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Capitol Car Judged Best Auto Entry Award in Festival of Lights Parade
After ten years of being in the PGE Festival of Lights Parade, the Capitol Auto Group KYKN Rocketeer Dragster won the Best Auto Entry. This year we decided to do things a little different at the last minute and hung some dazzling lighted stars that blink and show movement. The stars really added some color and pizzazz to the entry. In years past we hung blue lights which really looked nice to keep with the car's color scheme but it was time for a change.
The crowd was big as usual inspite of the cold weather and was broadcast live throughout Salem and through syndication. Luckily, the rain held off so we were able to pull off the plastic cover at the last minute to better expose the engine. A big thanks to Cliff's Automotive for use of his lot and to Brent and Chris for all of their hard work throughout the day. It was another great event and can be seen on channel 17 from now through Christmas.
WOW! a must see collage of classic drag racing you will want to see again and again! Enjoy! Click Here to see i
Wollertsen Named Most Valuable Team Member at Annual Christmas Dinner
The Capitol Auto Group Race Team held it's annual Christmas dinner once again at Adam's Rib Smoke House to a near full house. Prior to be treated to an incredible feast, team owner Rich Bailey welcomed team members and sponsors. Bailey then gave a year end report and pointed out the uniqueness and strength of the race team's marketing program and mentioned the new partnership with 1430 KYKN with station manager Mike Frith in attendance. Bailey's speech also included a tribute to the team's crew chief Jeff Lauener who past away in June. Tears then turned into laughter as Bailey provided a few laughs with his "White Christmas Toilets and All" story which can be read at the top of this page.
As is now a custom with the race team, an award was given for the "most valuable team member". This year the award was given to first year crew member Chris Wollertsen who joined the team when there was a vacated position available back in July. Wollertsen's contributions were very valuable and he displayed perfect team work along side Crew Chief Brent Sanford. In accepting the award Wolertsen thanked everyone involved for allowing him to be on the team.
Sanford received the newly created "Olive Award" for all of his great work this season. Sanford thanked Rich Bailey's wife Susan for all of her support and for "letting us play". Just prior to dinner teammate Brian Walburn praised the work of both Sanford and Wollertsen and the direction the race team is headed in 2010. Walburn also thanked the Adams family for their support of the race team.
The dinner was a fabulous prime rib with garlic reds as a side prepared and served by Mike Adams and Katrina Adams of Adams' Rib. The famed eatery is located on the corner of State Street and 12th in Salem.
Capitol Auto Group Renews Race Team Sponsorship for Eleventh Season!
Salem OR - Capitol Auto Group, a Salem Oregon-based auto dealership will continuetosponsor Rich Bailey’s blown alcohol dragster team for the 2010 season. The sponsorship, which started in 2000 is one of the longest running of any current NHRA sportsman racing teams.
Bailey attributes the long standing partnership to making the race team’s marketing program equal to a full time job. “When I first received this sponsorship I never thought I would get another opportunity like it again so I made sure to over-deliver on exposure and put marketing ahead of everything else” Bailey said. Marketing means getting the car out in front of as many people as possible and being a good representative for the company.
In the last few years it became noticeable that the race car has become a big part of the Capitol brand as the car is often seen at major local events and has become part of the Salem landscape. The car is always on display or at a parade if not racing during the summer months and the team allows kids to sit in the car making it one of the most photographed and remembered race cars based in Oregon. The team’s website has reached over 700,000 hits so far this year.
In celebration of the decade long partnership with Capitol, the team will have a “Decade of Speed” theme which includes a specially designed retro t-shirt and hero card printed to mark the occasion. “It’s a testament to the uniqueness of the sport and our strong marketing program that keeps Capitol coming back. I would like to thank Scott and Carrie Casebeer as well as Mike Long for making us a part of the Capitol family for such a long time. Bailey said.
Capitol Auto Group sells Chevrolet, Cadillac, Honda, Toyota, Scion and Subaru vehicles in addition to certified pre-own cars. They also have an award winning service department and body shop.
Coats to Get Sleek and Sassy
This story has been removed from Capracing.com
Twig Zeigler Documentary Now Available
Arguably, one of the most colorful drag racers ever to come out of the Northwest is Twig Zeigler who found fame racing his Pizza Haven Funny car all over the country in the mid 1970’s. Like most racers, Zeigler’s life in the fast lane makes for an entertaining story about the true grit and the determination it took to make a living racing nitro funny cars.
Join filmmaker Chuck Stenberg as he goes back in time to match racing in the 70’s and 80’s to document the trials and tribulation associated with racing a nitro funny car. Stenberg follows Zeigler’s life and storied career right up to his comeback racing his new nostalgia nitro funny car. Included in the film is a lot of footage and still photographs from the 70's through most recent times.
This documentary is a must have for funny car and nostalgia fans and it’s here just in time for Christmas! The film is available for only $20.00 which includes shipping and handling. The photo above is courtesy of Twig Zeigler and shot by Larry Pfistser at Seattle International Raceway 1975.
Send check or money order to:
1585 Madras Street SE
Salem, OR 97306
Capitol Auto Group Racing Welcomes 1430 KYKN as Major Marketing Partner
ProMotion Motorsports welcomes 1430 KYKN as the team's new major associate sponsor in 2010. 1430 KYKN returns to the Capitol Auto Group Race Team in a major role that promise to be beneficial to both the radio station, the race team and it's existing marketing partners through increased exposure. 1430 KYKN served in a similar role during the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
Between that time period, 1430 KYKN remained on the car and the team still did displays at remotes on the station's behalf. "I'm pleased to have KYKN back in a larger role. KYKN never really left as I've always felt we were still a part of their promotions team and we continued to have a great relationship with the entire staff. They have also remained big supporters of the Capitol Auto Group Racing team and have given us a lot of publicity over the years for the race team and more importantly the benefit car shows that we promote. They are a great company to advertise with" Said team owner Rich Bailey.
Over the last decade both the radio station and the race team grew with 1430 KYKN's audience up to an estimated 30,000 listeners per day according to Armatron ratings. The Salem based news talk station is attracting more listeners who in the past were in the habit of listening to Portland stations. The station's average age listener is 47 and are homeowners which have the most big ticket purchasing power of any demographic, according to Mike Frith the station manager and owner.
The KYKN Dragster on dislpay prior to signing with Capitol in 2000.
1430 KYKN's line up includes the top national talent in radio including: Laura Ingraham from 6-9, Rush Limbaugh from 9-12, Bill Post from 12-1, Dave Ramsey from 1-3, Glen Beck from 3-6, Hugh Hewitt from 6-9 and Dennis Prager from 9-12 AM. The station also broadcasts the Oregon Ducks and Portland Trailblazers along with high school football and local programming in the mornings.
As part of the marketing partnership, 1430 KYKN receives large signage on the race car, truck and trailer. The station also has the option to use the car for radio remotes and station sponsored events. the station also will be prominently displayed on the race team's promotional materials.
By Rich Bailey
With the sky rocketing costs of racing an NHRA nitro funny car combined with the reduced distance of 1000 feet, the domination of multiple car teams, unidentifiable funny car bodies, weaker fields with fewer cars qualifying, less crackle and more power than the track can hold, the interest from the fans and some of the team owners has been declining over the past few years. After all, the only difference at national events these days from race to race is the order the cars qualify in, everything else remains the same except for an occasional new sponsor or another team dropping out all together. In other words the current state of fuel funny car racing is too homogenized for some even if the cars are just as challenging to drive.
Dale Pulde's War Eagle looked as pretty as it did in 1978. Pulde, a drag racing legend still drives the
popular car and leads the new Southern California funny car renaissance.
At the same time a new class of mostly west coast nostalgia-bodied nitro funny cars have emerged and has been gaining momentum after struggling for the past couple of years to find consistency in getting down the track without an oil down or an aborted run. This past weekend, the nostalgia floppers came of age at the California Hot Rod Reunion as 32 fuel funny cars qualified for an eight car field. That's nearly twice as many that show up these days at a 16 car national event field. This was probably the biggest gathering of nitro funny cars since the days of Orange County International Raceway or Seattle's popular 64 funny car race.
The legend lives on for photographers as the the Jungle Jim car is another fine recreation that
involves the late showman's son.
But it wasn't just the number of cars that is impressive. These cars have the pop, the long smoky burnouts, the colorful looks and brand identity that fans miss from the early years. And unlike two years ago when you were lucky to see both cars go down the track without some fiasco like in Spokane three years ago when the class was new, every pass was side by side and there was no oil downs from the nostalgia nitro funny cars and few if any delays and this includes all sessions.
While walking the pits at Bakerfield, you would think you were at a national event as transporters were everywhere. This and some safety features were the only give away that you had not stepped back into the 70's, although there were a few chapparell trailers (the touring pro's trailer of choice in the 1970's) on the grounds too.
The nostalgia funny car movement has attracted recent stars from the "big show" including Gary
Densham and Cruiz Pedregon (pictured). Perhaps the lack of big paying sponsors will steer
Densham and Pedregon to the nostalgia movement exclusively. Until then the pair will likely
run both until fate dictates one or the other.
According to nostalgia new comer Gary Densham, the nostalgia cars cost $3,500 per race to run versus $35,000 per race it takes to run a nitro funny car in NHRA. And what about the performance? The race in Bakersfield was an all 5 second field running the full quartermile vs 4 seconds running just 1000 feet and still experiencing a lot of the same traction problems they have suffered for years. At $35,000 per race one has to wonder when the well will finally run dry in NHRA. But when and if it does it sounds like there is already a replacement in the wings for nitro funny car fans: nostalgia funny cars.
