Ron Johnson

Steve Gibbs

Don Ewald

Cindy Gibbs

Connie Johnson Braun
Introducing the core Nitro Revival Team. It started with some thoughts thrown out by Steve to Ron. Long story short, Don, Cindy and Connie joined the fold and yes, we could do this. But, where and when? Ron came up with the only option, Barona Raceway. And it was Ron who nailed down the deal for the track. Without Steve's vision and experienc and Ron's idea for the venue, this would not be. We had a lot of help along the way, thanks to all. Now it’s time to hit the mag switch!


Our Field of Dreams
by Ron Johnson

In The Field of Dreams movie, Kevin Costner created a venue for replaying scenes from a 1919 Baseball scandal. He built it and they came!!! In Upper New York in the 70’s a rock promoter had an idea and utilized a natural amphitheater to produce a rock concert of previously unknown magnitude. Woodstock. Earlier still in 1959, members of an obscure car club in Bakersfield had an idea and assembled an event for drag racers that has never been equaled for sheer impact, the 1959 Fuel and Gas Championships, or by its more common name The March Meet!

Now, at what is probably the most remote drag strip in the world, a few die hard believers have pulled together something that makes no sense at all. A Drag Racers event at a drag strip, where there will be no racing. It is called the Nitro Revival and will bring together cars, drivers and fans, some of who attended that 1959 March Meet. They will gather at a track that is just over 10 miles from the airport runway that was used by Wally Parks, grandfather of the sport of organized drag racing, along with engineer/scientist Otto Crocker, to test out distances necessary to have available for acceleration and stopping of cars running on a commonly available private surface, an airport runway. Crocker had developed timing equipment for timing cars making solo runs for speed contests at dry lakes. This equipment had never been used for timing cars racing side by side and Crocker and Parks wanted to find out if the whole concept of timing side by side runs and using an acceleration distance of ¼ mile could work and how much space was necessary to stop.

The airport was in the high desert town of Ramona, East and a little North of San Diego and this little remembered event was the beginning of Organized Drag Racing as we know it today. Crocker and Parks deemed it feasible and in slightly over a year Parks had fleshed out the whole plan. He created The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) as the umbrella organization and using his platform as editor of Hot Rod magazine promoted the concept of legal drag racing with a sanctioning body and members and rules, for safety and conduct. An informal drag strip on a San Diego area airport at Paradise Mesa, 30 miles South and a little West from Ramona was the second NHRA track to open, but Paradise Mesa had the distinction of having the very first elapsed time clocks as well as the original MPH-only clocks of Crockers dry lakes set-up. This was the beginning of what became a nationally organized sport, with means to make performance timing uniform, thus national classes could be designed and national class records could be established and yearly nationwide gatherings could take place with all the cars competing on an even field with other cars from any state. This was the beginning of organized drag racing, everything else was experimentation.

You can’t attend the first March Meet, you can’t attend Woodstock. Field of Dreams was just a movie. But you CAN go to the very first Nitro Revival on September 30th, at the Drag Strip on the Barona Indian Reservation which just happens to be almost center on a direct line from that dusty Ramona airport to the Paradise Mesa drag strip location. No racing competition, but instead a whole glorious day of historic top fuel dragsters, over sixty Cackle Cars, 50’s and 60’s era Nitro dragsters and even some of their original drivers. Honorees include over a dozen historic drag racers from San Diego Count as well as the innovative Bean Bandits!. They will be joined by old time fans and racers from all over the country. There will be Cackle Car push starts, burnouts, as well as plenty of pit-side nitro fire-ups, and a 3,000 square foot hospitality area provided by Bruce Crower.

See a preview of some of the cars in Downtown Escondido the night before at the thirteenth running of Nitro Night, along with 25,000 other spectators.


For all things Nitro Revival Contact: Steve Gibbs

*Logo art by Kenny Youngblood off a Bob Brown photo.

For event Sponsorship info please contact: Ron Johnson

Website, Media, General Info contact: Don Ewald



Kenny Youngblood's
"Monuments On Canvas"TM







CAR ENTRY FORM - pdf file



$20 Adult
$10 Jr (ages 13-17)
Kids 12 and under FREE
$10 Military Discount (Military I.D. required)


 Nitro Revival T-shirts and Hats & DSI CD's 

          Nitro Revival Decal


Preview of 2017 Event Program, free to event spectators and participants.

For event Sponsorship or Print Ad info please contact: Ron Johnson


Make it a twofer road trip

Sept. 29 2017

Downtown Escondido, CA

Nitro Night

Cacklecar displays, static fire ups and faux push starts

Spectators and media contact, Steve Waldron
Participants info email
Ron Johnson

Sept. 30 2017

Barona Drag Strip, Barona, CA

Nitro Revival

Cacklecar displays, static fire ups, burnouts, and push starts all day long. See flyer.

For questions contact: Racemaster@nitrorevival.com

We can also supply secure storage for your rig if you want to go home and come back for the CHRR.

Other Cacklecar Events for 2017










Disclaimer: This event is in no way associtated with the NHRA or the NHRA Motorsports Museum.