There were two names being used for Friday nights Team Demolition Derby theme, "Racin for Boobs" and "Banging for Boobs". Whatever the name, it was a night to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. It was a beautiful night for racing and wrecking. I heard early on that there was some concern for attendance. However, that rumor was crushed when a late arriving crowd delayed the start by five minutes to allow everyone to get in and to their seats. Prior to the racing, there was music, a pink car that the fans could beat on and an appearance by Dash dressed in pink. When the racing began, it was obvious that the Mean Green Machine was trying to avenge their first round loss at the last event. They blew through the competition to reach the finals. Their competition was last month's winner Real Steel. In the finals, both teams came out wrecking first and racing second. It came down to a timed final with Mean Green Machine's "Cadillac" Zach Van Allen and Real Steel's Wally Hartung doing everything to keep moving so they could get the win. In the end, it was Cadillac Zach who persevered garnering Mean Green Machines third victory of the season. While not officially clinching the title, it will be very difficult for anyone to overcome their points lead to take the Championship.
In the Spectator Figure Eight race it was Doug McCarty #68 capturing his second win of the season, maintaining his points lead.
In the Spectator Truck race, it was a Lutz winning again, however it wasn't Donnie #13. It was his brother Jim driving #53 who took the win. Donnie, who was undefeated this year, had a problem with the right front tire right from the start. The entire tire eventually came off ending his win streak. He still maintains a large lead in the championship race.
Here are some photos from the night's entertainment. Click here to see the rest of the night's action.
To see all of this year's action please click here.
For all the rain that we got in the afternoon, it turned out to be a beautiful night. The track was extremely wet, however Team Demo and track personnel worked very hard to get it ready. The start had to be delayed a half an hour to ensure the track was ready. The National Anthem consisted of a guitar rendition that was fabulous. Kudos to Team Demo! There was a shocker in the first round when two time season winner Mean Green Machine was eliminated. Throughout the evening Reel Steel looked like the team to beat and in the end it was Real Steel pulling out the victory. I normally shoot from the back stretch looking towards the main grandstand, however it was extremely muddy. I thought I could do it until this happened!
While this may not be the greatest or even a good shot, the backstory was pretty funny. I saw the car coming, but when I went to get out of the way, I found my feet had sunken into the mud, like quicksand, and were stuck. I was struggling to get my feet out of the mud and the only thing I could think of was, "This is going to hurt!". Thankfully, the wall did its job. At that point, retreat was the better part of valor and I moved my position. The rest of the night I shot from a safe position on the frontstretch by turn one.
In the Figure Eight Car race it was Rob Hess taking home he checkered flag and in the trucks it was, again, the #13 of Donnie Lutz continuing his dominance.
There was also an amateur demo race, but to tell the truth, it wasn't all that impressive. You can really tell the difference between the pros and the amateurs.
Here are a few from the night.
This Saturday we will be covering two events at Route 66. The first is the Summit Racing Junior Drag Racing League Challenge and the second is Team Demolition Derby at the Dirt Oval. It will be a long, but enjoyable, day of shooting. The Juniors run in two classes, Modified and Sportsman, by age. In the Modified class it has two divisions based on an ET speed. The Juniors run an eighth mile track.
Please click here to see the Junior actions from the past couple seasons.
Following the Junior Drag event, the Dirt Oval comes alive with non-stop action of racing and crashing. This will be the second round of the Tournament of Destruction, AKA Team Demolition Derby. If you haven't seen Team Demo, I would highly recommend it. It has been described as Roller Derby with cars in that each team has a designated car that, to win, must complete five laps before the opposing team does. Your support cars are there to block and to crash the other team's car before they can achieve five laps. In between heats, there are two figure eight races. One with cars, the other with trucks. Its usually a night of non-stop mayhem!
To see the previous Team Demo action please click here.
It's an exciting day with the Sprint Cup Cars scheduled to start Pre-Season Thunder Testing. Unfortunately, it is raining in Daytona this morning. I'm still hoping to see cars on the track today.
Janet and I have been going over the race schedules from the tracks where we shoot. This year, I have been invited to add Grundy County Speedway to my schedule. My goal is to shoot the open wheel cars this year. I want to thank Phil Rider for his help in spearheading this effort.
My friend, Randy Simpson, has left his position with the Route 66 Raceway and has become the General Manager of the Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis (formerly IRP). Before he left, he invited Janet and I to come down for the US Nationals. They also have brought the ARCA Series back to the oval track. It looks to be an exciting year for Randy and Lucas Oil Raceway.
Speaking of Route 66, it looks like they have 34 events scheduled plus five Team Demolition Derbies. Add to that, the NASCAR weekends, it looks like our season is going to be very busy. It kicks off on April 5th at the Rockford Speedway with the Stone and Double T 200. On April 13th at the Rockford Speedway, the 37th annual Spring Classic will kick off. That is one of my favorite races of the season and we will see if Alex Papini can repeat. Overall, it looks to be the start of a great season.
To view the action from last season, click here. Check back often for schedule updates and new photo albums.
