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.

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July Bounty Race Coverage

Well, the heat of summer has set in and it was apparent at the July Bounty Race. While the temperatures were not unbearable, the racer count was a bit low in the heads up street classes, which is normal for the dead-of-summer months. However, a strong turnout of index racers came to I-40 Dragway, gunning for a $2,000 winner’s purse. Throughout the night, the action grew more intense, and it culminated with a series of great final round passes.

July 2012 Bounty Race

Todd Lyle’s nitrous big block Camaro is a consistent contender in the Pro Street class. One of the few nitrous combinations in the class, Todd’s car rarely skips a beat.

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The End of an Era…Almost

Rumors have been swirling about the future of Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip, and in all honesty, it doesn’t look too promising. For the past 17 years, Steve Longley has leased the track, and he’s been in control of operations, but this is his final year at the helm. According to the rumors, the Optimist Club is taking over operations, and plans to only run bracket races on Saturdays. No heads up races and no test and tune nights. This is not a good sign. My dad said he remembers when the Optimist Club tried to operate the track in the ’80s and it nearly went under. This time, the track isn’t carrying nearly as much momentum as it had in the ’80s, so a change in management might just cripple it to the point of closing the doors. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Byrd Photo

Kind of an eerie photo from atop the hill at Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip. Sad times.

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The Brockdell Bullet!

Last fall, I shot Marcus Wooden’s ’64 Chevy II for Super Chevy magazine, and the feature came out in the August 2011 issue. I enjoy watching Marcus’ Nova run at the local Bounty Race heads up events, competing in the Cheap Street class. This class is designed for stock suspension cars, running on 28×10.5-inch tires, with designated weights for small block and big block combinations. This car is one of the heavy hitters in the class, and it really wasn’t too long ago that it was a simple street car. It’s a cool car and Marcus is a super nice guy. Here’s a link to the feature…

Life of a Car Guy

I’m a car guy that has a thing for photography and writing. And when I say that I’m a car guy, I don’t simply mean that “I like cars”, I’m saying that cars are my life. Aside from activities to keep my wife from killing me, everything I do revolves around cars, whether it’s going to the drag strip, attending a local car show or wrenching on one of my many seemingly endless projects. My name is Tommy Lee Byrd, and I do photography and writing for a living. Obviously, not all of my experiences make it to print….this is where those stories will live, creating a diary of a car guy’s life. I stay  busy with working a regular job and doing all of my freelance work on the side, so this blog will be filled with my experiences around my hometown of Dayton, Tennessee, as well as stuff on the road. Since this is my first blog, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite photographs I’ve taken…not the best picture I’ve taken, but one of my favorites.

Marcus Wooden's 1964 Chevy II, which competes locally in the Bounty Race heads up drag racing series. The car runs 5.50's in the eighth mile thanks to a nitrous-fed small block Chevy.


Tommy Lee