Bakersfield Photo Gallery
Click on the link below to the see the California Hot Rod Reunion. Then click on any pic and then click on the arrow on the right hand side to see the slide show.
Bakersfield Gallery 1
Bakersfield Gallery 2
Bakersfield Gallery 3
The Surprising Story Behind the Rocketeer
Jon Rowley, second from the left was the original owner of the Rocketeer. The car above, the Retro-Rocket is his latest creation and has a few of the tricks the Rocketeer has.
By Rich Bailey
While at the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield there was a front engine dragster with a rocket theme called the "Retro-Rocket". I walked over to the car while it was sitting in the staging lanes and introduced myself and told the owner, Jon Rowley, that I owned the Rocketeer Dragster which was a cousin to his car. Coincidentally, I didn't know this when I approached Mr. Rowley and his crew, but he was was the original owner and designer of the Rocketeer Dragster that I now own. Being that he is the original owner of the unique machine, I fixed him up with a t-shirt and a handout card so he could see that the Rocketeer legend has lived on and he seemed to be impressed with the current treatment of the car.
After spending some time with the Retro-Rocket team I mentioned something about the Rocketeer car being built after the Disney themed movie made in the late 1990's. Well, it turned that the car wasn't built after the popular Disney movie after all, which was what we had been told by the second owner who sold us the car. Please read on.
The Rocketeer as it looks today. Mr. Rowley came up with the theme of the car.
The Rocketeer Dragster was originally built for a young junior dragster racer in Arizona that was dying from cancer. The boy loved the Rocketeer character so when Mr Rowley had the dragster built he designed with unique body panels and features such as the wild paint job in honor of the boy's interest. And when the boy eventually past away, a small replica of the Rocketeer car was placed in the boy's casket. When we purchased the Rocketeer we noticed some lettering on the car that said "Raymond Rides". We never figured out what that meant until now. Raymond was the name of the boy that had died.
Many of you know our dedication and fund raising for kids with cancer so it seems like it was meant to be that we ended up with the Rocketeer Dragster. The car was for sale as I wanted to go with a funny car but not any more. I can't sell it now nor do I want too. The Rocketeer will ride again in 2010 and we will continue to support those with cancer the best that we can.
And now you know the rest of the story.
Reaction to the Rocketeer Story:
Glad to see you made it back safely from the Reunion in Bakersfield. The story about the Rocketeer is simply amazing. I'm glad you found out the real reason for the creation of the rocketeer car. It's really strange how what you have been doing with the shows and displays for the benefit of those who have been unfortunate with cancer, etc. ran a similiar course of purpose.
I'm glad you're going to keep the car as to me it's "Just You". What was really wierd was just after I was reading your story about the rocket tonight I was watching the speed channel and watching
the program "Pass Time" and low and behold there was the Retro Rocket dragster making a run down the track! That was special.
Just saw your story on the Rocketeer car on your page... I thought I recognized that car!! I'm down here in Tucson and I've seen that car run for years down here, as well as yackin with the guys from the Retro-Rocket. I should have recognized the similarities (I just thought it was an odd coincidence- duh!)
Raymond Dixon is the kid you mentioned in your article- his dad has stayed involved in the Jr. program since his son's passing, and has several cars that he puts deserving kids into during the year so that they can race when their parents pockets can't afford to. We used to do a big display of the Juniors at the University Medical Center for the kid's ward, although we haven't in a couple of years.
I just read on your site about the true story behind your dragster. That's pretty cool. Did you ever get any pictures of your car before covering up the graphics with the Capitol logo? There is a short clip of the car in your documentary at the "night of fire" car show before they coverd it up with the logo. It's when your unloading the car and pushing it into place.
Dragster Displayed at RV Show
The Capitol Auto Group Dragster was at the Fall RV show this past weekend at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem where the car was seen by a whole different demographic.
The AHRA Returns
With the the ADRL and Pinks filling up the stands what's one more sanctioning body added to the mix of drag racing entertainment? A new version of the American Hot Rod Association has resurrected with some familiar names running the organization including Troy Moe and Jimmy Tice. The new AHRA is headquartered in Spokane and has reportedly signed some new tracks. The classes stretch from Top Fuel, Funny Car and even Pro Alcohol Dragster. Could this be the chance we have been looking for to bring back affordable fuel and alcohol racing that doesn't cost 10 to 50 grand an event to do? Right now more that ever there is a need for an affordable spectator friendly program that can bring back both the nitro and alcohol cars that are sidelined because they are unaffordable to run in NHRA.
According to an email to Capracing from Troy Moe, AHRA's CEO, at this time most of the tracks joining AHRA are in the south and midwest. Moe indicated they haven't approached any Northwest tracks as of yet about joining the new association but is open to that possibility.
Help Kids Get Through Cancer
If you always wanted to help a kid with cancer here's a great way to do it. Karlee, a young girl that fought rhabdomyosarcoma and survived but sadly lost a leg, is now helping other kids with cancer by raising money and then buying gifts for kids currently hospitalized with cancer. At her site you can by mugs and bracelets. Its great to see this young girl not only beat cancer but to try and help others facing the same horrible disease. Karlee's web page
Dragster Displayed in Busy Albany
The Capitol car was turning lots of heads in Albany at one of the town's busiest intersections as the dragster was on display at the Stereo Store located on the busy Santiam Highway. People in cars were even taking photos as they drove by or were in the turn lane. A lot of people, mainly families stopped in to see the car close up. Brent Hunter, the store's new manager reported the store's best foot traffic since he took over the store two weeks ago. We even ran out of hero cards before the display was scheduled to be over. Thanks to the Stereo Store for giving us a lot of good exposure! Albany is a car town.
NHRA Needs to Shake Up Sportsman Classes to Revive Spectator Sport
After going over and watching the dirt track stock car races on Friday night at the track next door to the dragstrip in Medford, I started thinking that NHRA needs to restructure their sportsman series to provide more action for those fans sitting in the grassy knoll. Folks, electronics, specifically in the super comp class have given drag racing a big black eye. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that when electronics really began to dominate the so called super classes we began to see a big drop in spectator attendance at divisional events?
I was around at the beginning of Super Comp as a crew member. Back then competitors had just enough power to get to the finish line a little under 8.90 seconds. Then came the electronics and big engines capable of a seven second run. The extra power made it necessary to add an electronic device called a throttle stop to choke or delay the engine during the first part of the run and then open it up at towards the top end. After a while this display of choke-and-speed made a once great class into a big bore and worse yet a mockery of sorts. In other words electronics wrecked this class. This is not a put down or insult to the competitors as I once raced in this class too, but it's the fault of the sanctioning body for not stepping in and banning throttle stops.
So, what's my solution to stop the bleeding? Drop Super Comp in favor of Top Dragster and ban blown cars from Top Dragster competition. Then create a new class for blown cars called Pro Comp with a heads up 6.50 ceiling. Wouldn't that be great? Imagine seeing an additional 16 car blown alcohol field of dragsters, funny cars, pro mods and altereds all in one class? If that wouldn't bring the fans back nothing will. And Super Comp racers would benefit by racing in Top Dragster. Right now a lot of the Super Comp racers are migrating over to Top Dragster anyway. And recently, Top Dragster fields are experiencing low car counts so combined the two classes!
So why do we keep racing a blown car instead of a more competitive carbureted car in Top Dragster? First off, I'll admit that I have always wanted to race a top alcohol car but the problem is money. Johnny Athens who races an A/Fuel Dragster was telling me that it cost his team $5,000 to $10,000 per race and the blown version is about the same or less pending on parts.So, economically we get a very good bang for the buck staying in our current situation then to try and race Top Alcohol. Second, the blown alcohol car is a blast to drive. Third, is the marketability aspect. A blown car tends to capture the fan's and public's attention at events that we often do off the track.
We run these NHRA events knowing that it's difficult to be successful and there is no time between rounds for maintenance and cool down in the later rounds. Match racing is what we do best but the NHRA events at least give us a venue to run the car in even if it's not the best for our program.
The King Engine Bearing Race Report by Rich Bailey
Capitol Car Qualifies Sixth at Medford Slows a Tenth in Round One
The Capitol team finished up the racing season with a good outing with solid runs all weekend at the NHRA Northwest Division event at Champion Raceway in Medford. Right out of the box, the car ran an incredible 7.04, which was good for 4th but was bumped to 6th in the final stanza in the 34 car field. There were seven blown alcohol cars in the Top Dragster class and only one lasted past the first round and sadly it wasn't the Capitol car but one that isn't injected but you guessed it - carbureted. Once again it's a reminder that the quicker blown cars not quite up to the level of top alcohol needs their own Pro Comp class which would benefit the show by making the events more entertaining for the fans and give the blown cars a more level playing field of their own. Even if we were the slowest car in this Pro Comp class I wouldn't complain, I promise.
At Medford consistency was a problem all weekend but still each run was a good one, right down Broadway. However, we were off a whole tenth in the first round, and after improving my reaction times all weekend I was late off the line with an .098. Had I only had that .020 from the previous run it would have helped make up for the car slowing down. Our opponent was also a little off too but not as much or he simply let off at the stripe. Believe it or not it's the aim of a lot of the big hitters in the Top Dragster class to qualify on the bottom half of the field as one racer admitted to me in the staging lanes. Not for us, we want to run as fast as we possibly can in both qualifying and in eliminations without breaking out of course or breaking parts.
