If you are looking to refinance or are buying a home, perhaps your first, put Vince on your team! Vince can be reached at his Salem office at 503-932-4621 or online at

Guild Mortgage is an Equal Housing Lender MLS #3274, OR ML-176. Vince Ventura NMLS#9030




Capitol Dragster Debuts at Show

If all the beautiful cars at the Winter Rod and Speed Show were not enough, the Capitol Auto Group Dragster went from nice looking to eye candy and recieved a lot of rave reviews including a seal of approval from none other than automotive artist and legendary drag racing icon Kenny Youngblood who was at the show as the guest celeb.

The car was painted by Jeff Lewis and the lettering was made by Mark Adam's at Supervinyl Signs and Banners. The rendeing and design was produced by Rich Bailey at ProMotion Motorsports Services LLC. Next, the car will be on display at the Left Coast Sha'Bang Indoor Car Show in Salem at the State Fairgrounds February 4th.



Capitol Racing's 2016 Year in Review

Over all 2016 was a great year with incredible on track performances and great exposure for our marketing partners. But the season began with sadness as we lost Russ Barth to cancer. Russ opened the door to KYKN which helped forge a rock solid marketing program for over 20 years and is the genesis of Rich Bailey's success in motorsports marketing. We owe a lot to our friend and we might not be racing today with out him.

On the racing side
of the operation, consistency best describes the 2016 season. The car ran hard every time down the track and made every race as well as every round all season in spite of three crew members that left the team at different times for various reasons. One because of illness while others were malcontent on how the team is run. But it didn't seem to impact the team all that much as Brent Sanford did a yeoman's job covering the bases and the team brought on a new superstar as skilled drag boat racer Troy Hannemenn joined towards the end of the season. Troy fit in so well that it seemed like he had been with us since day one.

Usually, a race or an event is missed each year due to an occasional mechanical problem but not this year. The car stayed together and thrilled race fans all season long while producing performance numbers that had not been seen since the Jeff Lauener - Art Mendoza era of Capitol Auto Group Racing.

The season began in Medford, Oregon where we were on track to win the race after scoring low ET in the first round but the race got abruptly canceled due to an approaching storm that never materialized and the event was never completed. The team then moved on to Yakima after the season opener at Woodburn was canceled due to wet weather.

At the Yakima Season Opener, the Capitol team did some successful testing with the help of fellow competitor Brent Jones and then came home to Woodburn for the Rose Festival Drags and made two back to back 200 MPH runs with the help of Garry Fauble and Brent Sanford. This was first ever 200 MPH run in nearly twenty years of racing for the team! This put a spring in the step of the Capitol team that has lasted all season long.

Next, the Capitol team went on the road for three straight races in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series. The car ran well at stops in Yakima, Spokane and Butte Montana while continuing to rack up the points. The team returned home and put on an impressive show in front of the biggest crowd ever at Woodburn Dragstrip scoring a careeer best 206 MPH pass!

Tied for third, the team returned to Yakima for the Finals in September where they ultimately ended the series in fourth place out of 18 cars that ran in the series. A red light in the second round of competition to Kelly Flansaas in the Rocky Mountain Funny Car sealed Bailey's fate as he moved from 3rd down to 4th. On the bright side, it was Capitol Racing’s third consecutive top five finish in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series.

On the show side starting with the Winter Rod and Speed Show in January and continuing through the Spring, Summer and then into the Fall, the Capitol Auto Group Dragster was one of the most seen and professional race teams in the Pacific Northwest.

The Capitol Dragster was at major events all over Western Oregon including but not limited to the Portland Roadster Show, The Keizer Iris Festival, Western Days fireworks display and parade in Independence, The Night of Fire Benefit Car Show, The Family Fun Festival and a ten day run at the Oregon State Fair. As the season moved into Fall, the car was at the kick off for the Winter Rod and Speed Show at Burgerville, the car was also at Bauman Farm's Pumpkin Patch, a Tunk or Treat Halloween event at Morning Star Church, a Black Friday event at the Lancaster Firestone and finally the annual Christmas Parade in Keizer.

As we move into 2017 the dragster will make it's debut with a new Jeff Lewis paint job at the Winter Rod and Speed Show in Albany January 20-21. Watch the sites for updates on the progress of the new paint job.




Blown Alcohol Thunder Series Schdule is Finally Set

Here is the 2017 Drag Blown Alcohol Thunder Schedule:

Yakima, Washington May 26-27 Season Opening Race

Yakima, Washington June 31-July 1 Nitro Nights Under the Lights

Butte, Montana July 7-9 Big Sky Swing

Billings, Montana August 5 Big Sky Swing

Spokane, Washington August 17-18 Summer Nitro Nationals

Idaho Falls, Idaho Sept. 2 Blown Alcohol Thunder Finals

Capitol Racing's 2016 Year in Review

Over all 2016 was a great year with incredible on track performances and great exposure for our marketing partners. But the season began with sadness as we lost Russ Barth to cancer. Russ opened the door to KYKN which helped forge a rock solid marketing program for over 20 years and is the genesis of Rich Bailey's success in motorsports marketing. We owe a lot to our friend and we might not be racing today with out him.

On the racing side
of the operation, consistency best describes the 2016 season. The car ran hard every time down the track and made every race as well as every round all season in spite of three crew members that left the team at different times for various reasons. One because of illness while others were malcontent on how the team is run. But it didn't seem to impact the team all that much as Brent Sanford did a yeoman's job covering the bases and the team brought on a new superstar as skilled drag boat racer Troy Hannemenn joined towards the end of the season. Troy fit in so well that it seemed like he had been with us since day one.

Usually, a race or an event is missed each year due to an occasional mechanical problem but not this year. The car stayed together and thrilled race fans all season long while producing performance numbers that had not been seen since the Jeff Lauener - Art Mendoza era of Capitol Auto Group Racing.

The season began in Medford, Oregon where we were on track to win the race after scoring low ET in the first round but the race got abruptly canceled due to an approaching storm that never materialized and the event was never completed. The team then moved on to Yakima after the season opener at Woodburn was canceled due to wet weather.

At the Yakima Season Opener, the Capitol team did some successful testing with the help of fellow competitor Brent Jones and then came home to Woodburn for the Rose Festival Drags and made two back to back 200 MPH runs with the help of Garry Fauble and Brent Sanford. This was first ever 200 MPH run in nearly twenty years of racing for the team! This put a spring in the step of the Capitol team that has lasted all season long.

Next, the Capitol team went on the road for three straight races in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series. The car ran well at stops in Yakima, Spokane and Butte Montana while continuing to rack up the points. The team returned home and put on an impressive show in front of the biggest crowd ever at Woodburn Dragstrip scoring a careeer best 206 MPH pass!

Tied for third, the team returned to Yakima for the Finals in September where they ultimately ended the series in fourth place out of 18 cars that ran in the series. A red light in the second round of competition to Kelly Flansaas in the Rocky Mountain Funny Car sealed Bailey's fate as he moved from 3rd down to 4th. On the bright side, it was Capitol Racing’s third consecutive top five finish in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series.

On the show side starting with the Winter Rod and Speed Show in January and continuing through the Spring, Summer and then into the Fall, the Capitol Auto Group Dragster was one of the most seen and professional race teams in the Pacific Northwest.

The Capitol Dragster was at major events all over Western Oregon including but not limited to the Portland Roadster Show, The Keizer Iris Festival, Western Days fireworks display and parade in Independence, The Night of Fire Benefit Car Show, The Family Fun Festival and a ten day run at the Oregon State Fair. As the season moved into Fall, the car was at the kick off for the Winter Rod and Speed Show at Burgerville, the car was also at Bauman Farm's Pumpkin Patch, a Tunk or Treat Halloween event at Morning Star Church, a Black Friday event at the Lancaster Firestone and finally the annual Christmas Parade in Keizer.

As we move into 2017 the dragster will make it's debut with a new Jeff Lewis paint job at the Winter Rod and Speed Show in Albany January 20-21. Watch the sites for updates on the progress of the new paint job.

Capitol Race Team Top Ten Accomplishments for 2016

1. Capitol team breaks through the 200 MPH barrier for the first time in 19 years.

2. Capitol Dragster wins the prestigious Portland Roadster Show for the first time.

3. Capitol team finished fourth out of 18 cars in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series.

4. Dragster displayed at the State Fair for ten days and enjoys a great response.

5. Capitol Dragster gets chosen for 2017 NGK Calendar.

6. Rocketeer Returns for rejuvenated Keizer Christmas Parade.

7. Winter show and Night of Fire show together raises $8,210.00 for cancer causes.

8. Rich Bailey and Jim Billings bring back the Night of Fire Benefit Car Show.

9. Capitol race car trailer gets wrapped and lettered by Supervinyl Signs.

10. Capitol team hosts an 11 year old boy as part of their “Day at the Races” Program.


Dragster Shines at Keizer Christmas Parade

This year's Christmas Parade almost didn't happened had it not been for the Keizer Chamber of Commerce and "Mr. Christmas" Dave Walery who took over the parade after the long time organizers Bob and Cheryl Mitchell called it quits earlier in the year. Not to worry, a low entry fee brought in many more entries than last year even with half the lead time!

The parade itself went real well even with the off and on wet weather throughout the afternoon as we deorated the car and truck. But just like last year, the rain stopped before the parade began just as predicted. The attendance was a little down but not by much which was a little surprising because it was pouring until 6:30 and the parade started at 7:00. Die hard spectators planned to come rain or shine but were rewarded with dry weather. The parade was also televised live on KWVT locally.

At the end of the parade a little girl walked up to us justt as we were getting ready to load the car in the trailer and said that she sat in the car at the fair. Just shows how the Capitol Auto Group Dragster gets around. Thanks to Brent "Bad Santa" Sanford and Troy Hennemann.

Capitol Team Wins Most Professional Award

This past weekend was the annual Blown Alcohol Thunder winter meeting and awards banquet held at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Yakima. The Capitol team won the Most Professional Race Team Award. This award was voted on by the drivers and crew chiefs that participate in the Blown Alcohol Thunder series. Our crew chief Brent Sanford received some votes for best crew chief and came in third in the voting but he had some stiff competition just as we do on the track. The Capitol Team also picked up our fourth place trophy during the banquet. Only the top five finishers are awarded.


Team to Debut Bright New Paint Scheme in 2017

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster will be painted over the holiday season and will debuted at the 2017 Winter Rod and Speed Show presented by Burgerville, January 20-21 in Albany.

While the paint scheme is similar to the current vinyl wrap it will implement more yellow and a darker, brighter red. Supervinyl Signs of Salem who did the wrap will implement the logos. In reality we cold have gone another season with the current wrap but there were some bent body panels that needed to be straightened by Gary Eickmann.

Also, there was an opportunity to paint the car that was too good to turn down. The color will be applied by Jeff Lewis of Jeff Lewis Auto Body and paint in Keizer. In the mean time, the dragster has the old Rocketeer body on the car and will be doing a black friday event before doing the Keizer Festival of Lights Christmas Parade on Dec. 10 at 7 PM on River Road.


Capitol Dragster a hit at Morningstar "Trunk or Treat"

The Capitol Dragster was at Morningstar Church for "Trunk or Treat". This event welcomed kids to walk around and receive candy from people next to their cars. In our case there was no trunk but we gave away candy, allowed kids to sit in the car and gave away signed promo cards.


Dragster Makes Annual Stop at Bauman's Farm

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster made it’s annual stop at Bauman Farms’ Harvest Festival this past Saturday. When I first looked into doing this event in 2010 everyone including my wife thought I was nuts but the interest generated by the five thousand or more people that are there each day rivals the Oregon State Fair!

People were looking at the car from when we got there at 8:30 until we left at 6:30. There was only a couple of breaks in people that lasted less than a couple of minutes. Lots of kids sat in the car and I signed lots of publicity photos. We really appreciate the Bauman family for allowing us to bring the car out every year.

This Saturday, October 29, the Dragster will be at Trunk-or-Treat at Morning Star Church on Kubler Blvd. in South Salem from 12 to 3.

-Rich Bailey


Winter Rod and Speed Show Kick Off at Albany Burgerville a Big Hit!

With a nice weather forecast, an impromptu “Winter Rod and Speed Show kick off” cruise-in took place at the Albany Burgerville this past Saturday. The event allows us to give some attention to Burgerville and it's also a way for us to distribute winter car show exhibitor applications to the people that brought cars to the cruise in.

It was a great event as a final tally of 28 cars showed up which was about the limit due to limited space that also had to include customer parking. A mix of both customers and people driving by looked over the cars at the event. The Capitol -Burgerville Dragster was the central focal point of the event and as usual the kids got to sit in the car and received signed autographed pictures.

The Winter Rod and Speed Show returns January 20-21 to the Linn Conty Fair and Expo Center. Last year $7,000 was given to cancer including $5,000 to the Children's Cancer Association and 1,100 lb of food was given to Fish of Albanty. Application can be downloaded at HERE.


Lachelt Wins Blown Alcohol Thunder Championship

The Blown Alcohol Thunder Championship came down to the last round at the last race of the season held at Renegade Raceway in Yakima, WA on September 17th.

The Championship was between defending Champ Brent Jones of Stevensville, Montana and Canadian Dane Lachelt who won the Championship in 2014. Coming into the event, Jones in the “Lawless” funny car lead Lachelt in the “Way Too Much Fun” dragster by three points. However, in the final round Jones fouled giving the Championship and a $1,000 bonus to Lachelt.

Kelly Flansaas in the Rocky Mountain Funny Car and Rich Bailey in the Capitol Auto Group Dragster were tied for third place going into the second round but Bailey also fowled giving the third place season finish to Flansaas. Alvan Behar of Spokane rounded out the top five. All will be honored at a banquet to be held at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Yakima on November 19th.

Capitol Race Team Has Special Guest!
Fall Classic Marks End of the Season for Team!

Our race team hosted Arthur who we named our honorary crew member of the race. When we first met Arthur at our January car show, he was bald and had brain cancer but today when we hosted him at the track I’m glad to report he is now cancer free and has a full head of hair! At the January show I promised him we would bring him out to the races and I’m glad I kept my promise.

Arthur did a great job packing the chutes with the help of our new crew member Troy Hannamann and I. We then went around and met the other drivers who gave him t-shirts and signed photos!

On the first stanza on Saturday, we started with a safe tune up and I “only” reach 198 MPH. I wanted to go 200 MPH for Arthur who was watching from the stands so we hopped it up and it ran 201 MPH in 6.91 seconds! Mission accomplished! We have not hosted a cancer family at the track for a long while and I have forgotten how fun it is to do! In addition, we saw several people who we gave coupons to at the state fair so we got some new faces at the track which I was glad to see.

On Sunday, during the main event we raced George Moore one of my regular competitors on the Blown Alcohol Thunder circuit. I didn’t want to red light knowing we had the faster car and I left a little late but it give the crowd a good race as he got out of the box quicker then I anticipated and got a sizable two car length lead on me. But I was able to close the gap and take the stripe for the win with a 7.00 at 199 MPH.

At the top end of the track, we noticed a little oil on the transmission and in pit we saw there was a lot of oil in the overflow tank. Then we saw George pack it up and go so we opted to call it a season rather than take the chance and oil down the track on a single run. Over all it was a great race. We had a very good pit area in the best possible space and we sold out of all our t-shirts and gave away a lot of hero cards. So, in my world it was an overall success which best describes our 2016 racing season.


Capitol Team Finishes Season Fourth in Points at Blown Alcohol Thunder Finals

Our race team was tied for third place going into our final points race of the season this past weekend in Yakima, WA. In order to prevent a tie in the overall championship point standings, we faced our competitor Kelly Flansaas in the second round of the Blown Alcohol Thunder Finals to break the tie.

After running a slow 4.75 during Friday night’s test session we improved in the first stanza, posting a fine 4.52 which was quicker then the test pass by two tenths! In that race we were lined up against Jim Atwell in the Scarlet Fever car out of Calgary, Canada but he was unable to get his dragster to start due to a loose wire so we received a single pass.

On the tie breaker run in the second round, some how I rolled into the beams a little too far which caused me to deep stage! As I launched off the starting line I noticed a red light on my side of the christmas tree but it was still a very close side-by-side race as we ran a 4.55. We reviewed the video after the run and it turned out that the car jolted a head slightly when I set the trans break which caused it to go in too deep. According to Derek Snelson, the track promotor, a red light will appear on a pro light if there is a deep stage. A red light is an automatic disqualification so my opponent Kelly Flansaas won the round and the tie breaker so I moved down to fourth place for the year.

On the bright side, this is the third straight year where we earned a top five finish out of the 18 cars that competed in the series. We competed at every race and made every round and the car ran strong every time but it still wasn’t enough. As the co-founder of the Blown Alcohol Thunder racing circuit I say GOOD! That means this is becoming a very competitive racing series and you have to be on your game to win it.

Congratulations to our competitor Kelly Flansaas, driver of the Rocky Mountain Corvette Funny car for their third place finish. It was a fun and spirited battle with them all season. And Thanks to Brent and Troy for doing a great job in Yakima!

Next, we move on to Woodburn Dragstrip for the final race of the year this coming weekend.

-Rich Bailey


Cap Racing Welcomes Troy Hannemann to Team

Capitol Auto Group Racing is excited to announce that blown alcohol hydro boat racer Troy Hannemann is joining the team effective immediately. Not only does Troy have the blown alcohol experience we have been looking for, he also loves and understands the public relations end and promotions side of racing. Troy wants a break from the expense of running his own team and feels this is a good way to stay Active in the sport. Troy (in red) started with us on Saturday beginning with the Oregon State Fair. Please join us in welcoming Troy aboard.


Oregon State Fair Gives Our Sponsors, Woodburn and Race Team Great Exposure! It'a a Win Win!

The Oregon State Fair is now in the books and what a fabulous and busy event it was for the Captiol Racing Team! We met a lot of great people over the last week and even saw some old friends. Over this past weekend people wanted to hug me, some wanted to shake my hand, get an autographed picture and one couple even wanted to pray for my safety. People of all ages, shapes and colors visited us and I enjoyed talking to them all. On Monday we even had family members stop by from CCR (Credence Clearwater Revival).

