Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Daytona Here I Come

Is winter over yet?
I will be living on Daytona time for the next four days as I finally get to make the trek to the "World Center of Racing" for the ARCA race weekend. I say "finally" because it seems like it's been forever since my last race, which was in Kansas last October. I am "finally" getting to work the ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway since it will be my first time shooting for the series at the home of NASCAR. It is not my first race at Daytona by any means as I shot my first Daytona 500 in 2011 and followed that up in 2012 and 2014. Plus I've worked the Rolex 24 Hours three times since 2014, so I feel like I know my way around down there a little bit although I'm sure it will be different with ARCA in some ways. In any case, I am happy to get out of Indianapolis for a few days, away from our crappy February weather and get back to my happy place, which right now would be just about any racetrack. Why not Daytona? I think I could do this every year.

This is going to be a big year for myself and for ARCA. I am writing this post in the Indianapolis airport and am now just 13 days away from scheduled lung surgery to remove a spot in my right lung which the doctors say is cancerous. My fiance and her brother have each had some nasty health news in the last couple of weeks so we are all reeling from these revelations so having a break now is very timely. This weekend will be the first ARCA race under NASCAR ownership of ARCA so it's a chance to be seen and to meet more NASCAR personnel on their turf. I'd like to keep doing this job for a long time, so getting in a solid weekend of photography and networking will help me get through the surgery and recovery with something else to look forward to. I will probably miss the race in March at Pensacola but should be good to go for all the rest of the season starting with Salem Speedway in mid-April. I still don't know what I will be doing for the Indy 500 in May but I'm sure something will get worked out, even if it is just shooting on race day, which looks likely due to my ARCA commitments. That will seem strange but I have to work where the work is and right now that's in the ARCA Series and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Boiler Up! Hammer Down!
As they say, "it's good work if you can get it" so I can't take that for granted. I have no real idea what the recovery from this surgery will be like but I think it will go well, given my overall physical condition which is excellent. Last Friday I passed the three year mark tobacco free so that's also in my favor. We never know what the future holds and I have worked very hard the last dozen years or so to get to this point with my photography so I am excited to build on that this year. Over the winter I got to photography a Purdue football bowl game and a Purdue men's home basketball game so I know the opportunities will come if I put myself out there. That's what I've been trying to do on a limited budget (I am a teacher after all) so any work that pays is good work! I gave up basketball officiating this winter to open up time for other activities which has worked out well, except for this surgery thing which I hope isn't a setback.

But if it is, then it's just a setup for a comeback and I am ready. Thanks for reading. See you at a race somewhere soon. Look me up - I'll take your picture!

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