I use to not like that old adage that as long as you didn't break anything it was a good weekend at the track. After leaving the track with broken parts twice this season, I'm beginning to appreciate that saying considering what it costs to fix these cars.
Over all, we had a great time but I was disappointed we couldn't put a
winning package together in the first round. One thing of note that did happen was on the second pass on Friday the car sputtered in the lights and I thought it might have been a little lean. On Saturday, on the fire up prior to the last qualifying pass, Brent noticed a leak near the intake. It turned out that we pushed out an intake gasket on that pass. In my head I wrote off the last qualifying run thinking there would not be enough time to fix it. But I didn't say anything not knowing when we would be called. Wow, was as I wrong. Brent and Chris had the blower off, gaskets replaced, and the engine back together in just about 25 minutes. What a team these two guys make as we had an extra 45 minutes to spare. We have learned to do more with less and it seems to be working quite well. I'm very proud of Brent and Chris and I'm already looking forward to next season.
A big thanks to Jimmy Johnson for the blower gasket. Top Photo by Larry McFarland
The NGK Race Report
Capitol Car Top Qualifier at Fall Classic
The Capitol Auto Group Dragster qualified no. 1 in the Top Comp class at the Fall Classic in Woodburn with a sizzling 7.09. The Low ET was definitely earned by new crew chief Brent Sanford who along with the help of new crew member Chris Wollertsen got the car together prior to the event. It was a beautiful run since it was a best-that-we-could-do replacement for our Rodeck. We were not 100 percent sure if the replacement engine would be able to safely and closely match the Rodeck's performance and run in the low 7's but it did.
The event wasn't a walk in the park as we had to overcome a lot of gremlins all weekend after we laid down the 7.09 pass. First, on the last pass of the day on Saturday the transbrake did not hold at the starting line. After re-testing in the pits, we ruled out that the problem was driver error so we checked the battery and it was showing 12 amps which would be plenty of juice. So our good friend and transmission builder Jeff Marsh of Canby Transmission came down to our pit and went through the entire transmission and found no evidence of anything wrong. After working to get the transmission back in the car we called it a night at around 10:30 PM.
The next morning, Pat Pond, our other new team member brought a load tester
with him to the track after pondering (pun intended) all night what was wrong. Sure enough under a load the battery was a zero on the junk scale so we ran over to Walmart and bought a new one which solved the problem. Next, we made one more qualifying pass to try and defend our poll position if anyone was to run any faster. The car went into big time tire shake and spun the tires so the pass was wisely aborted. Lucky for the Capitol team nobody was able to top our time so we stayed in the no.1 position going into final eliminations.
Prior to round one, another problem was discovered as we broke a pair of heim joints used to help hold the engine in place. Chris was able to borrow a heim joint from Ashwell Racing. Then on the fire up we noticed a fuel leak and was able to borrow a nozzel from Parker Racing. Both the Ashwells and Parkers race funny cars and always help us anytime we're in a jam and need small parts. In fact, that's true with almost everyone out there and why drag racing is a great sport. Since we didn't know how long we had prior to round one it was a little stressful but we had it fixed long before the first round. Our other team member Brian Walburn helped out as well with some loose side pods that needed to be fixed.
Since we were the no.1 qualifier we got a bi-run in the first round and made another beautiful pass, a 7.13 in front of the packed grandstands. It was nice getting a very encouraging response from the crowd on the return road and we appreciated it. In the semi-finals we raced Steve Cooper who is tough racer and a good friend. Sadly something let go on the Capitol car right past the eighthmile mark as I heard a pop and started to let up before losing power all together.
We would like to thank all of our friends and family that came out to see us race this weekend. There were a lot of Capitol shirts being worn and we want to thank everyone for their moral support. On a personal note, I'd like to thank my crew. They worked very hard and did a fabulous job all weekend. They exceeded my highest expectations as did Art Mendoza who built us another good engine.
Photo by Larry McFarland
Nitro Funny Cars Make First Woodburn Appearence in 25 Years!
After 25 years of begging and pleading Jim Livingston to bring back nitro funny cars, he finally did! The 2009 Fall Classic at Woodburn Dragstrip was a historic event for us nitro junkies as two nitro funny cars faced off in a best of three match up. The match race pitted Twig Zeigler up against Canadian Claude Lavoie. Zeigler's best run was a 6.07 to Lavoie's quicker 5.84. Zeigler's appearance also gave filmmaker Chuck Stenberg a chance to get some race footage for a film he is putting together about the legendary driver.
Coincidentally, it was Twig Zeigler's Pizza Haven Funny Car (pictured above) that got your's truly addicted to drag racing when I and Cap Racing crew chief Brent Sanford met Twig and his crew in 1975. In fact, his car was pitted right where we were pitted this weekend at the Fall Classic. Who would have thought Twig would still be racing or that we would be living our dream? Unfortunately for us, we were busy all weekend with our own car and only got to see the Saturday run but it was a good one!
By all accounts the match race worked out well and the runs were a thrill to see. In fact, other than this website, there wasn't any pre-race hype surrounding this historic event. We hope for an encore next year and even some Bill Doner style hype.
See the first pass on you tube here
Brent Sanford Named New Crew Chief
Effective Immediately, Brent Sanford is officially the crew chief of the Capitol Auto Group Dragster. Brent is replacing Jeff Lauener, who was active on the team until suffering a debilitating stroke. The team did not want to name a new replacement crew chief under the circumstances, although Ken Logan was the crew chief in the interim.
While Ken Logan is an important member of our team and will continue to be, he wishes not to travel and has a car of his own. Brent on the other hand has been with the team every step of the way for the last two years. He has demonstrated that he is a very important asset to the team and has developed the knowledge necessary to run the car thanks to the help and advice from Ken and from our engine builder Art Mendoza. Brent acted as crew chief last year at three away races in Medford and Sacramento.
This is a very rewarding announcement for me to make as Brent and I grew up together dreaming of a day when we would be racing together, me as a driver and Brent as the crew chief. Now, that day has come. We are living that dream but more importantly no other crew member on my team at anytime has earned the title as crew chief like Brent has. Brent has also demonstrated a deep concern for my safety which is another reason I want him to be able to make important decisions while I'm in the car.
- Rich Bailey, Capitol Auto Group Racing team owner.
Cap Racing Welcome Chris Wollertsen
Capitol Racing would like to announce a new addition to our crew. Chris Wollertsen is now a member of our team after working with Brent Sanford in the shop for most of the summer. Chris is Brent's son in law to be and so far both have demonstarted excellent chemistry. Chris has a background in racing and went with us to our recent race in Medford and did an excellent job despite the circumstances surrounding the weather. We would like to welcome Chris on board,
Dragster Displayed at The Stereo Store
The Capitol Auto Group Rocketeer Dragster was on display at The Stereo Store on 9th Street in Corvallis. More and more groups of people stopped by to see the car as the day progressed, clear up until 7 PM. The car was even fired up once and Brent Hunter, manager of The Stereo Store gave the Capitol Racing team first class treatment so it was a great way to enjoy the day. Even a nice elderly lady (pictured) stopped by and recalled many fond memories about trips she took to Pomona with her late husband. God bless her for coming by and sharing he cherished memories with us.
While we were there, we couldn't believe they were selling brand new Kenwood CD tuners for under $80.00. Back in college you couldn't touch one for under $200.00. Our truck is equipped with a great sounding Clarion stereo and our trailer is now armed with an incredible alarm system all from The Stereo Store in Corvallis.
Venny's Vega will be shown at the Winter Rod and Speed Show
The legenday Venny's Vega funny car will be one of the main attractions at the Winter Rod and Show set for January 23, 2010 at the Linn County Fair and Expo Center. This is the actual car restored by our buddy Vic Miller and is slated to be painted this week. Revell made a model of the car in the mid 70's and it was seen in the movie America Nitro. The car was originally driven by Ken Venny.
Summer in the City: Good Exposure
The Summer in the City turned out to be a great event which gave the Capitol car some good exposure to a lot of people who have never seen a race car before. As usual, we gave away a lot cards and let people sit in the car. But more importantly, it allowed us to get the word out about the upcoming Night of Fire event this coming Friday night.
The car was right in front of the Reed Opera House and next to the Adam's Rib booth. As usual it was a big draw for people of all ages, from kids to middle-agers to seniors. This was the second year for the event and the Capitol car is welcomed back for next year. A special thanks to Mike and Katrina Adam's who owns Adam's Rib and got us the display area.
Image Actionwear Launches Site
Image Actionwear has launched a new site. There, you can see the services they provide and apparel that's available. Capitol Auto Group Racing relies on Image Actionwear for t-shirts and team apparel. They also help out with the Night of Fire! You can see there site at imageactionwear.com.
Story by Rich Bailey
Medford - While it's a smaller race, our annual trip to the Nitro Summerfest at Champion Raceway in Medford is one of our most anticipated events of the year. Match races are in short supply these days so we really enjoy this event and the Medford fans are some of the most appreciated you will find anywhere. They are simply great people and they love the Capitol car.
We began our journey to Southern Oregon by leaving town around 1:00 PM on Friday but we didn't get to far as one of the tires blew out on the truck. No problem. We pulled over and changed it in less than ten minutes. We're back on the road and then just before the Sutherlin exit we blow out a second tire which took part of the fender with it! Now, were all out of spare tires so we get off at the exit and found a Les Schwab. It was just a good thing it happened before the exit at 4 PM and not up on Sexton Summit on a six percent grade at 7 PM. About an hour later we are back on the road with a new tire and a spare while eating fried chicken from a grocery store as we drove. It's well over 100 degrees and our friend at Les Schwab informed me that it was blow out season and I don't think he was referring to a big sale but the extreem heat. Since it was so hot, the truck took it's sweet time getting over the hills and a normal 4-5 hour trip ended up taking to 7 hours with no usual stop for dinner.
