Monday, May 27, 2013

2013 Indy 500

This was my first year helping cover the Indy 500 with the crew from the Indy Star. We had 15 photographers covering the main front of the track and a handful of people shooting crashes in the turns. The track is 2.5 miles around so there is a ton of ground to cover. 
We arrived race day at 7:30 a.m. after getting a police escort in and then it was off to work. My first gig of the day was to cover the "celebrity" red carpet event. Not much to say about that except i'm really glad they had a cheat sheet with names and pictures of the people on it. 

(Man vs Food host Adam Richman...hey I actually knew one!)

Then I was given great access to the Green Room where the drivers meet up before the race to relax and chat with each other. The room was packed and pretty loud, but behind a large wall banner I spotted last years race winner Dario Franchitti who used the time to be quiet and get himself focused.

(This was a tough shot to make, one, I tired to be as unobtrusive as possible so I didn't piss him off, and two, it was really really dark back there. For the photo folks out there, f1.8 1/6 second 2000 ISO.)

(IndyCar driver Scott Dixon has a moment with a friend)

(Jim Neighbors talks to eventual race winner Tony Kanaan)

Then it was time to hit the track where I found the Boston Marathon runners who weren't able to complete their race in Boston and finally finished at the famous yard of bricks on the track. It was a cool moment to see.

My assignment during the race was to cover the south end of the pits. Surprisingly not a ton goes on down there during the race and I wasn't anywhere near any of the leader's pits. Here is what I did manage to get from there.

(Late Show Host and IndyCar team owner David Letterman in his pit)

Finally the race was over and I made a mad dash to track down the winner and crowd favorite Tony Kanaan.

Though it was a long, tiring day there is nothing like having an up close view at the largest single day sporting event in the world, and I can't wait to be back next year.

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