COLORFUL CROWD

Hot Rod Deluxe - - Roddin’ Scene -

WAR REENACTORS: With Ron John­son watch­ing, two of his trib­ute fu­el­ers reen­acted a rou­tine that Tommy Ivo (seen in fore­ground) and Chris Karamesine­s ex­pe­ri­enced count­less times in the mid’60s’ match-race wars, be­fore burnouts and elec­tric starters elim­i­nated push-down drama. Driv­ers Kol John­son, Ron’s son, and Mark Mc­cormick then staged and launched the cloned Chi­zler and Barn­stormer, re­spec­tively, be­fore idling down­track. It was a fit­ting fi­nale for both the event and cospon­sor John­son, a ma­jor player in the cackle move­ment.

SPLIT LEVEL: Soon to be south­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s last sur­viv­ing pur­pose-built fa­cil­ity, Barona re­minds lo­cal old­timers of long-gone San Diego County strips at Paradise Mesa and Ra­mona. The eighth-mile fa­cil­ity sits on In­dian land near Lake­side. Clever carv­ing of the sur­round­ing hills cre­ated suf­fi­cient flat spa­ces for pit­ting and watch­ing.

PYROMANIAC: Re­tired fire­fighter Bill Pitts con­tin­ues to put out flames. No­body shoots them higher than the god­fa­ther of cackling, whose re­stored Magicar in­ad­ver­tently in­vented an en­tire ex­hi­bi­tion cat­e­gory by light­ing off in the Famoso Grove in 1993, dur­ing the sec­ond NHRA re­u­nion. Golden Age star Jeep Hamp­shire is back be­hind the but­ter­fly. Pho­tog­ra­pher Bob Mcclurg snapped the shot.

ROYAL FRIEND­SHIP: Rookie pro­moter Steve Gibbs and rookie book­signer Linda Vaughn took a break be­tween au­to­graphs to visit with Linda’s sis­ter, Sheila Ann Franklin, and Cana­dian speed mer­chant Brant “The Kid” Inglis, who was wrench­ing on the same 392 Chrysler that Jack Wil­liams last ran in the Syn­di­cate Scud­e­ria. Look­ing on is Am­ber Greth, the gear­head grand­daugh­ter of Speed Sport leg­end Red Greth. COLORFUL CROWD: Barona’s crowd was small but colorful, con­sist­ing mostly of cackle-car teams and friends show­ing sup­port for Steve Gibbs. The fan in the mid­dle was for­tu­nate to score an of­fi­cial shirt be­fore sou­venir items com­pletely sold out. Enough money was made, ac­cord­ing to Gibbs, to en­sure another Nitro Revival on Sept. 29, 2018. THUN­DER LUNGS: Another rea­son for trekking to the south­ern­most part of the West Coast was a last chance—two chances, ac­tu­ally—to en­joy the Voice of Drag Rac­ing. Jon Lund­berg called the street ac­tion in down­town Es­con­dido the night be­fore Barona’s Nitro Revival. His side­kick here was NHRA Di­vi­sion Seven an­nouncer Mike English.

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