When racers and fans got to Tucson Dragway on Friday or Saturday they were greeted by this striking new paint job on the track’s timing tower. The painting was completed just in time for the Reunion with ‘hands on’ help from new track owner Jim Hughes.


It is difficult to relate the scene of nearly 100 Nostalgia and Pioneer cars that were on exhibit during the crowded event. Showmanship was certainly on display as all the cars from ‘yesteryear’ were staged and ‘cackled’ in two long rows in front of the roaring crowd.

Al Eshenbaugh drove the restored Steiniger & Eshenbaugh AA/FD in the parade. The team started racing at Arizona tracks in the late ‘50s and at one point won eight straight Top Eliminator titles at Beeline Dragway!  Al still challenges the record books, with a blown 4cyl. streamliner at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The all Nostalgia racing program was topped by Sheldon Lofgreen driving the yellow turbocharged Fuel Altered. The Western Fuel Altereds paid tribute to the monthly Fuel Altereds shows during the ‘70s at the old Tucson Dragway.

These final two shots of Carl Grimes’ Buick-powered Fiat, and Arizona Racing News properly describe the ‘hot’ Arizona drag racing scene which these Reunions are all about. Enlarge and read these captions carefully!


Looking forward to 2018, as stated above, Steve Barcak will host the next Phoenix Drag Reunion on Feb. 17-18, while Bill Goosic plans the next Reunion on March 19-20 at Baer Brakes location in Glendale, and the Tucson Dragway Nostalgia race will take place May 4-5, 2018.


Until Next Time, Be On Time! 

Goosic’s reunion featured Mark Elerby’s 1960 Vette which was sponsored by Goosic Speed Center competitor Rundles Speed Goodies of nearby Tempe. As a young college student at ASU I became friends with Joe Rundle, ‘back in the day’. I remember riding to Central Avenue with Joe in his chopped top Model A Ford Truck. During action in the Park Central shopping center lot across from Bob’s Big Boy, Joe shattered the La Salle transmission and we waited for two hours to get towed back to Tempe.

Arizona has a large selection of nostalgia cars which are taken to events like the Goosic’s Arizona Racers Reunion. Shown above is the original Stieneggar & Eshenbaugh Top Fuel car built with a Scotty Fenn K-88 chassis in the early ‘60s. The antique 1960 style dragster was restored to prime condition and is shown throughout the southland by Paul Henderson. The yellow ’37 Chevy in the background is Alan Mitchell who was in both Tucson and Phoenix reunions.

Bill Goosic’s ARIZONA RACERS REUNION was hosted by Chris Thomson of BAER BRAKES, at their huge Glendale location, and not at a drag strip. Shown above is the entire Goosic family of drag racing; Bill, brothers Jim & Tom, sister Debbie, plus mom Velma.

Paula Roth, Dan Owens, Walter Nash, and Red Greth organized the Pre Party for the Tucson Reunion, as well as the Main Event on Saturday night. They orchestrated the installation of Steve Gibbs as Grand Marshal on Thursday evening.

The Party was called to order by ‘Thunder Lungs’, Jon Lundberg caught chatting with Cindi Gibbs McCulloch and a fan.

A lot of Arizona Drag Racing history had already been made by the time this photo of #888 was taken. Earlier versions, all with the same number, were not as pretty, but shared the Goosic Brothers’ (Dick and Everett) passion for T Bucket Roadsters and indeed Flathead Ford engines.


Below: The last surviving member of the original Goosic Brothers Racing Team, Everett’s wife Thelma, was inducted into the Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame as part of festivities May 6, 2017.

Bill Goosic’s ARIZONA RACERS REUNION was hosted by Chris Thomson of BAER BRAKES, at their huge Glendale location, and not at a drag strip. Shown above is the entire Goosic family of drag racing; Bill, brothers Jim & Tom, sister Debbie, plus mom Velma.

A true renaissance car is the fully restored LIL OL WHINE MAKER, an original Dodge Funny Car from the mid-sixties. It is owned by Ed Phillips and was shown at Baer Brakes by Ed and original creator Eddie Pauling.

With Arizona’s mild climate, it has become hot spot for collectors who want to keep and exhibit cars from the past. Such is the case of the Seevers-Wiesner-Owens AA/Gas, ‘33 Willys Coup. Powered by a period-perfect blown Olds engine, the car attends virtually every Nostalgia event we have been to lately.


Jim Baker's Then and Now


Nowhere this writer has lived or visited has the Nostalgia connection to drag racings beginnings as does the southwest state of Arizona! Not Las Vegas, not Fontana; only Bakersfield and, yes, Eagle Field for all of California.


In Arizona, from Arizona Raceway (Speed World) which is unfortunately closed, to Wild Horse Pass, and certainly Tucson Dragway, memories of original and early times drag racing are kept vividly alive.

Who can forget the ‘flag’ starts which were part of the festivities during NHRA Nostalgia Races at Speedworld before it was forced to close.

While we are on the subject in Phoenix, the next PHOENIX DRAG REUNION is slated for February 17-18, 2018 with PONTIAC HEAVEN following on Sunday.  Without question the most well-known Arizona drag racing car is the Speed Sport Special roadster built by Red Greth and Lyle Fisher and tuned by Don Maynard. The orange car was not only a champion at many locations, it was also the first successful rear-motor car in drag racing. Don Garlits’ rear motor fuel dragster of 1971 came out 14 years after Lyle Fisher drove the Speed Sport Roadster to titles at places like Cordova’s World Series of Drag Racing and the Bakersfield March Meet.


Below is a pic from 1960, which looks the same as the replica and original at the recent Tucson Dragway Reunion.

This immaculate 1932 Ford 3 window coupe was one of the outstanding Show Cars at a recent Steve Barcak Reunion. Another Car Show is planned for Feb. 17 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.


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