While Nitro Revival 3 is being billed
as a "one day" event...that's not quite true. For you
good folks in the know, we will be gathering at the track on
Friday evening for a "not so secret" social...catered
by In-N-Out. (10 bucks per meal) When you get to the gate, just
tell 'em "Hook sent me!" Thanks to Bobby McLennan,
the Champion Speed Shop Hospitality tent will be the gathering
place. Best be there...as there's no telling who you are going
to cross paths with!
For Immediate Release
MCLENNAN WELCOME CENTER ANCHORS NITRO REVIVAL 3
IRWINDALE, Calif. The
Jim McLennan Drag Racing Foundation, whose namesake was a mainstay
of Northern California motorsports for more than four decades,
will once again sponsor the Hospitality Welcome Center on Saturday,
May 18th during the third installment of Steve Gibbss Nitro
The Jim McLennan Welcome Center
will be the social centerpiece of a Nitro Revival event that
features the cars and drivers, owners and mechanics who helped
transform drag racing in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Hospitality Center will be
open to special guests including members of the International
Drag Racing Hall of Fame. It also will be the site of autograph-signing
sessions featuring Ed the Ace McCulloch, Jerry
the King Ruth, Kelly Brown, Marvin Graham, Frank
Bradley, Richard Tharp, TV Tommy Ivo, Red Greth,
Butch Leal, Gary Beck, Roland Leong, Tom Hoover, Herm Petersen
and Gentleman Joe Schubeck, among others.
McLennan, who passed away in
2007 at the age of 74, just one month before his own induction
into the Garlits-founded International Hall of Fame, was a racer,
car builder, speed shop owner and track operator.
His son, Bob, said that racing
was something his dad had in his blood. Fixing everyones
cars and getting them to go faster. His passion was always the
In 1957 McLennan opened Half
Moon Bay drag strip, leasing the runway used by a small coastal
airport. The timing tower was on top of a bread truck and surplus
military telephones provided the communications. At about the
same time, he opened Champion Speed Shop in south San Francisco.
A standout driver in a series
of small block Chevies including the twin-engine Champion Speed
Shop Special, McLennan was No. 2 in the Drag News Top 10 standings
for 10 months in 1961. He retired from active competition in
1963 and built a one-half mile oval track across the street from
Candlestick Park, the one-time home of the San Francisco Giants.
When the nostalgia movement began,
he leapt at the opportunity to build replica versions of the
two Champion Speed Shop cars he drove in the 1960s, the twin
and a single engine car built by Kent Fuller.
Tent sponsored by:
Jim McLennan Foundation & Champion Speed Shop
For Immediate Release
'TV TOMMY' IVO AMONG HONOREES AT NITRO
Six Others Share Spotlight with San Gabriel Drag Strip, Irwindale
IRWINDALE, Calif. - The former
chief starter at both Irwindale Raceway and San Gabriel Drag
Strip, a TV star-turned-barnstorming drag racer, a couple of
"hired guns" with long histories of straight-line success,
the "granddaddy" of Top Fuel bike racing, Irwindale's
"Mr. Unbeatable" and the master manipulator of the
blown big block Chevy will share the spotlight May 18 during
Nitro Revival 3 at Irwindale Dragway on the grounds of the Irwindale
Tom Flenniken, "TV Tommy"
Ivo, Gary Read, Gary Southern, Joe Smith, Carl Swift and Bubby
Wilton will be recognized for their contributions during an era
in which the San Gabriel Valley was at the center of drag racing's
development as a major American motor sport.
Featuring historic race cars,
unique hot rods and the men and women who gave them their personalities,
Nitro Revival 3 will include a wide variety of exhibition runs,
continuous rolling push starts of historic vehicles that were
emblematic of the era, static displays, the always popular Hook's
Hot Rod Hangout and a climactic Line of Fire, the simultaneous
"fire-up" of vintage dragsters, altered and Funny Cars
that has become the traditional finale.
"Nitro Revival brings back
the sights and sounds of the early days of hot rodding,"
said the event's founder, former NHRA Competition Director Steve
Gibbs, "but it also serves as a reunion for racers from
that era and it lets fans experience a drag racing museum come
GREATER SAN GABRIEL VALLEY DRAG
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS
Each of the honorees will
be presented custom plaques during an afternoon recognition ceremony,
courtesy of Jerry and Pat Baltes, staunch Nitro Revival supporters.
