The Hand You’re Dealt…


Saavedra 2Sebastien Saavedra

Often…in the past…while working at a racetrack, particularly Indianapolis  and Daytona, I would lament the fact that I could not seem to ‘finagle’ my way into obtaining a ‘photo vest’.  These are the vests that some photographers wear to show their ‘official’ status and gives them access to  vantage points that no one else can get to.  At the Grand Prix I asked one more time, but was told unequivocally that unless one was sanctioned by a ‘legitimate’ publication…the media…vests were not to be handed out…the fact that I was part of a racing ‘team’ made no difference.  So, this time I took the approach of the old saying to “ with the hand you are dealt”…

DSC_0798-EditJack Hawksworth

I searched the available spots that didn’t cover the track with fencing and decided I would work those spots until I got what I came for.  I found one particular point with an opening that was approximately 20 feet across….what’s that…a little over 6 meters?   I could follow the car’s approach through the fence (with auto-focus turned off) and then click off a 3 shot burst before the 200 mph ‘flash’ was again behind the fencing and on its way.  Needless to say, it took quite a bit off experimentation and grumbling and re-timing…and deleting… until I finally settled on manually focusing on the spot on the track where the car best filled my frame.  Here’s an example of the ‘approach’.


You can see that autofocus would have assumed the wall was the subject and then there would have been empty track before the focus caught up with the actual subject.

The opening picture of Sebastion Saavedra’s #17 car on qualifying day.  He won the ‘pole position’ for the standing start.


There would be no shots of his car from the race, as you can see here.   I would not post this video if anyone had been hurt, but miraculously it was just a bad day for some.  I was busy watching the #98 which had also started on the first row, until I saw everyone turn to the start line and then I saw tires, etc, flying everywhere.  (This is why ‘the boss’ always suggests that I cover practices and qualifying because you never know what might happen!)


Munoz was the first to strike and his car ended up coasting on 3 wheels to this spot, about 200 yards down the straightaway.



And the winner of the Inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix….

DSC_0170-EditSimon Pagenaud

One other thing…

This is Colton Herta’s #98 UCF2000 car. The UCF2000 is sort of a precursor to the Indy series…minor leagues, in a way.  Due to a technical malfunction Colton was forced to start at the rear of the pack but managed to make his way to a #5 finish and had the fastest lap time.  The interesting thing about this is Colton is the only Indy-car sanctioned event driver born in this century!  He’s 14!!!  I would predict that his name will be mentioned many times in racing’s future!


Colton Herta





~ by rkpowers on June 1, 2014.

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