It's finally here, the beginning of my race season in the Chicagoland area! Its been a long, cold winter. I want to thank GLX Snocross' Dennis Whiton for allowing me to photograph snocross snowmobile racing this winter. It helped me get back on my feet after my health issue. I am looking forward to doing it again next year. Now onto auto racing. Tomorrow, Janet and I will be photographing the Easter Egg Dash Presented by Julie. I will be shooting the Gatorade Victory Lane with the Easter Bunny and Janet will be photographing the activities of the day. The weather looks to be very good with the temperature in the mid-50's and mostly sunny. I hope everyone can come out and enjoy the day. The event runs from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. After that event, I will be heading to the Rockford Speedway for the WXRX Stone and Double T 200 4-cylinder Enduro. The day starts at 11:00 a.m. with an open practice until 2:30 p.m. with the Enduro green flag at 3:00 p.m. Next weekend will be busy with Saturday's Route 66's first Test & Tune and Sunday with Rockford's 37th Spring Classic. This is the start to what we hope will be an exciting racing season in Chicagoland!
Check back Sunday for pictures from the Easter Egg Dash and the Enduro.
As previously reported, Janet and I were scheduled to represent the Chicagoland Speedway/Route 66 Raceway at the World of Wheels show in Rosemont on Friday, 2/28/14. We ended up working not only Friday, but Saturday also. We had a great time interacting with all the fans and hopefully we recruited some new ones. Janet primarily worked the Kids Club booth while I worked the Team Demo corner. Right across from where I was standing, I noticed a white Chevy II SS. I thought the car looked familiar. Then I saw the name on the passenger door window, Hollis Jones and I realized that I had photographed Hollis' crash back in 2012. I later talked to Hollis and he stated that it took 14 months to complete all the repairs! Please click here to see all our images from the World of Wheels.
And the car now!
On the NASCAR front, they were at the Phoenix International Raceway. Because we were working, I was not able to watch the new qualifying format. With certain codicils, it received positive reviews. The teams want the ability to cool down the engines on pit road to allow them to run tape on the grills allowing for faster qualifying speeds. From what was reported the teams would remove the tape and then drive slowly around the track to cool the engine. Then, they would re-tape the grill and try to run a fast lap. I have no insight as to what NASCAR's response will be. The most obvious move is not to tape the grill and run it in race mode. However, I'm sure NASCAR will be doing some tweaking of the rules. In the delayed, rain shortened NASCAR Nationwide race, it was another Kyle Busch dominating race. There was an immediate uproar and call to reduce the participation of the Cup drivers/teams in the Nationwide Series. I think I heard the best response and that was that we don't need to stop the Cup drivers from participating, only ban Kyle Busch! This is a very sticky situation in that NASCAR, traditionally, has taken the stance if you can construct a car, show up and qualify, you can race. Back a few years ago, there wasn't much hue and cry when Mark Martin in the #60 Winn-Dixie car showed up and consistently won. Who's record for most wins in the Nationwide (Busch) Series did Kyle Busch break? Mark Martin's!! Everyone should remember that this is professional stock car racing which equates to entertainment dollars. Racetracks want to put people in the grandstand, not only for the ticket dollar, but also for the concession dollars. Who is going to draw more spectators, an unknown, underfunded team or a Cup driver? The flipside is what do you do when a dominating driver such as Kyle Busch enters a bunch of races and normally wins? NASCAR is in a very difficult position because we have fans who have voiced their displeasure and the racetracks who want as many Cup drivers in the race for the draw (which by the way also involves track sponsorship dollars). It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does.
On the Cup side, Kevin Harvick had a dominating race car. PIR is one of Kevin's favorite tracks and he has won there more than any track he has won at. The back story that I was looking at, was not the dominating win, but were the cars stable, could they run side-by-side and pass. Knowing that this was only a one mile track and the full effect of the new aerodynamic changes won't be fully realized until they hit this week's high-banked Las Vegas Motor Speedway, I was encouraged by what I saw. The drivers were willing to stick there nose in there in the corners. That equates to the cars being stable. Of course, I realize that there were some loose and tight racecars, but I'm talking about those that have a handle on the new package and make the cars work. I'm very anxious to see next week's Las Vegas racing.
Due to the fact that we had to work at the World of Wheels show, I was unable to attend this past weekend's GLX Snocross event, The Dan Jacksons - Amsoil Raceday. I am looking forward to the last race of GLX' season Saturday with the JBT Enterprises - Championships. The Awards Banquet will be the following day. The following weekend will be the National Event in Lake Geneva, Wi. Due to the restrictions of covering the event, I probably will not be attending. So, this weekend will be my last snocross event until next year. Its been a good season that I have enjoyed immensely. I met some really good people and this has helped in my recovery from knee surgery. I am already looking forward to next season. Fortunately, we will be racing cars very soon.
To see all our images from the past events, please click here. Any image can be purchased by clicking on the Ordering tab above.
We got the word that we will be working tomorrow, Friday. We will have a Tailgate theme with contests, corn hole games and other activities. Ofc. Jim Luckett will have his Beat the Heat dragster on display along with our show car and a Team Demolition Derby car. The activities tomorrow start at 3:00 p.m. On Sunday, Top Fuel driver TJ Zizzo will be with us and our fans will get a chance to compete against TJ for the best quick reaction time with prizes being awarded. I encourage everyone to come out to the show, stop by our display and say hello. We look forward to talking with everyone and telling them about all the activities of the 2014 season. Please click here for more information on the World of Wheels.
To see images from all last year's racing fun please click here. If you see something you like, it can be ordered by just hitting the Ordering tab at the top of the page. Thanks for coming to the website and looking.
Junior doing his burnout in front of the Chicago Theater.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jaclyn Roney, Miss Sprint Cup, did a fantastic job today! After the burnout and further media obligations, it was off to Millennium Park. There were activities for the kids, ticket giveaways based on who could give the best command to start your engines. Then, Jaclyn had an autograph session followed by the Dale Q & A.
At the conclusion of the event, Dale walked over to the Bean. When he was here last September for the Chase event, he didn't know you are supposed to go inside the Bean. He had to do it!!
* Click here to check out the media event photos.