PAT & JERRY BALTES
known as "Flanagan," was the starter at the two tracks
on which the Revival spotlight will shine most brightly. A retired
police officer and former president of the Cal Rods Car Club,
he has spent his lifetime building and racing hot rods, starting
with a 1931 Ford A model coupe in the 1950s and including a more
recently restored 1948 Ford pickup that includes a low boost
supercharger built by Top Fuel and Top Gas veteran Don Hampton
to allow it to be driven on the street.
TV Tommy Ivo
of course, needs little introduction. After making a name for
himself in television shows like "Margie," "I
Remember Mama" and "The Donna Reed Show," he turned
his attention and resources to drag racing. Much of his early
racing career centered around San Gabe where, on Oct. 24, 1962,
he became the first to break the 8.00 second barrier at the wheel
of the car he called "Barnstormer."
He also debuted his radical
four-engine dragster "Showboat" at San Gabriel. Although
it was relegated to "exhibition" status by the NHRA,
it nevertheless helped to further cement Ivo's status in the
sport and figured into his 2005 induction into the Motorsports
Hall of Fame of America now housed at Daytona Beach, Fla.
reputation for being able to drive anything on wheels and do
it better than most earned him rides in some of the West Coast's
most celebrated vehicles. A member of the legendary "Groundshakers,"
he successfully campaigned the "Dago Red" and Genuine
Suspension Top Fuel dragsters, the Haight and Sullivan fuel altered
and the aptly-named "Nutcracker" AMC Javelin Funny
Car, among others.
Read, Southern distinguished himself through his versatility,
competing at some time at every level including Top Fuel and
Funny Car. The defining moment of his long career was his victory
at the 1988 U.S. Nationals in Dale Smart's Top Alcohol dragster
outfitted with the revolutionary Norm Drazy-designed PSI screw
blower. In 1981, he was runner-up at Indy in Top Alcohol Dragster
and a month later was runner-up at the World Finals at OCIR in
Top Alcohol Funny Car. He also drove "The Stinger"
Funny Car and John Lindsay's "Impulse" Vega.
began his fuel motorcycle racing career at San Gabriel in the
1950s and almost ended it at Irwindale in 1967 when he was pitched
off at 145 miles per hour, preceding his bike across the finish
line. He ultimately dominated fuel bike racing on a series of
Harley motorcycles in the 1970s, winning the U.S. Nationals at
Indianapolis in 1971, 1974 and 1975 and earning runner-up honors
He was the first to break
the 9.00 second barrier on a motorcycle when he ran 8.97 at Bakersfield
astride his Shovelhead-powered "King Rat" Harley. Later,
he built the twin-engined Double King Rat on which he crashed
in Kentucky in 1975 after one of the engines exploded and blew
him off the bike, effectively ending his career.
may be one of the most incredible drag racing success stories
nobody knows. After a motorcycle accident as a youngster, he
encountered discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere because
of his prosthetic wooden leg. Despite that handicap, he became
one of the most prolific racers of his era at the wheel of a
stick shift 1951 Ford coupe with flathead power that he called
the "Poor Boy's Thunderbolt."
He had won 150 trophies before
they started bracket racing for money at Irwindale in 1966. In
1967, he won 17 races and dominated the track's "King of
the Hill" weekly tournament. He was so dominant during that
span that Drag News referred to him as "Mr. Unbeatable."
engines excelled on both land and water. He and partner Del Doss
had the baddest big block Chevy on the West Coast in the mid-1960s,
a car he later restored to its original form for cackle events.
He also partnered with Kenny Ellis in the "Trigster,"
a three-wheeled Top Fuel dragster built by Scotty Fenn but banned
by the NHRA. As a result, it raced only at non-NHRA tracks including
San Gabriel and won the B/Gas trophy at the March Meet at Bakersfield
in 1961. Wilton later built blown Chevies for circle and straight-line
MAY 18, 2019
Sal Sigana Jr.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.25.2019: Event Producer
Steve Gibbs is proud to announce that Nitro Revival will be featuring
four of the best Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters on the planet for
autographs and exhibition runs. They include 2018 NHRA Hot Rod
Heritage Racing Top Fuel Champion Mendy Fry and the High Speed
Motorsports record holding dragster.
