Tuesday, April 16, 2013
This past weekend, my Dad had the opportunity to drive a Cup Car at Atlanta Motor Speedway. My Mom purchased the NASCAR Experience for him as a present.
My Dad is a life long NASCAR fan and was beyond exited to drive a car. He drove seven laps and his fastest lap was 153 mph. Below are some of my images from the day.
My favorite is the last shot, which is of my Dad going fast on the front stretch. It was really special to be there to take the shot.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
If you are new to auto racing, let me start with my conclusion. In motorsports, it is dangerous for the spectators as well as the participants. It always has been, always will be.
Let’s think about this for a moment. Cars weighing several thousand pounds screaming around a fixed track at 190 mile per hour with thousands of people surrounding the track. This is dangerous for fans regardless of the safety measures in place. If you cannot accept this, you should watch the race on television.
Yesterday, I watched the scary crash at the end of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. I sincerely hope all of those involved recover quickly. At the same time, I am somewhat dismayed that people are surprised when incidents like these happen.
When a fatality occurs in racing it is a horrible event. I suspect in the coming days, there will be discussions in the media regarding racing safety. This occurs each time a fatality happens in racing of either a driver or spectator. It has happened before. The most horrific (in my opinion) is the 1955 crash at Le Mans, which killed over 80 spectators when a Mercedes-Benz flew into the crowd in a fiery wreck.
Any time human beings travel at high speeds serious injury or death can occur. We may stand behind fences and barricades; however, the risk is still there. Improvements in safety in the last 50 years have greatly reduced the dangers in racing for drivers and fans. However, it is foolish to assume we can remove all risk from motorsports.
Keep in mind it is also be potentially dangerous to ride a bike or jog on the road or play sports like football or baseball. You take on a certain amount of risk when you leave your house for any reason.
What you the racing fan must decide is are you willing to take a small yet significant amount of risk to attend a motorsports event in person. The answer for many including me is yes. As a fan and motorsports photographer, I have found myself very close to the track many times. At the 2010 Petit Le Mans, I had media credentials (and the closer access that goes with it) and I had to think about my personal safety. In the image below, I had my back to the on coming cars in order to get the shot. In the end, I did not spend much time in this location because I was uncomfortable and I do not make my living as a motorsports photographer. I chose to move on.
The Choice Is Yours
Attending a race is a special. In fact, it is much different than watching on television. You can feel the thunder of cars passing by and even smell the exhaust if you can get close enough. You also have the benefit of being with thousands of other enthusiasts that share your passion. However, to have this experience you take on some risk. Only you can decide if the risk is worth it or not.