We didn't know the car was going to be in the fair for the entire 10 day run beginning with a car show on Saturday until the day before fair opened. Of course I jumped at the chance when we were offered a primo spot in the GK Machine Motorsport Expo area by my friend Jim Billings. So I ordered 300 more handout cards to have by the last weekend and it's a good thing I did as I signed a lot of them!

I don't know what it is about this year but everything has been falling into place nicely. We haven't won an event this season but the positive vibes we have received this year from our friends, racers and fans have been like no other. Our confidence level is at an all time high and I haven't worried about a thing all year. I guess when the engine is happy we're happy. Hitting 200 MPH repeatedly has done a lot for this team which used to stumble constantly whether it was our fault or not. But I digress.

On Saturday, Brent came along so we fired up the dragster several times to big crowds. Then five minutes later more people came over after hearing the car clear across the fairgrounds! Jim Livingston from Woodburn Dragstrip was there looking after the car when I was at work as did Deb Denton and Brad Chrisman. We gave out thousands of coupons for the Fall Classic along with some junior dragster racers who were also there. I hope that the weather is good that weekend and even if just half turned out to see us race I'd be very happy but coupon redemption is about 10 percent.

The Capitol dragster appears to becoming a fixture at the fair just like the ol' Fisher Scone stand to some who told me they look forward to seeing it there year after year. They pointed out where the car was parked last year and how their kid has last year’s photo hanging on their wall. Most of all it was the enjoyment people had seeing one of these cars up close and the smile on kid’s faces who just liked how long the car is.

More than one person came by the display to meet our new crew member, Troy Hennemann or mentioned him in conversation. Wow! that shows you just how powerful the internet has become and how interested people are about this team.

I really enjoy this gig, it never gets dull. Except for the times when the dragster was roped off and short breaks in the action that never lasted more than a couple of minutes on the weekends, I was very busy and we had a different kid in the car just about every minute, hour after hour!

Thanks to Dave Wilson, Brent Sanford, Deb Denton, Troy Hennemann, Brad Chrisman, Jim Livingston, GK Machine and Jim Billings for their help in making this successful ten day run at the fair a reality.

-Rich Bailey


A Long Stretch of Shows including the Night of Fire, Family Fun Fest and Cycle Country!

Wow! What a big weekend! We did two big events last Friday and Saturday! And of course the Night of Fire we produce in house along with several other caring people. The Night of Fire was another giant success after a three year absence.

The following weekend the car was at Cycle Country for three consecutive days. Plus, we finally got the trailer lettered by Mark Adams at Supervinyl and it looks great! Below is a quick summary of the events we have done in August so far.

The Night of Fire

First, on Friday, our Night of Fire Car Show was a big success as we attracted around 150 cars and about 1,000 or so spectators. The event raised money for a second grade girl with leukemia after we pay our bills. We fired up the Capitol Dragster 3 times and once it got dark you could see some spectacular white flames coming out of the pipes! I only got a few photos from the event as my battery ran out of juice but other than that everything went perfectly. Oh how I wish we had photos of the flames coming out of the Capitol car! The event raised over $1,200 for the family of Keelie Curran.

The Family Fun Festival

I saw some signs up around town when I was putting up my Night of Fire signs which advertised the Family Fun Festival at River Front Park which was scheduled for the day after the Night of Fire. So, with nothing planned for Saturday I called the organization behind the event and they enthusiastically ok’d me being there. I told them the car would be a big hit. I wasn’t kidding! I had a solid line with no breaks from 30 minutes after the event opened at 10AM until 2PM when it closed.

Sometimes 30 people would be in line. Last year they estimated 3,000 people were there and I’m sure that was the case this year and half of them sat in the dragster! I signed pictures and gave away little bags of Jelly Belly candy that Ed Jones who drives the Jelly Belly car gave me the night before. The trailer finally got the signs on it and made for a great backdrop!

Cycle Country

We were initially going to do a display Thursday for a remote with KYKN but the owner of the Cycle Country store asked if we would stretch it out for two more days. Since they are an NGK retailer and the car was available we agreed to do it. Why not? The photo is of the car with the new vinyl signs on the trailed applied by Supervinyl signs of Salem. Thanks to Richard Lytle for his help.

Central Lions Club Car Show

It was the dog days of summer with highs approaching 102 degrees! Since we had nothing on the schedule we took the Capitol Dragster to Independence for the Central Lions Club car show. Even though it was hot it was still a good show with quite a few locals showing up off and on. We had a lot of people come by and look as well as sit in the car. The event was at the park down near the river and it was a great setting for the dragster with lots of shade. Thanks to Ray Lancaster and Dave Faller for their help.


Capitol Dragster Continues to Run Well in Montana

The CD's skipped in the truck, the cots we slept on were about as comfortable as something manufactured in North Korea, there was a major semi-truck crash on the freeway just minutes before we passed by and our truck had to be topped off with coolant on every stop on the way home from Montana. It's sounds like the making of an awful trip but actually it was pretty awesome. In fact, it was a great trip, the same scene as one year ago where the Capitol Team regrouped and has been running nearly perfectly ever since. Oh yeah, we would like to go quicker but the car is running competitively and has not broke any parts all season. That in it self is a very good thing especially after three races in a row!

As was the case last year we stayed at Richard Huffman's River Bend Ranch in Missoula which alone is worth the trip. We stayed there on the way and the way back from from Lost Creek Raceway near Butte. Richard who is the new business relations manager for TrailWest Bank secured us a sponsorship for the race which covered our fuel for the truck, which was four tanks full plus he took us out for dinner when we arrived into town on Thursday.

Richard also brought to the track 150 pink plastic piggy banks and muscle car calendars which we gave out at the race. It was quite a site to see the crew throwing these pink piggybanks to the people in the old rickety bleachers as everyone wanted them! By the end of the event on Saturday they were all gone. I had no idea we were going to do any of this before leaving Oregon but it ended up being a great marketing promotion and made us one of the most popular teams in the pits. Plus, our t-shirt sales went well too.

On Friday, the car was on display at a Car Quest store in Butte and then we went to the track at about 4 PM. A kid even came by the display and said he saw the car on the TV ads. That made me feel pretty good hearing that.

Later that night, I made my first pass just before dark along side the reining champion Brent Jones in the Lawless Racing funny car. I had great .0004 reaction time which was good for the $100 Good Vibrations Best Reaction Time Award. Unfortunately, Brent won the round in spite of my better reaction time.

On Saturday, we were the first of the Blown Alcohol Thunder cars to run and just before the fire up there was a short sprinkle. After a quick delay, we took on Larry DeMott in a similar Blown Alcohol Dragster. I beat Larry on both ends of the track with a 4.78 but our time was not quick enough to go to the final round.

In round two, we stepped it up as we faced Kelly Flansass in the Rocky Mountain Corvette flopper to whom we are tied with in the points battle. At the hit, Kelly had an .0030 of a second reaction time to my .0060. Both cars were side by side in one of the closest races of the round. At the finish it was the funny car even though I had a quicker 4.68 ET to his 4.69. Last year I beat him on a hole shot and this year he returned the favor. Neither of went quick enough to reach the final and we both remained tied for 3rd in points with one points race to go in September.

Thanks to Richard Huffman, Brent Sanford, Richard Lytle and Duane Huffines for all of the help this weekend it was another great weekend under the Big Sky!


The Best of Times on the Blown Alcohol Thunder "Big Sky Swing"

We are having a great time on the Blown Alcohol Thunder circuit racing, selling shirts and even hocking Adam's Rib BBQ sauce. The folks in Spokane and Yakima love the sauce and I've sold a lot of it. The car is running as good as the sauce right now and we are enjoying every minute of it, racing all over the Northwest. We are the I-84 Warriors because we see more of I-84 than anyone would ever want too!

Right now we are tied for third place after three races in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Pro Comp Series. I am hoping this weekend during the last race of the “Big Sky Swing” that we can catch up to the points leader Brent Jones or at the very least break the tie with the beautiful Rocky Mountain Thunder Corvette Funny Car for whom we are currently tied with. Third out of the 15 cars in our series isn’t too bad as the competition has really stepped up this year especially the Rocky Mountain Thunder guys. Win loose or draw the teams are all friends but everyone wants to win and we might bring out our little pulley this weekend that's known to break a few parts on occassion. But that's what you need to do when you are racing at over a mile altitude

Last weekend we took our 200 MPH tune up to Spokane for the Nitro Summer Nationals but the high elevation and bad air didn’t help and the best we were able to run was a 7.08 at 194 MPH. But it was a good race for us anyway as the car still ran strong on every single pass in front of several thousand cheering fans! Speaking of fans, a guy was at the Spokane race from Georgia and mentions he comes to our site regularly so I better update this site more.

Speaking of media, there is a great story about our racing series on the popular website. There is also a great photo of us in the article. And we were even on the TV news in Yakima for a brief moment. If that wasn’t enough we are currently in a TV commercial advertising this weekend’s race in Butte Montana on the NBC affiliate there. On top of all that, I was also interviewed by OJ the announcer at the Spokane race. OJ has become a great friend of the team and we all enjoy visiting with him.

Once the race in Montana is completed, we will be done with the road trips until September when we will have just one more trip to Yakima for the final points race of the year. The rest of the time we will be doing lots of events and two additional races in our local area. Enclosed are some photos from the last couple of race during our three races in a row “Big Sky Swing”. A big thanks to Duane, Richard and Brent for all their help on this three race marathon!

Big July 4 Weekend of Racing and Displaying

It was a BIG 4th of July weekend in terms of exposure for our sponsors! First, we had a great outing in Yakima at the second Blown Alcohol Thunder race of the season. The car ran great as it has all year and we were in the top half of the field but not quite quick enough to go to the final round. There were 13 cars in the field and three of them are heavy hitters and had three tenths of a second on me. But we didn’t hurt anything and we were even on the local TV news!

On Sunday, the car was returned home to Oregon for Western Days on the 4th in Monmouth and Independence which included the three mile parade that was packed from one end to the other.

After the parade, the dragster was placed at the Western Days festival grounds where they light off the fireworks. We let the kids sit in the car and I signed pictures and sold t-shirts. It got crazy busy the closer we got to the big fireworks show. I’m not sure how many people saw the car but between the parade and the display I would say thousands and thousands! A lot of good will was exchanged through out the day and night with the general public.

We are back on the road again for a couple of Blown Alcohol Thunder races in Spokane and then in Butte Montana for the “Big Sky Swing” but will be back in time for Crazy Days in Dallas and for the next major race in Woodburn called the Night of Fire towards the end of the month. Then it’s our car show the first week of August also called the Night of Fire which is for a little girl with leukemia from Albany.



Capitol Racing Team Reaches Major Milestone! Breaks 200 MPH Barrier on Back to Back Runs!

It's taken nearly 20 years, but the Capitol team finally made it into the 200 MPH club! This is the big milestone since hitting 300 MPH would require us to move into Top Fuel and the odds of that happening are like winning the lotto which is also what it would take do it. Ever since running that first 6 second pass we hoped that it would some day happen but every season we would get close with a 199 MPH or 199.9 MPH like we did at last year's Fall Classic. So, such a historic run for us was never official, it was always close but no cigar. Or as we would say "ABOUT 200 MPH" when anyone would ask how fast the car goes at one of our displays.

This weekend we went into the Rose Festival Drags at Woodburn Dragstrip loose but confident that the car would run well after such a successful weekend in Yakima two weeks prior. We had no idea what would happen and there were no plans to attempt to break 200 but our friend Garry Fauble had other ideas when he volunteered to come up and help. I just hoped what ever the out come we wouldn't hurt anything since we have three races in a row coming up, one in Yakima and then the "Big Sky Swing" where we hit Spokane and then on to Butte Montana.

Before the first hit on Saturday, we noticed some loose pan bolts which lead us to take the lower pan off and check it. The team work of Brent, Duane Turner and Duane Huffines was sensational as the lower pan was off in no time and the top plan bolts were tightened. We also checked a couple of bearings while the lower pan was off and they looked great. The car was all back together and ready to run by the opening round. Garry made some tuning suggestions and we were ready to rock as the last blown car to run just before the jets.

On that historic run (for us anyway) the car passed the stripe at 204 MPH in 6.97 seconds! Before the first pass we had no idea the car was going to run that fast but I knew it was going to be good. I could tell it was a great run when I hit those chutes and the car reacted and I was tugged back in the seat like never before. When the crew came down and Brent told me the news there was a short celebration just like when I made that first 6 second pass with Art Mendoza and the late Jeff Lauener. In fact, Brent suggested that we dedicate our first 200 MPH run to Jeff so we did. On Sunday, the weather was a little warmer so we leaned it out five steps. The car loved it and it and ran a 5.88 at 205 MPH to back up Saturday's run which proved that it was no a flook.

We had a lot of people come by after the runs both Saturday and Sunday including racers I really respect complimenting us on how good we ran. They know all of the struggles we have had from time to time so they could appreciate what we had just done.

I want to thank ALL of our sponsors especially Capitol for backing us for over 16 years and I want to thank my current crew Brent Sanford, Duane Turner, Richard Lytle and Duane Huffines for all of their hard work this year since it has not been easy. I also want to thank everyone that has helped behind the scenes through out my career but there are too many to list and I know I'll forget someone so you all know who you are. Finally, I want to thank all of our former crew members because if it wasn't for their help, the car would have been parked long ago and we wouldn't be where we are today to celebrate this incredible milestone.


Burgerville Kick Off Event Raises $517 for Family

The Albany Burgerville store, donated 10 percent of their total sales last Saturday from 10-3 to the family of Keelie Curran, the 7 year old with Leukemia and our Night of Fire beneficiary. The total amount raised was $517.00. The event was a kick off for the Night of Fire car show coming up on August 5th at the Peoples Church in Salem.

The car turn out was low due to a thunder storm that rolled through the area and because of many other car shows being conducted at the same time
. But once the weather improved quite a few cusomers brought their kids out to look at the cars and a good time was had by all.

A big thanks to everyone that attended and to crew member Richard Lytle and Deb Denton who took photos while displaying her Roush Mustang and to Roger Phillips and Bob Morris for displaying their Hot Rods.

Night of Fire Car Show Beneficiary Selected

We have selected our beneficiary for the Night of Fire Car Show on Friday night, August 5th at the Peoples Church in Salem. Our beneficiary is Keelie Curran. She is a 7 year old girl who has a form of leukemia which is currently in remission after a successful bone marrow transplant. Never the less, the family has gone through a lot and still needs help! If you are local please come to the show. If you have a race car, cruiser, Muscle car or a hot rod, please bring it to the show.

If you are out of state and can donate racing shirts or memorabilia we would love to accept for a giant silent auction. Email us here if you can help or need a mailing address to send items.

Capitol Team Finds Improved Performance in Yakima

Photos by Annette Barton

At our season opening race in Medford we uncovered some mechanical problems that needed to be addressed so I came up with a game plan that worked perfectly. Instead of racing at the Woodburn Season Opener with a car that we knew had problems, we opted instead to display the car at a local event and then race the dragster the following weekend in Yakima. This would give us a chance to race in test mode on an eighth mile track that is a little more forgiving as opposed to Woodburn’s full quarter mile. We have gone to Woodburn before not fully prepared and it's an awful position to be in.

The Woodburn race ended up getting canceled due to the rain so we didn't miss much, although, I was uncomfortable with my decision a few days prior to the race. But looking back at it, it was the right decision to have made even if it had turned out to have been sunny and 80 degrees.

So, getting back to Yakima, I arranged a match race to compliment the jet and funnycar show that was already booked through my friend Derek Snelson whom promotes the Yakima track. Well, sadly my opponent was unable to make the race so we made single runs right after the funny cars ran each of there sessions. This was okay by me as testing the car was our main objective.

On the first run Friday night we leaned the car out hoping that fixed one of the big problems as there was excessive alcohol in the crank case after the Medford event. The car did a wheelstand and got a little out of shape so I clicked it off early. After the run we realized leaning it out didn’t help clear up the problem as there was still alcohol in the motor even after changing the oil.

On Saturday, we worked on the car all day and my friend and fellow racer Brent Jones came over and discovered a remedy for the fuel problem and also made some other adjustments. On the first hit on Saturday night the car responded well and ran a 4.58 at 158 MPH. We then came back for the final run of the night under the lights. It was an exciting night time run and the car went quicker yet as it rang up a 4.52 at 158 MPH in the eight mile. We’re now confident that our problems are fixed so we will next head to Woodburn Dragstrip for the Rose Festival Drags on June 11-12.

A big thanks to everyone that helped us out this weekend and a shout out to my hard working team! Brent Sanford, Duane Turner and Duane Huffines did a great job with great team work and attitudes on display all weekend!

-Rich Bailey



Dragster Displayed at the Keizer Iris Festival but Returns to Racing in Yakima Next Weekend

While the car ran okay last weekend and we didn’t hurt anything, we only got one run in at Medford. On that one pass the poor conditions didn't allow me to properly launch the car at full throttle which may be the result of why the car didn't launch correctly. Or, there may be a bug causing the problem. Regardless, we don't want to test during a major event at Woodburn knowing there may be a problem. In addition, there are a couple of other minor bugs that also need to be addressed before going to Woodburn and Yakima's new improved track is the perfect place for ironing out these problems.

So, Saturday we kept it local and displayed the Capitol Auto Group Dragster at the Keizer Iris Festival near the amusement rides rather than race the car at the Season Opener. Also, I had to leave for three hours to attend the memorial service for Russ Barth which also played into our decision not to attend the Season Opener race. But our sponsors were still covered even if it was a static display.

From now until August we have a race about every other weekend so missing this race will give my crew a free weekend since we have been working on the car the previous three weeks in a row. Thanks to Brent Sanford, Duane Turner and Duane Huffines for all their hard work and dedication. Also, a big thanks to Brent, Richard Lytle, the Elks and Dave Walery for making the event at the Keizer Fest possible.

-Rich Bailey

Cold Weather and Poor Traction Doom Medford Race After the First Round of Competition

After arriving in Medford on Friday, the Capitol Car was on display from 2 to 6 at Sherm's Food For Less.

And the winner of the Blown Alcohol Thunder event in Medford was the weather! After a week of hot 85 degree weather, a cold front naturally came rushing in overnight on Friday dooming the Season Opener at Champion Raceway. And the sad thing was the race still could have been contested but the track management errored on the side of caution as an approaching storm that was supposed to have blown through town after the first round never reached the track.

