Here is a new personal work project I’ve been working on shooting drag racers.
Like most guys, I have always liked going to the races. The only thing better than going to the races as a spectator is getting credentials to shoot them. I have had the good fortune to shoot many races over the years. From Formula One, to assignments from Dodge to shoot the Nascar races at Homestead Motor Speedway & Daytona, to projects for Bloomberg Markets shooting events where the a private luxury car club rents an airstrip for the day to race a multitude of ultra high end supercars at speeds of well over 200 mph.
Of all that I have shot, nothing trumps the thrill of drag racing. The sound of the engines roaring as the cars speed down the track. The smell and sight of the smoke of the burning rubber as they do their burn outs. It is thrilling. These guys are fearless. From the souped up street cars rocking 800 horsepower knocking out 10 second 1/4 miles, to the top fueled dragsters with up to almost 8,000 horsepower that go from 0 to over 300 mph in less than 4 seconds. Many equate it to the forces you’d feel taking off in the space shuttle as it puts 5 to 6 times the G forces on you as you rocket down the race track. They are the fastest accelerating land vehicles on the planet.
I love getting out and shooting all this. As you kneel down next to them when they do their burnouts you can feel the sound waves pounding you like someone beating you repeatedly really fast with large heavy pillows. It shakes the ground under you and were it not for the ear muffs, would permanently damage your hearing. It’s unnerving and super exciting all at the same time. These are just a few images from part one of an at least 3 part series of shoots. We have both still and video shoots planned at the Top Fuel NHRA races in Charlotte Motor Speedway in March and the IHRA Nitro drag series in April here in West Palm.
To see more of my work go to the Speed Racer section on my site @ http://www.petebarrett.com/Personal-Work/Speed-Racer/1 or follow me on Instagram @PeteBarrettPhoto and stay tuned for more exciting stuff in the coming months!
We had the opportunity a while back to shoot some Nascar racing at the Homestead Motor Speedway for the Dodge Race Team. If you’ve never had the opportunity to get right down in the hot zone on Pit Row, I highly recommend it. Super cool to see these crews at work. They are a well oiled machine. Everyone has their specific job and when that car rolls in, they jump to it and zip zap, the car is jacked up, all 4 tires changed, fully fueled, windshield cleaned and water for the driver… all in a matter of seconds. While he is out screaming around the track at over 200 mph, the crew is hard at work, scraping the tires to analyze the rubber to see what the track condition is doing to the wheels and a team of guys watches on screens, monitoring the car and keeping in constant contact with the driver. It is awesome!
Also, there is nothing like Nascar Fans… these folks are die hard, hard core fans. Everyone has their favorite and there is no telling them otherwise. In their mind, that person is a king Sh*t racing legend and is GOING to win this time! Nothing like a hot afternoon, cold beer and fast cars.