August 2005: NASCAR
A day at the racetrack…my first time and probably the best opportunity I could have ever had going to the races. I’m not a race fan, but after Sunday I just might make going to the track an annual event! Now that doesn’t mean you’ll catch me sporting a number on the back of my car to support a driver…but I can see what all the fuss is about. I should say that the most NASCAR I have watched has been when I watched Days of Thunder and that isn’t saying much. Sure I watched it on TV and I heard some of the driver’s names and I have heard stories about MIS [Michigan International Speedway], but I was in for a treat.
It was the last race of the season for MIS and I was there to hopefully enjoy my Sunday afternoon, but I had a job to do first. Our client is a major sponsor for 2004 rookie of the year Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield. Side note: Jeremy happened to win the race on Sunday so it was a great day for team Dodge! The client had scheduled a meet-n-great with Kasey and I was there to shoot pictures of their event…in the suites on Pit Road!
Meeting Kasey, I was super impressed with his overly-humble attitude and how polite he was to everyone. Later on in the day while shooting pictures of the drivers walking out to their cars, I saw Kasey walk back towards the garage to sign a few autographs and hug a few kids. There were no cameras on him (other than mine) and only a few witnesses who all said “what a class act.” I hope fame doesn’t change him…and I don’t think it will.
Walking through “Pit Road” before the race and being 20 feet away from the cars while separated by glass during the race I felt as if TV was second rate to my view. Tires tossed, air wrenches squeaking and fuel fumes rising high…in my face.
I was in the heart of things. I could feel the thunder of the engines in my chest. My ears on fire from the noise. The smell of fuel mixed with burnt rubber wrinkling my nose. My eyes opened wide tracking every car I could see going 190 miles per hour. My arms scrunched tight to hold the camera steady…my finger ready to click away. I was there. I hope looking at the pictures you feel like you were there with me. :)
After 700+ pictures…123 of the best shots from the day are best viewed as a set (photo album). They are grouped together with shots of the pits, drivers, cars solo, cars groups, pre race, black & white and the race finish. Comments with driver names and information will come soon…but the pictures are worth it.