Getting Up To Speed With…Blaine Taylor
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Northwest Racing Productions)
Blaine Taylor has been a staple at the Cottage Grove Speedway for the last few seasons. The Pleasant Hill, Oregon native, even though the team is based out of nearby Creswell, has been in the Late Model division since 2010 after having a brief stint in the Modifieds and before that Sprint Cars.
In 2014 Taylor is going to hit the Late Models harder than ever as he looks to score his first career Late Model win at CGS even though he has four or five victories at Coos Bay Speedway. In 2010 Taylor would receive the Rookie of the Year award in both the Modifieds and Late Models at Cottage Grove Speedway as well as earning the Most Improved Driver award. We talked to Blaine about his racing career, his involvement with My Boys Slate Fired Pizza (which is a major supporter of the Cottage Grove Speedway), and why he chose the #18. Now let’s get up to speed with Blaine Taylor.
Driver: Blaine Taylor
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Occupation: Owner/Operator of Taylor Restaurant Equipment
Years Racing: 5
Classification: Late Model
Team: Blaine Taylor Racing
Chassis: MasterSbilt Race Cars
Sponsors: My Boys Slate Fired Pizza, Taylor Restaurant Equipment, Mueller Commercial Services
Special Thanks: Elizabeth Taylor (Wife), Gavin Taylor (Son)
BD: Blaine do you have any specific plans for 2014?
BT: I will run all the Late Model races at Cottage Grove and a handful of races at Willamette and maybe a couple at Coos Bay. This year I completely went through the car and I hope I got rid of all the bad luck from the last few seasons. We’re really pushing the sponsorship of My Boys Pizza and Cottage Grove Speedway. Last year we were open late after the races and had a good turnout of both drivers and fans.
BD: Is there a story behind you racing the #18. And I thought you were #23 once, right?
BT: The #18 was just my favorite number since high school and it was my jersey number in basketball. I chose the #23 when I was in a Sprint Car because I liked Michael Jordan.
BD: How exactly did you get your start in racing?
BT: The first time I did anything racing related was when I did some autocross right after I got out of high school and I also did some drag racing. I liked circle track racing and got the Sprint Car but it got way too expensive fast. I love the adrenaline rush of racing but hanging out with everybody at the same time it’s almost like a bowling league.
After I got out of the Sprint Car I took quite a few years off and my second start was after I bought a Mod from Don Muth in 2010. I ran that but the motor blew up after two or three races so I sold the Mod and bought a Late Model from Frank Brewer and have been in it ever since and I would say I enjoy it the most.
The competition in Late Models is so tough and even the Crate cars are great to race with too. My first year I got a third in the main and made a trophy dash with all of the fast guys a couple of times.
BD: How fun has the Late Model class been?
BT: To me I like it the most of all of them. They are very fast and there are some very good drivers around here. You have five to eight drivers that can win any night. I’m a real big fan of the full fender cars and I think the look of them is really good too.
BD: I got to say you operate one of the coolest businesses for race fans with My Boys Slate Fired Pizza in Creswell. How has business been since you’ve stayed open late on race nights?
BT: it’s done well and I enjoy giving away pizzas to drivers which my dad did the same thing when he owned the place twenty years ago. He also used to sponsor Vern Guth a little bit and gave a free pizza to the last place finisher each night.
More than anything I like to give the racers a place to be after the races to hangout. We also are heavily involved in schools in the community. We’re really excited about this year because my whole wrap on my car is going to focus on the business.
Cottage Grove Speedway gets back to racing this Saturday May 3rd for Cottage Grove Chamber Night. Classes in action include the Northwest Wingless Tour, Late Models, Northwest Extreme Modifieds, and Dwarf Cars. Be sure and pick up a discount coupon at either the Cottage Grove Community Center, Boyce & Sons Landscaping and Building Materials, or Aesthetic Surgical Arts to save you some money at the front gate. For more information log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com.