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.
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.
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.
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.
The Night of Fire Returns to the Peoples Church Parking Lot in Salem on August 5th
After a long three year absence the Night of Fire returns to the Peoples Church parking lot on Friday night, August 5th from 3PM till dark. Headlining the show will be Ed Jones and his Jelly Belly Wheelstander. There will also be a dragster fire up. Thanks to the Peoples Church for reaching out to Jim Billings and Rich Bailey so they could bring this spectacular free show back to Salem! More details to come your way soon!
Photo by Mark Sharley
ProMotion Welcomes Back Royal Purple
ProMotion Motorsports welcomes back Royal Purple Synthetic Oil for the 19th straight year. Royal Purple is the only oil and transmission fluid used in the Capitol Auto Group Dragster and in the race team's truck.
Part of the race team's long history of success is point of sale displays at auto parts stores including a promotion to give away t-shirts for anyone that purchases oil while the car is on display. The race car has been displayed for Royal Purple at NAPA, Knecht's, Auto Zone, Car Quest, Advance and O'Reilly stores throughout the Northwest.
Royal Purple can be purchased at nearly every auto part chain stores and at Wal Mart stores. Locally, Stuart's Auto Parts on Portland Road sells a wide variety of Royal Purple products at low competitive prices.
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 http://radio.securenetsystems.net/v5/KYKN . 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.
DragParts.com Blown Alcohol Thunder Series Grows into a Solid Multi-State Racing League
After updating our DragParts.com 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 DragParts.com 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 www.capracing.com/blown_alcohol_thunder.html
DragParts.com 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
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.
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!
CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS FROM THE SHOW
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: https://www.sema.org/news/2016/02/08/epa-seeks-to-prohibit-conversion-of-vehicles-into-racecars
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 www.ngksparkplugsusa.com
King Engine Bearings can be purchased from Summit Click Here
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