And it begins…

It was only a couple months ago that my 2012 drag racing season came to a close. Yesterday, it cranked back up with the first test and tune of the year, held at Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip. Unfortunately, the turnout was weak, but it worked out well for my friend Josh, who made numerous passes in his turbo Maverick. The questionable weather, and the big race in Valdosta put a damper on the turnout, but it was a great chance to get out for the first time in a while. Check out my full gallery of pictures here: http://byrdphoto.smugmug.com/Cars/Brainerd/Brainerd-Opening-Day-2013

Brainerd Drag Strip Test 2013 Click HERE for more!

Swap ‘N Shop

I love swap meets. Big or small, swap meets give me a chance to see some cool stuff, and possibly buy it if the price is right. My dad raised me to go after a good deal, so I’ve been going to swap meets with him for as long as I can remember. From the good ol’ days at the Corvette Expo (when it actually had a great swap meet) to our most recent adventures, my dad and I enjoy hunting down a good deal.

Nashville Swap Meet Click HERE for more pictures!

Best of 2012: Drag Racing

Alright, I’m running behind on this stuff, but here we go! My favorite drag racing photos of 2012!

Mustang Wheelstand

Small block, stock suspension car doing its thing. Shot at the Bounty Race at I-40 Dragway.

Click HERE for more pictures!

2012 Highlights from my Dad’s Shop

My dad has done paint and body work for about 40 years, so he’s probably painted 10,000 cars in his career. From quickie jobs to full on restorations, he’s done it all, and continues to turn out great work on a regular basis. I thought I’d put together a post about his 2012 build highlights to show off some of his (and Wally Smith’s) handiwork. Check it out.

1959 El Camino

My dad’s longtime friend, Bill Sims is the owner of this ’59 El Camino. He’s owned it for many years, but my dad freshened it up this fall.


Click HERE for more pictures!

Where I’ve Been, Corvette Edition

So, I listed off all those events in my previous post and you may be wonder how many of those events were for work and how many were for pleasure. To be perfectly honest, I see every one of those events as work. It’s hard for me to differentiate the two, which has its ups and has its downs. Either way, 2012 was a special year for me, because I drove the Corvette more than ever and had a great time doing it. The car is in need of several repairs and upgrades, but hey, that’s what this stuff is all about. Here’s where the Corvette has gone this year…

1964 Corvette coupe hot rod

The first show of the year was just down the road in Graysville, TN. Here, my car is parked with Bill Sims’ roadster, which had just been finished at my dad’s shop.


Click HERE for more!

My kind of Black Friday!

Don’t worry, this post isn’t about shopping. It’s about my favorite color to shoot–black! I’ve heard a lot of photographers complain about black cars, but I thoroughly enjoy shooting them, especially when the conditions are right. Lighting has to be precise to get the right look, but when you nail it….good stuff happens.

Black 1955 Chevy 150 Sedan Sleeper

Ernie Lankford’s ’55 Chevy sets the standard for the black-on-black-on-black look. FYI, it’s a big block, four-speed car.

Click HERE for more pictures!

Test and Tune Action at Brainerd

As if I already didn’t have enough to do, I decided to go to Brainerd Drag Strip a couple of Fridays ago. I had not yet tested the G8 GT after the new exhaust, so it was a good chance to do so, since the temperatures were cool. I heard a lot of other folks were going to be testing, so I figured I could go shoot a few pictures, test the car and shoot the bull.

Dodge Viper Drag Racing

Usually, when you see Dodge Vipers at the drag strip, they spin the tires and generally perform poorly. This one, however, hooked pretty good and ran 7′s in the eighth mile.

Click HERE for more pictures!

Cool Videos

In addition to photography, I like to have video footage from many of the drag racing events I attend, so I’ve accumulated quite a collection over the past few years. My wife generally handles the video camera, but I’ve been toying with the video stuff on my Nikon D7000 camera, so I’ll occasionally get a good one and post it up. We have a YouTube channel with more than 430 videos, so there is enough stuff to keep you busy for a few minutes. Anyway, just figured I’d post up a couple of my favorite videos and drop a link to our YouTube Channel…check it out!

Click HERE to see more videos!

Lost Drag Strips Book

A couple years ago, I wrote my first book, entitled Street Sleepers. It was published by CarTech Books and it’s widely available through many book stores, both online and in stores. You can click here to find out more about it. Soon after finishing the sleeper book, I decided to pitch a few more ideas to CarTech and see what might be the next book in my future. I knew that a book about abandoned drag strips would be interesting, from the angle of the reader and from my perspective.

Lost Drag Strips book by Tommy Lee Byrd

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover…click the photo to view the Amazon product page and pre-order your copy now!

Click HERE for more!