The afternoon wasn't too bad weather wise and it wasn't until we were called to the staging lanes at 5 PM that it began to sprinkle. After an hour delay the alterds ran first and they had a tough time negotiating the track but they got down it. Next it was our turn and we were given a single followed by the funny cars who were also squirly. Early in the day the blown alcohol drivers decided to go ahead and run eighth mile rather than the quarter in the interest of safety.

When it was our turn, I did an okay burnout and then backed up and got in the beams. Since the track was marginal at best, I pussyfooted it off the line by not getting to high up on the converter. There was a little bit of a hesitation like the transbreak did not work but then the car finally started to move and it made a decent run, putting us in the no. 1 position out of the five cars that showed up. When we got back to the pits were were informed that the track would run out the desel pickup class followed by ther jet car and that would be it for the night. So everyone left with a little bit of money and 20 points for the blown alcohol class.


Russ Barth Passes from Cancer

Sadly, I just heard of the passing of a very good friend and the guy that opened the door to my first sponsorship which was followed by many more. If you follow the steps to where we are now, it all started with Russ Barth taking a chance on me when he was the Promotion Manager for KSLM Radio. Without him there would be no Capitol Auto Group Racing because the path would have never found it's way there.

Russ Barth you were a great man and I will miss you. You did a lot of good things in your life for people that could never return the favor such as helping the dirt poor in Africa with reading glasses and helping those in poor African countries at the hight of the AIDS epidemic. In addition you helped people in need here at home and was a part of the Night of Fire by delivering and setting up the sound system every year.

Those of us blessed enough to have known you, love you and you will never be forgotten for the impact you have made in this world.

-Rich Bailey


Getting Ready for Medford
Capitol Team Steps Up Maintenance in 2016

Duane Turner and Brent Sanford prepare the freshened up block at the machine shop.

The Capitol Team is going all out this season on its maintenance program to minimize the chance for catastrophic engine failure. With the help of our new team member and machinist, Duane Turner along with car chief Brent Sanford, the decision was made to go through the entire engine before the first race of the season in Medford, on May 14th.

We had the choice of a quick fix or doing it the right way. Since we had an extra week, we chose the right way and completely refresh the engine. Our plan is to not rely on the oil filter to spot problems but instead to take the pan off regularly through out the season to prevent potential problems before they occur.


Blown Alcohol Thunder Starts May 14 in Medford Blown Alcohol Thunder Series Schedule

May 14 Champion Raceway, Medford
July 1-2 Renegade Raceway, Yakima

The Big Sky Swing:

July 8-9 Spokane County Raceway, Spokane
July 15-16 Lost Creek Raceway, Anaconda Montana

Sept. 16-17 The Fall Championship Race, Yakima

For more information Go to:


Bailey's Blog:
Well...We're back in the Trucking Business!

Some of you might remember the mess I found myself in when I was stopped for an illegal registration and the demand by the officer that I get a CDL as a result of having a truck and trailer combination with a manufacturer's rating of over 26,000 pounds. It was a big hassle and I found myself more concerned with getting my CDL then I was about racing the car.
As a result of all the hassles, we eventually moved from a 43 foot gooseneck to a 30 foot tag trailer so we could continue to transport the race car without the need of a CDL, a log book and a medical card.

I thought moving to the smaller trailer would be the end of my new career in the trucking business until my friend Ed Jones called letting me know that he got pulled over in Montana for not having a USDOT number. Ed's combination truck and trailer weighs close to my current combo and he told me he had no choice but to comply with the law since he was now entered into a national data base at the time he was pulled over. One of the regulations I wasn't familiar with is that in order to have a USDOT number you must have a log book and a medical card just like you would if you applied for a CDL.

So, who needs a USDOT number? Anyone with a truck and trailer combination weighing over 10,001 pounds and participating in interstate commerce. This includes any one competing in events where money can be made even if it's not a lot, and even it's personal cargo such as a race car. Not only are racers cought up in these laws but people involved in showing horses, the rodeo, etc. needs to worry. And, you don't necessarily have to have lettering on the side of the trailer to be stopped but it does increase your odds.

After a long talk with Ed, and being that we treat our racing program and related activities as an advertising business, I bit the bullet and re-applied for a USDOT number and had my medical card physical today. We are about to get the trailer lettered but before we do I wanted to be sure that I passed that physical. Otherwise, adding graphics to the side of the trailer would have made us a bigger target to the wrong cop sitting on the side of the road with nothing to do.

Besides the medical card, you have to go through a lot of hoops when you get a USDOT number. However, a race team can be as professional as you want to make it and if you are blessed enough to have good sponsors, receive money from racing then you are considered a commercial enterprise by law and eventually you will wish you had that DOT number, the log book and the medical card if you are ever pulled over for whatever reason an officer wants to come up with. A friend of mine blew by a weigh station once and the DOT inspector nailed him by Googling the sponsor's name that was on the side of the race car trailer as he drove by. He then called the sposnsor to get his name!

So we're back in the trucking business like a bad penney. But you know what? I'm thankful for it because it means that I get to continue to pursue my dream as a race car driver and I get to go out on the road and race while participating in the interstate commerce of selling t-shirts and Adam's Rib BBQ sauce while getting paid to a little bit to race. If I didn't have those great sponsors then I would be sitting at home and there would be no reason to have a USDOT number so it's worth it to me.

-Rich Bailey


Great Fun Had by All at Cascade High School

While it started out chilly and a little slow, our race team had a great time out at Cascade High School's sober grad fundraiser where they had 200 cars on display! When the sun finally came out and it warmed up, moods changed and everyone loosened up a little bit and started to have some fun. All kinds of people came by to see the car including an entire baseball team.

There was one particular fundraiser called the "Traveling Toilet" where students put a yellow toilet in front of your car and you had to pay 5.00 to remove it and send it to another car of your choice. We were below everyone's radar until late in the show, where James Taylor of Break the Chains Racing sent us that eye sore so I paid 5.00 to get it removed and sent back to the Break the Chain folks. They sent it back to us, so another 5.00 and it went anywhere but the Break the Chain gang.


Bailey's Blog:
Race Team Makes Updates as Season Approaches

I need to blog more so here it is! The 2016 Northwest Drag Racing season is here which means some updates for the Capitol Team. This year we are switching to the bushing style lifter. At nearly $1,000 a set these bad boys aren't cheap. But the hope is that if we break one, damage will be minimal since they don't have the needle bearings that spread through the engine which can cause all kinds of damage. And while we are at it the connecting rod and main bearings were checked and they need to be replaced along with the oil pump.

One of the coolest things we did was replace the butterflies from red to blue. It really looks nice and very noticeable. On the safety end, we had to yard out the belts to get them re-certified and replaced one of the pilot chutes.

Next, wss some work in the trailer. Today, the winch was upgraded. We had no choice on this one as the cable got stuck again. The good news was that Harbor Freight took good care of us and we got a much better unit than we had before. A lot of people bad mouth Harbor Freight but the moral to the story is if buy anything of any value make sure you get the extend warranty and you'll be fine. If it wasn't for Harbor Freight and Sears we wouldn't be able to afford to have as many tools as we do.

Speaking of good deals, we got a great stereo system for the trailer from Best Buy. I then got a shelf set up at Ace Hardware and we're off to the races in style. Speaking of style, we got some really nice team jackets that were embroidered by my bruthu Kevin down at Image Actionwear. If you need some custom stitching done they are the folks to call on. Next week, we will have our new hero card printed by Competition Printing of Tempe AZ.

-Rich Bailey


Dragster Displayed at South Albany High School

On Saturday the Capitol Auto Group Rocketeer Dragster was displayed at South Albany High School for their benefit car show which raised funds for an upcoming sober grad party for the senior class. It was a good show as 140 cars showed up and quite a few spectators attended so it was great exposure for all of our sponsors. The dragster won the best engine award which we were not expecting but it was a nice award to receive since we spent some time polishing the engine prior to the show.


Capitol Dragster Wins at Portland Roadster Show

Capitol Rocketeer Dragster won the Dragster Class at the 60th annual Portland Roadster Show! This is the first time we have won the Portland Roadster Show which is especially gratifying to car owner Rich Bailey who has been going to the event since he was a kid and finally won a class at the show after three different years of trying. The Capitol car has won a lot of shows in the past including the former Portland Rod and Custom Show but this is the big one as far as car shows go.

Thousands of people attended the event and our dragster was located on a major isle so everyone going to the next building had to pass the car twice which meant great exposure for all of our sponsors! The award was well deserved as we received a lot of complements at the show and we had the best looking race car display bar none! A big thanks to Duane Huffines and Bobby Landsburg who helped set up and take down the display.



Lights Dim on Festival of Lights Christmas Parade

After 25 great years, some better than others depending on the weather, the organizers of the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade have decided to call it quits. There was a theme chosen for the 2016 parade so this announcement broke by the Keizer Times Newspaper came out of nowhere. The Capitol Auto Group Dragster was a regular in the parade for 14 of the last 25 years.

The parade was getting more expensive to do and the entry fee for participants was considerably higher than some of the smaller parades in neighboring communities which may have had something to do with the decline in participation in 2015. Regardless, Bob and Cheryl Mitchell did a great job organizing the event which will be missed by both young and old from all over the Salem Keizer area.

But there is some good news for Keizer! A new Starbucks is planned giving this bedroom community a total of five stores when you include Keizer Station!


1430 KYKN Returns as Media Partner in 2016

1430 KYKN has returned as the official media partner for ProMotion Motorsports. KYKN is a partner in auto show events produced in-house and a big part of the race team's business to business marketing plan.

KYKN has been a affiliated with Rich Bailey's racing program since the beginning of his career in 1998 when he raced the KSLM Good Time Oldies car, a front engine dragster. Later the oldies station was sold and the brand was switched on a modern day rear engine car called "News Talk 1430 Dragster". The program changed in 2000 when Capitol Auto Group came on board but KYKN remained on every Capitol car since then and has always been considered a part of the racing team family.

1430 KYKN is one of the most listened to radio stations between Portland and Sacramento. Its signal can reach into California at night but listeners can hear it 24-7 from anywhere in the world on the web at . The station carries national shows including Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck in the mornings as well as Gator's Radio Experience, a local show, beginning at 4 PM each afternoon. The station also carries Oregon Ducks Football as well as high school sports on Friday nights and a variety of different shows on the weekends.


Bailey's Blog: Blown Alcohol Thunder Series Grows into a Solid Multi-State Racing League

After updating our Blown Alcohol Thunder Series website with new cars and information I have suddenly realized that we have a very good league of race teams, colorful cars and personalities. For those that don't know, The Blown Alcohol Thunder Series is a little bit Top Alcohol, a little bit Pro Mod and a little bit nostalgia all wrapped up into one killer group of blown alcohol cars and events. Back in the old days they called this class ProComp.

After the crucial make or break sophomore season, the series is really maturing into a solid program and is an affordable option for tracks looking for a feature show. Blown Alcohol Thunder is also a great option for racers with rear engine dragsters and funny car that don't quite qualify for Top Alcohol but are also too "new" to run in the exclusive nostalgia groups.

Starting a Pro Comp racing series was a dream of mine for many years but it was hard to get the cars and the tracks to commit without each other already signed. But thanks to Jim Maher and Derek Snelson, it's become a successful reality. Derek who runs Renegade Raceway in Yakima is my partner in this venture and Jim who owns Good Vibrations, a racing parts mail order parts business in California, is our title sponsor and has been from day one.

The series begins in Medford on May 14 and ends on September 17 at Renegade Raceway in Yakima with the "Big Sky Swing" sandwiched in between. Last year, Brent Jones won the series title with his Lawless Funny car and he looks like the driver to beat again in 2016. But a lot of teams are stepping up so it won't be as easy to finish in the top five as it was last year and with low fuel prices, we expect a few more teams to be traveling to more races.

We hope that you will support our racing series if you live within driving distance of one of our events. We feature all very nice cars and good people that put on a great show for the fans. Come check us out at Blown Alcohol Thunder Series Schedule

May 14 Champion Raceway, Medford
July 1-2 Renegade Raceway, Yakima

The Big Sky Swing:

July 8-9 Spokane County Raceway, Spokane
July 15-16 Lost Creek Raceway, Anaconda Montana

Sept. 16-17 The Fall Championship Race, Yakima


Bailey's Blog:
Capitol Racing Starts a New Chapter in 2016

So far, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year although just like life itself, circumstances can stop progress on a dime when it comes to racing. I have had many situations in the past where it could have been curtains but I have always been able to find a way to rise above it and keep the team a float.

The new year is progressing fabulously. Our in-house produced Winter Rod and Speed Show Presented by Bugerville was a BIG HIT. We had a great crowd and good cars to match. I have received a lot of great feed back since the conclusion of the event and I can't wait to start the recruiting process all over again in late summer and early fall. Speaking of late Summer, an old Summer Favorite might be coming back but more on that when it becomes official. All I can say is that it'll be hot news!

This past weekend, we had the dragster at the “Left Coast Sha’Bang” Car Show at the State Fairgrounds in Salem (pictured). This event event also had a good turn out of cars and spectators. The race car was placed near the front door as patrons came in the building so we got all of our sponsors some great exposure as everyone that came in saw the car.

While the dragster was inside, we took a couple of hours to clean and organize the trailer. After the show, we took the car home and removed the differential for an inspection and perhaps replacement of the ring and pinion if needed. We also checked the transmission and that looked fine. This was the first time our newly assembled crew members Duane Huffines and Duane Turner have worked on the car and I must say that I’m very optimistic that this will be one of the best teams I have had the pleasure to work with. I bought some new racing jackets for the crew to start anew and we will have new crew shirts soon. Of course nobody can replace Richard but if he is unable to return the team is in great hands.

Next up is the biggest indoor show we will ever do, the 60th annual Portland Roadster Show. This is the big one and I have been told by the folks running the event that they have a very good display space picked out for us. That show is March 18-20, so between now and then we will get the differential serviced and then back in the car so it’s ready to go in time for the Roadster Show.

-Rich Bailey


Winter Rod and Speed Show Presented by Burgerville
Winter Rod and Speed Show Enjoys Another Great Turn Out of Cars and People!

The 2016 Winter Rod and Speed Show Presented By Burgerville held in Albany, Oregon expanded from a one day show to a two day show. The Friday night experiment of opening the event on Friday night worked so well that we are already planning to do it again next year. In fact, the show was ready to open an hour early and spectators began arrive early. Saturday's crowd was also very good.

In terms of quality, some commented that this year's show was the best Winter Rod and Speed Show ever. The model car contest held independently at the show also enjoyed more entries and interest. For those that missed the Rat Rod show billed as the "Left Coast Sha Bang" in the back building, that event happens in Salem at the State Fairgrounds on Saturday, February 6th from 9 to 5.

Thanks to a super group of people that made the Winter Rod and Speed Show presented by Burgerville a success including Ray Lancaster, Michele Rowell Coffey, Carolyn Wilson , Dave Wilson, Duane Huffines, Duane Turner, Paul Finister, Jason Grassman, Dave Cookman, Ashley Rae, Heidi Lyn, Kenny Youngblood, Pat Coffey, Annette Barton , Laura Morett and Susan Bailey. And thanks to all of our exhibitors, vendors, spectators and sponsors. Your involvement regardless of what capacity is more appreciated then you will ever know!


Bailey's Blog:
EPA Clarifies Position: Cars Used Exclusively for Racing Not Covered in New Law

After the press release that SEMA sent out on Monday suggesting that street cars modified for racing would be banned, the EPA has clarified their position according to Road and Track Magazine. It turns out that the situation isn't nearly as bad as everyone was lead to believe. According to the EPA, beginning in 2018 you can’t modify the exhaust system or anything related to emissions on any street car or a street car you also use for racing. That said, there is zero threat that this law as implemented will be a threat to the future of motorsports. In fact, the EPA spokesman said they have no interest in regulating race cars. Just knowing that is a good thing.

This law is really about monkeying with emission controls and exhaust systems on street cars. But here is where the confusion is, the law includes the same street car that is used for both racing and as a daily driver. For an example, if a guy has an import car which he races at the import drags, he is prohibited from making any emissions modifications on that particular vehicle if he’s also going to use it as a street car.

Of course SEMA is going to be up in arms about this law no matter what since they represent companies that make custom exhaust systems and emission modifications but the press release made the whole situation sound a whole lot worse than it really is.

To read the original SEMA press release go here:


Capitol Racing Welcomes Duane Turner while Richard Lytle Convalesces Due to Health Challanges

Capitol Racing welcomes Duane Turner as a new crew member. Duane who resides in Corvallis, currently races in the nostalgia class and brings a wealth of racing and mechanical experience to the Capitol team. Duane Turner joins Duane Huffines as new teammates to owner driver Rich Bailey and car chief Brent Sanford.

Together both Duane Turner and Duane Huffines replace Richard Lytle who had to quit the team over lingering health issues. Brent Sanford will over see the crew and run the car. In addition Ray Lancaster will be helping with displays at selected area events.

Richard Lytle always has a place on the Capitol team. He has been a trooper through thick and thin for five years even when his health hasn't been the best. Sadly his body is telling him to slow down for a while. We hope his health improves enough so he can return to the race team or pursue other interests.

Duane Turner's racing experience even though it's in a much slower class will help the team immediately. He will learn quick. Besides racing, Duane Turner makes his living as a machinist and a mechanic for a family owned business. Duane Huffines joined the team this past fall and has been doing a lot displays so far in the post racing season. Both Mr. Huffines and Mr. Turner are married to supportive wives.



Capitol Racing Welcomes Back Product Sponsors
NGK Spark Plugs and King Engine Bearings

Both NGK and King Engine Bearings have re-committed for the 2016 season as product sponsors. NGK is the leader in spark plug technology in every racing, motorcycle and automotive category.

King Engine bearings are second to none. They manufacture their bearings in Israel using the best materials and the strictest manufacturing process. Capitol Auto Group Racing has a great long term relationship with both NGK and King Engine Bearings and we are glad to have them back for the 2016 season.

