Jim Baker's Then and Now

Just Kidding

The promotion above is from the hard work of a well-known Arizona Racer, Joe Kidd. This December marks the third consecutive time the Kidds have taken their time and effort to promote this event at Tucson Dragway. It is held over the New Year’s weekend, hence the name, ‘Hangover Nationals’.


Joe told us that he looks at the event as a big end of the year party for Southwestern area drag racers. Plus, Tucson, Arizona, has some of the best possible weather at this time of the year!


Joe & Jennifer Kidd


However, do not mistake the Sr. Kidd for being or aspiring to be a big time drag race promoter. The family business, J&J Fabrications, is not about building dragster chassis. They construct buildings, large and small in southern Arizona. Included are huge corporation warehouse/office buildings and many stores like Dollar General, plus a number of area fire stations.

Joe started his successful drag racing career way back in 1996 at popular Speed World Dragway. That venue was closed by Maricopa County for lease violation, leaving Arizona with only two drag strips in the state.


Joe’s brother, Bill Kidd, dates back to the late seventies and continues racing in Super Comp. Bill’s daughter (Joe’s niece) Savannah grabbed headlines recently by winning the High School Championship at the NHRA Division 7 finals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. To keep everyone on their toes, Joe’s daughter, Samantha, drives his multi-time winner Chevy Nova, called the ‘Outlaw’.

Bill’s daughter Savannah just captured the NHRA Division 7 High School title at the big Division race in Las Vegas. We captured this photo of her giant ‘Wally’ perched on top of Uncle Joe’s Hangover Beanie.

Bill Kidd and his colorful Pro Comp dragster. He too is a consistent winner.

Super Pro went to local favorite Joe Kidd Jr. with his Chevy S-10 truck, 7.90 at 113.16 mph. (Brad Baker photos)

Neither Joe nor I could locate a photo of Joe winning his first trophy, but this is a ‘90s era car at SpeedWorld Dragway ‘back in the day’.

The ‘Outlaw Express’, far lane looked like a finalist, but dropped a close run to Stephanie Paz during Fig Speed Big Dollar action at AAA Fontana. From: DragRacingOnline, NHRA’s Bob Johnson photo.


Joe Kidd Jr. of Marana, Ariz., setup a potential father-son final round in the Meziere Pro Shootout when he defeated the all-new COPO Camaro of Justin Lamb, but that chance was negated when Joe Kidd lost to Stephanie Paz. Paz, driving a ’68 Nova out of Cloverdale, Calif., got the final round win as Kidd, Jr., red-lighted.


Drag Out Gambler

Champion Joe Kidd, Marana, AZ – MPH 92.63/ET 6.722

Runner-up Rochelle Smith, Glendale, AZ – MPH 88.66/ET 7.690



Patrick McHenery, Mesa, Ariz., '77 Vega Wagon, 11.102, 140.44 def. Joe Kidd, Marana, Ariz., '73 Nova, 11.087, 118.21


It was an eight-round, eight-win light day for Joe Kidd in the Pro class to take the trophy. The Marana, Ariz., resident (SpeedWorld Dragstrip) drove his ’73 Nova past Sacramento Raceway runner Jake Guadagnolo, Linden, Calif., and his ’68 Nova. Kidd took the early lead with a holeshot starting line advantage and held on for the win.

Another celebration after the races found an excited group at Hot Rods grill, just across I-10 from Tucson Dragway in Vail. Sitting with Joe and friends at the head table is Tucson Dragway manager Matt DeYoung.  It is numerous scenes like this that make the Dragway a popular venue with southland racers!

A family portrait of the racing Kidd family back in 2016 when Joe & Jennifer’s daughter Samantha was still driving (and winning) in Juniors. L/R: Joe Kidd, Jr.; Samantha, Joe, and Jennifer Kidd, plus two friends.


Joe related to me that after several years of fantastic Jr. drag racing, they have now sold their last small dragster.

Joe or Joe, Jr. in action with their dragster at the first HANGOVER NATIONALS.

Joe and his trusty ‘Outlaw’ Nova at the Spring Fling Million a few years ago. Currently Samantha has taken over the driver’s seat of the Nova after retiring from Jr. Dragsters.

Samantha and three of her Jr. Dragster friends at a Halloween meet two years ago.

Didn't make it to the Fling this year, but was able to win the golf cart race in Tucson at the Desert storm shootout Jr race!

This rodeo grounds canopy was erected by J&J Fabrications and although different from complete buildings, holds special meaning for Joe!


Now that you have met Joe Kidd and his family, let’s dissect the latest HANGOVER NATIONALS!  It is a cross between NHRA Pro and Super Pro bracket racing and BIG $$ events like the SPRING FLING MILLION. On a local basis it offers racers an increased prize amount without the expensive entry fees. To do this, Joe has enlisted two of his friends at Tucson Dragway, Gene Igo of AMERICAN WALK IN COOLERS  and Paul Polito of TUCSON ASPHAULT.


The event is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, leaving New Year’s Eve and Day open for racers and fans to celebrate! And you may enter whenever you and your schedule choose. (It is not required to be there all four days).


Don Toia, owner of DON’S SPEED SHOP, takes the lead for the Friday show, sponsoring a Mulligan Style GAMBLER event. Plus bonus ‘Run for the Money’ tournaments will be offered each day, except Test & Tune on Thursday.


There is really something for everyone as $300 each day will go to Sportsmen, Motorcycles, and two classes of Juniors!


If that isn’t enough, the fire pit will be blazing each night plus a Jim Hughes (track owner), special BBQ party, open to all participants on Saturday Night. It’s a BLAST!

Again, Joe stressed that this is his way of giving back to the racing community that has been great for him and his entire family.


Until Next Time, Be On Time




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