PORT ALLEN, La. — State Capitol Raceway track manager Gary Carter has a direct answer for the success of his drag strip over the first 50 years.
The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA)-sanctioned facility outside of Baton Rouge is the third oldest continuously running quarter-mile drag strip in the United States. It has flourished in times when other race tracks have struggled or even had to close their gates.
State Capitol, which is scheduled to welcome the IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular March 29-31, has hosted both IHRA and NHRA national events. The facility, owned by Lanny and Valerie Lewis, has something that all tracks strive for.
“We have the loyalty of the racers, their families and the racing fans who have been to the track,” Carter said.
That loyalty is evident with a large group of competitors, who consistently put on great racing through the season.
There is also the loyalty of Carter to the racers and an 1/8-mile concrete racing surface has provided great action in the IHRA Summit SuperSeries. There are other special events throughout the season like the “Battle of the Bayou” and “Battle in the Swamp.”
“State Capitol is truly an iconic race track,” IHRA Division Director Frank Kohutek said. “Gary Carter and his staff work extremely hard to provide their competitors to provide the racers in Louisiana and the surrounding areas such a terrific place to test their skills and equipment.”
Shallon Broussard (Box), Larry Sequin (No Box) and Ayden Hyatt (Junior Dragster) won IHRA Summit SuperSeries titles in 2018. But, the great racing dates back decades and even includes scenes from a major Hollywood production.
The 2005 film Dukes of Hazzard used the drag strip as part of the “Annual Hazzard Rally.”
For Carter, though he’s most proud of the racing and the relationships built with the racers.
“People don’t realize the history of the race track and all the effort that it has taken to make it to 2019,” he said. “There’s nothing more challenging and not more rewarding when you plan an event, product it and then have it go off without a hitch and be successful.”
There are several special events planned for the track’s 50th anniversary. Carter encourages folks to stay tuned through the track’s website and Facebook page. For more information about State Capitol Raceway, click here.