This will be the first of hopefully many blog posts that will feature the people who work so hard to bring the racing action to the speedways around Atlantic Canada on a weekly basis. I think it’s important to introduce the fans – you and me – to these people who work so tirelessly and passionately to make the Maritime Pro Stock Tour happen. I hope you enjoy these occasional diversions. 🙂
I wrapped up a week of vacation time at Speedway 660 in Geary last weekend with the Maritime Pro Stock Tour racing series and I have to say that I truly love what I do so much. The camaraderie of hanging out in the pits with the drivers and their families and crew, the tour staff, the track staff and even the race fans in the stands is incredible.
Yes, I photograph racing and I sell my work to earn a living. I do it for money. But honestly, and you can ask my wife about this, I’d probably do it regardless.
Now, it certainly helps that I’ve got pretty much unrestricted access at every track around the Maritimes to help me get some of the photos I capture and the Pro Stock level of racing action is pretty impressive in itself, but it always comes down to the people I work with at the tracks week in and week out. I have an awesome time hanging out at every single race track, every single weekend.
Take for example Art Steves, the flag man that travels with the tour. Art has been doing this for many, many years. He was supposed to have retired nearly 5 years ago, but he simply *loves* what he does.
I always take a minute or two to say hello and chat with Art at every race. I often try to capture an image from the infield of the checkered flag as the winner crosses the line. It’s a real challenge to do, so it doesn’t work very often, I have to admit, but this past weekend at Speedway 660, I decided to photograph the Dash for Cash race from the flag stand to try to capture a new perspective of the cars on the track. While I did get some great images of the race cars from the stand as the end of the 10 lap dash approached, I started to feel the energy bordering on almost agitation coming from the other end of the stand and started to really understand how important this was to Art. So I quickly shifted my attention from the cars to the finish and I captured what I believe is my favorite photo from the entire day – Art throwing the checkered flag.
Now, as a spectator, you might not even think about the guy who waves the flags to give the drivers updates and critical information. But trust me. If you’re attending a Pro Stock Tour race, like the IWK 250 at Riverside Speedway this coming weekend on July 19th. Take a few seconds and look up to the flag stand above the start/finish line and watch the passion that Art brings to what he does. It’s like a dancer lost in the music. Art doesn’t just wave the flag, he becomes part of the flag and helps me feel more connected to the race. It’s all part of the family of the Maritime race community.
Personally, I hope Art never retires.
Here is a small gallery of images from the flag stand during the race. Hope you like them. For the full galleries, please visit the race gallery page at this link.