28
Sep
Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/250th, Manual Sparks fly from the headers as NHRA funny car driver Tony Pedregon blasts down the 1000ft dragstrip during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals.

Race three of the six race NHRA Countdown to the Championship brings us to St. Louis, home of some Arch but more importantly the home of Gateway Motorsports Park! Sunny skies and nice weather should make for some good runs. Lets get to the pics!

Last Friday in Dallas we would be rained out. No worries of that occurring here in St. Louis! Beautiful sunny skies and temps in the mid 80’s  for the days two pro qualifying sessions.

Unlike Dallas, here in St. Louis the track has great sunlight for photography.

Canon 1Dx, 300mm, 400iso, f8, 1/1250th, Manual NHRA funny car driver Jack Beckman races down track during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 300mm, 400iso, f8, 1/1250th, Manual
NHRA funny car driver Jack Beckman races down track during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Between the two pro sessions I would spend a couple seconds (literally!) shooting in the pits.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 1000iso, f5.6, 1/500th, Aperture Priority The setting sun throws a light pocket in the pit area of Brandon Bernstein right on crew chief Joe Barlam as they warm up the top fuel dragster between qualifying sessions.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 1000iso, f5.6, 1/500th, Aperture Priority
The setting sun throws a light pocket in the pit area of Brandon Bernstein right on crew chief Joe Barlam as they warm up the top fuel dragster between qualifying sessions.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 2000iso, f5.6, 1/500th, Aperture Priority Detailed view of the canopy on the car of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Tony Schumacher during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 2000iso, f5.6, 1/500th, Aperture Priority
Detailed view of the canopy on the car of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Tony Schumacher during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Ok back out to the starting line for the second pro qualifying session.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 1250iso, f4, 1/320th, Manual NHRA pro stock motorcycle rider Scotty Pollacheck during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 1250iso, f4, 1/320th, Manual
NHRA pro stock motorcycle rider Scotty Pollacheck during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/125th, Aperture Priority NHRA pro stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens sits in her car prior to making a qualifying run at the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/125th, Aperture Priority
NHRA pro stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens sits in her car prior to making a qualifying run at the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1000iso, f4, 1/160th, Manual Darkness slowly takes over as pro stock driver Jeg Coughlin Jr does a burnout in his Jegs sponsored Dodge.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 1000iso, f4, 1/160th, Manual
Darkness slowly takes over as pro stock driver Jeg Coughlin Jr does a burnout in his Jegs sponsored Dodge.

As a fan of the sport, there is nothing cooler than seeing nitro under the lights.

While the cars are certainly cool racing in the day, once the lights go out it gets much cooler. Those nearly invisible header flames from the daytime become VERY visible at night.

Oh and the cars run faster too!

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/250th, Manual Sparks fly from the headers as NHRA funny car driver Tony Pedregon blasts down the 1000ft dragstrip during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/250th, Manual
Sparks fly from the headers as NHRA funny car driver Tony Pedregon blasts down the 1000ft dragstrip during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f4.5, 1/100th, Manual A fans flash goes off (adding a cool element to the shot) as NHRA funny car driver Courtney Force does a burnout during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f4.5, 1/100th, Manual
A fans flash goes off (adding a cool element to the shot) as NHRA funny car driver Courtney Force does a burnout during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

These two pics make me long for the days when NHRA allowed us professional photographers to use flash. Sigh!

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/200th, Manual Another fans flash would add to this shot of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Chris Karamesines launching off the starting line.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/200th, Manual
Another fans flash would add to this shot of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Chris Karamesines launching off the starting line.

Check out the ridiculously high ISO in the below shot.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 10000iso, f2.8, 1/160th, Manual The car of NHRA funny car driver Shawn Langdon waits at the back of the staging lanes prior to taking the number one qualifying position for the Midwest Nationals.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 10000iso, f2.8, 1/160th, Manual
The car of NHRA funny car driver Shawn Langdon waits at the back of the staging lanes prior to taking the number one qualifying position for the Midwest Nationals.

If drag racing had a Mount Rushmore, the two faces below would certainly be carved into the side of it.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 5000iso, f2.8, 1/160th, Manual Two of the biggest names in the sport, NHRA funny car driver John Force (left) talks with team owner Don Schumacher during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 5000iso, f2.8, 1/160th, Manual
Two of the biggest names in the sport, NHRA funny car driver John Force (left) talks with team owner Don Schumacher during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 6400iso, f3.5, 1/320th, Manual Flames go high into the air as NHRA top fuel dragster driver Brandon Bernstein races down track during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 6400iso, f3.5, 1/320th, Manual
Flames go high into the air as NHRA top fuel dragster driver Brandon Bernstein races down track during qualifying for the Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

That wraps up a good day of racing. Only two more left!


 
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