Ok- I am a sucker for books. Rarely can I walk into a bookstore and not come out with a book or four. So if you were to combine books, with say my hobby of photography and my love of racing- you would have a must buy for me. So was the case when I heard about a book put together by Jimmie Johnson, his wife Chandra Johnson and photographer Missy McLamb. The minute I heard about the book and that it was a limited run- I found myself at JimmieJohnson.com ordering me up a copy. I couldn’t take a chance of there not being any left by the time I got to Phoenix in November.
For those unfamiliar with the book- it is a coffee table book of photographs detailing the entire 10 week Chase for Jimmie’s sixth championship in a row last season (you know the one that Tony Stewart ended up winning). Missy McLamb followed the Johnson family the entire 10 weeks of the chase documenting and preserving the high highs and low lows of the race season both from the professional areas of the track as well as the private areas of the Johnson’s life. I forget the incredible amount of pictures that were taken during the 10 weeks- Jimmie mentioned it in a Facebook post he made announcing the book- I want to say it was something like 15,000 pictures- quite a feat I think when I found that many of the photos were NOT shot with a digital camera (for the non-photography folks reading- film and other format cameras (except for digital) require more time to set up and take the shot- not to mention you usually only have 12-36 shots per roll of film depending the kind you are shooting).
The book is smallish in size- measuring 9 and 1/4 inches square. I admit- I was slightly worried that the quality of the book itself might lack when I heard that Chandra and Jimmie were basically having it printed themselves and marketing it themselves. I had nothing to worry about- the book is well made and well put together. The photos are a fascinating combination of at track photos- everything from Jimmie doing media or sitting in his car to the crew and car going through inspection to personal photos of Jimmie, Chandra and daughter Evie in their motorcoach or at home. The photographs in the book range from both color to black and white, crystal clear to artistically blurry. Most of the photos just stand for themselves in the book- however some of them have little one line descriptions of what they are. The stand out picture in the book to me- is the photo of Jimmie, Chandra and Evie in the motocoach watching coverage of the Dan Wheldon crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There is just something about that photo that catches the shock and emotion of the horrifying moment in motorsports history.
If you are a Jimmie Johnson fan? This book is a must. If you are a photography buff? This book is a must. If you are a NASCAR fan- this book is a must- as it documents the end of a historical run of 5 consective NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships.
If you happen to live in the Charlotte, NC area or will be in the area between October 13th-20th you may wish to stop by the Hart Wizten Gallery- which will be displaying some of the photos featured in the book. For more information (location of gallery, hours, etc) visit the On The Road Studio web page.
It is important to note that this book was NOT provided to me to review- I purchased it myself to add to my collection 0f NASCAR coffee table books.