For more information about NGK Spark Plugs go to

King Engine Bearings can be purchased from Summit Click Here



Year in Review: 2015 was The Tail of Two Seasons

The year 2015 was the tale of two seasons in one as the year ended much differently than it began. Every season is unique with its own set of major challenges and 2015 was no different. Racing a blown alcohol car is just as unpredictable from year to year as it is from run to run. As a car owner you intend for everything to go right but like life itself monkey wrenches have a way of changing everything and change for the better was instore for the Capitol team.

The team started the year with it's in-house Winter Rod and Speed Show which was a fund raiser for the Children’s Cancer Association. The event was a success and also took in nearly 900 pounds of food for the local food bank in Albany. After the show, the car was completely torn apart for a major renovation project thanks to Pat Gesualdo of the rock group Iceland and the Drums and Disabilities program, a Drum Therapy project. Pat personally partnered with the team which allowed a new body to be built for the car and a new look dragster become a reality. In addition, the team signed the Albany and Monmouth Bugerville to an associate sponsorship. The engine was then rebuilt by crew chief Rick Klampe while the new body was being built simultaneously by Gary Eickman.

In May, the car was at several events nearly every weekend that month. The first weekend was our first Blown Alcohol Thunder points race at Champion Raceway where we went to the final round but lost to Brent Jones when the engine spun two bearings near the finish line. It was an exciting old fashioned slip and slide drag race in the final round as both cars had severe traction problems right off the line and Jones came from behind as Rich Bailey lost power. Next, the car was at the Capitol West Valley store for a display, then the following weekend the car was at the Woodburn Season Opener where we realized the extent of the damage caused in Medford was too much to overcome. The engine was tore down and sent to Keith McCurdy who was helping the team at the race. The following weekend a dummy engine was placed in the car in order to make a rainy event at the Albany Burgerville benefiting the West Albany High School fire.

In June, the car was out of action while the engine was rebuilt and the finishing touches to the new body were completed at Gary's race car shop. The team received the car just after the fourth of July and wasted no time getting the car wrapped by Mark Adams at Supervinyl signs.

The team then hit road for the Spokane IHRA Nitro Jam, which was a mistake because the car was simply not ready mechanically but too many events had already been lost that Bailey took the chance believing that everything would fall back into place even if the team was a little bit behind the eight ball getting it done.

Although other reasons were given, not being 100 percent ready in Spokane completely fractured the team and two crew members including the crew chief abruptly quit leaving just Brent Sanford and Richard Lytle on the team. Team owner Rich Bailey vowed to "re-organize, re-group or do what ever it takes to get the team back on track or lose the sponsors and team altogether due to the unitended circumstances".

A new beginning
The very next weekend the team made it's on-track debut in Butte Montana, where the team had the third quickest run of the event with the help of a couple of friends, Richard Huffman and Jeff Johnson. To make up for lost time, the car returned to Oregon and rolled through the Dallas Summerfest parade and then did a very successful display on the Summerfest grounds next to the courthouse just a block away from Capitol's West Valley Store. The event was also in the same market of Burgerville's Monmouth store. This was the first time the car had been seen locally since it had been finished but the rain dampened the debut until the afternoon.

Next, the team raced at two more back-to-back races in Yakima and in Spokane. In Yakima, the car returned to the final round again but was on the loosing end of another exciting and close race against friendly rival Brent Jones in the DQ - Butte Subaru sponsored funny car. In Spokane, Jeff Johnson subbed for Richard Lytle who was at a reunion. On the first pass, the transmission broke a set of planetary gears but persistence won out as Dane Lachelt came up with a new set after Bailey had thrown in the towel. The car made it into the first round and ran a respectable 7.03 at over 5,000 corrected altitude to beat their opponent but broke two lifters on the run.

The team came home from the road trip and displayed the car at Advance Auto Parts and then had a great five day run at the Oregon State Fair where the car receive a ton of exposure. Next, the the engine was rebuilt again by Keith McCurdy and the car raced at the Fall Classic where it made it's best two runs in three years. First was a wheel standing 7.00 and then the team got back into the sixes with a 6.87 at nearly 200 MPH. At that race the team picked up another crew member, Duane Huffines who helped with displays and other events the balance of the year.

Overall, even with the unexpected early season chaos the team still finished third out f 18 cars that participated in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Drag Racing Series thanks to two runner up finishes in Medford and Yakima. The team will get ready for another excited year in January but hopefully without the unforessen problems that can happen to any team that race in the high stakes world of blown alcohol drag racing.
Photos above courtesy of: PDX Car Culture, Dennis Volmer, Richard Huffman and
Ande McFarland.

Rain Stops in Time for Successful Christmas Parade

After non-stop rain and wind all day the Capitol race team was prepared for a wet and miserable Festival of Lights Parade. In fact, decorating the bed of the truck was reminiscent of being on a fishing boat in the Great Lakes during the month of January! While decorating the dragster inside the trailer before the parade the wind blew so hard it would shake the trailer! But then something really miraculous happened at 4 PM that was totally unexpected. The rain and the wind stopped in time for people to make the decision to brave the cold and come to the parade.

As the dragster rolled through the parade it was like years before when the conditions were cold but dry and everything but wet feet made one forget how bad the conditions really were earlier in the day.

The race team received a golden ticket for the "after glow" following the parade where a few selected entries were on display for a couple of hours at Skyline Ford. It continued to stay dry until midnight when gusts of wind and the rain returned! Thanks to Brent, Richard, Duane and his son Shawn for their help this weekend.



Brent Sanford Named "High Performer" at Annual Race Team Dinner Held at Adam's Rib Smoke House

The race team held it's annual race team dinner at Adam’s Rib Smoke House this past Sunday night. Once again, the food was about as good as one could ever hope for. The sponsors and crew were presented an award for their participation. Brent Sanford was presented the High Performer award for his help along with Richard Lytle’s in salvaging what looked to be a train wreck season and turned it around to being one of the team's best with a third place finish in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series. Thanks to the team, the sponsors and of course Adam’s Rib for a fabulous event.

Blown Alcohol Thunder Awards and Meeting Held

For the first time an awards banquet and a winter meeting was hosted by Derek Snelson for the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series at the upscale Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in downtown Yakima. The competitor's meeting was at 2 PM in an adjoining seminar room while the awards began for all Renegade Raceway competitors including Blown Alcohol Thunder in the grand ballroom at 6 PM.

Eight competitors and their crews showed up for the first ever winter meeting which was a success and very productive by all accounts. Some changes have been made for 2016 as a result of the meeting which were agreed to by the majority present.

They include:
1. Competitors are not allowed to use carburator . Blown injected only.
2. In addition, Injected nitro cars are allowed.
3. To collect points a car must display Good Vibration stickers
4. Tracks may run a final four format but the index applies
5. Quarter mile index is still at 6.75 under or over
6. Eighth mile index at 4.25 except in Montana where it is 4.50
7. Pro Mods and AA Supercharged cars are allowed if blown.
Also discussed:
1. Brett Jones is the go to guy for racers and events in Idaho and Montana
2. Derek Snelson is the go to guy for racers and events in Washington
3. Rich Bailey is the go to guy for racers and events in Oregon

After the meeting the banquet began. Brent Jones was the big winner of the night winning $1,000 from Good Vibrations for becoming the Blown Alcohol Thunder Champion. Kyle Hansen was second and Rich Bailey and was third.


Capitol Auto Group Renews for 16th Season!

ProMotion Motorsports is excited to announce that Capitol Auto Group has renewed it's commitment to be the title sponsor of the blown alcohol dragster driven by Rich Bailey. The team had a tremendous second half of the season and seven direct car sales which were key in the decision to renew the program. The team also gave the company a lot of exposure through car displays in the second half of the season at events such as the Oregon State Fair, Bauman Farms' Fall Festival and the Dallas Summerfest among many other events where the car was displayed.

Sixteen years is a long period of time to keep a sponsor in any type of an endeavor especially in motorsports where the stakes are high. "Capitol has been with me through thick and thin and the highs and lows that goes along with competing in this unique sport. Fortunately, we have a very good marketing formula that works and we will utilize it throughout the 2016 season. It's literally a dream come true to race at this level and we couldn't do it without Capitol's support" Bailey said.

In 2016 the team's only upgrade will be a long overdue vinyl wrap on the trailer and some routine engine maintenance. The Capitol team will continue to race in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Drag Racing Series along with some local events at Woodburn Dragstrip. The team finished third in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Drag Racing Series in 2015 and are in a better position to fight for the Championship in 2016. The team also had it's best run in three years to cap off the season.

In addition to racing, the team will be back doing displays which is the cornerstone to the amount of exposure that Capitol receives every year. In 2016 the team will start the year by hitting the car show circuit including the 60th annual Portland Roadster Show and of course the Winter Rod and Speed Show an event that Bailey produces in-house. The Capitol team consists of Bailey, Brent Sanford, Richard Lytle and Duane Huffines.


Dale Hagenauer Named Track Employee of the Year

Congratulations to Dale Hagenauer for winning the Woodburn Dragstrip Track Employee of the Year Award. Dale has worked at the track for over 30 years and this honor is well deserved. Everyone in the featured car pits believes that Dale is a class act who goes the extra mile for the racers. The Woodburn Dragstrip held their banquet at the World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville.


Capitol Dragster Displayed at Trunk or Treat

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster was displayed at the City Bible Church and School in Portland on Saturday night for not only church members but as an outreach for west side intercity youth. The event came as a last minute invitation by Capitol crew member Duane Huffines. The event was a smash hit as the car was placed inside the church and attracted plenty of non-stop interest from kids and parents. It was crazy busy.

The event was originally planned to be an outside event but due to the wet weather the event was held inside. Rich Bailey and Richard Lytle braved strong winds and heavy rain to get the car to Portland on time and then back home again. It all worked out great.


Dragster Returns to Bauman Farms the Disneyland of Agricultural Events in the Northwest!

It just a dragster but it's also a great mobile marketing tool as was proven once again when the Capitol Dragster was on dispaly at Bauman Farms this past Saturday. For those that don't know Bauman Farms is the Disneyland for agriculture attractions.

We had planned to be there on Sunday too but the weather forecast changed and it was just too cold and wet for it to be enjoyable. But Saturday was crazy busy and an overwhelming success as the sun was out which attracted hundreds if not thousands of people to this popular attraction. A big thanks to Richard Lytle and Duane Huffines for their help and the Bauman family for allowing us to be out there!


Dragster Displayed at Two Burgerville Stores this Week as Nice Weather Returns!

Our dragster was on display at the Monmouth Burgerville for a benefit for the Roseburg shooting victims. The weather was perfect so the event went well.

A few hot rods from the WVSR club also came to the event and displayed some of their cars. At one point a guy that has been in Roseburg three times helping the families after the tragedy heard about the event and stopped in to see the car and grab some food. He had a lot to share about how things are going down there.

This was our first visit to the Monmouth store and it was a good time. On Saturday we were at the Albany store kicking off the winter car show promotion.

Dragster Displayed at Cornerstone in Corvallis!

It was just like old times down in Corvallis as the dragster was displayed at Cornerstone for their fundraising event. Cornerstone is similar to Garten in Salem. They put people with disabilities to work doing all types of light industrial jobs. I was told the dragster made the day of some of the people that attended and we even gave away a few t-shirts.

On top of that new friendships in the music business were forged and there was even a live band. It was a very rewarding day for us personally. A big thanks to Deb Denton for getting us there.

Capitol Team Makes First Six Second Pass in Four Years at Woodburn Fall Classic!

Photos by Andi McFarland

It doesn't seem like it was that long ago but the Capitol team made it's first six second pass in nearly four years. The last time we ran a six was at the final Pacific ProComp event in Redding California. While we were content hanging around the low sevens, we didn't realize just how long of a drought it has been.

We always figured we would be back in the sixes at any time but it never seemed to happen. After regrouping after an event in Spokane where we simply were not ready and lost our crew chief in the process, Garry Fauble volunteered to go to Yakima with us and that helped turn thing around. Even after a good showing in Montana two weeks before. Now, the three of us Brent Sanford, Richard Lytle and myself make the tuning decisions together and the car's performance has improved. In addition Keith and John McCurdy have been helping us and they degreed the cam 5 degrees retarded and that may have been what the engine needed all along.

Our team worked very hard this past week to make the season ending Fall Classic at Woodburn Dragstrip and did so in the nick of time. We had a broken lifter from the second Spokane race and had to delay fixing it until after the State Fair. After several nights of pizza and turning wrenches, our team was rewarded with a sizzling 6.87 at 199.37 MPH pass on Sunday. On that run we took on Garry in his Patriot car.

On Saturday, we made another great run which started out with a spectacular wheelstand and posted a 7.00 at only 157 MPH. I shredded a blower belt on that run so it would have been another six second pass and a much higher MPH had the belt stayed stayed on. There were many delays due to oil downs so we were limited to just two runs but we had a prime pit spot near the timing tower so we had a lot of spectators stop by and visit our team. It was a great way to finish of the racing season. Now, we will switch to doing displays weather permitting every weekend.


Duane Huffines Joins Capitol Racing

We are happy to announce that Duane Huffines of Portland has joined Capitol Auto Group Racing effective immediately. Duane joins the three current team members including Richard Lytle, Brent Sanford and Rich Bailey.

This new addition will give the race team enough depth to get through next season so we are always covered in the event someone is unable to make a race. Duane brings a lot to the table including an education at an automotive school along with a great attitude. The Capitol team lost three team members this year so we have been quietly looking for someone since mid summer to be sure we always have enough help. Duane approached us at the Fall Cassic and it appears he has everything we have been looking for. Duane is a family man looking to learn and follow his dream as a crew man on an alcohol car.


Ashwell Racing Bids Fairwell to Local Fans

Cap Racing is sad to report that Ashwell Racing has chose to bid farewell and retire their racing team for greener pastures, most notably golf courses. The family team made their final pass ever in the first round of the NHRA regional event at Woodburn, September 20th where they lost to eventual winner Garrett Bateman (pictured below).

The Ashwell team started out racing slower blown alcohol funny cars and continued to upgrade until they reached the Top Alcohol Funny Car class which they raced for several seasons. They had one final round appearance in NHRA Regional racing at Woodburn and also raced at other west coast NHRA events. In more recent years, they eared a lot of respect for getting more competitive and running some impressive 5.40 ET's in the ultra expensive and competitive Top Alcohol Dragster class.

Capitol Racing did a lot of promotional work and trading with Ashwell Racing for tires an other items necissary for our own car. So, it's a big loss for our team as well as for the local fans and competitors in the Alcohol classes.

In other developments at the NHRA Regional, Garrett Bateman churned out a 5.22 to beat Indy winner Joey Severance who ran a 5.26 in the Top Alcohol Dragster final. In Charlotte, Duane Shields in the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster won the NHRA Carolina Nationals, his first National Event win of the year.


Bailey's Blog
State Fair Display Shows Our Circus Mentality and Excellent Marketing Exposure for Sponsors

You can find our dragster through Labor Day behind the Columbia Hall

It's a good bet that a few racers enjoying the Oregon State Fair on an off weekend walk by our race car display with all kinds of people surounding it and think "I'd never do that". I can't say I blame them and after the fair is over I might have Supervinyl make a sticker for the car saying "This Car Survived the Oregon State Fair".

I will admit that it's not easy at times when you have someone hurdle over the car. But usually people are respectful and it's a blast talking to people of all demographics who stop by having never seen a dragster before. I love doing what I do and I guess I must have some Barnum and Bailey in my blood for all of the shows I have done or even promoted. I run a circus and the circus is fun! And it's how I became successful at marketing and retaining sponsors in a sport that has forgotten it's past. I'm a people person and I hope those that stop by walk away with a good feeling about my sponsors and our sport.

Not all but most racers and companies don't know the value of what they have. They don't realize how memorable and interesting these race cars are. Dragsters, Funny cars, Alterds and even door slammers can truly be a marketing machine if the plan is executed in the right way.

Donnie Lee, Richard Lytle and I have given out hundreds of coupons for the Fall Classic race along with hero car of the car made by Competition Printing. Hundreds of kids sit in the car each day at the fair and nearly every one of the parents take a photo. Depending on the angle, the Capitol logo along with Burgerville, Drums And Disabilities and our other sponsors get in the picture every time.

The photo above is how we have been able to race for nearly 20 years and I have no plans to stop now. Full speed ahead another circus awaits after this one is over!

- Rich Bailey


New Look Dragster Visits New Capitol Chevy Store

The new look Capitol Auto Group Dragster visited the new Capitol Chevrolet store on the Salem Parkway this past Saturday. It was a great display and entertainment for both customers and employees. Thanks to Richard Lytle for all of his help.

Capitol Dragster Visits the Volcanoes Game

Our dragster was in the house at the Volcanoes game this past Tuesday night and we considered it a home run with the baseball fans. The car got plenty of looks from people not expecting to see a dragster as they went through the gate. Lots of people sat in the car and we gave out our new hero cards along with coupons for Woodburn Dragstrip. Thanks to the Volcanoes front office for being a great host as well as Richard Lytle for the help setting up and engaging fans.


Bailey's Blog

One Wild Up and Down Weekend in Spokane Yields a Great 7.03 Pass at 196 MPH Over Some Adversity

This weekend there were a lot of options to display the car and it was hard to decide what to do. Stay local or race? But displays mean little to the public unless the race car is the real thing and it gets out on the track. First, there was Guitars Under the Stars which we were invited to and we really wanted to attend after last year's great event. Second, there was a local car show Paul Phinister was promoting and third was our final Blown Alcohol Thunder race which was rescheduled for this weekend at Spokane County Raceway. On top of all that was the NHRA event in Seattle which there is no class for us so why even consider going to that one?

After a week long debate in my head on where to go, our friend and fellow racer Dane Lachelt called me from Canada and talked us into going to the race in Spokane. Richard had a reunion to go to so I called my old friend from McNary High School, Jeff Johnson who now lives in Helena, and he quickly accepted the offer to fill in after hanging with us in Butte. Jeff and his friend Tony met us at the track on Friday and they got more work than they bargained for
. Brent and I left for Spokane with our Garry Fauble tune up in the car on Thursday night and we stayed at a truck stop motel in the Tri Cities area before driving on to Spokane on Friday morning. The room was actually good but any room at one in the morning can't be bad.

