Fairborn drag racer Dean Karns Jr. shares the same nickname with his dad (Disco), he wore a pink suit — his favorite color — to his wedding on July 7, 2007 (the lucky date of 7-7-07) and often serves as the guniea pig (his words) for wife Jackie’s hairstyle experiments as documented on his Facebook page. And topping out on a quarter-mile in 6.14 seconds at 226 mph — with no parachute, no less — the owner of The Tint King in Fairborn loves life in the fast lane.
Name: Dean Karns Jr.
Tracks: Kil-Kare, Tri-State and Edgewater dragways
Division: Blown Alcohol Dragster
Years racing: 7 years
Nickname: “They used to call my dad Disco because he danced in the 1960s and ’70s. He was actually a real good dancer. I won the world championship for hydraulic car dancing in 1996 and 1997 and the owner of Lowrider magazine always called me Disco Dean because I danced my car so well.”
So how are you on a real dance floor?: “Ah, I hold my own. The cabbage patch is my favorite move.”
Most embarrassing racing moment: “I really don’t have any. I’m not embarrassed about anything that happens because I’m out there doing it. ... You have to learn by mistakes and the only way you can get better is by correcting mistakes.”
Favorite restaurant: “Anything Mexican. I’ll tell you a great restaurant nobody knows about is called Taqueria Mixteca.
It’s on Third Street in Dayton ... They have the best absolute authentic Mexican food. I always get the Carne Asada tacos.”
Favorite driver: “I like to root for the underdog. Jim Head is one of my favorite drivers, and of course my dad.”
Best thing about racing: “I love the feeling it gives you. You’re in complete control ... The car can’t do anything without you. You’re in complete control of your destiny.”
Favorite childhood memory: “Spending time with my buddy Gabe. He was like my brother and he died early. Spending any time with him was a fond memory.”
How about those hairstyles?: “My wife went to the Paul Mitchell Academy ... I’m always willing to be a guinea pig. I’ve worn it all from Flock of Seagulls to Don Eagle.”