Jeff Gordon Returns to the Track for the Brickyard 400
This year I have been lucky enough to do some pretty cool things. Photographing Jeff Gordon as he returns to Indy is one of those. I saw my first Brickyard 400 as a fan in 1998, and Jeff won that race. I am here on assignment, and I am not supposed to play favorites. Luckily Jeff is one of the big stories of the weekend along with Tony Stewart so I am in luck. It will be interesting to see what Jeff can do after sitting out the entire year so far. It cannot be easy to just jump back into a car especially at a track like this one. The oppressive heat is also a factor this weekend.
Photographing the King
When I arrived at the track yesterday I picked up my credentials and then made my way into the infield. As I was walking through the garage area the first person that I saw was Richard Petty. They don’t call Richard ‘The King’ for nothing. He has 200 NASCAR wins and seven championships to his name. I made the picture above as he was talking to one of his crew members, and of course the conversation immediately shifted to the other side of the car. This was my first photo of the day, and it was a good start. You can’t get much better than photographing royalty to start your day.
The Heat is the Real Story
Yesterday I had a lot of fun moments during the day. One thing that was absolutely not fun was the heat. The temperatures on the asphalt were announced at around 140 degrees during the day, and you absolutely felt it when you stepped out onto the track. One thing the heat does is stifle creativity at some point. You are so drained that maybe you don’t make the extra move to get the photo that you should. So far today the clouds have graced us with their presence so maybe we can get a small break from the sun anyway.