This pic of Miss Champion Raceway was taken minutes before the storm hit
After arriving 8 PM we set up our pit and had just enough time to get a test pass in before Saturday's show. It only ran a 7.68 at 173 MPH. In a rush to get up to the lanes we never changed the 115 pill which made the engine too fat for the conditions and I also didn't get up on the converter fast enough. I was expecting a 5 tenths tree but no big deal as we had no communication with the starter prior to the run. As a result, we at least knew that we could knock off three tenths on Saturday's first run. On Saturday, it was again unbearably hot and back up into the 100 degree range. They started running cars at 4 pm so we had a lot of time to work on the car and fortunately we discovered that we finally got down the track with out breaking anything on Friday night's test run. With that in mind I decided rather than take a chance and hurt the engine prior to eliminations on another test pass and be a no show we would just wait for our first round match up with Frank Miller and the blown alcohol "Beeline Express" Fiat Altered.
Brent runs for cover after unloading the tent that eventually met its fate from strong winds.
We got in the lanes for our first round match up at 7:30 and were waiting for our oponent to be towed up to the line. Then we felt a couple of rain drops and then it hit out of nowhere as golf ball size hail started coming down! We immediately pushed the car back to the pit and under the awnings as quick as we could! This was an experience like you would see in a movie as you could here the hail hit anything metal all around you. Depending on where you were, the severity of the damage was different as various sizes of ice came raining down on the track. A couple of race cars that I knew of got dinged upped and one guy's back window got shattered. Then the lightening, wind and heavy rain hit which destroyed our crew member's tent. We had to hold down our awnings even though they were already anchored to the ground.
Finally, the storm passed and Jim Taylor wisely decided to cancel the remainder of the event. Here, we were all sweating half to death all day long, the trailer was an oven inside, and the race rains out! A rainout was the farthest thing from my mind, I just couldn't believe it. Since the tent was destroyed and all of our sleeping bags were drenched we decided to hoof it home which turned out to be an easier tow since it was cooler. On the way home we had some over heating problems close to Salem but luckily I had some coolant in the trailer for such occasions.
We have some displays coming up this week but our next race is the Fall Classic and then it will be back to the scene of the crime, Medford for the final NHRA Division 6 points race of the year. Where has the season gone? We will go to Sacramento pending how well the car runs in Woodburn but right now we are just trying to conserve and keep the engine together through the rest of the year.
Feature Story by Rich Bailey
Seattle - The sweet smell of nitro fills the air. There are familiar faces and sites of brightly colored semi trailers lined up and down the pit area at Pacific Raceways in Seattle. The family is here and so far Cristen Powell’s return to the race track is full good memories of a past life that involved incredible speed and stardom. This is the same race where Cristen was the number one qualifier in NHRA’s premier class, Top Fuel, less than a decade ago. “I love being out here, I love the whole racing scene and if I still had an opportunity to race I probably would” Powell said enthusiastically after an hour of arriving in the Joe Hartley pit area. Joe is married to Cristen’s sister Carrie so the weekend is a family reunion of sorts.
Cristen’s simple desire after racing in the Super Comp class for less than a year at the ripe age of sixteen was to “go for it” and race top fuel dragsters. As it would turn out her passion would fuel a media machine never seen in drag racing. Powell’s young age combined with her drive to race against men twice her age in 300 MPH cars garnered media interest like no other driver. Just like the cars she dove, Cristen’s fame developed quickly. It took most pro drivers years to achieve the same amount of name recognition that Cristen gained in less than two years. There were stories in the Associated Press, LA Times, New York Daily News, Inside Edition, USA Today, a front page story in the Oregonian, and even a story in the Daily Standard. There were die cast cars of her likeness for sale in stores all over the country.
At the peak of Cristen’s career the team gave away 10,000 hero cards per race and her pit attracted the second largest crowds. Even today, a google search on Cristen will go on for about 30 pages until other subjects begin to blend in.
The interest in Cristen’s story knew no boundaries and spread quickly into segments of the press not known to cover drag racing. Even before Cristen reached her goal of racing the fastest cars on the planet, Top Fuel dragsters, she was already the subject of a lot of attention including a segment on Channel 1, a national education channel seen in schools around the country, there were also appearances on NHRA Today, and she was the spokesperson for the now largely defunct Team Safety program, all while still driving her A/Fuel dragster, the stepping stone between Super Comp and Top Fuel.
The big step into Top Fuel was partly made possible by funny car racer Jim Epler who hired Cristen to drive for him the following season after meeting Cristen and her father Casey Powell at a race in Brainard MN. Suddenly, Cristen was named the driver of Epler’s new dragster for the following season. Just days before the 1997 season began Epler and Casey landed a sponsor as a new oil company called Royal Purple owned by Powell’s friend Andy Evans, a sports car enthusiast and financial advisor to Bill Gates came on board.
By mid season, Powell set the world on fire with the help of crew chief Mike Kloeber and won her first and only national event, the Mopar Super Nationals in Englishtown NJ. The news of a high school girl missing her prom to compete and win the race in a male dominated sport made for big headlines including a full page story in Sports Illustrated and her victory was even covered in the New York Times among other news outlets. By mid season Epler sold the team to Evans’ Team Scandia group. The win at Englishtown and the publicity surrounding it also caught the attention of Reebock Shoes who committed to sponsoring the car beginning at the World Finals in Pomona.
The hype and pressure for autographs, sponsors endorsements and public appearances in her drag racing world was 180 degrees different then her real life away from the track. At home in Portland, Cristen lived a quiet and reserved life where her circle of friends really had no idea the star power that she had gained in her other world. “It was really like living a double life as I got celebrity treatment at the track with countless fans wanting my autograph and then I would fly home and nobody seemed to notice what was going on at the track. A few people followed what I doing and some would ask questions about it but outside of that I was just Cristen, another student and I wasn’t even known to be a social butterfly” she said.
Cristen then made the transition from Jesuit High School to Linnfield College in McMinnville OR after graduation. Her racing took a different turn as well. With Reebock leaving the team at the end of the season for business reasons, the operation was sold to Roy Hill who didn’t have the funding or the sponsors needed to keep the car in competition so Cristen found herself without a ride as the car was then sold to privateer Ralph White who made only a few laps in the car.
Cristen then decided to go a different route in 1999 and was named the driver of the JCIT Funny car which made her the only other woman besides Shirley Muldowney to race in both Funny car and Top Fuel. After a brief stint with JCIT team, Cristen moved on when the owner parked the car due to financial problems of his own. Powell then wound up driving for Helen Hoffman in 2000. With the car’s performance down, Powell was asked to leave the team. Cristen then resurfaced a month later and began driving the Nitrofish Funny Car leased from Whit Bazemore for the remainder of the year.
At the end of the 2000 season Powell closed the racing chapter of her life and oped to not compete the following season. “It was over. The stars were alighned just right that it was time for me to get out. We didn’t have any commitments for the following season and I wanted to continue to perue my education. So I went back to college and got my masters” Powell said looking back at her decision. After getting her masters she began working in a woman’s shelter in Denver for a couple of years and then moved on to Boston where she began working as a case worker for a homeless family shelter. Since then she has moved up to an administrator. “We have room for 15 families and it’s our role to help them get out of transitional housing and move into permant housing. What I do now is very rewarding” she said.
When asked if she would do it again if she could start her life over, Cristen was adamant that she had no regrets and she still loves and misses the sport and definately would. When asked agian if she would come back under the right circumstances her answer changed since the beginning of the weekend. “No. I love what I’m doing now and like the direction my life is heading. Cruz Pedregon called me after I quit racing and offered me a job driving a fully funded car and I turned it down. He couldn’t believe it. He said to me “Don’t you know how many people would jump at this oportunity?” Yes I did know but I really wasn’t interested in coming back.” Casey then tuned in: “There is no normal life doing this as a professional. Either you are a racer and live that life or you live a normal life and you don’t race”. At the end of the day Cristen chose the normal life.
Greetings from Seattle
Tim Wilkerson takes on John Force at the NHRA Northwest Nationals.
We just got back from Seattle and there was really nothing new or out of the ordanary to report from there other than the winners. Antron Brown won in Top Fuel and Funny Car was won by Tim Wilkerson. Locally, the Ashwells had another good outing but went out in round one. Top Fuel and Funny car was the usual show you see on every stop on the tour and I think I want to go back to the quartermile. We will have a feature story on Cristen Powell later in the week so please check back. It was a good time had by all and we want to thank James, Sherrie and the the rest of the "James Gang" for the great hospitality away from the track and the Thompsons at the track.
Capitol Car Gets Exposure on the 4th
While we didn't make the Medford race (see below as to why) Brent and I had no choice but to go with plan B, and from a local sponsor's prospective plan B was grand slam. I don't recall a single day in the history of the Capitol Auto Group Race Team where we have ever got more exposure in two different venues in one day than we did on the 4th.
I couldn't have been happier with how everything went yesterday and the interest and feed back has never been better. When it became evident around 10 PM on Friday we still have work to do on the engine before it can go safely down the track, we decided to enter the car in the Western Days Parade in Monmouth-Independence the next morning. As soon as we unloaded the car at the parade staging area we knew we made a good choice. Even the people at the registration area told me they were wondering and hoping we would be there. We were even offered a prime spot at the festival event center after the parade but chose to do Jim Billing's Salem River Front event instead.