On our first hit on Friday night, I felt a loss of power and heard something going away at the launch so I pulled over to the side of the track not sure what may have happened. First we optimistically thought that maybe I had just lost traction but an inspection of the car turned up a serious problem. It turned out it was the planetary gears that broke and nobody we knew had a spare set! So plans were suddenly made to leave in the morning and take the car to Guitars Under the Stars on Sunday. Just then an old beat up motor home with the front end all bashed in, pulls up next to us. Out stumbles Dane laughing like it was a scene from a movie. It turns out they were in an RV vs. big truck collision on the way to the track which was why they were late getting to Spokane.

With Leonard Skynard playing live outdoors at a near by casino in the background, I told Dane that we were done for the weekend and he would not hear of it! He promised that some how, some way a new set of planetary gears would be in the car by the morning. So after going out to dinner at a Chili's in downtown Spokane, we were back at the track yarding out the transmission at two in the morning and cleaning parts.

Unfortunately, on race day our hopes for a new gear set came up empty as one set of planitaries we found was not much better than what we already had and another guy that said he had a new set flaked out on us. So, we were back to square one. At that point I decided it was time to pack up and began putting equipment away when Dane showed up with a guy that I knew who had a brand new set of gears. The hitch was that cash was king so I had to find a bank that was open till 4:00 PM on Saturdays. By the time I got back from the bank with the money, Dane had already fixed the powerglid transmission and my crew already had it back in the car and almost ready for the final round of qualifying. On that hit I made a blistering 7.03 run at 197 MPH at well over 5,000 feet corrected altitude to qualify in the no.6 position. Now we would race red hot Kyle Hansen in the first round of eliminations.

When we got back to the pits we discovered a broken lifter which finally bit us in the butt! So, we were done for the night. After the race which Kyle had won, a party broke out in Dane's pit as usual which then spilled into our pit as well. I went to bed an hour later since I had to drive home in the morning and it was already after midnight. At about 5 AM I woke up and went outside the Capitol Racing Hilton and there was Dane still talking it up with someone! Does that guy ever sleep?

Later in the morning we said our goodbyes to our Montana friends and made an uneventful drive home. A big thanks to Brent Sanford, Brent Jones, Dane Lachelt, Jeff and Tony for all of their help this weekend! It was one to remember.

Capitol Team Goes to Final Round in Yakima, Finishes Third in Blown Alcohol Thunder Series

Photos by Annette Barton

The heat was on big time in Yakima where the temperature soared to 107 degrees at Renegade Raceway. The Capitol Auto Group Dragster was just as hot as the weather and made one blistering hot pass after another. In round one Rich Bailey's 4.43 hit was good enough to earn a birth into the final round where the Cap team would eventually face their biggest rival and newly crowned Champion Brent Jones. Jones ran into the 4.20 zone in round two to earn a spot in the final. The race wasn't without some controversy as the clocks did not pick up a couple of ET's from two other cars.

The Capitol team had a guest tuner for Yakima as Garry Fauble who normally drives the Patriot AA Super Charged car offered to tune the car. Between Garry, Brent Sanford and Richard Lytle, a combined effort was made to step up the car's performance after the Montana event two weeks prior where the Capitol car had the third best ET of the event.

Jones whom Bailey has been racing against all season, including a final round battle to open the season in May at Champion Raceway, took the left lane. The track was prepped equally so both lanes were good and not considered a factor by the Capitol team. At the hit, Jones got off the line first by just a slight advantage. Both cars were traveling side by side under the lights all the way down Broadway. At the stripe it was Jones with a 4.28 at 166 MPH to Bailey 4.42 at 160 MPH. Even though Jones snatched the victory by almost two tenths of a second, it was too close to call from the starting line which brought out positive emotions from both teams and the fans who stuck around to see the late night final.

While the Capitol Team didn't get the win the event, the overall improvement and consistency from the last two races has the team riding high again after a disappointing outing earlier in the month in Spokane where the car was rushed to get finished in time for the IHRA Nitro Jam.

The team finishes the "short track season" in second place tied with Kyle Hanson. However based on Hanson's quicker ET this season he wins the tie breaker and Rich Bailey moves to third place. Now that the team is finished with three I-84 road warrior trips in just four weeks it will focus on events in the Valley including Guitars Under the Stars next weekend in Lebanon where the car will be on display Saturday and Sunday. The team will go back to racing some independent races in September and October.



New Dragster Makes First Oregon Appearance at Dallas Summerfest...Rain Hits Us Again!

For the third week in a row it seemed like two days rolled into one with rain in the morning and a nice sunny day in the afternoon. The Dallas Summerfest was a great outing to debut the new Capitol Auto Group Dragster in spite of some rain that kicked off the parade. Even with the rain, the streets were lined up with people so it was great exposure for our local sponsors that have ties to the Dallas area. In fact, the parade went right by the Capitol West Valley store.

After the parade ended the car and crew were drenched but that was all forgotten about when the sun came out thirty minutes later. We towed the car complete with a police escort over to the festival area right next to the Oregon National Guard who had a zip line among other activities there. And a big thanks to the Dallas Visitors Center for giving us such a primo spot. It was good for the Visitor’s Center too as dragster gave them another thing for people to see and participate in.

We gave out a lot of signed pictures and I’m sure that every kid in Dallas now has one of our new hero cards which were just printed and sent over night by our friends at Competition Printing in Arizona. We let all of the kids who came by a chance to sit in the car and we were busy from noon to about 5:30 when it was time to packed up.

The event generated a lot of good will for Capitol and the West Valley store as well Burgerville who has a store in near by Monmouth. Many people expressed appreciation for us bringing the car there and asked about our sponsors. This was the first time the new car has been seen locally and it was a good debut for Oregon.

Dragster Makes Exciting On-Track Debut in Butte

Photos by Richard Huffman

Our new look dragster finally made its on-track debut this past weekend in Butte, Montana of all places. The outing was successful as the car ran great and it was one of our longest road trips ever. Everything clicked in Montana as the car made the third quickest run in the eight car Chicago-style shoot out where the two quickest cars return for the final round. We missed the final by about 900th’s of a second so we were right there but came up just a little short.

On Friday, we did a car display in Butte to promote the race with our friend Brent Jones who also displayed his funny car. On Friday night, we headed to the track outside of town where we made a soft check out run against Jones who is the local favorite there. On Saturday morning, we woke up to rain and questioned our sanity for driving so far but after all it was a points race for our racing series and a lot of the cars that were present travel to our neck of the woods so we were obligated to travel there at least once this season. The rain continued until noon when the sun appeared and the fans begin to fill the track. It was almost like two different days in one. We have several friends from Montana attend the event to see us race which made it all the better.

In round one, it was our Capitol - Burgerville dragster vs Jones' Butte Subaru - Dairy Queen funny car. Our car improved over the night before and ran a 4.91 at a corrected altitude of over 6,000 feet which is very bad for peak performance. Unfortunately, Jones had his Montana tune up in the car and took the stripe at the finish line in a close race.

Round two got better for the Capitol team as we raced Kelly Flansaas in Rocky Mountain Thunder Corvette Funny car. We took the hole shot win with a 4.87 to his quicker 4.76. But by virtue of his quicker run he went on to race eventual winner Brent Jones in the final. We then packed up and returned home.

This coming weekend we plan to be in the Dallas Summerfest parade which should be good event for us to do since we have never done it before. It will also be the first time the new car has been seen in Oregon since the make over. The following weekend we are back racing in Yakima Washington for another blown alcohol thunder event.

A big thanks to our team of Richard Lytle and Brent Sanford with a little help from our friends Richard Huffman and Jeff Johnson at the track. In addition, we would all like to thank Richard Huffman for all of his hospitality while we stayed at his beautiful home in Missoula.


Bailey's Blog
Capitol Team Regroups Beginning this Weekend at Lost Creek Raceway Near Butte Montana

The new dragster back to Capitol colors along with Drums and Disabilities and Burgerville!

Last weekend was a difficult one and a missed opportunity for the Capitol team in Spokane. If you got to read my blog from yesterday consider yourself lucky because it's gone and it's not coming back.
Now, I want to focus on the positives. We are regrouping and why not? We finally got the new look we were waiting for. Out with the old and in with the new.

So what's new? First, we have a new crew member by the name of Todd Carrol. Todd loves drag racing and flies to a lot of national events as a spectator. He's a team player, a business owner and wants to be a part of our team. He helped me one time last year and I was very impressed with him. He will be a great fit with the rest of the guys on our team. He's good with the public and wants to learn so he's in.

Next, of course is the new look car. I have to say that it grew on me last weekend every time I looked at it. There are a few changes in logo sizes but over all it looks great. Gary Eickmann did a great job building the new body panels and Mark and Geris over at Supervinyl did a remarkable job getting the vinyl finished in just a couple of days. I painted the nose tonight since it was easier to paint then to wrap. The nose came out flawless. I should go back to painting cars.

Next, is the second race of our longest road trip of the season. I plan to turn it around in Montana and have a great outing. On Friday we will display our car along with Brent Jones' funny car at a Subaru store in Butte complete with a live radio remote. Then on Friday night we move on to Lost Creek Raceway in Anaconda for our next Blown Alcohol Thunder event which will take place Saturday afternoon. We have never been to Montana so we are really looking forward to this trip. It's 5,000 feet altitude but the forecast calls for cool weather so it will be like racing in Denver. Fortunately, we get a check out pass on Friday.

Then when I get home from Montana, I'm going to shore up the schedule and the bank account and figure out where I stand. One thing I will do is start focusing in on local events once again. We need to get back out to where the folks are and promote our sponsors and the sport that we love. The local events are what keeps us alive and I have not forgotten that. The combination of the month long race schedule in July and the inactivity in June while waiting for the car to get finished has kept us out of the local lime light so to speak so it's time to give back to our sponsors as much local exposure as possible. This is what we are known for and we will deliver.

So, it's time to turn the page to a new chapter - a better one where we will deliver more exposure to our sponsors and we get the car down the race track without hurting more parts.

- Rich Bailey


Trailer Corner
New Information Regarding Truck and Trailers

I got a call today from a very well known exhibition racer. Seems that he got pulled over in Montana for not being registered as a commercial vehicle even though he was towing with a motorhome. He escaped the CDL grilling but he now has to take care of a few thing unknown to us but a check with ODOT'S Motorcarrier Division confirmed the following:

1. You need a medical card even if you are not required to have a CDL when driving a commercial vehicle over 10,001 GVWR. What makes you commercial? Any racing enterprise where winnings or sponsorship money is collected.

2. You need to carry a log book even if you do not have a CDL when driving a commercial vehicle over 10,001 GVWR.

3. You need a USDOT number when driving a commercial vehicle over 10,001 GVWR.

The only good news is that you don't have to join a drug and alcohol testing group if you do not have a CDL. But the three above does apply to all racers who accept prize money or have any sponsors. Sorry, bad news to us as well.


Off and On Rain Showers Fail to Sink Car Show

Mother nature tried and tried to throw us a bitter raspberry with off and on showers all day that were NOT in the forecast. But it didn't work! There was still a good turn out for the Burgerville car show considering all the rain and we managed to raise some money for the South Albany High School restoration project where 100 percent of all the money collected went to the school.

Fortunately, we were able to scrape together a lot of prizes at the last minute so we kept calling tickets for door prizes (no purchase required due to state gambling laws) until the rain stopped. It seemed to work as everyone stayed around during the longest hardest down pour.

A total of 24 cars showed up and it was a hoot as everyone seemed to have fun. Burgerville stayed busy during the event and they were very happy with the results from the show. A portion of the food sales also went to the restoration project and they were very busy throughout the evening.

What was ironic was we spent an evening dummying up the engine when it had to be covered up half of the time because of showers. Oh well it was all a success in spite of all the curve balls.


Bailey's Blog

The Rocketeer to be at Burgerville Show as Team Shows Resolve After Temporary Set Back

The Rocketeer is ready to go for the Burgerville Cruise-in this Friday Night!

Last week leading up to the Season Opener at Woodburn was ominous. There was nothing good about it other than we ultimately found out that we suffered a few hundred dollars worth of damage and not a few thousand. The week started with bad news regarding a set of Hoosier tires that I had bought. It was thought that they had been discarded and were then "recycled". Next, our wench had to be replaced when the cable got jammed. On top of that our jack went on the fritz which lead to the car sliding against the wall of the trailer the Friday night before the event. And, our crew chief Rick Klampe was unable to make the trip from Bend for the race due to a medical problem. Trust me, I was ready to throw up my hands before the weekend even started,

Fortunately, Richard and Brent were available and I was able to talk Drag Racing Guru Keith McCurdy to help us along with my good friend Dave Wilson whome I've known forever. So I had enough qualified help. The game plan was simple: take our time and make sure everything was in good working order and then make a test pass.

We knew we may have some problems as we noticed very low oil pressure when we fired the car up the week before at Capitol's Dallas store. But I was optimistic that we would fix what ever might be wrong and make a pass by the end of the day on Saturday. Sometimes however, optimism doesn't always pan out the way you hoped it would. Some of my best performances have started out on these types of weekends but not this one.

Our engine this past weekend at the Season Opener at Woodburn!

As we dug into the engine, we found that we had smoked the crank as we spun a couple of bearings. Since I had good help on hand, I drove home and returned with the cherry picker and by the end of the day the block and crank was in the trunk of Keith's car headed to Portland. We watched a little bit of racing and was able to make the best of it. But there were some worries. I had an event to do this Friday at Burgerville and now the car wouldn't be available. On Sunday, I searched the pits looking for a substitute to display the car but was unable to find anyone. But then Dave Cookman came to the rescue and pledged to be there but one round later Dave found himself in the same boat I was in and dropped a valve.

Burgerville is a new sponsor so the last thing I wanted to happen was to be a no show and after doing some soul searching I realized I was going about this the wrong way by looking for a substitute. It was time to pull my head out and demonstrate the resolve that has got this team where it is today. So I called Richard and he agreed that it would be foolish and lazy not to do what ever it took to have the car there. So tonight we pulled out our "use only in the event of an emergency or you are in a jam" block put it in the car. Two ours later we had a whole new engine in the car as seen in the photo above.

I really love Burgerville and I didn't want to let them down so the dragster will be at the Albany store for a cruise-in this Friday from 3 until dark. Thanks to Richard and all of his hard work for making this possible. I feel much better knowing it will there and I hope to see you all there!

Rich Bailey -


Capitol Rocketeer Dragster Displayed at the Capitol West Valley Store in Dallas

The Capitol team had a great time at the Capitol West Valley store in Dallas over the weekend. We fired the car up but didn’t run it for very long as we noticed our oil pressure was low which could be a bad sign that there is a spun bearing or perhaqps it was just the pump. We will be pulling the engine a part on Monday in order to find the problem.

Quite a few people came by at random including Kevin Mac, the morning man at KYKN who was driving by with his daughter. And then there was a family that drove by on their way to Salem. The kid kept bugging his mom to turn around and go back so they stopped in to Capitol on their return trip. We gave out posters, pictures and some DVD’s. Hot Dogs from our old friends at "Deenie's Weenies" were provided to everyone who came by.



Capitol Team Fights Traction in Wild Runner Up Finish when Track Temps Dip

Imagine yourself strapped into a blown alcohol dragster, under the lights and hear the track operator tell you just before start up to not be a hero out there and let up if you have too. That was the advice I was given by the track operator just prior to the final round where it had dropped 23 degrees in just an hour after our prior run. Champion Raceway isn't as bad of a track as some say it is, but it's no secrate that it can get a little slippery for the high horsepower cars after the sun goes down and it starts to cool off.

When we go to Medford it seems we always have our backs against the wall. And usually that's a pretty good sign that it will be a great weekend for the Capitol Team. And true to form it was as we we earned low ET, top speed and a runner up finish. But as always when we have a race scheduled in Medford, the events leading up to the race border on insanity.

First, we didn't get the car back from the chassis shop until 10:30 Wednesday night. Then on Thursday there were different people working on the car at different times due to scheduling. We had to do what ever it took in order to get the dragster ready for an early Friday departure to Medford. Usually, we like to have the car ready a few days prior to an event so we can fire it up and be sure everything is in good working order. But that was not possible this time as the finishing touches would have to be done at the track. Finally, we pushed the car in the trailer almost completed at about 10:00 PM on Thursday.

On Friday, we reached Medford at 3 PM which was right on time to do a solo car display at Sherm's Food For Less where we handed out coupons for the race as well as let the kids and even an 83 year old woman sit in the car. The display was a success as over 35 coupons were returned to the track the following day. At about 6 PM we loaded the car and headed to the track. We set up our pit and then had dinner with Brent Jones and his Lawless Funny car team at the Texas Roadhouse before calling it a night.

On Saturday everything seem to be going as planned until we fired the car and then immediately shut it off due to no oil pressure. After a lot of hard work and help from Brent Jones we finally got the oil pressure up and made the first round in the nick of time. Unfortunately, over the winter our batteries wore down so we had to fight that problem as well. We ended up having to use the generator to boost the batteries with two chargers in the bed of the truck in order to start the car at the starting line.

In round one, we drew a single and ripped off Low ET and Top Speed of the event with a 7.23 at 192 MPH which is great for a track with a compromised surface. The run was not bad considering it was our first pass ever with the new engine and I shook the tires right off the line. In round two, we raced against our friend George Moore. At the hit booth cars shook but I was able to grab the win light.

It was a wild pedal fest in the final round with Burgerville vs. Dairy Queen. I had the race in the bag and was ahead by a couple of car lengths. But I lost traction at about 850 feet and shook as I shifted. By then, Brent who was having traction problems of his own, got his funny car to hook and nosed by me at the finish line and won by a tenth of a second. While we were disappointed we lost, our team was very happy for Brent and his team who came all the way from Montana.


Terry Haddock Competes at Houston with 1Diamond and ProMotion Motorsports

Terry Haddock Qualified for the NHRA Sringnationals in Houston with 1Diamond. The team was also sponsored by Rich Bailey's ProMotion Motorsports Services who sponsored the design work for the event. If you need renderings, proposals, handout cards, public relations or a website please call us at 503-370-9164.


Promotion Welcomes Back Walery's Pizza and John and Sharon Palmer!