Also visit with 2019 March
Meet Top Fuel Champion, Adam Sorokin and the Champion Speed shop
The four car show will be
filled out by Brendan Murry in his "Running Wild" fueler
and Rick White in the Neal & White car.
click here to make your reservation: Courtyard by Marriott in Monrovia.
It is very convenient
3 or 4 miles from the Irwindale track. The link above will take
you to our special Nitro Revial rate reservation form.
700 West Huntington Drive
Monrovia, CA 91016
We have been given a rate
of $135 a night, which is quite a bit lower
than their special track rates on those dates.
There are some very good restaurants
nearby. Claim Jumper is walking distance. Others include; Red
Lobster, The Derby, Olive Garden, Souplantation, Capital Seafood,
and lots of fast food places.
The parking lot is good sized,
but we would like you to bring your rigs directly to the track
if possible. Would like to get as many Cackle cars in on Friday
possible. Gonna have the In-N-Out Cookout unit at the track Friday
Copyright Steve Gibbs
For Immediate Release
'NITRO REVIVALTM MOVES TO SOUTHERN
CALIFORNIA IN 2019
Irwindale Drag Strip Will
Host Celebration of 'Golden Era' Dragsters and Drivers
IRWINDALE, California (October
29, 2018) - Nitro Revival, an event created by Steve Gibbs, the
former VP of Competition for the NHRA who was instrumental in
the development of the Wally Parks Motorsports Museum and the
California Hot Rod Reunion, will return next year to its southern
Nitro Revival 3, featuring historic
race cars, unique hot rods and the men and women who gave them
personalities, will unfold on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the Irwindale
Speedway and Event Center located in the heart of the San Gabriel
Valley, northeast of Los Angeles.
Working with his daughter Cindy
and a core group of like-minded enthusiasts, Gibbs envisioned
Nitro Revival as a "destination" for those who lived
through the sport's "golden era" as well as those simply
intrigued by the era's history and its impact.
The basic formula adopted for
the inaugural Nitro Revival at Barona Drag Strip near San Diego
and extended for last year's event at Weather Tech Raceway at
Laguna Seca, two hours south of San Francisco, again will serve
as the model.
That means plenty of static displays
featuring authentic and recreated period race cars including
front-motored Top Fuel dragsters, fuel altereds and Funny Cars.
Highlights will include a trip to Hook's Hot Rod Hangout featuring
period hot rods and street rods, continuous rolling push starts
emblematic of the era and, finally, the Line of Fire, the simultaneous
"fire-up" of vintage dragsters, altereds and Funny
Cars that serves as the finale. A full schedule of exhibition
runs by early style drag racing cars and motorcycles will be
featured on the Irwindale eighth mile strip.
addition, there will be a special focus on the racetracks, race
cars and racers that were active in the area during the 1960s
and 1970s with particular emphasis on San Gabriel Drag Strip
and the old Irwindale Raceway, both of which operated in close
proximity to the current Irwindale Drag Strip. "We really
want this to be a gathering of the drag racing clans," said
Gibbs, including followers of all of the bygone Southern California
tracks, such as Lions, Pomona, Santa Ana, Fontana, San Fernando,
Colton, Carlsbad. "We have such a rich history and legacy
to draw from." Numerous International Drag Racing Hall of
Fame members are expected to attend.
Gibbs spent 48 years at the NHRA
where he served first as Advertising Director of National Dragster
before later acquiring the nickname "Mr. Traction"
for his work as Competition Director and later, VP of Competition.
Earlier this year, he was honored by the British Drag Racing
Hall of Fame which presented him with its Global Achievement
Award for his efforts in advancing the sport worldwide.
"Nitro Revival brings back
the sights and sounds of the early days of hot rodding,"
Gibbs said, "but it also serves as a reunion for racers
from that era and it lets fans from every era experience a drag
racing museum come to life. We loved the experiences at Barona
and Laguna Seca, but we're excited about coming to Irwindale."
Steve Gibbs - Event
Cindy Gibbs - PR
Don Ewald - Media
Director, Credentials & Website
Event, Sponsor, Vendor and
Participant information will be added here as confirmed.