The Western Days Parade in Monmouth always has a big turn out as thousands watch.
Even with the heat, the parade route was sometimes stacked three to four people deep on some places along the thee mile parade route which equaled thousands of people.
During the parade the car was getting photographed from one side of the street to th other and I even saw a few people wearing Capitol shirts along the route. I heard someone say "that car follows me around every where," I guess we're doing our job then as the car is seen everywhere.
Brent watches over the cockpit at the Salem Riverfront event. The car was a big hit as usual.
the parade, the car was loaded up and then we headed east for the Salem River Front 4th of July Festival. With EJD back in charge along with Jim Billins, the festival is in good hands and was a giant success as more and more people gathered as the day went on. And by the early evening, the entire park was packed full of people. Thanks to Jim, we got a great spot near the carnival area and hundreds of people came by and looked over the car before it was all said and done. The event was a chance to make some new fans and see some old friends. We let the kids sit in the car and sold some shirts and signed a bunch of pictures, what a blast we had.
It was the best 4th of July I can remember with the mix of family, the race car, and a good ol' slice of Americana and fireworks. I want to thank Brent Sanford for all of his help, and not only for this event but the last several days. It was a lot of work but it was also a rewarding day for the Capitol team and our sponsors.
Royal Purple NAPA Spokane Event a Hit
It's a long tow to Spokane but it's always a good time and always worth the drive. This time around was no different as we had the dragster in Spokane for NAPA Auto Parts' annual car show and tent sale. The two day event attracted over 130 cars that were proudly on display. There was also free food, a live radio remote each day, a NASCAR simulator, a benefit car wash starring the Hooters Girls, a hydrogen car (more on that later) and a jump tent for the kids. It was the biggest store event Brent and I have done and we helped Jim Rugg from Royal Purple sell a whole bunch of cases of motor oil and other products over the two day period. Fortunately, the event was held under partly sunny skies as the rain held back until the show had ended on Sunday afternoon.
Kids sat in the car all weekend as the adults had a good time.
Rich Bailey poses with "240 Gordie" Bonin and Cindy Gibbs Arias of SCR
Jim Rugg was doing Royal Purple demos as Bailey was rounding up more customers
The Hooter Girls car wash was popular as they washed a lot of cars over a two day period
Movie Review: American Nitro
Reliving Drag Racing's Counterculture
The mid 1970's was a period known for high inflation and high gas prices, but for drag racing it was the golden years. Match racing up and down the west coast was the Grateful Dead tour on nitro with it's own set or characters and with it came some wild nights of drag racing mayhem in Orange County, Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Spokane and Freemont California. The sport was not like it is today as it had its share of problems as things occasionally got out of control whether it was unruly spectators or the extreme and sometimes illegal measures some racers went to in order to keep racing. But thanks to Bill Doner, Jim Rockstad and others, match racing also provided these racers income at a time when most would be hanging by a thread otherwise.
But the good of the era far outweighed the bad and the movie American Nitro beautifully documented the drag racing scene as it was in the 70's, with all the characters, the color, the nicknames and the circus attractions that made professional drag racing in the 70's a guilty pleasure much like watching a Kiss concert. This movie was all about the match races where drivers were paid to put on a show and not the more serious national event competiton. Although, most of the same cast of characters competed on the national event circuit as well.
The producers of this drive-in flick, Bill and Jim Kimberlin made the movie by the seat of their pants much like the racers they chronicled. The movie has no narrative, instead the drivers and others were interviewed on the spot with no script. Much of the film focuses around Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, correctly portrayed as the intense and serious competitor that he was at the time. Prudhomme's rival, Tom "the Mongoose" McEwan, also gets a lot of face time in this action packed movie full of personality.
Other racers making appearances whether they wanted to or not include: Ed "the Ace McCullouch, Tommy Ivo, Twig Zeigler, Jungle Jim, 240 Gordie Bonin, and Shirley Muldowney. The film was made in a three year time span at Freemont Raceway which eventually met the same fate as Arthur Treatcher's Fish and Chips, discos and eight track tapes. In that three year period about every car in the mid 70's that ever competed on the West Coast match race scene is in this film. You see flashes of the Blue Max, the Hawaiian, Pisano and Matsuboro, Jerry Ruth, Nitro Nick Harman, Gary Densham, Frank Bradley, Brad Anderson, Venny's Vega and more. And like the sport itself, If you blink you miss something.
It should be noted that
the producers of the film were not big drag racing fans out to make a propaganda piece but rather serious filmmakers out to document the drag racing counterculture at the time. To them it was a different world known only to it's fans and the businesses that supported it. They didn't limit the movie to action on the track but interviewed the people behind the scenes that were the backbone of the sport, those that manufactured the parts, the chassis and even the fiberglass bodies. Ed Pink explains how and engine explodes which leads to a fire. The likable Jamie Sarte' explains how a chassis is made and Wild Bill Carter talks about painting funny car bodies. This film is that in-depth. There's also a curious observation of the questionable fan base and the ladies that frequented the strips back then.
The film also addresses the dangers inherent to drag racing during that time period and shows some spectacular crashes. Some of which were filmed elsewhere. They also addressed the exhibition side of drag racing including the jets, wheelstanders and even the bike jumps as away to lure in more spectators. The Promoter and ringmaster, Bill Doner, also makes a rare appearance in the movie. Most have heard his voice but few have ever seen him.
American Nitro is a must see for an hardcore drag racing fan or for anyone that wants to take a trip back to the 70's and relive this subculture that a few of us were lucky enough to experience and still talk about. To this reviewer who was there I rank this film as the best drag racing documentary ever produced.
American Nitro has just been digitally remastered and available on DVD by going to where else but www.americannitro.com
- Rich Bailey
Rattlesnakes in the Willamette Valley? You Bet!
Speaking of "the Snake", when summer comes around there is often curiosity and questions regarding if there are any rattlesnakes in western Oregon, more specifically in the Willamette Valley. The answer is more than you think! Western Rattlesnake dens exist in rocky buttes and crevasses usually facing south throughout the Willamette Valley including areas near Mehama, Stayton, Lebanon, Brownsville, Eugene, Springfield, Monroe, Lacome, and even Wren near Philomath!
In Wren, which is due west of Corvallis, there have been multiple sightings of rattlesnakes including a pair of them sunning themselves in the middle of a road. Another was found in someone's garage and a horse was bit. A snake expert thinks the snakes may have been planted there and have since multiplied. So, watch where you step in Wren.
One graduate student found three dens of rattlers near Lebanon and recorded 73 western rattlers. After finding out about the snakes, the property owner blasted the dens with dynamite after never seeing a rattler on his land in 50 years. A story in the Oregonian last year said that more people get treated for snake bites on the western side of the Cascades than the eastern side of the state where most are known to live. In Springfield, a vet's website mentions they occassionally treat rattlesnake bites. In Eugene, a boy was bit hiking at Spencer's Butte which is known for rattlesakes. In fact, there is a sign at the trailhead warning of rattlers and Spencer's Butte is just above downtown.
Here at the Bailey compound we don't have many snakes although our simease has brought a garder snake home before. Occassionally, we get a visit from a hobo spyder that can also be menacing and can actually cause more long term problems than being bit by a rattler! Hobos are a fairly big brown spyder that doesn't climb walls. The ladies next door on both sides of us have got bit.
Back to our subject matter, rattlesnakes are known to frequent the grounds of Champion Raceway near Medford as there have been numerous sightings there throughout the years. One was even killed in the pit area at the NHRA event.
Capitol Racing Update: Rods and Pistons
Besides all of the expense involved, one of the big problems with trying to get engine parts is the waiting period set by the manufactures. Some of you with better memories than mine might recall a couple of years ago when we also threw a rod. Windowing two blocks in twelve years of racing dragsters isn't that bad is it? One is too many, believe me I know. It's amazing how our Top Fuel cousins can easily afford to damage two or three blocks in one race! I guess that's why we are in the minor leagues but we're still racing when a lot of the big guys are sitting on the sidelines.
Back when our first rod made a spectacular exit was also at the Season Opener, and Art Mendoza was able to build a new engine in no time but it might not have been that way had we not lucked out and found a new set of GRP rods on the internet, otherwise it was going to take nearly six weeks to get them. By the time we would have got the rods custom made from the factory it would have been the middle of July or later! But we lucked out with the new set we found and we were back out in less than a month, and we also turned our luck around and began running in the sixes regularly. Then we had a period of transmission problems that finally got sorted out by Jeff Marsh. That's another story in itself! If it wasn't the engine that was going to get me it was the transmission. With all the problems fixed we had a fairly trouble free year in 2008.
This week, we faced the same dilemma that we had in 2007 and spent several days looking for parts all over the country via the internet. Blown Alcohol parts are a specialty items that can't be purchased at your nearest GM dealer or even from Eggs. Since most manufacturers quoted 4 to 6 weeks to build pistons we elected to find a used set that would be less expensive and available immediately.
Finding the right piston is almost like hitting the jackpot as the compression ratios, pin height, bore size, ring grove distances, etc. all needs to be correct, sort of like all of the cherries lining up when playing the slots. We found several sets of pistons but each set had something that wouldn't work for our application. And thank goodness for Art as I had no idea how technical some of this stuff gets when it comes to what will work and what won't. Art is royalty on our team.
