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THE WES BUCK SHOW #1 – “Big Daddy” Don Garlits

In the first episode of DRAG ILLUSTRATED’s new longform interview video podcast The Wes Buck Show, host and DI Editor-in-Chief Wes Buck sits down for a near two-hour long, candid, wide-ranging conversation with the one-and-only “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. Garlits, born January 14th, 1932, in Tampa, Florida, is one of the most accomplished and recognizable drag racers of all time and one of the sport’s true innovative masterminds. 


Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing – and International Drag Racing

Don Garlits on Facebook


  • The cars are the stars [6:00]
  • When Don Garlits became “Big Daddy” [18:28]
  • The expense of modern drag racing [26:15]
  • Engine maintenance [37:49]
  • Racing against Shirley Muldowney and Tommy Ivo [39:32]
  • Match race madness [41:19]
  • The first-ever burnout [50:00]
  • Wally Parks and the 1972 NHRA U.S. Nationals [53:34]
  • Czar of Top Fuel [55:20]
  • No rules nitro [57:43]
  • Aliens, UFOs and space travel [1:05:00]
  • We did it for love [1:33:00]
  • Lion’s explosion, slingshots and why a rear-engine dragster “would never work” [1:40:00]
  • 323MPH [1:45:00]
  • Electric drag racing [1:54:03]

This podcast is brought to you by Aeromotive Fuel Systems. Aeromotive is the by-product from generations of blood, sweat and tears that has shaped their knowledge and experience. Their commitment to develop the pinnacle of performance products comes from our history, our real world experiences and our passion. That’s why you will see them at the track, driving their cars, testing their products, learning from their peers and living the industry they love every bit as much as I do.


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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.