Promotion Motorsports welcomes back Walery's Premium Pizza to the Capitol Auto Group Dragster. We are very excited to have Dave and Marsha Walery back who are the owners of Walery's for another year. The Walerys are big supporters of both national and regional drag racing. We are also pleased to have John and Sharon Palmer support our team. The Palmers are sponsoring our fuel this season and we appreciate their involvement.

Walery's Premium Pizza is the hottest pizza parlor in town on any Friday or Saturday night and even during the rest of the week. In a world filled with marginal pizza chains and take out joints, Walery's restores that old fashioned pizza parlor atmosphere at very competitive prices! No wonder they attract families for gatherings, parties or just a simple night out.

Besides their excellent pizza, Walery's also has great burgers where you can pile on your own toppings at the condiment bar to make them taste extra special! During the lunch hour they also have an all you can eat pizza and salad buffet.

Walery's is located in the Safeway shopping center in West Salem. From downtown Salem, take the bridge and drive one mile and get off at the Rosemont exit. Or go to their website at for further information



The History of the Rocketeer

The Rocketeer Dragster was built in the honor of Raymond Dixon. Raymond was a young Jr. Dragster racer living in Arizona who sadly contracted terminal cancer. The original owner of the car chose to build the Rocketeer Dragster for him because of the boy's love for the original Rocketeer comic books. Raymond got to see the dragster race before his passing and a replica of the Rocketeer was placed in his casket.

The car was eventually sold to Rich Bailey of Salem, Oregon. While it was very tempting to repaint the car completely to make room for sponsors, Rich wanted to always keep the Rocketeer livery in the memory of Raymond and other children who have battled cancer.

In no way is the car named after or even remotely affiliated with the movie of the same name or the production company that made the film.



Listen to Rich Bailey in the Tupper's "Third Chair" on KYKN's Gator's Radio Experience

Rich Bailey was on Gator's Radio Experence, April 3rd with Gator Gainer, Denise Quinn Nanke and Curits the Intrern. You can hear the Bailey interview anytime by going here. Click on the April 3 second hour podcast.

Serving local communities important to Burgerville
ProMotion Welcomes Bugerville

March 12, 2015 (SALEM, Ore.) --- ProMotion Motorsports welcomes the Monmouth and Albany Burgervilles as our new marketing partners. The two Willamette Valley Burgerville restaurants join the team as an associate sponsor and complement Capitol Auto Group’s title sponsorship.

After several years of Burgerville supporting the Winter Rod and Speed Show promoted by Rich Bailey and Jim Billing and its non-profit beneficiary Children’s Cancer Association, former Albany Burgerville general manager Donald Holt and current general manager Ashley Rae began to take notice of the race team and the commitment to community charities like the food bank, and wanted to know how to get more involved. After a meeting with Rae and Monmouth Burgerville general manager Alex Page, the two restaurants made a joint decision to get involved with the race team this season.

“On behalf of our guests and our crews, Burgerville is committed to serving our local communities and supporting the race team is one way to show that commitment,” said Rae. “I am excited for what the future holds with this new partnership and the good we can do to jointly support local charities like the food bank, the D.AD. Program and the Children’s Cancer Association. Please join me in welcoming Rich and ProMotion Motorsports to our Burgerville family.”

As part of this program, the race team will create displays at both the Albany and Monmouth Burgerville restaurants, distribute Burgerville discount coupons at the track and other events, and do some cross promotions with KYKN 1430 radio in addition to some other amenities that often revolve around a sponsorship. Most importantly, the two organizations will join forces to bring awareness to charities including the Drums and Disabilities Program which also has a presence on the car.

“This is a dream come true for me since Burgerville is known as the premier local hamburger restaurant in the Pacific Northwest. I have been a Burgerville fan since high school, and we are thrilled to be associated with what must indeed be one of the most favored brands by Oregonians,” commented Bailey.

Burgerville’s menus highlight burgers and sandwiches made with fresh, vegetarian-fed and antibiotic-free local beef, vegetarian patties, and sustainability caught Alaskan halibut fish and chips. Well known for seasonal offerings created largely from food grown and produced in the Pacific Northwest, more than 70% of Burgerville’s food dollars are estimated to be spent locally sourcing ingredients from 988 farms, ranches and artisans inside a 400-mile food shed with many located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

About ProMotion Motorsports
ProMotion Motorsports Services LLC promotes professional drag racing, benefit car shows and advertising using it's flagship Capitol Ayuto Group "Rocketeer" blown alcohol dragster as it's messenger. ProMotion Motorsports success is a result of "friendly face to face marketing" to promote its advertisers. ProMotion also offers public relations, websites and marketing materials for other motorsports teams.

About Burgerville
Established in 1961, Burgerville is an innovative and industry-leading restaurant company with 40 locations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. 1,300 employees strong, Burgerville provides guests fresh, great-tasting food all-day every day from breakfast to late-night snacks based in its mission “serve with love.” At Burgerville, the commitment to fresh, local and sustainable values is about helping people and communities thrive. For more information, please visit


Progress is Being Made as Spring Approaches

As we move the clocks ahead here in the Northwest, the nice weather has returned and the tracks in Oregon and Washington are starting to open for the first time. Since the start of February, we have been working on getting our car ready for the 2015 season. Parts are everywhere! The engine is in Bend where our crew chief Rick Klampe is upping the compression with longer connecting rods and he has installed a new cam and is replacing the old manifold which he suspects is what has kept the car from breaking the 200 MPH barrier. The transmission is in Canby getting freshened up by Jeff Marsh and we have some parts including the chassis getting re-certified. Last week, I re-painted a section of the trailer which was slightly damaged in a wind gust when we were in Spokane.

The biggest news is the modernization project. Gary Eickmann will be working on building a new body for the car which we hope to have ready for paint by the beginning of April. But if worse comes to worse, we will use the Rocketeer body for the first couple of races since we will be switching bodies on occasion anyway just to mix things up. Regardless, it’s a going to be a nice looking car when it’s done. The body is being made possible by Pat Gesualdo who is a professional musician and founder of the Drums and Disabilities program.

Our goal is to win the Drag Parts Blown Alcohol Thunder Championship and with these changes we will be in the thick of it just like we were last year where we finished second. As always I will keep you posted of our progress.

- Rich Bailey


Team to Have New Look with Help From D.A.D. and Pat Gesualdo’s Progressive Rock Group Iceland

Rich Bailey’s Capitol Auto Group Blown Alcohol Dragster will sport a new look in 2015 as he celebrates a milestone 15 years with Capitol. The car’s new look is being made possible by the non-profit organization D.A.D. (Drums and Disabilities), which pioneered the Healing Art of Drum Therapy. D.A.D. programs and advocacy outreach initiatives help children, adults, and wounded veterans with special needs. The D.A.D. Program is currently in schools, health facilities, and community centers in over 15 countries.

Celebrated drum virtuoso/D.A.D Founder Pat Gesualdo, also has a new progressive rock band called Iceland, which is helping to promote Bailey, and the entire Capitol Racing Team as well. “My crew chief Rick Klampe and I are big rock-n-roll fans and we’re always cranking up the tunes and discussing rock-n-roll while we’re traveling down the Interstate so naturally we’re both excited to have Pat and his D.A.D. program as part of our race team family. I have been learning a lot about D.A.D. and it’s is a worth while cause to get behind” Bailey said.

Iceland includes Iconic metal guitarist Michael Romeo of Symphony X, “Metal Mike” Chlasciak from Rob Halford’s (of Judas Priest) solo group and industry session vocalist Chandler Mogel. Iceland debuted on the CMJ radio charts in the 9th position and has a sound comparable to such bands as Styx and Rush.

Iceland’s new album is available on and you can hear cuts on the band’s website Sales of the new Iceland CD go directly to the D.A.D. program, to bring free therapy programs to special needs children and adults.

The new body will be built by Gary Eickmann and painted by Jeff Lewis. The vinyl lettering will be applied by Mark Adams of Supervinyl Signs. In addition to the bold new Capitol look, Bailey will keep the historic Rocketeer body panels and will have them on the car at selected events. Most of the time the new body panels will be on the car but sometimes the dragster will make a surprise appearance as the Capitol Rocketeer car.


Another Spectacular Winter Rod and Speed Show!

The Winter Rod and Speed Show is now in the books and we had another great turnout. The quality was very good in the main building, probably the best ever. Kenny Youngblood was a hit as always and had more requests for pictures this year than last year. The “Left Coast Sha’ Bang” located in the second building was off the hook and generated a lot of interest. Thanks to everyone that supported the show as a exhibitor, vendor, volunteer, sponsor or a spectator. Your participation was very much appreciated.

To see photos taken by PDX Car Culture prior to the opening of the show: Click here to see photos


Great Weather Produces a Big Turn Out for Parade!

The Festival of Lights Holiday Parade was another big success as people lined up as many as five deep from Albertson's at the corner of Lockhaven and River Road all the way to the popular Town and Country Bowling alley, a distance of about five miles. The dragster was adorned with icicles and blinking snow flakes while the truck was decorated in fancy garlands and lights. This year we had a truck full of people and everyone had a great time waving to the giant crowd on hand thanks to some beautiful weather!



Capitol Auto Group Officially Renews Sponsorship for Fifteenth Straight Season! Being Different Made the Difference!

By Rich Bailey

Rather than write up a stern press release and quote myself in third person, I thought I would announce blog style that Capitol Auto Group made it official that they will returned for the 15th year as our major sponsor. As always, I’m very excited to have Capitol return as I love the company and all they do for the community and their customers. After the last fourteen years, I feel that I'm a solid part of the Capitol family even though I don't actually work at the dealership. My job for Capitol is outreach and brand awareness through both racing the car and displaying it almost anywhere that the car is welcome.

The President of Capitol Auto Group, Scott Casebeer, recently pointed out that Capitol is different. Different than anyone else in the car business. Our race team is different too which is probably why they have hung on to us. The Capitol Auto Group Dragster and what we do serves as a very fast mobile connection to the community for Capitol. When we display the car it's our hope that everyone we come in contact with will walk away with a great feeling about Capitol. Our intuition from the start was that it's the close up interactive displays and making people happy that is the most important part of what we do.

While both the racing and the displays work together to give Capitol a good return on their investment, it's the personal interaction with the public that other types of advertising can't duplicate which is the big difference. There are a lot of our signed cards on bedroom walls all around town to prove that, according to a friend of mine who washes windows for a living.

Quite honestly, one of the reasons we continue to race a rear engine dragster rather than a funny car or a front engine dragster is because it's easier to allow kids to sit in the car. Most racers I suspect would sneer at that fact, but it's an experience that most people remember whether it's the kids or their parents. It's the personal touch that make us different, or as my friend Brian use to call it "hands on marketing". The t-shirts, the signed cards, the website, even the Adam's Rib BBQ sauce are also things that make our program standout and make it marketable.

Our fifteen year long sponsorship is a national motorsports success story that very few race teams can claim. And it should be celebrated in this day and age of constant change, tight advertising budgets, false promises and competition from other forms of electronic media advertising. The Capitol program should be a model for others to emulate locally or in other regions of the country. It would make our sport stronger and more popular.

Capitol Auto Group is a first class organization that has won many national dealer awards and most recently they won Toyota's President Award. It's a company with high expectations and I am proud we have passed the test year after year even in times when we were mired in mechanical malaise beyond our control. Yes, fifteen years is a long time to keep a sponsor and I couldn't pick a better company to be a part of. This is a team effort and I want to thank Rick Klampe, Richard Lytle, Brent Sanford, Dave Cookman, Dawn Molds, Donnie Lee and his wife Randi for their help in making this all possible so we can do it again next year.


Race Team Visits at A Step Above Hobby

We just concluded our last outside store display for the year at A Step Above Hobby in Albany. It’s getting very cold outside so it's time to wrap it up although we have a parade coming up in two weeks. We had a good time at A Step Above as some nice families stop by and even a few street characters too.

A Step Above Hobby has a big selection of RC cars, a scale quarter mile slot car dragstrip and some of the best drag racing models available so the dragster was a good fit there. We hope that you will visit the store in Albany while doing some of your Christmas shopping. Thanks to Donnie Lee, Randi Lee and the girls for all of their help! Next up is the Festival of Lights Parade on Dec. 13th in Keizer. Photo by Randi Lee.

Winter Car Show Kick Off at Burgerville a Success

Besides racing the Capitol Auto Group Dragster we are out there to make people happy and we did a good job of that Saturday at the Burgerville in Albany. We gave away some shirts to some lucky kids and filled up the hero card holder twice as we almost ran out of cards before the end of the day.

In addition to the dragster, five other hot rods join in on the fun so it was a big success in spite of cold and foggy weather. Thanks to Donny Lee, Randi R Lee, and the kids for the help. Thanks also to Burgerville and everyone that brought a car or stopped by including KC and Anna of Salem who came all the way down for a burger.


Capitol Dragster to be Included in 2015 NGK Calendar!

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster was selected to be featured in the 2015 NGK Spark Plugs calendar. This is the second time the car will have been included and quite an honor considering that they sponsor a lot of cars from all types of racing. Many of the racers they sponsor are highly professional so the selection came as a complete surprise. No word on which photo was selected. The popular calendars are distributed all over the United States and beyond.


Funny Car Legend Raymond Beadle Passes

The Eagles' song "Take it to the Limit" best describes three time NHRA Funny Car Champion and legend Raymond Beadle who passed away at age 70. Beadle did everything to the max before moving on to the next big challenge including owning a NASCAR team and a World of Outlaws team. In fact, Beadle won the NASCAR Cup with then unknown Rusty Wallace driving in 1989.

Raymond drove one of Don Schumacher's Wonder Wagon cars in the early 1970 before joining forces with Harry Schmidt to drive the Blue Max. In 1977 Beadle bought the operation and the car got even more popular racing along side the Hawaiian and others. In 1979 Beadle dethroned Don "the Snake" Prudhomme who had won the every funny car title and just about every national event since 1975. During this time Beadle developed himself as quite the business man selling thousands of Blue Max shirts and bought the Chaparral Trailer Co. among other ventures.

Beadle drove the Blue Max until the mid 80's when he purchaced a NASCAR team driven by the late Tim Richmond. He continued to run the funny car operation with "Lil John Lombardo" and later Ronnie Young at the wheel with funding from Pontiac and Kodiak Tobacco but it just wasn't the same as the maga shows where Beadle really made his mark faded away. Gone were the 64 and 32 car shows in Seattle, Orange County and Portland where the Blue Max was a regular. Soon after Beadle sold everything to begin a quiet life of ranching in Texas.

When the nostalgia funny car craze got popular Beadle built a true replica of his Blue and yellow Blue Max Arrow (seen above). That car has campaigned mostly in Texas and the Midwest and is driven by Young to this day. Beadle will always be remembered as a great driver and one of the sport's true maverics.

Watch the Blue Max in a spectacular crash here



The Rocketeer (or is it Ironman?) Makes Annual Trip to Bauman Farms!

The Capitol Dragster was at Bauman Farms near the Capitol Toyota display both Saturday and Sunday October 12th and 12th. It was crazy busy with very few breaks when someone wasn’t looking at the car. This was the busiest event we have been to this year in terms of interest in the car. The kids, dads and even moms loved looking over the car, asking questions and taking photos. It was busier then the state fair and that’s saying a lot! As always there was some debate if it was the Rocketeer or Iron Man gracing the sides of the car.

I got some help from Todd Carrol at the event. I was very impressed on how professional Todd is in representing our team. We gave away some promo cards, golf tees, key chain clips and other items we had in the trailer. The event was a giant success and the Bauman family could not have been more accommodating in having us there.

Adam's Rib Race Report
Capitol Rocketeer Team Finally Has Great Showing in Woodburn at the Fall Classic!

Photos by Larry and Andi McFarland

The gremlins finally stayed away from our Capitol Rocketeer Dragster this past weekend and we made four very good runs at Woodburn! In fact, in spite of a couple of bad reaction times we went undefeated. We made two hits against Garry Fauble's Patriot on Saturday and two more on Sunday. It was refreshing to finally have everything under control without a lot of stress and most importantly no broken parts other than a heim joint and a battery in which I had spares in the trailer.

Our best pass was a 7.08 at 194 MPH in the opening round of the featured cars on Sunday. I know it wasn't a six but it was close enough. Many don't know this but because of the numerous rod and piston changes last year we inhareted a low compression set up this season and the car has been running far better than the experts ever believed. Next season we'll up the compression, but not breaking a bunch of parts this year has made life easier on all of us and my pocket book. And even with that low compression engine, it has been a very successful year for us after winning the Season Opener race in Medford and finishing second in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series. This race was just the cherry on top of a great season.

Besides the on-track action, we had a great time seeing all of the fans that continue to supported us even when we were down in the luck department. On Saturday, we did our warm up and when we were done I heard this applose and when I looked back there must have been twenty people behind the car cheering! It was like the top fuelers warming up at a national event but it was just us a blown Alcohol dragster at the local track. We also sold a lot of Rocketeer shirts and Adam's Rib BBQ sauce which took care of our expenses and made me very happy! I would like to thanks my crew and the Patriot team for a great weekend.



Mistaken Identity Leads to a Free T-Shirt at Mega Foods!

We did this maga 5 hour sale event at Mega Foods for 1430 KYKN and yes it was big and we were swamped most of the time with shoppers checking out the car.

Outside the store was this Monster Energy pop up tent. So, our new team member Donnie Lee and I were about to unload the race car out of the trailer and this young guy walks up and said "I'm a huge fan" And I said "oh of drag racing" And he said "No, of you. Can I get a picture with you". And I said "Sure and yes that deserves a t-shirt!" And then he says "how long are you going to be in town for?" And I said "Well, I live here". And he said "No way I didn't know that!"

So once we get the car unloaded, gave him his shirt and after things finally settled down, I happened to look a little closer at that Monster Energy awning and it said "Kyle Bush" on one side. So the kid comes back from inside the store and I said "You know, I'm not Kyle Bush" and his friend said "Yeah, he saw the awning and thought that's who you were. He just wants to meet someone famous" and I said "If you are looking for someone famous, I'm not it but Tony the Tiger is here and he's famous."



Rattlesnake Makes Presence Known that they are Alive and Well in a Eugene TV Station Parking Lot!

