race reports

Hangover Nationals at Tucson, Arizona

A cold start

Words by Jim Baker

Photos by Brad Baker

Billed as ‘Hangover Nationals’, the year ending race at Tucson Dragway was certainly a mid-winter experience in 2018. Caught by an unusual Artic cold front, the entire four-day racing event was plagued by cold and freezing’ temperatures. But the racers won the day as they always do.


With four $3,000-plus grand prizes and a host of smaller events, the race action was a nonstop affair. From Curtis Garceau’s Golf Cart win Thursday night to Blu Hayball’s final winning run in Super Pro on Sunday, the yearly festival was action packed.


Bill and Joe Kidd, the ‘Hangover’ promoters noted that there were competitors from far away and three countries vying to win a share of the $14,000-plus prize money. Folks like Gabe Hernandez, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; Blu Hayball, Fort Hall, Idaho; Pat Marbeck, Bismark, North Dakota; and Brody Belsham of Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.


We were pleased to welcome several racers from Albuquerque, NM, and El Paso, TX, whom we met at the Firecracker Nationals in 2017. This list includes Danny Dean, El Paso; James McCall, El Paso; Mike Labbate, and Manuel Blea, Albuquerque.


Friday was cold and wet, Jr. Gambler went to Kade Renoli

Motorcycle was Sean Phipps

All others halted the action and split the prize money


Saturday was completed on Sunday AM

Jr. 6-12 yrs.= Benny Harris

Jr. 13- 17    = Reilly Garceau

Sportsman  = Savannah Kidd

Motorcycle  = Mark Neidech

Pro $3,500  = Brad Hawk

S/Pro $3,500 = Mike Zimmerman

Sunday was much better

Jr. 6= 12 yrs  = Caden Ball

Jr. 13- 17      = Reilly Garceau

Sportsman    = Shawn Morgan

Pro $3,000    = Rick Hozan

S/Pro $3K    = Blu Hayball

In spite of the terrible weather, the pits were full. Certainly they would have been packed with normal Tucson readings of 70 degrees. Joe and brother Bill Kidd worked tirelessly during the event to insure racers were accommodated as much as possible. Matt DeYoung and Jim Hughes kept the track condition very good during near freezing temperatures. The entire Tucson Dragway crew drew praise from the racers we talked to.


Next year’s HANGOVER NATIONALS are already being planned with dates on the 2019 Tucson Dragway schedule. We plan to be there too. 



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