Monday, October 30, 2017

Through the Looking Glass: 2018 Racing Plans

Dawn over a racetrack as team members arrive is a beautiful thing
Sometimes once my racing photography season is over, I can go into a funk and it might take me awhile to break out of it. My fiance is the first person to call me on it when it happens as she knows me better than anyone. God bless her. Anyone else who knows me shouldn't be surprised that I have that kind of emotional reaction when a passionate pursuit of mine comes to an end, even when it's just temporary. If you know me, then you know that I am a black and white kind of guy - I'm either all-in or all-out and there's really not much gray area in between. I throw myself whole-heartedly into any pursuit I am passionate about, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, and when one pursuit runs its course then I am on to the next thing with equal commitment. My family would tell you that I've been that way since I was a little kid. I would run until I dropped and they'd be looking for me only to find me collapsed in a ball on the floor somewhere too tired to move another inch! My fiance sometimes calls me the "Energizer Bunny" as I have continued much the same pattern as an adult, especially where racing is concerned and 18 hour days are normal at the racetrack.

ARCA Champion Austin Theriault
I do have one more photo assignment to wrap up 2017 when I shoot the ARCA Racing Series annual awards banquet in December. It will be good to see everyone again after bidding one another adieu at Kansas. But the "next thing" for me right now is looking ahead to the 2018 season. That's what really helps keep my funk to a minimum as I have to have something to look forward to. I already have plans made to shoot the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona at the end of January for Associated Press; flights are booked and I just need to arrange a rental car. I also have the tentative schedule for ARCA and I am trying to sort out which races I will be able to work for the series so I can continue as its Chief Photographer. I am so happy to be able to do that work for the series as I know we provide a valuable service for ARCA and its teams at every race event. It's been fun to work with Doc Hunter, Rich Corbett and most recently, with Doug Patterson at the races so we can provide more thorough coverage. We got some excellent and supportive feedback from the ARCA brass at Kansas which I was thrilled to receive, so it's important that we continue to do a good job as the series enters its 66th season in 2018.

Dawn at Indianapolis is a special experience
I also anticipate that I will work the Indycar races at Indianapolis next May for the French media company Vision Sport Agency again. I felt like I was pretty successful this year elevating awareness of their brand with key media people at IMS and it will be interesting to see how much we can build on that for 2018 at the Grand Prix and then the 102nd Indy 500. I don't know if I will be able to match the 19 race event weekends I was fortunate enough to experience this year as a photographer but I know it will be close. I still have to compile my "best of" photos for this year and I haven't decided whether to create a video from stills or just do a new gallery of the best individual images from all the series I've covered this year, but I know the decision will come in due time. Meanwhile I have an application in the works which I hope will take me back to Europe for Le Mans in 2018. I am sure getting the year started off the right way with sports cars racing at Daytona in January, which will  include Fernando Alonso as he prepares to take on Le Mans next June, and the debut of the Penske Acura program, so I know it is going to be an exciting year.

I still have to decide which ARCA races I can work next season as well, so in the meantime, if you know anyone who needs photography services and is willing to pay market rate, then please send them my way. Until next time I will leave you with some of my photos from the 2017 ARCA season finale at Kansas where Michael Self got his first series win. I'll have more soon so come on back!

Michael Self celebrates after winning at Kansas
Austin Theriault finally had a bad race in his championship season after something broke and put him into the wall
Michael Self has had one of the best looking cars at each race he's run this year
The race was decided on a late restart as a gaggle of cars fought for position going into Turn 1

No comments: