Anytime there is a mass cackle where Gibbs is in charge a drivers meeting is held. They are usually short and light. Not so this day. For the Gibbs family and friends it was more than a revival, it was a tribute to an incredible wife and mother, Gloria Gibbs who passed away just 2 weeks earlier. It was an emotional and sometimes humorous trip down memory lane of a life that touched many in its wake.


Debbie Gibbs, Justin Arias, Cindy & Steve















Another special "Gloria" moment was a missing driver tribute during the Kitty Cackle segment where 7 females received static starts with the 8th car filled with a gorgeous bouquet of roses in the empty seat.








Many thanks to Pete Eastwood for the seat.



The Sisters Gibbs - Stephanie, Cindy & Debby



A not so emotional but certainly a special part of the event was the 2019 Special Recognition Awards hosted by Gibbs.


Tom Flenniken

Widely 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. 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

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.






Gary Read

Read's 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.






Gary Southern

Like 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.






Bubby Wilton

Wilton's 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 boat racing.






Carl Swift

Swift 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."





Joe Smith

Smith 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 in 1973.

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.





Courtesy of



The Jim McLennan Drag Racing Foundation Nitro Revival Welcome Center was ground zero for all things NR3 and home base for Who?





Mike Channing and Roland Leong. Mike was good enough to bring part of his incredible collection of drag racing memorabilia to display. The Champion tent was lined with coats/jackets/shirts that reeked of our history.