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Passionate Owner Brings Capitol Raceway, ‘The Hill,’ Back to IHRA

Thursday, 21 December 2023

CROFTON, Md. — In an era when many race tracks are struggling to survive, Capitol Raceway is in good hands with track owner Terris Hicks.

It helps the property is centrally located next to his largest customer in the recycling business. It also helps that Hicks, who has traveled all over the country running No Prep events, is passionate about fast cars and his home track which he purchased in November 2022.

“We get excited sending these fast cars down the track. It’s entertaining,” Hicks said. “We’re getting people off the street and on the track.”

They’re also recently signed a multi-year sanctioning agreement with the International Hot Rod Association which Capitol Raceway enjoys a rich history with. Capitol Raceway was the IHRA Division 1 (Patriots) Track of the Year in 2018 and their team won the IHRA Division 1 Summit Team Finals in 2019.

Racers, who are IHRA members, will once again be able to participate in the IHRA Summit SuperSeries program, the most prestigious national championship in bracket racing.

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The Maryland facility, which opened in 1965, has been site for the greatest drivers in drag racing powering down the track. They’ve includes such luminaries as “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, “Jungle Jim” Liberman and Sox and Martin. 

Hicks, who said he couldn’t wait to get on those Capitol bleachers as a kid, has made plenty of his own history on the track. He, Billy Glidden and Tim Lynch were often bad news for their fellow competitors when the trio showed up in Ford Mustangs that exceeded 200 mph.

Safety is a top priority for Hicks, who has been fortunate to have never crashed into the wall or flipped upside down. However, he has seen some of the slower responses to accidents at different drag strips. Add into the fact that Hicks and his wife, Margie, are both involved in the medical field and they’re doing drills for those working at the track.

“You don’t have a whole bunch of time once a bad situation happens,” Hicks said. “We put these demo cars together with lights, shut-off switches where we can flip it over on the track and do a drill. At some tracks, you’ll see staff taking off with their side-by-sides and all trying to be the rescue for whatever is going on.

“We’re trying to train them for these situations with race cars. How it might be different for an EMT or firefighter than a regular accident. We have our own ambulance fully equipped with everything like oxygen and defibrillators.”

Some of the upgrades to the track include new pavement and 10 staging lanes. They’ve installed a brand new Port-A-Tree timing system for the 1/8-mile and 1/4-mile. But, Hicks pointed out it’s much more than a drag strip.

There is a drifting track and dirt bog. Making it a true community gathering place, they’re hosting a hamburger competition on New Year’s Day and installing a miniature golf course for the families.

“We don’t just stick to the drag racing,” he said. “There’s a new development right next door. Everybody in the shopping mall, in the neighborhood, is happy because they can come over here and enjoy themselves. There are multiple things for them to do.”

Click here for a link to the Capitol Raceway website for plenty of exciting news including upcoming events.

Last modified on Thursday, 21 December 2023

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