Signature Profiles
Doug Vancil
         © 2000 Dwight Drum

Top Fuel Harley

NAME: Doug Vancil DOB: 10/21/66 HOME TOWN: Albuquerque, New Mexico

When I (Dwight) called John Storace of Weekend Frames to speak with Doug Vancil, my first impression of Doug was that his voice was so youthful, I expected him to be in his early twenties not early thirties. He may not be as youthful as I thought, but Doug's vigorous responses to my questions indicated to me that he is talented. Doug also drives vehicles that were built just after he was born…Chevy muscle cars…cars that had to wait for a baby to grow up to go somewhere fast…Tap into this active line as we chat about what makes Doug Vancil run…and run so well.

Do you have a nickname?

"No. Not really."

Who are your Heroes?

"I don't know…McClure and Ray Price."

What are (or have been) your scariest moments?

"I broke a rod doing a six ninety at two hundred mph in Norwalk Ohio. That oiled down the back tire. It was real fun stopping. I smoked the front tire in the stopping process."

Do you work out?

"Not lately. I was a mechanic for Caterpillar machines."

Do you have a special diet?

"I try not to eat too much fat stuff. I can't even get good milk any more."

What mental routine prepares you for each run?

"I'm always just trying to repeat…do the same thing and try to be consistent."

Do you have time for a hobby?

"Not really."

Many motorcyclists ride to unravel, what do you do to unwind?

"I have a street bike, My wife Julie and I ride a Harley Sportster, and a Heritage soft tail. We went to Sturgis, South Dakota during the day."

What personal quality (one trait) would you want (to be admired for?

"I don't know. I never thought about it."

What's most important? 1.Fame 2.Money 3.Thrill/fun 4.Winning

"Winning and fun. If it's not fun, there's not much point in doing it. I was the youngest guy to own and run a top fuel Harley before I began riding for Vance and Hines…And I set the 98 world record."

Are you happy?

"I think so.

What could make you happier?

"To run six thirties."

If you could change one thing about motorcycle drag racing, what would it be?

"I 'd like to have seen the sport become a little more popular sooner. Like McClure and Ray Price. It's almost their time to not do it anymore…but they'll probably have a team."

When driving a car, do you always wear a seatbelt? 1. Yes. 2. No. 3. If yes, really?

"Sometimes. Not always. When I drive a 69 model or newer, I do. Now I drive a 67 Chevy truck with a 468…I also have a 69 Impala Super Sport, 427, 4 speed."

When asleep do you ever dream you're riding a motorcycle?


When not wearing leathers or racing garb, what's your choice for clothing?

"Levi's, T-shirt, tennis shoes."

Name one other sport, you believe you could excel at?"


What does 185 miles an hour on a motorcycle feel like?

"One eighty feels like an eighth mile. It seems like you going so fast everything feels like slow motion."

If you could make one part of your body stronger, what part would that be?


When frustrated. What do you do first? 1.Erupt 2.Withdraw 3. Try to be cool.

"I try to be cool…think about it."

Do you have a full-time occupation?

"I'm a mechanic for Caterpillar, but I'm racing full time now. This week I'm working with John at Weekend Frames."

Can you describe your best run?

"It was real smooth, a 6.56 at Darlington."

Additional Comments?

"I can't really think of anything."

Doug Vancil's enthusiasm for racing rushes through a phone line, so without talking to Doug in person, I'm nearly positive that his energy level is many calories above average. (John Storace also verified this by relating to us that Doug's recent labor at Weekend frame was like a whirlwind…John is now caught up.) When I searched for one word to describe him, one burst into my mind…Gary agrees…Doug Vancil is…


photo by Charlie Brewton