If you're an auto racing enthusiast, chances are this is the blog for you! I hope to do more writings about my various racing adventures as time goes on. But to start this first post I'd like to talk about a HUGE experience recently for me.
I've gotten the opportunity this summer to cover all types of motorsports in the Southern Illinois area but nothing topped my chance to go to the Gateway International Raceway in Madison, IL to cover the NASCAR Nationwide Series "5-Hour Energy 250". It was a special event as it was, for now, the final NASCAR race to be held at the facility as the current promotor can no longer afford to run the track and chose to give up the track's 2011 NASCAR's Sanctions.
As pictured above, I got Media Credentials to cover the event. It was my very first experience covering a NASCAR event and it was great learning experience.
I left home at 6AM the day of the race as there was a mandatory photographers meeting at 9AM at the track. NASCAR mandates all photographers attend this event or they are not allowed to photograph/video any of the days events! At the meeting, the chief photographer and NASCAR's head of security basically explained where we could and couldn't be throughout the day. The procedure for qualifying allowed us to be on pit road but we could not leave the confines of the pit boxes (which are striped boxes on pit road for those of your who aren't big followers of the sport). Before qualifying started we were allowed to be in any of the pit boxes but 30 seconds prior to the 1st car going on to the track, NASCAR's security man moves all the photographers 5 cars down the qualifying line and we can get no closer to the front of the line for the remainder of the session.
So qualifying was held and saw Riverton, IL native Justin Allgaier pick up the pole at his home track. The race was not scheduled to begin until 2:30 PM so I had some time to kill so I went and visited with some friends in the infield. At 2PM I went to driver introductions where I was able to get several drivers for interviews, which was an awesome experience. I did interviews with Mike and Kenny Wallace, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Once the race started I hung around pit road and shot video from there. As we were informed in the photographers meeting, any empty pit box on pit road during the race becomes a photographers pit box and all other fans are kept out. If a photographer wishes to enter an occupied pit box, they have to have the permission of the team occupying it.
|Justin Allgaier, Jason Leffler, and Carl Edwards fight for 3rd, 4th, and 5th, at the finish line!|
During the closing laps of the race, all the photographers gathered in the empty pit box at the start finish line to get the leader crossing the finish line. This was a procedure that I found very interesting. When the white flag flies, and no sooner, photographers can jump up on the pit wall to shoot the finish. We all then had to wait for the NASCAR Security guy to give us clearance to run across the pit lane and shoot the leader's celebratory burnout's.
I wound up getting back to the TV Station around 9:15PM that night! All in all it was a long and tiring day but I had an absolute blast. It was an awesome learning experience that will for sure help me in my career down the road!
Well thanks for reading this first post! If you liked it, become a follower of my blog on the right side of this page so you can get e-mail notifications when I load new posts. If you don't "like" it already, I also have a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/racingsuperfan
Stay tuned for more posts in the future. I will begin a series of recaps of my various 2010 racing experiences both on camera and off!