When we exhausted our search for used pistons, Ken Logan stepped in and found out that we could get everything we needed new from Arias Pistons including the rods which will come from Howard's, the original manufacturer of aluminum rods in LA. So, we expect to have everything by the end of next week which means we will miss the Fire and Thunder race but we'll still make our obligations for Royal Purple in Spokane and the Stereo store in Corvallis.
It's really a blessing we'll be out there at all, but we're doing everything we can with the very limited resources we have. We hope that our sponsors will understand and keep supporting our team though the peeks and valleys we face. This gig isn't as easy as everyone thinks or every racer would drive a blown alcohol, pro stock or a nitro car.
- Rich Bailey
Image Action Wear Donates Shirts to Troops
Image Action Wear of Salem has printed up some extra Capitol Racing Rocketeer t-shirts which were donated and then will be sent to out troops overseas as part of John Baker's "Love Box" program. Image Action Wear prints t-shirts for sports teams including the Capitol Racing Team. Image
Action Wear is owned by the Gwinup familey including Art, Donna, John, Kevin and Kim. They have a big collection of about ever poster and hand out card ever made of the Capitol Car on display in their show room. Now that's some support! Concerning the Love Boxes,
John Baker, a Salem realtor, founded this organization that sends boxes out to thousands of military troops throughout the year.
Dean Papadeas "The Director" is Back!
Main Event Launches New Website
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"Just the intro alone to this website is so intense it will make you wanting to see more! Kudos to the often flamboyant, eccentric and always over the top Dean Papadeas for another incredible project documenting his excellent work over the years. Make no mistake about it, The Director is back with a vengeance."
-Rich Bailey, capracing.com
Capitol Auto Group Rocketeer Visits Pringle
A great group of kids surround the Capitol car at Pringle Grade School on Friday.
The Capitol Auto Group Dragster visited Pringle School on Friday afternoon as a reward for kids that participated in a jog-a-thon to help raise money for the popular South Salem School. Over 70 plus kids got ice cream bars and pictures of the dragster. They had all kinds of questions for driver Rich Bailey. The warm weather made the event fun for everyone. Thanks to Pringle School for having the car there!
Keizer Fire Station Event Wraps up Week Long Marathon of Events
The final event of this ten day marathon happened Monday night at Keizer Fire Department's Open House. The event went well as there was a lot of interest in the car as kids got to sit in it and pick up up an autographed hand out card. After a comfortable beginning, a rapid cold front approached and dropped the temperature from a high 70 degree mark down to the mid 50's in no time with lots of wind. The sudden chill didn't seem to bother the many families that enjoyed the race car as well as fire equipment and even a Life Flight helecopter landing behind the fire station.
The Walery's Pizza Track Report by Rich Bailey
Engine Badly Hurt at Season Opener
We experienced the mother of all engine blow-ups at Woodburn Dragstrip's Season Opener. After a reletively trouble free season last year, the block is now toast as the rods pushed out a sizable hole on the left side of the block. It's difficult to pinpoint what caused the problem. We second guessed ourselves all afternoon with many therories but the bottom line is when you're hanging around the 6.70 zone things like this can and will happen, but now is not a good time - it never is. The car was on another great run and I felt something let go near the top end so I got off the pedal. Back in the pit area we realized how bad it was.
One good thing was that we avoided a possible crash as some debris flew out of the engine and sliced the tire in two places! It went so deep into the tire that it could have easily puctured it and caused a crash. The daiper also prevented oil from getting onto the racing surfice and under the tires. So we were fortunate in some respect.
Hopefully we can scrape up enough money to get back out there soon and those that know this team know that we never give up. But money is tight so it's difficult to estimate how quickly we well get back out. We are just finishing up six events in ten days and everything was going so well too. Our new t-shirts and cards have never looked better. After Monday, following the event at the fire station the engine comes out of the car. It's a good thing we are coming upon a break and that we made all of our obligations.
We have a plan in place to be back out sooner rather than later. And we still hope to make the Top Eliminator West race in Medford and possibly Sacramento. One thing that should be mentioned is that I don't think you will see any of those bonzi 6.70 runs any ime soon. This new engine will be blown but will probably run in the 6.90's or perhaps very low 7's. It's either this option or sit it out.
Capitol Car Shines at Showbiz
The Capitol car was on display at Showbiz on Thursday. As usual, it was a fun event to be a part of and we hung around with such dignitaries as Miss Oregon and even Orville Roth as we have gotten to know him over the years from similar functions. We were right across the way from the KYKN booth and their new traffic helicopter. We even got a 5 minute radio interview in with Justin Herr, their new morning man. Station owner Mike Frith let us know that their ratings are way up since January.
On top of all that Art and Donna from Image Action Wear came down to the show and delivered the first new Capitol Racing t-shirt and it came out great! It was also discovered at Showbiz that Adam's Rib has the best coleslaw in town! Showbiz also marked the first time that we gave out our new promo cards hot off the press from Competition Printing!
A special thanks to the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce for putting together this great event. If you missed it this year, Showbiz will be back again in 2010.
Miss Oregon stands next to the dragster. We thought everyone would like this shot.
Rich Bailey interviewed on 1430 KYKN at Show Biz.
Relay the Perfect Place for a Dragster Display
Lots of people stopped to look at the Capitol car on their way in or out of the stadium.
The Salem Kids Relay race sponsored by the Salem Optimist Club turned out to be a big hit and proved once again that the dragster even appeals to non-racing fans as interest in the Capitol Auto Group Dragster was steady from 7 AM when we set up to 5PM when the event ended. Lots of people took a moment to look over the car or take pictures of their kids standing next to it. We also handed out all of the race schedules we had on hand.
The event was held Saturday and McCoulloch Stadium in Salem. The car was displayed right inside the gate, ripe for prime viewing. The next event is scheduled for Tuesday evening at Linn Benton Community College. Thanks to Brian Walburn for making it through a super long day in flying colors and doing a greart job talking with all of the folks that stopped by to look at the dragster.
Editorial: Drag Racing
Drag Racing's Growing Identity Crisis?
So there I was surrounded by 40 high school students. I was doing a safety presentation at the local community college. I was showing the kids my safety equipment when I noticed how dirty my fire suit was so I made a joke about John Force and his dirty fire suits. After no response from the crowd I asked "anyone here even hear of John Force?" Not one hand went up. Here we had zero out of 40 kids who didn't know who John Force was. In my mind I PANICED!
I felt much better when I went into the Taco Bell after the event. A guy in their saw the jacket I was wearing and asked which dealership I worked in. I told him that Capitol sponsored my car. He then said "oh the Capitol Dragster, my son has a picture of your car on his wall". Some other people were in their talking about going to Woodburn this weekend and which day they will attend while another guy was asking me questions about how fast my dragster is, and is it a top fuel car?
While I think we're OK as far as a local grassroots sport, big companies like Bud and UPS seem to know that the popularity of professional drag racing is not getting out past the regional markets of any national event track. Back in the 70's and early 80's you could buy a Revell model of just about any big name car at nearly any large variety store. Every kid wanted a Mongoose and Snake Hot Wheels set, drag racing and its drivers were king in every automotive magazine and there were big radio buys thanks to promoters like our own Jim Rockstad. Bill Doner mentioned ever driver on the planet in 60 seconds.
Now, car modeling is a niche market, magazines are all but dead thanks to the medium you are reading right now, and the end of match racing like 32 and 64 funny cars has put an end to radio ads that made some of our heroes into reluctant household names. Then you have NASCAR, the media's sport of choice and just like we see in politics one side of the equasion gets most of the favorable press.
So what do we do? Race teams need work harder than ever and be more creative and think out of the trailer. We also need to hound the media more although the paper in my home town is doing a better job then most. In additon, the companies sponsoring the Full throttle pro teams need to start doing a better job making the people they sponsor into recognisable names. As an example, Gieco is now sponsoring Morgan Lucas and shot a commercial of him getting into the car and making a pass down the track. Yet, the ad never indicates who the driver is. Same with Valvoline. No place in the Valvoline ad is Jack Beckman's name mentioned. How much more would a voice over or a subtitle cost in the ad production? And Castrol? Outside of drag racing they have done some but very little in the way of mainstream advertising. Meanwhile, over in NASCAR it's been the reverse for all of their sponsored drivers.
No question NHRA drag racing has grown into a major league sport. Their's more TV, bigger sponsors and more money to be made and then spent. But it's grown anonymously. Times have changed folks and markets have changed and as a result our sport has some catching up to do. We need to restore the flavor and personality this sport once enjoyed and if we can do that more kids growing up will know who the drivers are outside the gates of a national event track. Cheers to John Force, he definitely deserves to be recognized even by some high school students standing around a community college parking lot.
Cap Racing Welcomes Back Walery's Pizza
Capitol Racing welcomes back another old friend as Walery's Premium Pizza returns to our racing team. Walery's is sponsoring our tires this season which is a big help under our "Go Local Program". Dave Walery of Walery's was one of our first sponsors and we are happy to have them back.
Walery's makes their pizza the old fashioned way in traditional ovens rather than the newer conveyer machines that a lot of chains use. The result is a crust that is second to none. In addition, you can get a giant two topping pizza for only 12.99. Add in a great atmosphere and the result is a packed house on the weekends. Walery's is located on Edgewater St. near Safeway in West Salem. Go to www.waleryspizza.com to learn more!
