07
Oct

Day two at St Louis would be spent on the top end of the course where I would be looking for some different shots from yesterdays day on the starting line.

For the third pro qualifying session I would hike to the top of the grandstands of the NASCAR track next door. I had no idea what type of view it afforded me but once I saw that security wasn’t stopping anyone from going up there it was on!

The first thing I would notice is the nice view of St Louis and the fabled Gateway Arch about 10 miles from the track.

Nikon D4, 70-200mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority

The second thing I would notice is the spot I had just worn myself out hiking up to was absolutely worthless for shooting. Light poles and scoreboards in my way are no bueno.

Nikon D800, 600mm, 250iso, f7.1, 1/2000th, Manual

Looking away from the track gave me this view of the NASCAR track. Check out the banking in turn four being used for overflow parking. That setup would make for one hell of a Lemans start once the race ends and everyone rushes for the exit gates!

Nikon D4, 70-200mm, 320iso, f8, 1/1250th, Aperture Priority

The one good thing about shooting from atop the grandstands is it gave me a great view nearly straight down on the cars being towed back to their pits following a run.

When you shoot this sport week in and week out it can be very hard to produce different looking photos from all the other tracks that are all straight lines.

The car of Luigi Novelli is towed back to the pits following the third round of top fuel qualifying.

Nikon D4, 70-200mm, 320iso, f5.6, 1/2000th, Aperture Priority

When I do find a position that offers an interesting angle or shot I will shoot every car I possibly can from the spot, not just clients. You never know the next time a non client will want to buy a pic or when the last time you will ever get to shoot a particular car.

Speaking of which, check out the below shot of the Toyota Camry funny car of Terry Haddock… #foreshadowing

Nikon D4, 70-200mm, 320iso, f8, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

Smoke pours from the car of funny car driver Bob Tasca III after blowing an engine during qualifying.

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f7.1, 1/3200th, Manual

Burnout smoke consumes the starting line following the burnouts of pro stock drivers Jason Line and Allen Johnson.

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f7.1, 1/2000th, Manual

In the final funny car qualifying session driver Terry Haddock would be the unlucky passenger when his fuel tank decided to split and explode….

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/2000th, Manual

The explosion would lift the front of the body enough for air to get beneath it….

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/2000th, Manual

And from there his Toyota Camry body would be sent skyward…

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/2000th, Manual

Instinctively Terry Haddock reaches for the parachutes prior to realizing the body is gone and parachutes are in the process of auto deploying…

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/2000th, Manual

With the parachutes out Haddocks car would straighten out and come to a safe stop.

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/2000th, Manual

I have seen a few times where a funny car would blow the body off and it would suffer minimal damage and be used again.

With the below shot I am pretty sure you can see that the body is a complete write off.

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/2000th, Manual

Funny car driver Courtney Force leans her head into the back of her father John Force as they ride on his scooter back to the starting line.

Nikon D800, 600mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/2000th, Manual

That wraps up Saturday in St Louis.

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!


 
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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!