31
Aug
Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f5, 1/1250th, Manual The car of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Clay Millican is towed back to the pits as the sun sets during qualifying for the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

The last few days have been a nice and limited schedule for me at the US Nationals. Friday, however, would be where I really started earning my money! A long day of racing action beginning at 8am that would wrap up more than 12 hours later. Lets check out my favorite images from Friday at the Big Go!

I dont recall the last time I had gotten to a track at 8am but the awesome morning sunlight on the drivers in the staging lanes made for some cool shots.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 500iso, f4, 1/5000th, Aperture Priority NHRA super comp driver Don Rayburn waits in the staging lanes inside the cockpit of his 1970 AMC.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 500iso, f4, 1/5000th, Aperture Priority
NHRA super comp driver Don Rayburn waits in the staging lanes inside the cockpit of his 1970 AMC.

By the end of the day the below track worker will be covered with countless little balls of burnt rubber. Until you’ve had to shampoo your hair about 5 times to get it all out you just wouldn’t understand….

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 320iso, f5.6, 1/4000th, Aperture Priority A member of the NHRA safety safari scrapes the track as burnout smoke covers the starting line during qualifying for the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 320iso, f5.6, 1/4000th, Aperture Priority
A member of the NHRA safety safari scrapes the track as burnout smoke covers the starting line during qualifying for the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

The super stock class is one of the coolest classes in drag racing as the cars do huge wheelstands off the starting line.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 100iso, f7.1, 1/250th, Manual NHRA super stock driver Gary Emmons does a wheelstand during class eliminations at the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 100iso, f7.1, 1/250th, Manual
NHRA super stock driver Gary Emmons does a wheelstand during class eliminations at the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 320iso, f5.6, 1/6400th, Aperture Priority A crew member for super stock driver Larry Stewart Jr lines him up in the staging beams during eliminations.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 320iso, f5.6, 1/6400th, Aperture Priority
A crew member for super stock driver Larry Stewart Jr lines him up in the staging beams during eliminations.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/640th, Aperture Priority NHRA top alcohol funny car legend Frank Manzo sits strapped into his car prior to making a qualifying run at the US Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/640th, Aperture Priority
NHRA top alcohol funny car legend Frank Manzo sits strapped into his car prior to making a qualifying run at the US Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 500iso, f4, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority Former NHRA driver Don Prudhomme hangs out in the pit area.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 500iso, f4, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority
Former NHRA driver Don Prudhomme hangs out in the pit area.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 1600iso, f5.6, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority The always smiling Hector Arana lets me know he's keeping an eye on me as he is towed back to the pits at Indy.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 1600iso, f5.6, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority
The always smiling Hector Arana lets me know he’s keeping an eye on me as he is towed back to the pits at Indy.

Courtney Force would be a surprise top qualifier when all was said and done with Friday qualifying. Will it hold? I don’t think so.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 2000iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual NHRA top fuel dragster driver Brittany Force (left) races to the top qualifying position alongside Terry McMillen.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 2000iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual
NHRA top fuel dragster driver Brittany Force (left) races to the top qualifying position alongside Terry McMillen.

In the middle of the top fuel session I noticed a thunderstorm way off in the distance getting some cool colors from the setting sun. The racing almost became a secondary thing for me as I had to figure out ways to get a dragster in the shot with the clouds.

The way I came up with involved laying down in the grass/dirt along the return road to get a low enough angle to get both together while eliminating as much of the horribly distracting background from the shot.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f5, 1/1250th, Manual The car of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Clay Millican is towed back to the pits as the sun sets during qualifying for the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f5, 1/1250th, Manual
The car of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Clay Millican is towed back to the pits as the sun sets during qualifying for the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

I would keep an eye on the on track action and run the 25 yards back and forth between the return road spot and my photo position.

It was a workout but damn worth it!

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual NHRA top fuel dragster driver Spencer Massey slows to a stop with his parachute during qualifying for the US Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual
NHRA top fuel dragster driver Spencer Massey slows to a stop with his parachute during qualifying for the US Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual The car of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Tony Schumacher is towed back to the pits as the sun sets during qualifying for the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual
The car of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Tony Schumacher is towed back to the pits as the sun sets during qualifying for the US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

The final cars down the track would be a pair of jet dragsters.

I knew they had fireworks at the end but was not expecting large fireballs exploding in the background of my shot.

As soon as the car passed me I literally ran to my car to get out of the track to beat traffic and start editing.

I know that jet cars typically pop the front wheels up a bit when the parachutes deploy. As I drove home I thought to myself how cool it would be if I had an explosion and the car doing the wheelie.

Much to my delight I did!

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual Fireworks explode as NHRA jet car driver Tony Franco Jr deploys his parachutes, lifting his front wheels off the ground after a run to close out qualifying at the US Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual
Fireworks explode as NHRA jet car driver John Bandimere III deploys his parachutes, lifting his front wheels off the ground after a run to close out qualifying at the US Nationals.

After several hours of editing and grabbing dinner it started raining and storming pretty hard. Me and a buddy hauled ass to the track to try and shoot it but got there just a bit too late. (A bigger storm would come a few hours later)

I still ended up with a cool shot of the wet track under the lights.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 500iso, f4, 1/20th, Aperture Priority Overall view of Lucas Oil Raceway as it rains a few hours following the conclusion of NHRA qualifying for the US Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 500iso, f4, 1/20th, Aperture Priority
Overall view of Lucas Oil Raceway as it rains a few hours following the conclusion of NHRA qualifying for the US Nationals.

Only 3 more days to go!


 
Posted in 10 Spot, Drag Racing, NHRA, Racing, Sports   Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

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!