State Capital Dragway- Baton Rouge, LA *

Although it is still an operating race track to this day, State Capital is included in the ghost race track listing because it may one day exceed the nine lives allocated to the famous cat.

Built in 1969 by W.O. Bergeron, a local pipeline contractor, it was operated by Pel State’s W.H. David and his wife Jayne. It featured a horse track beside the quarter mile, complete with starting gate, since W.O.’s daughter was a horse woman. She still lives next door to the facility on Hwy. 190 in Rougon.

Ned Betts acquired the track three years later. Norman “Moose” Pearah promoted there from 1971, then bought the track in 1974 for $110,000, which the owners financed. Pearah was the most famous of the many owners/operators of the facility, staging the NHRA Cajun Nationals there from 1977 to 1990.

After the last Cajun National, and a default on loans against the property, NHRA bought the track “on the courthouse steps” to preserve it as a drag strip, and learned of its many idiosyncrasies, such as no sewer system, a suites building built on top of an interstate gas pipeline (a very big No-No), and the fact that the shut off area was not part of the race track, but rather leased from a neighbor. Allen Miller, Ken and Molly Hall, and others leased or managed the facility before NHRA sold the property.

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