Here are some highlights from day one of NHRA in Charlotte. It was a good day for photos despite zMax Dragway being one of the harder tracks to shoot at because of the backlit sunlight on the track.
Charlotte begins the six race Countdown to the Championship where the top 10 drivers in the pro classes have their points reset and everyone has a legitimate shot at the big golden Wally.
Below, the NHRA championship trophy sits on display prior to the first round of pro qualifying at zMax Dragway in Concord, NC.
Nikon D800, 70-200mm, 250iso, f4, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority
During the pro stock motorcycle Countdown to the Championship group shot I would get the below shot of Hector Arana Sr jokingly trying to knock out Andrew Hines with his plaque.
Nikon D800, 24-70mm, 200iso, f6.3, 1/500th, Aperture Priority
A few minutes later Hines would be assisted by a crew member with a rag to clean his visor prior to qualifying round one.
Nikon D800, 70-200mm, 400iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual
A butterfly sits on the wall as funny car driver Bob Tasca III does his burnout in the background during qualifying.
Nikon D800, 400mm, 200iso, f22, 1/200th, Aperture Priority
One of the highlights of the weekend was seeing my buddy Larry Dixon back in a top fuel dragster for first time in nearly a year. As of right now Dixons last career win was in Phoenix last year. Hopefully he can change that!
Nikon D800, 70-200mm, 250iso, f9, 1/250th, Manual with SB-800 Flash
In this shot of Antron Brown, I was walking through the staging lanes looking for shots to take when I noticed Antron all suited up hanging in the backseat of his Toyotoa Sequoia tow vehicle. I really wanted to get a good shot of him waiting but through the window of the truck wouldn’t work so I instead decided to push the envelope of my photo access by opening the passenger front side door and climbing in and shooting around the headrest to get Antron waiting in the nice AC before climbing into the cockpit of his car.
Nikon D4, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/400th, Aperture Priority
At the beginning of my blog I mentioned how I love this track but the light for photography is slightly less than desired. In a perfect world the track would run the opposite direction so the drivers would be racing towards the sun thus enabling their cars to be lit up.
Since the track doesn’t run that way I would instead have to shoot directly into the sun and take the easy way out and go with a silhouette instead of a horribly lit shot with no details.
Below, top fuel dragster driver Steve Torrence does a burnout in his Capco Contractors dragster.
Nikon D800, 70-200mm, 250iso, f5.6, 1/5000th, Manual
For the second pro session I would head up to the top of the pit side grandstands to see what I could come up with.
Below, Hector Arana Jr leads father Hector Arana Sr during qualifying. The father son duo would end up qualified 3rd and 4th respectively.
Nikon D800, 400mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Aperture Priority
Jim Head does a burnout in his Toyota Camry funny car.
Nikon D800, 400mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority
A young NHRA fan plays with his John Force toy funny car. I miss these days…
Cory McClenathan has a small fire in his top fueler during the second qualifying session.
Nikon D800, 400mm, 2000iso, f5, 1/800th, Manual
Tony Schumacher makes a nice clean pass in his US Army capsuled top fueler.
Nikon D800, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual
The evening would wrap up with a pair of female jet car drivers making a pass down the track in their 300mph jet propelled dragsters.
Nikon D800, 70-200mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual
I have a Facebook page devoted my photography where I routinely share my favorite photos from each shoot as well as favorite photos from the past. Click the below banner to check it out. Be sure to “like” the page so you can be kept up to date on all the events I am doing!
Check out my Facebook page devoted my photography where I routinely share my favorite photos from each shoot as well as favorite photos from the past. Click the below banner to check it out. Be sure to "like" the page so you can be kept up to date on all the events I am doing!