New racing surface welcomes lots of sparks and action at Daytona

Over the past week and a half I have been in Daytona covering Speedweeks. Due to a pothole forming in the old racing surface last year during the Daytona 500 it was decided that the speedway would be repaved over the late summer and fall months. This new surface would provide a new and exciting type of racing that we have never seen before.

Martin Truex Jr. talks to a crew member through the window of his car during a practice session

Kurt Busch looks over the front end of his Penzoil Dodge.

One of the more exciting races of Speedweeks is the ARCA race which usually turns out to be a crash-fest, and like usual, it delivered plenty of crashes. I shot this race from turn  4, a place where you can almost always guarantee a large crash.

During the closing laps of the race I was provided with this great sunset.

Shortly after shooting the sunset all hell broke loose as several cars got caught up in a wreck. Of course I forgot to change my settings back from shooting the sunset, luckily I was able to somewhat save the shots in photoshop.

I turned to continue shooting the wreck…. and got a nice shot of the end of the wreck and another photographers arm.

For the Budweiser shootout I shot at the end of the backstretch. While not the most exciting place to shoot a race from, one of the main reasons I enjoy shooting on the backstretch is that you can usually get and exciting crash.

Clint Bowyer bump drafts with Jeff Burton on the backstretch.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Kevin Conway, Juan Pablo Montoya are involved in a multi-car pileup during the closing stages of the race.

On Sunday it was time for Daytona 500 qualifying, unlike the rest of the races, this qualifying will only determine the top two starters for the Daytona 500. The rest of the positions would be determined during the Gatorade Duel 150’s the following Thursday.

An excited Trevor Bayne exits from his car after a great qualifying run.

After Sundays qualifying session, the track would be quiet for the next two days. Activity would pick back up on Wednesday with several practice sessions for the trucks, Nationwide, and Cup Series. 

Kasey Kahne sits in his car as he prepares to head out onto the track for practice.

I arrived at the track early Thursday morning for Nationwide final practice, my main goal for this session was to get some shots of Danica Patrick.

Justin Allgaier climbs into his race car during practice.

Ricky Carmichael stars by his truck after the conclusions of Truck series final practice.

Friday would be a very busy day with 2 Sprint Cup practice sessions,  a media event with the USAF Thunderbirds, Nationwide Series qualifying and the Craftsman Truck Race.

The Craftsman trucks series race is always a favorite of mine as it always features great racing. I chose to shoot in turn 4 for the race.

Sparks fly from the truck of Johanna Long.

Elliott Sadler leads the field during the final laps of the NextEra Energy Resource 250.

Michael Waltrip celebrates in victory lane 10 years to the day of his first Daytona 500 win and the death of Dale Earnhardt.

Joey Logano sits in his car prior to heading out onto the track for final practice.

Juan Pablo Montoya climbs into his car.

Richard Petty walks around the garage area.

The later afternoon light glints off the rooftops of the race cars during the Drive 4 COPD 300.

Country music singer Martina McBride.

Country music singer Brad Paisley performs for fans before the Daytona 500.

The USAF Thunderbirds fly over the Daytona International Speedway prior to the start of the Daytona 500.

A Delta Airlines flight comes in for landing at the Daytona Beach International Airport.

The field heads off into turn three during the late stages of the Daytona 500.

The two car tandems head into turn three.

Paul Menard plows through the grass in turn three.

With Bobby Labonte pushing from behind, Trevor Bayne enters turn 3 for the final time as he heads for the finish line to win the Daytona 500.

Trevor Bayne celebrates in victory lane after becoming the youngest driver to ever win the Daytona 500.

Daytona is always one of my favorite tracks to go to as it always provides great racing. I am already looking forward to coming back in July!

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One thought on “New racing surface welcomes lots of sparks and action at Daytona

  1. Enjoyed your recent photo’s of the Daytona 500 race week. You have the opportunity to do what so many of us would love to do. Hope to see photo’s of the space shuttle launch. Keep up the excellent photography work.

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