Tempers flare and Visit From Snooki Make For a Wild Weekend at Richmond

Over the weekend I was in Richmond, VA shooting the cutoff race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase. This was my second visit to Richmond and after a great time last year I was really looking forward to going back.

I arrived at the track on Friday morning, the day would be non-stop with two Nationwide and Sprint Cup practices, two qualifying sessions and the Nationwide race that evening.

Below, Jeff Gordon prepares to head out onto the track shortly before the start of practice.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets his helmet ready before getting into his car.

Kasey Kahne gives a smile while kidding around with crew members during practice.

Mark Martin rests before the start of the second practice.

Kyle Busch, with a special American Flag paint scheme acknowledging the 10 year anniversary of 9-11, heads out onto the track as fans look on.

Kevin Harvick looks as if he would rather be drinking a Bud as he takes a break during practice.

Below, Nascar Nationwide Series drivers Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards bring the field to the green flag for the start of the Virginia 529 College Savings 250. Richmond is known for some exciting racing and after a very boring couple of races last year, which went nearly caution free I was hoping that this year would be different and it would be.

Danica Patrick (7) gets into Brad Keselowki (22) in turns 3 and 4.

Brian Scott (11) spins in the middle of turns 3 and 4.

Brian Scott shows his displeasure at Reed Sorenson (32) as he is restrained by NASCAR Officials.

Kyle Busch battles Carl Edwards for the lead during the later stages of the race.

Winner Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout….

and emerges from the car where he taunts the fans while receiving plenty of boos.

On Saturday I would arrive at the track and quickly head out into the garage to start looking for Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, the star of the MTV hit “Jersey Shore”. After noticing a bright orange glow out of the corner of my eye, I knew that I found her.

Below, Snooki is intrigued by a hose inside the car of Juan Pablo Montoya.

Snooki and Ret. USMC drill instructor and actor R. Lee Ermey check out the Sprint Cup Series garage.

Members of the Virginia National Guard rollup a large American Flag during the pre-race festivities.

David Reutimann (00) leads Jamie McMurray (1) into turn one at the start of the Wonderful Pistachios 400.

Fans wave American flags during laps 9-11.

After shooting the start from down low I headed up to the roof to get a wide angle shot of the track.

Kurt Busch (22) locks up his brakes and spins Jimmie Johnson (48)

Kevin Harvick leads the field through turns 1 and 2.

Kevin Harvick celebrates his victory with a burnout.

The top 12 drivers for the 2012 Chase pose for photos.

And with that, I finish out another great year of shooting NASCAR. I am looking forward to getting back to the track next year.

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