Time for my first 2013 NHRA blog posting of the year. As with last year my drag racing season would begin in West Palm Beach, FL for pre season testing, Toyota Racing NHRA portraits and new on the schedule this year… some fishing!
Anyone who hasn’t learned of my obsession with fishing by now will soon learn that it has consumed my life. If I am not taking photos or hanging out with my lovely lady, I can assure you that I am out on a lake somewhere fishing (in preparation for my next career!)
I would fly into Florida a few days early so I could try my luck on Lake Okeechobee for some largemouth bass fishing.
Me with my two bass that topped my previous personal best of 4 pounds. One was just over 4 pounds and the other barely topped 5 pounds. New record for me!
There would be plenty more time for fishing but my main focus of the trip was work so lets dive in with a few shots from the Toyota Racing portrait shoot in a conference room at the Doubletree Hotel.
With lighting tech guru Guy Rhodes helping out, it would surely be a great shoot.
Here is a wide view during Del Worsham portraits which shows our lighting setup. We had a white backdrop setup for full length portraits and over on the right side we had a small black backdrop set up for chest up dramatically lit portraits.
This photo of NHRA top fuel driver Shawn Langdon was what our second setup shot looked like on the black background with dramatic light.
My portrait shoots would take place in the mornings, which gave me some time to head out to Palm Beach International Raceway to see what was going on.
NHRA top funny car driver John Force sits in the empty grandstands and talks with daughter, top fuel dragster driver Brittany Force as nitro cars test.
NHRA top top fuel dragster champion Antron Brown sits beneath the brand new canopy of his car. #Champtron
Since the testing session is a private event without NHRA official involvement, I am able to push the photo rules and stand (or lay) in places I could never dream of shooting…. without stealing a blue National Dragster shirt!
Laying on the track got me this cool view as NHRA funny car driver Ron Capps launches off the starting line.
Also debuting a new canopy car was rookie top fuel dragster driver Brittany Force.
In this shot, Brittany Force gets way sideways on a burnout in her car.
Florida always has pretty clouds and they were in full effect for this shot of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Morgan Lucas doing a burnout.
Putting my camera down to the puddle of water in the burnout box produced this shot of NHRA top fuel dragster driver Steve Torrence reflecting in the water prior to doing his burnout.
One of my favorite testing images of the week was this ground level shot of NHRA top fuel dragster driver David Grubnic smoking the tires at the hit of the throttle. I love that the front wheel is off the ground while the tires lose traction.
NHRA top fuel dragster driver Doug Kalitta reflects in the window of his tow vehicle as he gets his safety gear on before a testing pass.
NHRA top fuel dragster driver Tony Schumacher blasts down the track during testing at the PRO Winter Warmup at Palm Beach International Raceway.
NHRA top fuel dragster driver Steve Torrence does a burnout in front of a pretty sunset.
NHRA funny car driver Alexis DeJoria does a burnout in her Patron Tequila sponsored Toyota Camry.
NHRA top fuel driver Brandon Bernstein does a burnout in his new look dragster. I like it.
NHRA top fuel dragster driver Morgan Lucas shoots out some good header flames in his newly designed car at Palm Beach International Raceway.
Kneeling on the ground a few feet behind the car of NHRA funny car driver Ron Capps gave me this cool view as he launches off the starting line.
NHRA top fuel dragster driver Antron Brown blasts off the starting line with monster header flames during a testing pass.
Here are some more shots from day two of the portrait shoot.
Cruz Pedregon poses for a full length portrait on a white backdrop during the 2013 Toyota Racing portrait shoot.
Antron Brown poses for a close up portrait in a conference room at the Doubletree Hotel.
A few months ago I was in Indianapolis for a photo shoot with Matt Hagan and invited him to come fishing in Florida. Hagan is a country boy who grew up outdoors in Virginia so he was all about a day of fishing.
NHRA funny car champion Matt Hagan (left) and me with our big fish for the day. I caught one more fish than Matt but he caught the biggest fish. Lets just call it a tie…
NHRA top fuel dragster driver Leah Pruett kicks up the front wheels with big header flames as she makes a drivers license pass.
Tony Pedregon with helmet on and visor down poses for a portrait.
That wraps up NHRA Testing 2013. To see all my images from testing CLICK HERE.
Next blog post will be my Super Bowl blog. Stay tuned!