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2017 Tucson Dragway Reunion, May 4-6

 

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Tuscon, AZ - 05/08/17: On the first weekend in May 2017 in Tucson Arizona the 6th annual Tucson Dragway Reunion presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports thundered its way into the record books. With its largest turnout since the inception of the event the reunion continued it's laid back “family of racers” format that it has become known for.

Thursday the festivities began at the off-track location of sponsor Cell Trees Race Shop where everyone was greeted with a complimentary BBQ dinner. Following that was the installation of event Grand Marshal Steve Gibbs who kicked things off with the first cackle of the event in the Speed Sport roadster. Steve was given a plaque to commemorate his position and to thank him for his many years of generous work to care for the history of our sport. Over half a dozen more cars then roared to life to end the party in style.

Friday the action was pretty much continuous at the track with cars firing up at will. There were push starts and squirts on the track all day and into the evening. Plenty of opportunity to visit and a chance for the spectators to talk to the racers and legends from across the USA and around the world.

Saturday saw the introduction of several important new cars. The Hawaiian made it’s debut with previous owner Roland Leong and Steve Gibbs announced Doug Thorley and his Corvair funny car. The S&E dragster of Al Eshenbaugh was in the pits for its first outing as well. Renowned announcer Jon "Thunderlungs" Lundberg took several turns on the microphone. The Arizona Hall of Fame held a ceremony to induct their 2017 new members. After many more push starts and fire ups the day cumulated with the spectacle of the Nitro Blast of both static and push start cars all making fire and thunder in front of the stands.

And now, the magic captured by many photos taken throughout the event:

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Thursday Kickoff Party
Not knowing all the names, we'll try to ID the folks we're sure of.

 

Spearheading the Tucson Dragway Reunion was Paula Roth along with Vic Moneymaker.

 

Paul Smith is one of the workers for the reunion. He is the parking guru and greets everyone at the gate to show them their pit space. He also doubled as kitchen worker for the BBQ on Thursday night. The chief cook who did the burgers on the grill was Bruce Mabry the announcer. It was HOT. The grill was in the direct sunlight and he stood there flipping for hours. Paula went over and she swears it was 175 degrees where he was standing. Not a complaint from him.

 

Old body in picture is the original Speed Sport Old Noisy car found in pieces scattered around Red Greths yard! Talk is of redoing that car also.

 

 

 

Connie Brawn, Paula, Yvonne and Peter Broadribb.

 

Top Fuel and Bonneville driver Al Eshenbaugh and old time photographer J.R. Bloom.

 

Jerry Bivens, Jon Lundberg and the Check Mate AA/FD crew.

 

Owen McKinney and Jon Lundberg. Owen is a veteran local PA track announcer. He has worked at Tucson , Firebird and does specialty stuff at Albuquerque. Of course, Jon is a legend in the tower.

 

Don Irvin and Dan Kaplan

 

Tommy Allen, Mike Clancy and Don Irvin.

 

 

Jay Carpenter and Bob Higginson

 

Troy Glenn

 

 

Ted Brine brought his 134 Fuel Coupe all the way from Pennsylvania.

 

The first guy no ID but the middle guy is Tom Hunt with the Hunt Family Farms AA/FA and the lady is his wife.

 

Richard Vasquez from Ron Johnson's team.

 

 

 

Red Greth

 

 

A prelude to Steve Gibbs being formally annouced as the Grand Marshall he got a fire-up in the original Speed Sport AMR aka "Ol Noise".

 

 

 

 

 

As Steve put it, "It was getting a size 10 driver into a size 8 car".

 

 

 

Steve, Gordy and Cindy

 

Dan Owens, Walter Nash, Matt Deyoung (track manager), Cindy Gibbs, Paula Roth, Red Greth, Steve and Gordy and Vic Moneymaker.

 

The gathering also included several static fire-ups starting with the Check Mate fueler of Jerry Bivens.

 

 

 

The 134 Coupe was next.

 

 

 

Troy Glenn fired up the Schultz & Glenn fueler.

 

 

 

 

 

Paula Roth was in the S&E tribute car that belongs to Paul Henderson.

 

 

Mark Robinson, budding phototographer in the Banshee with Ross tending to the engine.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Ewald got the fire-up in Ron Johnson's "ChiZler".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pesek Loukas car of James Burgess with Larry Brown, former AAFD, TF, FC driver from Oklahoma in the seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PRACTICE PUSH STARTS & BURNOUTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula in her Lil-Darlin digger.

 

 

Page 2: People

Page 3: Pits

Page 4: Parade and Nitro Bash

 

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