The fact that Rattlers live on the western side of the State of Oregon have always been discounted and sort of a tabu subject as most residence believe they reside only in Eastern Oregon and down near the California border. Well, one Western Pacific Rattlesnake begs to differ and recently found the best location to publicize that they are alive and well west of the Cascades - at a Eugene TV station parking lot! See it here

Blown Alcohol Thunder to introduce 6.75 Index for 2015

The Blown Alcohol Thunder Series will introduce a 6.75 index in 2015. What that means is that a run quicker than a 6.75 won't count in qualifying or in the final round. In a situation where both cars in the final went under the 6.75 limit, the car closest to the 6.75 ET would win. The reason for the rule change is to level the playing field and to keep the costs of racing in the series down for all racers. This rule change also means that the use of throttle stops, timers and other devices used to accomplish a specific ET will not be allowed.

We tried to keep the series as unlimited as possible but after the outcome was the same in the last three straight events it was obvious that an ET limit had to be put into place so no one particular car would likely win every event. A similar index was introduced in the Pacific ProComp Series and it didn't hurt the show and there were a variety of winners.

Other news and a schedule for 2015 will be announced soon.



Dane Lachelt Wins First Championship!

The first ever Blown Alcohol Thunder Pro Comp Racing Series season is already in the books and the first Champion has been crowned. Dane Lachelt won the series convincingly by winning three races in a row. Hard charging "Lady Elaine" Sellers in her 1967 Nova funny car gave Lachelt a run for his money as she was runner up to him at the same three events he had won.

Lachelt along with his father Neal who reside in British Columbia, clinched the first ever Championship by only having to make one round at the final event held in Spokane at the Jet Car Finals. His big lead made it almost impossible for second place finisher Rich Bailey to catch him. Mike Peck who was also tied for second chose not to compete at the final race.

Lachelt went on to win the event over Sellers in a very close final round. Bailey won the Good Vibrations Best Reaction Time Award with an impressive .004 light. Nine cars competed in the final Spokane event in front of a giant crowd. Two cars had to withdraw at the race due to unexpected engine problems.

A sixth race was to be held in the Fall at The Eagle Motorplex in Ashcroft but it was canceled due to onging management problems at the facility.

Final 2014 Point Standings

1. Dane Lachelt 168

2. Rich Bailey 136

3. Elaine Sellers 110

4. Mike Peck 106

5. Brent Jones 80

6. Kevin McCurdy 60, David Spease 60
, Kelly Flansaas 60, Norm Mitchell 60 (tied)

7. John Evans, Todd Miller 40 (tied)

8. Mike Lema 30, Dave Hix 30, Alan Hougardy, Pete Krona 30, Jim Attewell 30, Roger Hansen 30 (tied)

9. Frank Miller 20, Shane Wheatherford 20, George Moore 20 (tied)

10. Jeff Krittenbrink 10 (and one other)



The Capitol Rocketeer car is at the Oregon State Fair!

The Capitol Auto Group Rocketeer Dragster is back at the Oregon State Fair for all 11 days. The car will be staffed most of the time thanks to Donnie Lee who will be there daily.

The car is part of the car show which will be happening every day. It is located in the garden area near Columbia Hall. We will have coupons for the Fall Classic Drags and speaking of that, you can get free parking passes for the fair at Capitol Chevrolet!



King Engine Bearings Race Report

Capitol Team Gets Things Turned Around With Second Place Finish in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series

Photos by Annette Barton

In a dramatic turn around from last season where we were kicked in the shins at every turn mechanically, the Capitol team clinched a second place finish in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series final standings. It was a great accomplishment to not only runner up but to successfully promote a new racing series and see it through to the end without too many problems and a happy group of racers.

We were tied with Mike Peck for second place before we drove up to Spokane for the final event so were excited to see how we would do. We originally planned to hit a mid-week race in Yakima but our scheduled opponent from Squim, Washington decided not to go and the forecast looked like possible T-storms so we decided to head straight for Spokane after talking it over with Derek Snelson, the promoter in Yakima and my partner in the race series. It rained out anyway so we made a good call to save our resources for Spokane and Derek was all for that.

There were no problems on the way to Spokane and as usual Brent, Richard and I had fun on the way up. We stopped into our favorite truck stop for some tasty Chesterfried Chicken with a little bit of Frank's Red Hot near the Othello turn off before hitting Ritzville. We then rolled into town around six and set up the pit and kept the awning as far from the trailer as possible.

On race day, we checked some King engine bearings which looked perfect and tightened up the pan. Rick and Cookie were driving up separately and we would fine tune the engine when they arrived. When Rick and Cookie showed up, they blew everyone in the pits away with the trophy that Rick had built out of some stretched connecting rods. It looked so nice that it made me want to win the Championship and the trophy even more but all our opponent, Dane Lachelt, had to do to clinch the Championship was to make just one round.

After taking a flat trailer tire to the tire store, we decided to make a check out pass to see if we could squeeze a little more juce out of the engine. On the burnout, I hit a rough spot on the track and it moved the engine and with it the transmission alignment! Suddenly I only had second gear as I moved up to the line. So, I just lightly drove it through. When we got back to the pit we had an hour before the main event to service the car and fix the alignment problem. We thrashed to get it fixed and even the points leader himself was over at our pit giving us a hand so we could make the call.

At 5:45 we rolled up and ended up being the first pair of cars to fire. So here we are in the burnout box waiting the conclusion of the national anthem to fire it up. Your heart pounds and you pray it's going to start with 8,000 people watching you during the opening ceremonies. It was just like in Top Fuel at an NHRA event. It started right up and this time I made a soft burnout and then I did it.... I had the best light of my career as I had an .004 reaction time! Keep in mind we don't have any electronics in our car! The killer RT gave me the Good Vibrations Best Reaction Time Award which was worth 100.00 in cold hard cash! At the other end of the track my opponent beat me but it was a good side-by side run. I had a 7.38 to his 6.92. After the run Richard stopped the tow truck and Rick climbed the fence and threw out some shirts! The crowd went wild!

In the second stanza, we hopped it up when "the Coach" Dane's dad (now the champ) brought us over a quicker pulley and we leaned the engine out more too. This time it was dark and the tach light was blaring in my eyes but no worries as I still had a good light. At the other end, Dane got me with a mid six to my improved 7.18 at 190 MPH but it was still side by side most of the way.

Sadly, we were not quick enough to go to the final round, but we made two good side by side passes and had the best reaction time of the night! But then every thing came into perspective after we were done racing. A guy from Oregon recognized us and then approached us in the stands while we were watching the jets cars.

He reminded us about a time at Woodburn when he took his mom to see her first race which I had forgotten about. She was in a wheelchair suffering from the cruel effects of cancer. We were reminded how we gave her a bottle of water, let we sit under our awning so she could get some relief from the sun and then how I signed a picture to her. The gentleman then said that his mother has long since passed away but she kept that bottle until she died and that picture that was signed still hangs on his wall to this day.

How could we have wanted or expected anything more than the blessings from God we had already received that day after hearing that? Nope, number two in the points standings, some good racing, our great friends, a car that's still together, and the best reaction time was just fine by me. What a great year this has been!

See our second pass here

-Rich Bailey

Bailey' s Blog
Guitars Under the Stars Concert Turns Out to be Rock-n-Roll Heaven For this Guy

Jeff Rouse and Keith Ash of The Guessing Game spent some time with me while looking over the car.

If there was such a thing as a rock-n-roll heaven, Guitars Under the Stars would be as close as it gets. We were asked to do this event which took place in Lebanon way back in February and I had my doubts about doing it as the event got closer to the day since I had not heard from anyone from the show in recent months. But the promoters came through the week of the event so I took the car down there not sure what to expect. However, it turned out to be one of the best events we have ever done on the enjoyment scale. It couldn't have gone any better. It was an all around great event that included all styles of rock.

Everyone there was very laid back and it was easy getting the car in place. And the location they gave me which was between the concessions and the back of the stage was pefect. In fact, since it was close to the stage Some of the band members would stop by to check out the car before or after they played.

One of the bands was from Seattle and are called "The Guessing Game" (pictured below). It didn't take long before we became fast friends. We exchanged t-shirts, and their new CD for some Adam's Rid BBQ sauce. Then the band got on stage and blew me away with an excellent set that included a powerful new song you must hear called Dear God. Wow! I got chills listening to it live and then on CD as I drove home. LISTEN TO IT HERE This band is going to be big trust me! If you click on the link you'll certainly agree.

The Guessing Game includes: Jeff Rouse Kathy Moore Gary Westlake Keith Ash Shawn Zellar

Later in the day Gary Hoey rocked the house and then Pat Travers took the stage followed by Lita Ford. I had heard a lot about Gary Hoey but never heard his music. After hearing his set I figured out what all the talk was about. Before the night was over I got the pleasure to me meet Pat Travers himself who also played a great set. Since I had an all access pass, I took photos from all over the stage during the Lita Ford show. She was great too and closed the show with one of my faves called Kiss Me Deadly. It was worth the wait before high tailing it out of there to beat the crowd.

Lita Ford and Gary Hoey closing out the three day concert

As for the crowd, everyone was well behaved and very friendly and there was no visible drug use or over consumption of alcohol even though there was a beer garden. Everyone was very approachable and the security was really relaxed which made for a great event. I have never seen anything like this as long as I have been going to concerts which made Guitars Under the Stars Rock-n-Roll Heaven!


Capitol Car Fires Up at Keizer River Fair

Paul Finister invited us to bring the Capitol Auto Group Rocketeer Dragster to the River Fair Car Show. I told him we would but it was a work day for us and we would be putting part of the engine back together. He said that's fine bring it. So, Richard and I unloaded the car at 10:30 and went to work.

By 2:30 and after taking a break for lunch, driving home because I forgot the intake gaskets, we fired the up car not sure if it would start right up or not. It did! The reason I was some what surprised at all is sometimes when you pull the mag there is some trial and error that happens to get the engine to start and that's nothing you want to do in front of a group of people waiting and watching.

The rest of the day we let the kids sit in it after enjoying an ice cold Mello Yello. It's always a good day when Richard is there to help me. It was a great day in Keizer and people stayed an hour after the event was scheduled to end which is the mark of a good car show!


Good Marketing Pays off at Seattle NHRA Event

NHRA had a very good event in Seattle. Consider that the city's beloved hydroplane race landed on the same weekend, the Blue Angels were their half time show and the Seattle media for the most part ignored the NHRA event in favor of the boats. Still, the stands were 90 percent filled during the second round with hundreds more lined up along the fence.

The pits and the stands were packed all weekend in Seattle. Reasonable prices and marketing helped.

I think part of the successful turnout in spite of the competition accross the lake was a ticket promo with O'Reilly Auto Parts where a fan could get a reserved seat for 45.00 and a kids ticket was only 10.00. You just had to go to the parts store to buy them at any location in the Northwest. How easy is that? When you include free parking and pit access I think it was value priced for a family of four living on the ropes these days. So, congrats to NHRA on a marketing plan that worked even when the odds were against them!

This was the last time Force traveled down the Seattle track in a Castrol sponsored car. Is Peak next?

As far as the race went, wow the final in funny car was the way it should have been: two old rivals from the 64 funny car days. Gary Densham who is just about as low buck as they come took on John Force in his last race in Seattle behind the wheel of a Castrol sponsored funny car. Force blew Densham's doors off but Densham did not luck out and back into the win as he took down some of the toughest most well financed cars in the sport. Before the big final local favorite Joey Severance won the top alcohol dragster final convincingly.

Is it just me or does the DSR car (far lane) look a smaller and swoopier with the canopy?

Reportedly, the car count was down in the sportsman classes and in pro stock. There were full fields in the pro classes but not by much. It's obvious that the cost of racing and the economy is having an effect whether it's a Super Comp dragster out of division seven or a Top Alcohol dragster team that can't afford to race like they use too. Over all, it was a great race but I miss the single car independent operations, the characters and the dry hops of days gone by.

Capitol Team Back at it Starting This Weekend

After a short vaction up to Seattle, the Capitol team is back at it starting this weekend. First, the car will be at the Keizer River Fair Car Show on Saturday at School House Square on River Road from 10 AM to 3 PM. The team will be puting the engine back together from the manifold up after we had some additional work done by Gary Eichmann after the Night of Fire race where the mag got loose and lost fire.

Then on Sunday, it's for those about to Rock! The car will be displayed at "Guitars Under the Stars" in Lebanon, Oregon featuring rockers Pat Travers and Lita Ford among many other big rock acts.

On Wednesday, the car leaves again for Yakima to do a special match race against Jeff Krittenbrink's funny car from Squim, WA at Renegade Raceway. From there, we move on to Spokane for the final event in the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series where we are second place in points. A lot going on in a short ten day period but that's the way we like it.

Jet Car Finals Event Up Next For Blown Alcohol Thunder

The final event in the " Blown Alcohol Thunder Pro Comp Racing Series" will be coming up August 16th in Spokane. If you were at the first event in Spokane, the Fox Hunt, you know just how good the track is and how many spectators fill the stands. This is the big one, the grand finale. If you race in Blown Alcohol Thunder and are not yet pre-entered call the track as soon as possible at 509-244-3333 to get on the list for free entry. There's still time!

KYKN Race Report by Rich Bailey

Capitol Team Slides to Second Place in Spokane

The Capitol team had mixed results in Spokane but we landed on our feet on the second pass. This year's trip to Spokane was a big improvement over last year when I had kidney stones and brakes that all the sudden stopped working. Going into the event we were tied with Dane Lachelt and Mike Peck for first place but by the end of the weekend we had slipped to second place after Dane went to the finals at the event. The race had a good turn out for our Blown Alcohol Thunder Series as ten blown alcohol cars showed up and all of the cars made their expected run during each session.

The Bend Knecht's display I had to part with three shirts for my Royal Purple and NGK promotion where customers got a free shirt for buying product. Not bad since we were there for just three hours.

We started the weekend by doing a car display at Knecht's Auto Parts in Bend until 2 PM on Friday. We then got on the road for the long trip to Spokane. On the way through we stopped and filled up with bio diesel at a Shell station. The fuel was 40 cents a gallon cheaper then the regular stuff. I'm all the sudden green! As I've said before if it pencils out I'm in and the truck liked it too!

While we were on the road we checked out Shaniko, an old ghost town. This old western town is just off US97 in Central Oregon and is complete with an old hotel, wooden sidewalks, an ice cream parlor and of course a little shop that sells Sarsaparilla. It was a pretty neat place to stop and let the truck cool down. Back on the road and we finally got into Spokane at 11 PM.

On race day, we got the car prepped including installing a new set of plug wires. It was hot and windy and the wind was so strong it wrecked the awning and put a nice crease and scratch on the side of our new trailer. That was the frustrating part of the trip. I have already started to fix it and should be painted by the end of the week.

Here is the pop-up just before the wind dismantled it and ruined the side of my new trailer. Needless to say I was more than a little pissed.

On the first hit, we were too soft in the high altitude and the car took it's sweet time going down the track. The only good thing about the run was that I treed my opponent but he got around me on the top end. It turned out that everyone during that session was off of their game. As I was just hanging around waiting to make the second round an attractive girl came up and took my picture and said "I was just too cool for school". That was a moral booster since a kid in Spokane last year told me I was "too old". We remember these things but I guess I still got it what ever "it" is.

In round two, our crew chief Rick Klampe and his assistant Richard Lytle hopped the car up big time and we got down the track with a 7.28 at over 5,500 feet corrected altitude! An altitude that high is what you would expect in Denver. But what I liked best about the run was that I had a good 0.18 light and beat my second opponent on both ends of the track. However, we were not quick enough to make the final round.

There's "Fuelie" a new crew member filling up the tank before starting it up at Madras Raceway.

We thought we may have hurt the engine on the last pass so we put the car away in preparation for the long ride home. Rick came up with an idea of making a surprise visit to Madras Raceway on the way home to go through the valves and double check everything to see how bad we may have hurt the engine or if we had hurt it at all. So we pulled in as everyone was leaving but still turned some heads from those wondering what we were doing there at the end of the day. We went through the engine looking for clues and finally fired it up and the engine sounded strong so there was nothing to be concerned about. Since nothing was hurt and he car came home in one piece, the trip to Spokane a good one.


Dane Lachelt Wins in Repeat Final at Spokane

Once again it was a classic Pro Comp final of funny car vs. dragster at the Blown Alcohol Thunder race held in Spokane during the Fox Hunt Drags. Dane Lachelt ended up in the winner's circle for the second time this season after defeating "Lady Elaine" Sellers in a repeat of the Yakima event.

While many in the grandstands were hoping for a funny car win it wasn't to be as "Lady Elaine" was unable to stage her car in time and the auto start timing system automatically timed out giving the win to Lachelt who had staged first. Lachelt of British Columbia now takes command of first place while Mike Peck and Rich Bailey are now tied for second going into the final race of the series to also be held in Spokane, August 15-16 during the Jet Car Finals.

Ten cars competed in the Drag Blown Alcohol Thunder class. The track had a great crowd and the racing surface was excellent in spite of the 5,800 foot corrected altitude.

Capitol Dragster is at Marion County Fair after Big July 4 Weekend in Independence and Woodburn

The Capitol Rocketeer Dragster will be on display at the Marion County Fair, July 10th-13th. The following week the car will be back into racing mode as we will be in Spokane for the Fox Hunt Drags which is also a points meet for us. Readers may wonder why we continue to not participate at the NHRA event at Woodburn and there are two simple reasons. First, we don't have a golf cart and the car is not self starting which is required at NHRA regional and national events. The other reason is since we have a points race the following weekend, we don't want to break the car a week prior and not make the trip to Spokane. We are tied for first place in a three way tie so why take chances?

The car was a big hit as usual in the Western Days Parade and then at the fireworks display and festival grounds on both days, the 4th and 5th of July. This was by far the best show in the valley and thousands saw the car between the parade and the display. A lot of people came by particularly on the 4th and we sold quite a few shirts and bottles of Adam's Rib BBQ Sauce. If that wasn't enough, the dragster also was at the Jet Car Nationals in Woodburn on the 3rd of July and made a full run under the lights. Abig thanks to Richard Lytle and Brent Sanford for all of their help!


