Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Racing is Life - Everything Else is Just Waiting"

Anyone that enjoys racing movies knows this quote from the late Steve McQueen in "LeMans". I can definitely relate.

I can't even begin to guess how many races I've been to over the years. I do know that if you put all the days I've spent at Indy back-to-back, it would be in excess of 14 months. So I guess racing has been life for me in many respects. As I've been going back through my photo collection for post material like this shot of Keke Rosberg at Detroit in 1984, so many memories have come flooding back to me. Some of them still give me goosebumps even now.

Many of the pix I've attached to this post fall into that category. Awesome events at Michigan International Speedway. Dale Earnhardt in a Busch car at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Shooting in the pits at the Indy 500. Being up close with legends like Gordon Johncock or Rick Mears at Indy. Foyt waving to friends in his Turn 2 suite at Indy after qualifying. Nelson Piquet pondering his lone attempt at Indy, only to be horribly injured in a Turn 4 crash, never to return.

There's something special about being close to the track, peeking over the top of my camera, waiting to react to the slightest bobble, watching the right front tire at Indy to see if it's riding up out of the groove. There have been times during races when shooting becomes effortless and instinctive, where I've tapped into the energy of the moment - entered the same "zone" that athletes talk about when concentration is at its highest. It's only happened to me a couple of times and by the time I realize I'm there it's over. The Indy 500 in 1992 was one of those times - the "Ice Race" - when it was freezing cold and there were crashes galore for the first half of the race on almost every restart due to cold tires. Everything I shot that day was spot on, the cars went by in slow motion, the air was crystal clear and electric at the same time... I could go on and on.

Anyway, what good are a bunch of pictures stuffed in a photo album if no one sees them? That's why I'm here again this evening. Enjoy! Talk soon!

Racing is Life

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