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.
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 dragparts.com 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.
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
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:
New Information Regarding Truck and Trailers
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.
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 http://www.waleryspizza.com for further information
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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.
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