Kyle Busch dominates dull days in Dover

After a year off from shooting the two races in Dover, DE I decided to cover the spring race this year at the “Monster Mile”….by the end of the weekend I promised myself I would never cover this track again!

Since I am less than 24 hours from departing to Indianapolis to shoot the Indy 500 I must make this blog brief. Sorry.

Below, driving the famous #3 is NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Dillon during qualifying for the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 100iso, f3.2, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Kyle Busch (below) drives through turn two during qualifying for the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway. Busch would win the pole position.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 100iso, f4, 1/4000th, Aperture Priority

Below, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ricky Carmichael crashes during qualifying for the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm with 1.4 convertor (280mm), 100iso, f6.3, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Dillon races through turn two during qualifying for the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm with 1.4 convertor (280mm), 100iso, f5.6, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

The below frame of Dillon was shoot looking through steps on a stairway down the backstretch.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm with 1.4 convertor (280mm), 100iso, f5.6, 1/1250th, Manual

Throwing up a peace sign is NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards (below) during practice for the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

Below, Joey Logano peers my direction as I shoot through the side window as he waits to head out on track for practice.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 1000iso, f4.5, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson sits behind his car during practice for the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 1250iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Aperture Priority

During Sprint Cup Series qualifying I used the big logo on the NASCAR hauler to make a nice background as Carl Edwards was interviewed following his qualifying lap.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 100iso, f5.6, 1/200th, Aperture Priority

After the conclusion of Cup qualifying it was time for the Truck Series race…… usually a race filled with carnage.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Kyle Busch (18) drives alongside Elliott Sadler (2) coming to the green flag during the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 100iso, f5.6, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Below, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Terry Jones slides backwards along the turn one wall as he crashes during the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 400iso, f5, 1/5000th, Aperture Priority

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers race through turn one during the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 100iso, f5.6, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

I underexposed the below frame a few stops to take advantage of the light reflecting off the roofs of the trucks of Kyle Busch (18) and Ron Hornaday (33) during the late stages of the race.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 400iso, f4.5, 1/6400th, Aperture Priority

Below, Smoke pours from the truck of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Dillon after blowing an engine during the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 500iso, f5, 1/250th, Aperture Priority

You are not a real NASCAR fan unless you have a bad farmers tan and a beer in hand….

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 400iso, f4.5, 1/1250th, Aperture Priority

In a tame race that was dominated by Kyle Busch he would have problems in the last few laps which opened the door for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Aric Almirola to win his first career NASCAR race.

Below, Almirola celebrates with a victory burnout.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 800iso, f4, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority

Then he climbed from his truck in victory lane to celebrate.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 800iso, f4, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 1000iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Saturday during Sprint Cup practice while all the cars were out on track I noticed all the car jacks littering the garage area, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Aperture Priority

In the below photo I literally crawled up towards the front end of the car to shoot Mark Martin as he discussed his cars performance with crew members.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 800iso, f5.6, 1/400th, Manual

With Cup practice over I made my way to the turn one roof in preparation for the Nationwide Series race.

Below, crew members push the car of Casey Mears through the garage area.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 250iso, f5.6, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority

Here is where I would normally say how the Nationwide race in Dover was usually pretty exciting, however after the boredom of the previous days truck race my expectations weren’t very high.

Lets fast forward through all the boring parts of the race……….

……ok so here we are with 3 laps to go as Clint Bowyer (21) would be spun by Denny Hamlin……..

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 250iso, f5.6, 1/4000th, Aperture Priority

…….setting off a multi car crash which included Clint Bowyer (21), Kasey Kahne (38), Paul Menard (98) and Trevor Bayne (99).

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 200iso, f5.6, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

Here is a video of the crash from a cameraman a few feet from me.

After the crash the race was red flagged for about 10 minutes to clean up the track.

Following the cleanup it was a green white checkered finish in which Kyle Busch would win the race.

Below, Busch celebrates with a burnout after winning the race.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 200iso, f5, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 200iso, f5, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

After he finished his on track celebration he headed to victory lane. I hustled over to try and get there before he climbed atop his car but was too late.

While Kyle was on the podium for the long line of sponsor photos I noticed the shiny trophy up on the podium that was reflecting his car in it so I strapped on the 400mm lens along with a 1.4 convertor to shoot the below frame.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 250iso, f5.6, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority

Kyle Busch holds the Monster Mile trophy above his head at the end of the victory lane ceremony, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 250iso, f5.6, 1/1250th, Manual

Ok on to race day.

