Monday, May 14, 2012

Indy 500 Practice Photos - Day 3

Ryan Hunter-Reay
On a beautiful day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for practice, the Andretti Autosport team continues to be near the head of the pack and the young lions of the IZOD  Indycar Series are making plenty of noise. Andretti's team had three of the top five speeds today with Ryan Hunter-Reay second overall, Marco Andretti third and Sebastian Saavedra fifth quick. Another Andretti driver was in 10th - James Hinchcliffe who I caught doing major consulting with RHR leaning into the cockpit. Rookie Josef Newgarden continues to set the pace with the first lap over 222 mph on this the third day of practice. I was only able to get out to the Speedway for less than two hours today but it was a very productive day for no more time that I had to work with. I spent time looking for people and found them. The most interesting thing I overheard today was Roger Penske saying to his team over their radio was "we're having the same problem with all three cars." I don't know what problem they are having but it must be serious as Ryan Briscoe, Helio Castroneves and Will Power were back in 15th, 16th and 17th positions today. Maybe they were just work on race day setups...

This is my 350th blog post and I am dedicating it to a fellow photographer who passed away this weekend on Opening Day:  Keith Pritchard. I always considered Keith a friend and mentor as he was someone who helped me time after time when I was first starting out as a racing photographer. We went on many road trips together - Toronto, Michigan, Columbus - and I always knew I could find him in his favorite spot, shooting in Turn 1 every May. Sadly it was not to be this year and even though we all have known of physical troubles he has had the last few years, it was still a shock to hear that he had reached the finish line. His pictures of Danny Sullivan's "Spin and Win" in 1985 made Sports Illustrated that year, and were used again in last year's commemorative Indy 500 issue that SI put out with the Speedway's program. Gone but not forgotten. Keith ran a helluva race. He was always an AJ Foyt fan and I'll never forget the stories he told about AJ's injuries at Road America which he was there to shoot for the Indianapolis Star. And that would be just one of many racing stories he could tell. Rest in peace friend. My prayers go out to his family and friends - we've lost another friend. The slideshow which follows is in Keith's honor.
Marco Andretti
Sebastian Saavedra
James Hinchliffe - Mr. Mayor @Hinchtown

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