From a Good Helper to a True Supporter
Brian Walburn and Rich Bailey met at a cruise-in two years ago where the Capitol car was on display. The two car nuts found out that they have a lot in common as Brian worked for one of Bailey's major backers in a unique position, but that wasn't all as both of them have the same type of arthritis that can be nearly debilitating when the weather is cold and rainy. Fortunately for Bailey, while his hands occasionally get swollen he has been able to keep his arthritis in check most of the time. For Brian, it's his feet that gives him the most trouble.
Brian Walburn (right) answers some questions about the dragster at the Winter
Rod and Speed Show in Albany this past January.
At Bailey's invitation Brian helped out on the car but Brian's help was mostly needed on the public relations side as Bailey was looking for someone who could best represent the team and the sponsors. ''We do a lot of displays every year and it's difficult to do them all myself. We are a very hands-on team, so I like to have someone that can best represent the car and our sponsors. Brian does a very good job talking with the public and answering questions. On this team, public relations is an important job and it's something that not everyone can successfully do" Bailey said.
Like most racing teams, finances have been particularly tight this season and the team has been trying to raise some additional funds by attracting new associate sponsors. To Bailey's surprise one of this year's new sponsors turned out to be Brian and his lovely Bride Sheryl as they decided to become team sponsors. "To be honest, Brian and Sheryl's generous contribution came as a surprise and it means a lot to me personally as they aren't wealthy people and times are tough for them like it is for most of us. So, their contribution is especially impressive. Beyond their financial support, I really enjoy their company and when we take the car some place Brian and I never seem to run out of things to talk about and we have become very good friends" Bailey said.
Brian visits with people at the Salem Kids Relay event. His dedication to the team, knowlege of the car and the way he presents himself makes him an asset to the team and to the sponsors.
One of the reasons the Walburns decided to get further involved is because they are optimistic that this will be a good season for the race team. "I won't be surprised if the team we have put together turns out to be one of the best Capitol teams ever and it should be a great race and show season" Walburn said.
Two weeks ago at Woodburn, Brian watched the car's two runs on Sunday from the stands and stood up and cheered loudly affer each run after a trying day for the team on Saturday. "I left the track Saturday a bit concerned but what I saw on Sunday made me very proud of the effort of everyone ...especially Brent and Jerry. We are lucky that they seem to be so passionate about this team" Walburn said of his teammates. Bailey agrees. "Now we have all of our bases covered and it should be a great year both on and off the track with Brian's help."
Dragster Displayed at NW Jobber Trade Show
The Capitol car was on display at the NW Jobber Trade Show sponsored by Performance Warehouse and Baxter Auto Parts. The event was held at the Multnomah County Expo Center in Portland. The show was a success as jobbers and exhibitors from all over the country were there. Both Royal Purple and NGK had booths there so it was a good event for us to attend.
Cap Racing Welcomes The Stereo Store! and the Return of Odyssey Battery
We welcome The Stereo Store! as a new marketing partner and also welcome back and old friend to the Capitol Racing family. First, The Stereo Store! offers full service Car Audio and Home Audio sales and installations at four stores in the mid and southern Willamette Valley locations including their 9th street location in Corvallis, their Santiam Highway location in Albany, and finally two stores in Eugene. Brent Hunter of the Corvallis Store is primarily backing their effort to be a sponsor of the Capitol car.
As for Car Audio they sell and install convenience items such as Bluetooth hands free cellular kits, IPOD integration, navigation, keyless entry and alarm systems, mobile video, vehicle tracking systems, and backup sensor systems. Also on the car audio side of things they sell and install a full variety of CD players, amplifiers, speakers, and subwoofers to fit every possible customer need from a simple Cd player to a full custom installation.
Home Audio is available at the Corvallis and Eugene Valley River locations with both locations offering products ranging from complete theater room systems down to basic stereo receivers. To assure the best possible buying experience The Stereo Store! offers a full 7 day money back guarantee as well as a 30 day exchange on any purchased items.
Cap Racing would like to thank Brent and Edger for coming on board. Planned this summer will be a car display at their Corvallis store. We are very excited to have them involved.
Cap Racing Teams Up With Kevyn Major Howard's Fueled By the Fallen
Rich Bailey’s Capitol Auto Group Racing Team is partnering up with acclaimed actor Kevyn Major Howard to be a part of “Fueled By The Fallen”. Howard, who’s best known for his roll as “Rafterman” in the Warner Bros. film “Full Metal Jacket”, has developed a non-profit organization developed to both honor and pay tribute to the United States Service Members who lost their lives fighting for the freedom of others. The foundation also raises money for the families who have lost family members stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thre organization is known nationally and includes J&B Motorsports which owns and operates a nitro funny car that displays every name of each Marine killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, Howard himself owns a memorial race car which also contains all of the names of those who died and servers as the organization’s flagship car.
The Capitol team will give Fueled By The Fallen a presence in the Northwest and will run logos on the car and will display the car at events that honor the military. “All of us owe gratitude to the men and women in the armed forces that have sometimes paid the ultimate price for our freedom. This is just one way to pay tribute to them” Bailey said. For more information about fueled by the fallen Click Here.
The Adam's Rib Track Report by Rich Bailey
Team's Resolve Wins Over Adversity
Tulip Festival Drags April 18-19 at Woodburn (Photos By George Adams and Tyler Abbott) - With a dynamite weather forecast and two days to test on a well prepped track, the Tulip Festival Race was the perfect opportunity to get the car ready to go for the 2009 season. But we cut it close as there was no extra time to get the car sorted out before the race. As with every race team you want everything to be ready to go and an engine that has already been fired up by the time you get to the track, especially on your first day back after a long cold winter. The Capitol team is no different. However, sometimes no matter how hard you try things just don't go as planned.
Case in point, the piston supplier was two weeks late in getting the pistons shipped to our engine builder, Art Mendoza. And with not a second to waste Art still got the engine to us by Thursday prior to the race. In putting the engine back together Art noticed a lose crank hub so we ordered a new one to be sent overnight via UPS. And while the supplier shipped it red label overnight, UPS as usual didn't deliver it on time. Overnight means overnight folks.
So Friday afternoon without the hub it was doubtful we would even race but Art said not to worry as he would come up with something. And true to his word, he had a replacement ready to go on Saturday. Art and Brent had to do some modifications but it worked although it was hard to set the timing with a different hub. UPS' failed overnight service was just one example of the many flies in the ointment that tested our resolve and by the time the day was over I had gone into town three times for different parts and supplies. But by 5PM we had the Capitol car fired up and ready to go. But then we had a new problem as the transmission didn't work. The engine however sounded good after we were able to borrow a battery pack from Rick New after blowing up our own. The engine was pretty fat so we had to move back the awnings just to breath.
Sunday was a whole new day and after doing some trouble shooting we figured out our transmission problem and we were ready to go.
I got up to the starting area for the first pass on the rebuilt engine only to get shut off before my burnout. It turned out I unknowingly touched the very sensative chute button and the chutes worked as planned and came out instantly. About now I was just about as mad at myself as I could be but Brent reminded me we were here for testing and before I knew it back in the lanes as soon as the chutes were repacked.
This time, all of the hard work from Saturday paid off big time as we ran just .400'th off our best time ever with a stout 6.79 after I promised to shut off early but it felt good and I saw no reason to get out of it. When I got back to the pits Art and Ken we're very happy with the run and one photographer thought the run was as effortless and the straightest he had ever seen from the Capitol car.
Brent, Jerry, Tyler, and Brian we also all smiles as a big weight was taken off our backs. At 2:00 PM we made another pass and the air had changed quite a bit as it was getting hot. But that didn't seem to matter as once again the car made another great pass as it ran a 6.80. After that we all agreed that the car wouldn't do much better and I need a car that's intact beginning next week for a series of shows we are doing so we decided to quit while we were ahead and call it a day.
I've always said that unless you are racing a slow car you need to have a day like Saturday to sort things out to get to the good days like Sunday. And that's just what we did. Now we will be ready to try and get that elusive 200 MPH run at the Season Opener in less than a month from now.
Woodburn Dragstrip: Back on Track
Maybe it was just me, but I noticed something different this weekend at Woodburn Dragstrip. I saw everyone on the staff from Jim Livingston on down to the guy in the corn dog stand giving the racers and fans just a little more customer service and everyone appeared to be relaxed and enjoyed what they were doing. The friendly atmosphere was great, the track was in very good shape and the race itself was conducted like clockwork. Congrats to the Woodburn crew for a job well done.
Night of Fire Returns on August 21
The hottest August night in the Pacific Northwest will be found in Salem as the Night of Fire returns to the Salem Evangelical Church Event Center parking lot on Friday night, August 21. Returning this year will be the Warhawk jet fire show that sets this car show a part from any other in the country. More information on this event will be coming soon but in the mean time mark your calendars for August 21. Please check here for updates as everything is subject to change this far out.
Sponsorship Record Holder
Jim Rugg from Royal Purple came through the area and the Capitol crew had a great conversation over dinner when it was disclosed that Rich Bailey is the longest running racer in the companies history to be sponsored by Royal Purple Synthetic Oil. We want to thank Jim, Patrick Burris and Mark McFann for that honor.
Cap Racing Returns to Victory Racing Camp
Capitol Racing will be doing a presentation on racing and marketing at the Victory Racing Camp this summer. The camps are for inspiring your racers. For more information about the camp go to www.victoryracingcamp.org
nwdragracing.com Launches New Site
George Adams wants everyone to know that he along with his wife Karen have launched a new version of www.nwdragracing.com. The site's first feature is the Winter Rod and Speed Show. There's some great stuff to see and as always they covered the event like no one else can. Click Here to see the new site
Welcomes Back Evergreen Home Loans
Evergreen Home Loans returns as a sponsor of the Capitol Auto Group Dragster through Vince Ventura, the Salem Branch manager and also one of the companies top loan officers. I have been sponsored by Vince for the majority of my racing career so he's a big part of our racing family.
