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At The Race Track…

Posted by Amy in All About Amy | General | NASCAR

zMAXDragway in Concord, NC Summer of 2012 (Photo Credit Bryan Howland Photography)

One of my Facebook friends shared the above picture on my wall a while back (Hi Shannon!) and I just love it on so many levels.  First off it’s just a beautiful picture- I could hang that in my office or something if I had a copy.  But it’s more that than- it’s the face that it’s a race way.  Even though it’s technically a drag strip in North Carolina I have never been to and I am a NASCAR girl from California – this photo has me jonesing hard to be at a race track.

I could probably blame it on spring fever. I was last at a race track in early March for the Kobalt 400 in Las Vegas Motor Speedway- but for some unknown reason it seems like it’s been years ago.  But more there something about being at a race track during a race weekend that I adore long for. The colors, the sounds, the smells, the hustle and bustle of all the teams working on their machines that I love.

There is something about the sound of race cars that vibrates through you that I love.  Sometimes, I can walk out the back door of the building in which I work and if there are cars on track at Laguna Seca I will smile involuntarily because I love that sound. Mazda Raceway/Laguna Seca is a couple of miles away from where I work but I can often hear cars on track at work if I go outside. Then I usually get grumpy because I have to work and can’t be playing at the track.  The closer you are the less it is so much the sound more an actually a vibration/reverberation that you feel. I can only imagine what it is like to actually be in one of the cars barreling around the track at speed.

Race tracks have their own smell. Once I was walking through the Laguna Seca paddock with my parents taking in the sights and sounds of an IMSA garage in full work mode and my mom looks at me and says “Urg- what is that smell?!” I chuckled at her and said “That? That is the smell of speed. I wish they could bottle it.” She looked at me like I was slightly nuts, a look I have grown accustom to over the years. It’s not an easy smell to describe. The air around a track is heavy with it: part acrid rubber, part oil and gas, part sweat, part smoke, all adrenaline. I don’t know what it is about that smell but I can’t get enough of it.

And last but definitely not least- I love being at a race track because I am usually with my friend. BadGroove readers may see Misty as a co-blogger, someone who adds words and pictures to the race experiences we share on here. More importantly to that- she has been my friend since junior high. We have known each other longer than we have not known each other. Races give us a GREAT excuse to get together (she lives roughly 500 miles away), travel a bit, and have great adventures both on track and off (I always manage to get us lost at some point- it’s my superpower).

I love to take my camera and capture what I am seeing in an effort to display the excitement, the colors, the kinetic senses I am attacked by at the track.   I am always disappointed by the pictures I bring back.  Some of that is my photography abilities and knowledge- which are always growing, but part of it is trying to portray all that is a race in a set of photographs.  But for some reason- to me the above picture does that in a single photo.

It’s 20 days give or take before I will be at a track (Sonoma). And I can’t get there soon enough.

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You can find the above photo and more by visiting Bryan Howland Photography on Facebook.

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