All day Saturday the weather reports were for rain starting between 6-7:00 pm in Joliet. With that being said, Janet and I packed the cameras and headed to the Route 66 Dirt Oval for Round 5 (Championship Round) of Team Demolition Derby. The theme for the night was "Banging for Boobs" in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It turned out to be a beautiful night and no rain until we were already half way home. It was a capacity crowd and everyone was excited tor the Championship to be determined. The racing was great with a couple of really scary moments when a car caught fire. The driver bailed out, but was engulfed in the flames. He did the infamous "drop and roll" and was quickly attended to by track rescue personnel. There were no serious injuries. Later, after a nasty crash, a driver was pinned in a car. After a highly, tense 20-25 minutes, he was successfully removed from the car by track rescue personnel. Again, fortunately, there were no serious injuries. Orange Crush won the event and the Tournament of Destruction Championship. Congratulations to the entire Orange Crush team and the Team Demolition Derby Tournament of Destruction for another successful season. Janet and I can't wait until next year's Tournament to begin!
Click here to see all the events of the evening.
Click here to view Janet and Terry's complete portfolio.
Yesterday was a great day of racing at the Rockford Speedway. It marked the start of the 48th Annual National Short Track Championships. I (Terry) got there about 2:30 pm and immediately starting shooting. A little later, while watching practice, the No. 20 got into the wall in turn 3, losing a tire, spinning around and hitting the wall again. The car almost got on its roof. The driver walked away unhurt. We raced late into the evening with Alex Papini winning the Weekly Warrior Late Model main event. Matt Lundberg winning the Sportsman main event, Nick Cina Jr. winning the Short Tracker main event, Terrance Robinson winning the Roadrunner main event, Nick Schmidt winner the Hornet vs. Bandit Challenge and finally, Josh Thiering winning the 15 lap Figure 8 feature event. There was enough thrills and spills to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. The racing will continue today (Saturday) and finish tomorrow (Sunday). To see more images from all the day's action, please click here. Janet and I will be the Route 66 Raceway Dirt Oval today (Saturday) for the finals of the Team Demolition Derby. Tomorrow, I will be back at Rockford Speedway for the completion of the National Short Track Championships. For complete details of the Rockford schedule click here. If you are in the Rockford area, I would highly recommend attending the races today which include the Big 8 Series, Illini Midgets, Super Late Models, Hobby Stox and others. If you are in the Joliet area and you have your tickets (they announced a sellout) then please look for Janet and I at the Dirt Oval. Have your photo taken and then come back to the website and look for it.
This upcoming Saturday will be the final round of the Team Demolition Derby season. It has been a memorable season with the introduction of the Real Steel team. They won two events this summer. There have been thrills, spills and crashes galore. We look forward to an exciting event. Janet will cover the pre-race party, the beauty pageant, fan interaction and Victory Lane. Look for Janet and her "funky" colored shoes (we have a major disagreement on how "cute" they are). Get your photo taken and then come back to the website to look for it. Terry will add a few of the other activities and the on-track races and crashes. If you haven't already purchased your tickets, don't wait too long as both the previous events sold out. We hope to see everyone there!
Click here for Round One pictures.
Click here for Round Two pictures.
Click here for Round Three pictures.
Click here for Round Four pictures.
Click here for Terry and Janet's complete portfolio.
Also this weekend is the Rockford Speedway National Short Track Championships. Hopefully I will be able to attend Friday and Sunday's events. Check back to see the action.
Click here to see some of last year's action.
We have just updated the Team Demolition Derby collection. We added Rounds 2 and 4. We also updated Round 3. Further updates may have to wait, as we start final preparations for the upcoming NASCAR's Race for the Chase.
While watching the racing from Richmond, Janet was organizing all our track boxes, which contain all our supplies for the week. We leave Wednesday morning for Chicagoland. Before we leave I have to download all NASCAR's media information and organize it for our desk. If you have never worked or been in a media center during a major NASCAR event, its something like an air traffic control center, organized chaos! Janet and I will not get a break from the start Friday morning until the start of the Nationwide race on Saturday. The action will be non-stop!
There are so many activities for the fans. Since 2001, I don't believe I have ever seen so many fan events planned. We have the Brantley Gilbert concert, Geico 400 National Anthem singer Dannielle Bradbery, Dollar General 300 powered by Coca Cola National Anthem singer Jim Cornelison, skydivers, fly-over, The FanZone, Champions Park, KidsClub, Track Walk, the souvenir midway area, etc. I hope everyone comes early and stays late. For those camping on the Speedway grounds, there will be a reserved fan viewing area outside Gate 5 (north side of the track) for the NASCAR Hauler Parade as it arrives at the Speedway, which should happen around 6:00 pm on Thursday. Here's to a great weekend event. We will provide updates throughout the weekend and may even be able to post a few images.
It was a great day at the Route 66 Raceway yesterday. The Junior Dragsters were great as always. The kids are awesome. One minute they are competing as drag racers and the next they're just kids playing. Since this was their last race for the season, the families had a big post-race
cook-out. I would have loved to have stayed; however, we had to move over to the Dirt Oval for the Team Demo Derby.
The Team Demolition Derby event had some scary moments when one of the drivers had to be
cut out of his car! He took a tremendous hit and was stunned. After being placed on the back board and transported off the track, he woke up, asked "What's all this stuff, get it off of me." He stood up and returned to his team! A good win for the Real Steel team.
After getting home very late, I was up early, cleaned the cameras, downloaded all images, cleared the cards and put everything back together. Now its time for a nap!!
* Click here to view the Junior Dragsters event photos.
* Team Demolition Derby event photos coming soon. In the meantime, click here for past event photos.