Like buying cars at Capitol, I take all my business to "Vinney" and I always get great service as he makes the buying and refinance process very smooth and even enjoyable. Now is a good time to refinance and knock down that monthly payment or buy that first house. Email Vince here and ask what he can do for you in Oregon, Washington or Idaho. If it doesn't pencil out for you he'll tell you right away.
Welcome back Vince and everyone at Evergreen Home Loans!
Lauener Enjoys Seeing His Dragster Displayed at Eugene Roadster Show After a Year A In Pieces
It all started with a group of guys going over to Jeff Lauener's house in Canby and putting his dragster back together from the ground up at the request of his wife Kimberly. The car had been a part for well over a year as Jeff had planned to put the car back together himself after getting it painted but a massive stroke put an end to his plans ...temporarily. Jeff had hoped to race the car again while also continuing to be the crew chief for the Capitol Racing Team that he dedicated the last two years to.
It only took a full day for the crew of Doc Abbott, Brian Walburn, Ty Abbott, Art Mendoza, Brent Sanford and Rich Bailey to rebuild the car from what was nearly a bare chassis. The engine however wasn't ready so it's currently unable to start.
Once the car was back together in a display state, the plan was to show the car in the Portland Roadster Show. But ticket writing and menacing by Portland's finest prevented the car from ever getting unloaded in the Rose City. Fortunately, there was one more indoor car show left in the Valley, The Eugene Roadster Show and the organizers were happy to make room for the dragster. The car was transported to the show on Friday night using the Capitol trailer, and the general public got to see the car for the first time on Saturday. The show continued through the weekend at Lane County Fairgrounds and there was no hand ringing over the show buy any Eugene city officials so the show went off without a hitch.
Lauener, began his racing career in Eugene so it turned out to be the perfect place to display the dragster, which made it's debut at the same car show a decade ago. In fact, there were already a few folks that saw the car being unloaded and recognized it right away. One gentleman remembered Jeff from working at Balboa Dragstrip in the early 1970's.
Jeff nearly didn't get to see the car as he was back in the hospital on Friday prior to the show. But the doctors allowed him to be discharged so he and his wife Kimberly made it to the show to see his creation together for the first time in some place other than his garage. The experience made him eager to head back to the track once again to enjoy the sport he loves so much. He also saw a lot of his old racing friends at the show including Herb Moore, the former crew chief on the dragster. It turned out to be a great weekend for the Lauener's as this time everything worked out as planned.
Foreign Beer Maker Has American Fans Seeing Red
Belgian's InBev Ends an American Tradition: Will Terminate Bernstein's Historic 30 Year Bud Deal
After taking control of Anheuser-Busch, our friends from across the pond at InBev have decided not to renew Kenny Bernstein Racing's Budweiser sponsorship which has lasted for over 30 years. When InBev, a Belgian beer company, purchased Anheuser-Busch for $49.9 billion last July, it was feared that the new ownership would not renew what is now the longest running sponsorship in all of motorsports. Those fears were realized today. Most insiders believe that the sponsorship would have continued for some time had InBev not taken over Anheuser-Busch.
InBev will also poke at the ribs of other advertising venues and sports properties including the title of being "the official beer of the NHRA". This is indeed a brave new era in the world of advertising and besides racing, other entities such as newspapers and magazines have vastly been effected by changes in a ruthless market place. Last month the Rocky Mountain News in Denver folded and on Tuesday the Seattle PI will stop printing its newspaper and instead will go to a web only product. As for Kenny Bernstein Racing, their team will begin looking for a new sponsor immediately and will race in 2010 if a new sponsor is found.
Capitol Racing Welcomes Pat Pond
Pat Pond has officially joined Capitol Racing as a crew member. Pat is married and is a 1979 graduate of McNary High School, who became a professional mechanic at age 17. He later joined the Air Force and drag raced at tracks in Mountain Home and Boise while he was stationed at the Mountain Home Air Base. Pat has is a blackbelt and currently works for Northwest Natural Gas. Best of all he bought his truck at Capitol.
Pat has hit it off well with the the crew and has already demonstrated that he has outstanding mechanical abilities. While Pat is not replacing anyone, it's often that not everyone can be at every race so Pat gives the team some added stability and good mechanical skills.
Cricket Receives Check From Car Show
Cricket Beebe and her mother Jennifer Kearney accepted the proceeds from the Winter Rod and Speed Show during a special dinner at Adam's Rib, Thursday night in Salem. After receiving the check, Jennifer thanked the car show organizers, mid-valley car clubs and the community for all of their support. "It was absolutely incredible the support the show received. We didn't know what to expect." Jennifer said. Jennifer plans to buy Cricket an "I Dog" before paying some bills that have accumulated. "This check will help stop some calls" Jennifer said.
The event was indeed a success as an estimated 2,800 people attended the event to see over 105 custom cars and 15 venders. Cricket's plight also attracted auction items from some of the top NHRA professional drag racing stars from across the country including Don Garlits, John Force and Ed McCulloch. The total proceeds after expenses were not released as requested by the Kearney family.
The event will happen again next year as the Winter Rod and Speed Show has already been booked for the Linn County Expo Center, next January. Car show organizers will begin accepting applications for cars and venders beginning in September.
Show Attracts Big a Number of Cars and Spectators
2009 Winter Rod and Speed Show A Barn Burner!
With the help of three great radio stations, midvalley newspapers, and a lot of hard work promoting the show through event poster and coupon distribution, the spectator turnout for the Winter Rod and Speed Show was nothing short of impressive with an estimated 3,500 coming thought the gate! "The little show in Albany" as described by a promoter from a different show couldn't have accommodated any more people, venders or car entries. And it was all for nine year old Cricket Beebe who has been battling cancer.
In fact, this "little show" had a consistent line of people enter the building with out any breaks in the line from 9AM when the show opened until 3PM that afternoon. Never has there been an indoor car show in the mid valley market as successful as this one. There were well over 100 car entries and 15 vendors all who described business and traffic by their booths as brisk. One of the most common comments often heard was that the show had great variety and a perfect mix of cars. In the arena of motorsports, there was the "Scream" Pro Mod, the "Tiki Warrior" Funny car, the "Capitol Auto Group" Dragster, Bracket cars, Sprint cars, and even a drag boat. Wayne Williams who brought in the American Graffiti car and does shows all over the country said that it was one of the best and most enjoyable shows he had been in.
As always, there were a lot of drag racing memorabilia coming straight from NHRA's biggest major league teams thanks in part to our own Jim Rockstad. Die cast cars and shirts came from John Force Racing, DSR via Ed "the Ace" McCullouch, Don Garlits, Doug Foley, Tuttle Motorsports, Hope for Sudan, Main Gate and Twig Zeigler who offered a day at the races package. Half way through the show we received a uniform from NHRA Top Fuel crew chief Mike Kloeber who made an unannounced personal appearance. Also up for grabs was a car from Affordable Towing and a transmission of choice from Canby Transmission.
About the only glitch came at the end of the show during the awards presentation when a child pulled the fire alarm. People briefly had to evacuate the building but nobody seemed to care because the circus was in town and the performance was spectacular.
Concerning the amount raised, once the bills are paid we will report the final number after surprising Cricket and her mother with the check.
Thanks again to all of the competitors, doners, fans, and volunteers for making this a great show! We will be going it again in 2009.
Photos from the show first look:
Winter Rod and Speed Show Photo Album 1
Winter Rod and Speed Show Album 2
Brent Sanford Awarded Most Valuable Crew Member
Enough crew, sponsors, and family members braved a hard driving snow storm to make the annual Capitol Auto Group Racing Christmas dinner a big success. Mike and Katrina Adam's Rib did a great job taking good care of us with some of the best prime rib found anywhere. They are a blessing to have on board and if you still haven't tried Adam's Rib, do it real soon.
At the dinner the crew members were presented crew jackets expertly stitched by image Action Wear as a reward for a great season. Car Chief Brent Sanford was presented with the "Most Valuable Crew Member" Award. This is a new award given to a team member that goes the extra mile through out the year "It is the crew members around me that made the difference. I can't do my job without them" Sanford said. Sanford pointed out Crew Chief Ken Logan as being a good teacher. Also during the dinner, a video was shown of the Fall Classic put together by crew member Tyler Abbott.
Sponsors in attendance included the Adams, Jeff Marsh from Canby Transmission and Ryan Valentine of MV Mobile Detail. Crew members included Sanford, Logan, Brian Washburn as well as Jerry and Tyler Abbott. Everyone had a great time and hopefully got home safely.
Cap Racing Surpasses 500,000 Hits for Year
According to Awstats, a web monitoring tool, www.capracing.com has just surpassed a half million hits for the year which is up from last year where we logged 447,019 hits. While not a big deal for some web sites, for a local racing team that is very good numbers and adds increased value to our advertising program. In fact, an Alexa search revealed that this site has higher traffic ratings than some of the big name NHRA Powerade Series nitro teams.
We would like to thank Jim Rockstad our columnist, and those that link to our site. But most of all, thanks to the people that come here regularly. In 2009, you will be glad to know that we will continue to pass on the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with our sport. We will also report on our team's progress and will even include a few editorials when necessary.