Photo above by Andi McFarland

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Home of the Capitol Auto Group Rocketeer Blown Alcohol Dragster

Driver: Rich Bailey

Car Chief: Brent Sanford

Crew: Troy Hannemann

Crew: Richard Lytle

Engines and Heads: Keith McCurdy

Transmission by: Jeff Marsh

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Updated: January 1, 2017 Seeing old dated stories? Refresh your browser

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It's Affordable Family Fun!
2017 Winter Rod and Speed Show Features Something for Everyone!

The Winter Rod and Speed Show presented by Albany Burgerville is back for our 10th year! The show returns to the Linn County Fair and Expo Center in Albany, January 20-21 of 2017!

This year's event features the actual Baby Face Nelson gangster car owned by one of the movers and shakers in Hollywood, Don Rogers. Also featured this year is the Hero Number 3 Chevy Impala from the popular TV show Supernatural. And be sure to bring the kiddos to meet Chewbacca and Darth Vader from Star Wars! Returning is nationally renowned artist Kenny Youngblood who will design and customize a poster for everyone who attends.

Of course, the cars are the big stars at the Winter Rod and Speed Show and over 100 hot rods, street rods, dragsters, muscle cars and custom trucks will be on display And tthere will be lots of vendors selling a wide variety items.

The doors open on Friday night at 7 PM and will be open until 10 PM. Bring a can for food for the Friday Night Food Drive and get in the show for just $5.00. On Saturday, the show opens at 9AM and goes until 6 PM when special awards will be handed out.

Admission is just $8.00, kids 8 and under are free. Three dollar off coupons are available at businesses through out the valley or show your Bi-Mart card at the door for the same 3.00 discount. Parking is free!


Coupon Locations
Get coupons at Burgerville in Albany, Corvallis, Monmouth and Tigard, A Step Above Hobby in Albany NAPA in Salem, Albany, Junction city, and Eugene. Knecht's, in Eugene, Albany, Salem and Corvallis, Papa's Pizza in Corvallis, Walery's Pizza in Salem All American Barber Shop in Keizer and selected Les Schwab stores. Better yet save 3.00 by bringing a can of food for the Friday Night Food Drive!

Painting has now Started on Capitol Dragster in Time for Winter Show!

The Capitol Auto Group Dragster is getting a make over by Jeff Lewis who is applying the color. After a year and half with a very nice wrap we are switching over to paint! The car will be done in time for the Winter Rod and Sped Show! Jeff who has his shop is Keizer is one of the best painters in the Salem area. ProMotion Motorsports Services produced the red, white, blue and yellow paint scheme.

Mark Adams of Supervinyl Signs of Salem will produce all of the sponsor decals and lettering. Supervinyl is our longest sponsor and we appreciate all of their great work for over 20 years! We will be sending updated pictures to facebook every time a new color is applied.

Capitol Racing 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.



The Capitol Deal
of the Week!

Nice Inside & Out!
Here's a really nice 2010 Malibu LTZ at a reduced price! Only $10,000

Take it for a virtual
test drive HERE

Everyone wants a Camaro! Come in and see why the Camaro is Motortrend's
Car of the Year

Be sure to ask for the Capitol Racing Friends and Family Deal on any new or preowned car or truck!

Listen Live Here


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For Mustang racing parts and accessories, check out

Up Coming 2016 Events

Jan 22-22
Winter Rod and Speed Show
Linn County Expo Center
Albany, Oregon

Feb 6
West Coast Sha' Bang
Oregon State Fair Grounds
Salem, Oregon

March 18-20
Portland Roadster Show
Expo Center
Portland, Oregon

April 2
Albany High School Car Show
Albany, Oregon

April 9
Cascade High School Car Show
Turner, Oregon

May 13
Sherms Food For Less
Medford, Oregon

*May 14
Blown Alcohol Thunder
Champion Raceway

May 21
Keizer Iris Festival
Keizer, OR

May 27
Season Opener
Medford Renegade Raceway

June 11-12
Rose Festival Drags
Woodburn Dragstrip

June 18

*July 1 - 2
Nitro Nights
Renegade Raceway

July 4
Independence OR

*Big Sky Swing July 8-17:

*July 8-9
Blown Alcohol Thunder
Spokane County Raceway

*July 16-17
Rocky Mountain Championships
Lost Creek Raceway
Butte Montana

July 23
Dallas Summerfest
Dallas OR

July 29-30
Night of Fire
Woodburn Dragstrip

August 5
Night of Fire Car Show
Peoples Church
Salem OR

August 27- Sept. 6
Oregon State Fair
Salem OR

*Sept. 16-17
Fall Championships
Renegade Raceway

Sept. 24-25
Fall Classic

* Blown Alcohol Thunder Series


Special Sections

ProMotion Motorsports

Public Relations •
Renderings • Proposals •
Graphics •

click here

Winter Rod and Speed Show 2011
Current Info
Sponsorship 101
How to find and
serve a sponsor
Thunder in the Pipes
stories by former PIR and SIR Promoter
Jim Rockstad

Don Garlits
The crash that lead to his last race as a full time pro driver

Northwest Nitro
A scrap book look past Northwest
Funny Cars

Johnny and The Distractions
A solute to one of Portlands greatest rock bands ever!

Web Sites

Larry McFarland

NW Drag Racing

One Hot Chili Pepper


Drag Racing Online

Competition Plus

Drag List

Top Eliminator West


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Please Support our sponsors!

Cylinder Head Repair
by Keith McCurdy

Award Winning BBQ Sauce


Ask us about Premium Hero Cards

The best in parts polishing


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