It Wasn't All That Fast but it Was Sure Spectacular!

The Capitol team was a little short handed but everything went well at the Jet Car Nationals. Brent and Richard took care of things and the car responded well. The team decided to make one pass and by the time we were ready it was getting dark. We have never had the chance to make a pass here at night but it had been on my bucket list for a while. It was a solo run and when I let go of the button the front end came up and there was at least 18 inches of air between the tire and the pavement! We didn't now how much air until Dan Kaplan, one of the photographers came over and showed us the spectacular picture (above) while we were loading up. The car ran a 7.29 at 187 MPH. A photo to follow.



Incredible Fuel Altered Crash at Champion

While we don't like to make light of a crash this is one you really have to see to believe.


Read Yakima Race Coverage on Drag Racing Online

Check out the great story on ProComp and the recent Blown Alcohol Thunder event on Drag Racing Online. They have it right, we are renegades doing it our way. When you don't have a class, make your own. To read coverage of the race go to: Drag Racing Online

The Salem Geeks Race Report

"Air Capitol" Stays Tied for First After Yakima

It was a great weekend to be in the "Palm Springs of the Northwest" since it was raining everywhere else. The wind blew but that was about all. The good news for us was that our new trailer is quite a fuel savor and we saved as much as a half of a tank of diesel compared to the other trailer and a full tank if we were pulling the old trailer with the old gas powered truck. The only thing that went wrong on the way over to Yakima was that the CD player quit working and we got the bird flipped at us twice on US97. But this is nothing new as it always happens to us on the way to Yakima.

Once we arrived and got set up, Rick showed up with his friend John Marshall and we fine tuned the car. We tried a couple of thing that didn't work as the car was briefly shooting flames out the pipes. We then went back and increased the timing and re-adjusted the barrel valve and the car sounded like it's old self again without getting too hot. Our neighbors Dane and Neil "the coach" Lachelt along with Mike Peck were a lot of help and we learned some new things hanging around those guys.
At midnight, we went to Miner Burger (the In-N-Out of Yakima) and then went to the track house and crashed. Unfortunately, there wasn't as many places to sleep as I had hoped and we ended up sleeping on the floor. Poor drag racers and travelling rock mucians are a lot a like.

On Saturday, we went in to town for coffee and supplies and then returned to the track and got ready for round one. On the way in, a guy doing irrigation work near the track got his truck to far into the ditch so I pulled him out with the dually for some good karma. After a pre-race parade where the announcer introduced each team we were in the lanes and ready to go. Our first opponent was Kelly Flansaas in the Rocky Mountain Thunder Corvette Funny Car from Montana. At the hit, Kelly was out of the gate first but I sailed right by him with the front wheels in the air to take the win and a 4.73 which was the 5th best ET out of the eleven cars but obviously it was not good enough to go to the final.

After we got the car turned around in the pits we were ready for the second stanza and one more shot to go to the final round. This time I took on my buddy Brent Jones in the "Lawless" funny car. As we both fired up Brent discovered something was wrong with his car and shut it off. It turned out he sucked a valve. After doing my burnout I was backing up the engine shut itself off from fuel sloshing around in the fuel tank creating air that leaned the engine out. We quickly re-fired to make the pass. At the hit, the car shook very violently but not before doing a big wheelstand which broke the wheelie bar and the blowback tubes! By then my chance for a ticket to the final were done and idled it down the track. But since we got ten points per round and ten for showing up we are now in a three way tie with the Canada winner Mike Peck and the Yakima winner Dane Lachelt.

Dane invited us to stand in the winner circle with him which was cool and then we went back to Miner Burger at midnight. On Sunday, when I got up I was a zombie. My head was hurting from the shake (or the floor) and I didn't get much sleep for obvious reasons. But once I got my coffee I was ready for the drive home with Richard at the wheel. Once I got back into town, I took the car to Gary Eickmann's to get the damage fixed caused by this weekend's racing.

It was another eventful weekend and one I will never forget!

To read coverage of the race go to: Drag Racing Online

-Rich Bailey


Bailey's Blog

Friday the 13th and a Full Moon Stuck Around Our Pits at Rose Festival Drags in Rainy Woodburn

It was the first Friday the 13th and a full moon happening together on the same night since 1927. Don't believe in Friday the 13th? Well, try this, everything from rain to some minnor carnage stuck around for much of the weekend at the Rose Festival Drags. This was the third major race in a row where the race completely rained out on Sunday.

After three solid days of retrofitting our new trailer, we headed out to our home track to see what the car would do in preparation for the Yakima event at the end of the month. After lots of compliments on the new trailer and work getting the car ready, we fired it up. Everything started out OK and the engine sounded very good. However, a little bit of smoke from the number three cylinder began to appear. The engine also got hot rather quickly.

This made us decided to error on the side of caution and not make a pass until we were sure everything was alright. The last thing any of us wanted to do was to oil down the track or destroy our engine. We did a leak down test and a compression check and some how the numbers from the compression check had changed dramatically from when we checked each cylinder at home three weeks ago. We then decided to dissassemble the engine and keep digging until we could figure out what the heck was wrong.

It turned out that our heads had gotten so hot that the sharp shape around the cylinder had began to change in the number one and number two cylinders. The piston to wall clearence had also been compromised by the heat. There was also heat cracks in two spots. Obviously, that ended any hope we had of making any passes.

On Sunday, there were a few light rain drops when we left home but by the time we got to the track it was sloppy wet from an unexpected rain storm. The rain continued to fall until mid day when Jay Livingston decided to cancel the event. The good news in all of this is that we discovered this problem at Woodburn and not in Canada where we would have gone had the trailer been done on time. We have a game plan to get the heads fixed and the engine back together by the next Blown Alcohol Thunder event in two weeks.



Our New Trailer has Arrived and Worth the Wait!

The long wait is finally over for the Capitol Team as the new home for the Rocketeer has finally arrived! On Tuesday the 30 foot trailer was released from the factory and not a minute too soon. On the way back to Salem the trailer was weighed and then the floor was painted once we arrived at home. Once the floor is no longer tacky the car will be loaded for the Rose Festival Drags at Woodburn this weekend.

Sometimes less is more and the new trailer is light weight and has everything the old trailer had but without all of the weight and headaches. A big thanks to Ron Papple and Cascade Truck Body and Trailer for all of his help in getting the trailer custom built as quickly as possible. The trailer was built in neighboring Independence in an effort to help support the local economy with good paying jobs.


Next Stop for Blown Alcohol Thunder is Yakima where the Resurgence in Pro Comp Began!

One of the premier races on the Blown Alcohol Thunder Series tour is the upcoming event at Renegade Raceway in Yakima called "Nitro Nights Under The Lights" scheduled for June 27-28. In fact, this is the race that started it all five years ago. At that time Derek Snelson took a risk and brought back Pro Comp, a popular racing class in the 70's that included dragsters, funny cars and roadsters all racing together. NHRA later abandoned the class and spit the alcohol dragsters and funny cars into two separate classes.

The format at Renegade was a big hit and Snelson has promoted the pro comp race every year since. This year may be the biggest Pro Comp field so far for Yakima! Currently, ten blown alcohol cars from six states and Canada have already pre-entered including six funny cars, four dragsters and one altered. There is still room for six more entries.

On Thursday, there will be a pre-view night downtown where racers can display their cars. On Friday, will be an optional test and tune and then on Saturday is the big event.

There is still time to pre-enter and be a part of the resurgence at Renegade Raceway!




Bailey's Blog
Politically Correct or Not, the Term to Describe What Racers Do Needs to be Changed!

OK here is my late night rant so forgive me if I'm not thinking clearly but this is something I have thought about for years. Nothing has changed and if anything the problem has gotten worse. The problem I am referring to is the term "drag racing". It needs to be left behind. It's obvious that what we do is much different than the illegal speed contests being conducted on the street which often have deadly consequences. So, in other words "drag racing" is simultaneously used to describe two very different activities and one is highly negative and often results in tragic circumstances and death unrelated to what we do as racers.

The governing bodies of our sport, the NHRA, IHRA and SEMA, if nothing but for their own good should put the spotlight on themselves and call a news conference at the SEMA meeting in November and proclaim that they are no longer going to recognize the term "drag racing" in their tag line, media, etc. when describing the sport and instead will now call our sport "Championship Speed Racing". Explain to the world that in spite of ongoing education, the term "drag racing" is far to often used to describe the cause of deadly highway crashes and not what happens on the track.

Some will think this is a stupid idea but if you follow Google news and follow the term drag racing to find racing stories, more often than not the stories that turn up describe some one charged with "drag racing" or a local teen in some town is killed "drag racing". Why do we want to continue to be associated with such a term when all efforts have failed to describe to the pubic that street racing is not drag racing? The sad fact is that the term drag racing has been a PR disaster in every town in the USA where a high school kid has been killed street racing.

NHRA, IHRA and SEMA have the power to remedy the problem while getting themselves in the media spotlight and while the old timers might disagree it will be beneficial in the long run. Such a move will better describe what we do and lead to more sponsors.

Granted, I know most people know the difference but our sport has changed dramatically from what it was a long time ago and yet we still call it what it isn't. There is no law that says we must continue to use a specific term and a name such as "speed racing" better describes what we do.

Let the media and law enforcement continue to use the term "drag racing" to describe illegal street racing and we'll move on to something better and more exciting to describe our sport to the public.

-Rich Bailey



New Column: Trailer Talk

After my brouhaha with the local Police I have discovered that after years of fair treatment to racers many jurisdictions are putting the hammer down on anyone hauling a race car trailer and putting them in the same category as long haul truckers.

The stories from around the country including mine will make any racer sweat the minute they pull out of the driveway. This new column is an education tool so you at least know what's out there and what's coming next.

As was mentioned in the current issue of National Dragster by Ernie Saxton, even a modest pick up and tandem axle trailer are swept up into the trucking rules depending on the officer who decides to pull you over. The lowest common denominator is that the car in the trailer can get paid either through sponsors, prize money, or booked in shows so you are now a commercial enterprise.

For some, that ideology is okay if you treat your racing as a business anyway. After all you have to be consisitant and not be a hobby in one instance and a business in another. But puting a pick up truck and trailer under the same regulations as a Kenworth transporting goods across the country is over kill.

And if your truck and trailer combo weighs over 10,000 lbs (and you all do) you need a DOT number especially if you race in other states like we do. I'm cool with that if you have a million dollar plus sponsorship and a big payroll but the unintended consequences to the little guy can be financially devastating and why the sanctioning bodies need to step in and lobby Washington to give sportsman racing an exemption.

Did you know that an RV pulling a race car is an illegal combination? How's that you ask? If you go down to the lowest common denominator as I mentioned earlier, if the RV is pulling a car that makes money then that RV becomes a commercial vehicle and then it's illegally registered. RV's can not be used for business or it has to be registered as one. Again, it depends on the officer and so far most have not stooped that low yet. But a few have. One racer that had a Toyota sponsorship and it said "Toyota" all over the motorhome. It was ticketed in Oregon on I-5 for having an illegal combination simply because the officer saw a Toyota logo on the side of the motorhome or the trailer being pulled.

The second did you know has to do with Washington State. Did you know that if just your trailer has a MFG gross weight rating of 10,001 and over you need to have a CDL unless it's towed behind an RV (with no advertisers of course)? In Oregon if a combination of the truck and trailer are over 26,001.

I freaked when I read that but luckily my new trailer is rated just under 10,000. Thank Goodness, I don't want to go through that CDL groundhog's day again. More on that next time.

-Rich Bailey



Power Punch Team Wins Opener in Yakima:

A big crowd came out to see the funny cars at Renegade Raceway in Yakima in what is hoped to be the warm up for Nitro Nights Under the Lights. The race included Mark Hinges in his Arrow bodied Power Punch nitro funny car, Chris Davis' Nitro Vega, Yakima favorite Lady Elane and all the way from Montana Brent Jones in the Lawless Funny car. The G man was there too but broke early in the show. Taking the win was Hinges with a 4.10 at 182 MPH in the eighth. Chris Davis was runner up with a 4.50. Other performance standouts included Lady Elaine's 4.22 and Brent Jones' 4.50.

1430 KYKN Race Report
Capitol Rocketeer Team Wins First Blown Alcohol Thunder Race Series at Champion Raceway

As many who have read our past Medford post-race stories know, our trips to Medford always involve an incident or two and our win at the inaugural Blown Alcohol Thunder event this past weekend was no exception.

When you are towing a 44 foot trailer on a long trip it's always a good idea to leave a day early, and good thing we did! As we were heading down the freeway on Friday a guy drove us by honking and signaling to us that something was wrong with our trailer and unfortunately a wheel bearing basically started a fire and burned the center brake assembly and the bearings to a crisp. We were lucky this happened near Albany as the Tire Factory and McKay's trailer parts store had everything needed to fix the trailer. The damage was so bad they needed a torch to remove the old parts but the guys at the Tire Factory did a great job getting it fixed quickly and we were back on the road before noon.

This made us late for our solo car display at Sherm's Food For Less in Medford but we decided to do the dispaly anyway and not be a no-show. It was a big hit as a lot of people stopped by to look at the car. We gave out all the coupons we had for the race and I signed a lot of pictures. But, what really made it all worth it was a guy from a group home who came up to look at the car with his care taker. He was wearing a black Chevelle t-shirt so I had to give him one of our shirts. It was a memorable moment as it really made his day. We then went to the hotel and I went through the wrong door and ended up walking through a stand up comedian's routine with my bags and all. Luckily I didn't become the butt of one of his off color jokes.

On Saturday, it was race day and it was sloppy wet outside when we got up but the forecast looked like it was going to clear off by the afternoon. We headed to the track and were ready to go by the start of Blown Alcohol Thunder at 5 PM. On my first run, I lost my concentration at the starting line and Mike Lema beat me handily but since this was Chicago-style racing, I had one more chance to make it to the final round.

In the second round we raced against Kevin McCurdy in the Executioner. I was ready this time and the car launched off the line like a striking Mohave Green Rattlesnake. The wheels were in the air a foot high and it got down the track with a sizzling 7.15 to get by McCurdy. The run was good for low ET of the meet which earned us a trip to the final round! But there was one problem, I had no brakes and the track's shut down is up a hill so how would we get the car back to the pits without wrecking it? Our crew chief Rick Klampe came up with a brilliant idea. He hooked the back of the dragster to the front of the truck and the truck followed the car down the hill. And it worked!

Once we got back to the pits we discovered that a brake line had broke. So Dave "Cookie" Cookman went looking for a brake line but I had my doubts he would find one. But low and behold Frank Miller and the Bee Line Express team had one. Then we needed some DOT Brake Fluid. One guy had some in his truck but he locked his keys inside the truck so this all started to sound like bad dream! However, our opponents in the final round, Todd Miller and Donn Hosford, loaned us a bottle so we lucked out again. The whole crew worked their tails off to get the car serviced and the brakes fixed and bled in time for the final round. But the track promoter moved the final up to 7 PM as the track was getting cold and the conditions were rapidly getting slick. Meanwhile, the no. 3 qualifier Mike Lema was patiently waiting to take our spot if we couldn't get the car serviced in time.

In the nick of time, we rolled up to the starting line and we were ready for the final round. I could tell that the track conditions had gone south as my burnout was nearly sideways. At the hit, Todd Miller in the Survivor funny car was out in front of me as I experienced some bad tire shake. I got off the throttle and back in it while shreading a blower belt! Meanwhile, Todd windowed his block causing oil to get under his tires and then crossed the centerline and hit the wall! My concern was for Todd and I didn't consider the fact that we had just won the race since he crossed over the center line. Todd was OK and Donn's car only suffered minor damage. It could have been a lot worse.

I didn't like winning that way but we had not won a race in a while and scored low ET of the event, so after a difficult season in 2013, we'll take it. The next morning we had an uneventful trip back home and then gave up our familiar gooseneck trailer to its new owner later that afternoon. Now we wait for our new trailer so we can continue this great new season we are having.

-Rich Bailey


Capitol Car at Showbiz

The Capitol Dragster showed well at Showbiz presented by the Salem Chamber on May 8th. This was a great opportunity for the Salem business community to see the car and several marketing contacts were made and rekindled. We gave out our new handout cards and discount family coupons for Woodburn Dragstrip as well Capitol Auto Group information cards.


Rocketeer Displayed at Capitol West Valley Store

The Capitol Dragster was displayed at the new Capitol West Valley store in Dallas on Saturday. The cold weather had an effect on the turnout but people still stopped by to spin the wheel for prizes, get a hot dog and see the dragster. We had our new cards featuring the wheelstand caught in the lens of Andi McFarland. The cards were printed by Competition Printing of Tempe Az.

The Capitol Rocketeer Dragster Launches Season Literally at Woodburn Dragstrip Tulip Festival

The Capitol Rocketeer Dragster launched the season at Woodburn Dragstrip's Tulip Festival Drags literally! At noon we ran behind the Pro Nostalgia cars and the conditions were perfect! At the hit, I did a giant wheelstand that even our old friend Ed Jones would be proud of! The car carried the wheels 100 feet out and I stayed in it to the finish line. The car ran a 7.47 at 178 MPH but that was OK with us as it gave us a base line to start from.

After the run at the end of the track, I heard an air leak as the air actuator line had some how slit open and later Larry McFarland, a photographer who was shooting down track told my guys that the butterflies had barely opened (due to the leak) so it would have been a much quicker run. Since the air Actuator didn't work that may have explained the wheelstand since the actuator softens the launch. It was tested prior to the run and worked at that time.

By the time we got the car serviced and back into the lanes for the second session, it started to rain and all the cars were sent back to the pits which ended racing for the day. Now the car is ready to go for Medford and we expect a great outing for our first Blown Alcohol Thunder race. Here is a picture of that run captured by the best photographers to ever to shoot a photograph at Woodburn...Larry and Andi McFarland.



Facebook Flyers by Jim M. White from the files of...

Action at it's finest as Shirley Muldowney takes on another competitor at Pomona in a stunning comeback after she nearly lost her life in a crash. Photo by Jim M. White.

Cap Racing is showcasing the photography of Jim M. White. We certainly hope you enjoy his work as much as we do. Thanks Jim for sharing! Keep checking back daily to see who's next! To purchase a photo contact Jim at



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