Its funny how life works. A couple of years ago I booked a last minute make up job that I nearly didn’t take, but that dropped me into one of the great love affairs of my life. (racing!)
It was a photoshoot at a race track, with a couple of race car drivers. Being that I’m all about high heels, a killer hairdo and some wicked lipgloss, I had approximately zero interest in it, had never heard of any of the people I met that day, had never been around racing and had no plans to ever be around racing. So I was not prepared for the crazy excitement that would follow!
All I can say is if you’ve never been to actually see a race live, there is just nothing like it!I’ve always loved huge rock concerts, and the closest parallel I can give you is that moment at a concert when the lights go down, the crowd goes wild, the drums start pounding, the guitars come peeling out, and your heart is beating so hard it might burst. Thats just the beginning when its a day at the races.
Since then I’ve been many times, and to several different types of motor racing. You could say I’ve become bit of an addict…
Anyway, last year a racer that I’ve done photoshoots with invited me to a super cool event in Rossdale Ohio at the Eldora race track. The track is owned by a guy called Tony Stewart who drives in Nascar, and is supposed to be quite a character.
Tony holds a charity event each year at his track, and the part I got to go to was called The Prelude to The Dream. Basically a bunch of Nascar drivers and a couple of NHRA drivers racing cars called Dirt Late Models.
When we arrived Tony was driving this big earthmover thing around the track, getting it ready for the race. I thought it was quite charming really, as he could easily have had someone else do it for him.
Thousands of fans show up to cheer on their favorite drivers. I’d never watched Nascar, so had no clue who any of these dudes were, apart from Jeff Gordon.
I was told that day that hanging out with Jeff Gordon is as huge as hanging out with Elvis. All day I kept wondering if that would be fat Elvis or Blue Hawaii?
(Actually I’d heard of Earnhardt too, but as far as I know he wasn’t there). You could say it was a great introduction to Late Model racing. This event was dirty and dusty, loud as hell, wild, crazy, terrifying and exciting all in one! Before I knew it I was completely hooked.
Jeff Gordon in his pit Prelude to the Dream 2008
Kasey Kahne in his pit Prelude to the Dream 2008
Ryan Newman was a really cool guy
I think this guy is Matt Kenseth?
One of the car owners had a daughter there that day who wanted to tool around with my camera. Consequently I have all these photos of her favorite drivers. There were lots of other pictures too, but I couldn’t post them all.
Prelude to the Dream is on again this year on June 3rd, and you can watch it on HBO pay per view. Check it out at www.HBO.com/events/prelude
I am just dying that I wont be there!
Maybe the moral of this silly little story is to always be open to opportunities that come your way – you never know what fun and exciting things are right around the corner!
Sometimes the new things that you dont think you’ll like are the best things ever…