June 26, 2011

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Toyota/Save Mart 350

Left Emeryville at 5am for Infineon Raceway to shoot the NASCAR Spring Cup Series: Toyota/Save Mart 350.

I had to be there by 9am for the course safety meeting for photographers, to let us know where we can and cannot shoot from, and hand out orange flags to wear to identify us as approved media. Thankfully my new long sleeve UVB protection shirt was white, because a man in a red shirt was told he needed to change, because it was a flag race, and the drivers might mistake him along the course as a red flag!

I finished a can of coke before 8am and was ready to go. Also trying out my new camelback backpack, which was a lifesaver! I roamed around the course which was exciting because Infineon is a road course not a circular course which allows more interesting photos. Turns out I move a lot slower than the cars and was struggling making the rounds up the hills. But what a beautiful setting!

I was SUPER thankful to have Jason Watson and Shannon Thoke give me some pointers. Jason had been shooting Friday, Saturday AND Sunday, and provided me with useful tips, IPTC info and code replacements for all the drivers! Also met some other regular auto racing photographers who were kind and helpful to a newbie like me. I had been to Infineon as a fan, but never as a photographer.

I was excited to see Jeff Gordon. 707 local childhood hero I remember being on all the soda machine's as a kid.

And also the king of NASCAR Richard Petty.

Super happy for Kurt Busch #22 who picked up the win, both his first of the season and his first road course win!

I tried to have fun panning, with some success.

I also got a chuckle, during a caution lap, when Marcos Ambrose, kept his hand out the window, like he's just chillin.

Being in this setting, and seeing this lil friendly fellow along the course, just made me feel like I was in an un-animated Cars movie... and now I can't wait to watch Disney Pixar Cars again and see Cars 2!! I also want to see Talladega Nights again. Haha =)

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