NASCAR fans take photos of the car of Tony Stewart as it sits lined up on pit road prior to the race, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 250iso, f5.6, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Normally I am pretty lazy prior to the cup race since I like to save all my energy to be 100% for the race but a few hours before the race I got bored sitting in the media center so I ventured outside the track to shoot the giant Dover mascot “Miles the Monster” in the main fan area, below.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 400iso, f4, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

For every race I have ever shot at Dover I have always shot from start to finish on the roof. This year would have to be different though. Since I was shooting solo I would have to finish the race on the inside of the track so I could fully cover victory lane (which is the most important part of a race weekend).

Once on the roof I spotted driver Clint Bowyer as he came out of a port-a-potty (below) before climbing into his row. I would say about half the drivers can be seen hitting the bathroom right before the race…….I guess the other half just piss themselves during the race!

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 500iso, f6.3, 1/2500th, Manual

With a 1pm green flag the light would be horrible for photos with giant glares atop all the cars. After being mad about it for a few minutes I took advantage of the situation and underexposed by roughly three stops to produce a very dark photo with the tops of all the cars perfectly lit by the sun, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 100iso, f5.6, 1/8000th, Manual

For the green flag I used about the same settings to replicate the shot with cars on track.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 100iso, f5.6, 1/5000th, Manual

Below, after a completely boring 100 of the 400 laps I bailed on the roof position and decided to check out the angle from atop the large turn one grandstands. (the little building in the center of the frame is the roof I shoot most the races from)

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 250iso, f5.6, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

Dover is one of only a small handful of tracks that doesnt have a tunnel beneath it so they have a bridge at the exit of turn two that pedestrians use to get to the infield.

Below, Jeff Gordon drives beneath the pedestrian bridge as he heads down the backstretch.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 250iso, f5.6, 1/1250th, Aperture Priority

While they always tell us in the photo meetings that we cant shoot from the bridge I always push my luck and attempt it. Luckily on this day the security guard working up there didn’t know we weren’t allowed to shoot from up there and allowed me to spend about ten minutes on the bridge messing around, below.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 250iso, f5.6, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

Once on the inside of the track I spent about 20 minutes transmitting some photos before heading to pit road to shoot a round of pit stops. During the race I decide who’s pit stop to shoot based on who I think has a good shot at winning. For this round of pit stops I would choose Kyle Busch. In the below photo I actually held my camera over the wall and down on the track surface to get a nice low angle with some blue sky as my background.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 100iso, f4, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

After yet another one of Sam Hornish Jr’s weekly crashes I instead focused on the Mobil 1 pegasus looking pit board as his damaged car limped into its pit stall, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 100iso, f6.3, 1/640th, Aperture Priority

For my stupid gimmicky photo of the weekend I took advantage of the metal guardrail on the inside of turn two and used it as a prop for a photo.

Below is a view of the guardrail. If you look in th emiddle you can see about a one inch slit between two rails which I would get down on the ground against and shoot through.

Here is how the photo looked by using the guardrail as my prop with Kyle Busch racing through turn one, below.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 100iso, f4, 1/2000th, Manual

Oh yea, speaking of Kyle Busch he would end up winning the race.

Below, Busch noses up to the outside wall and does a smoking burnout.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 100iso, f6.3, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Then Busch climbed atop his car and got a celebratory high five from NASCAR flagman Rodney Wise.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 200iso, f4.5, 1/6400th, Aperture Priority

For the climbing out of the car victory lane shot I did the one camera in each hand thing that I typically do.

The amount of confetti they shot up when he got out of the car was WAAAAY too much.

Here is the wide angle camera view of the moment.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 200iso, f4.5, 1/1250th, Manual

With the vertical 200mm shot I made a rookie move and didn’t put the camera in manual focus mode resulting in the camera focusing on the confetti instead of Kyle.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 100iso, f5, 1/1000th, Manual

At the time I was livid at making such a stupid mistake but now in retrospect I kinda like the look of the confetti in focused with an out of focus Kyle celebrating in the background.

Below, Kyle poses next to his likeness….

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 100iso, f4.5, 1/800th, Manual

After finishing up my editing I took the rental car up on the banking and drove on turn two and down the backstretch to the crossover gate, below.

Goodbye forever Dover, I will see you in hell!

Heres a few clips from the weekend:

One Response to “Kyle Busch dominates dull days in Dover”

  1. dan says:

    Mark,

    why you hate dover so much ?

    Dan

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