BACK FROM THE FLING...AGAIN - 5/8/19

Back from my second Spring Fling event in three weeks, this one the Spring Fling at GALOT Motorsports Park. This was the third year at GALOT and I’m always amazed at how nice the facility is. We might complain about the fact that we can’t use flash photography on the starting line at NHRA national events, but here is a place where it’s really not needed. The Musco lighting they have at GALOT lights the place up as if we were at Yankee Stadium.

Once again, a Swear Jar was in effect at the Fling in GALOT with the money going directly to the family of Brock Currens. Gone way to early in life, Currens was only 17-years old when he lost his life while riding an ATV at the track. I find it real interesting that as a community of racers, we want to beat the daylights out of our competition, but still come together and help a fellow racer in need. I think we should be setting up a Swear Jar at all the races we attend and I give a lot of credit to whomever came up with the idea at Fling events. I really forget who that person was several years ago but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind sharing that idea elsewhere.

If there was anything which bothers me about the event it’s the fact that I; and a lot of other editors; try to never run an action photograph with empty stands in the background. It’s just not a good statement on the state of our sport. Of course, bracket racing is certainly not a spectator sport and you very rarely see anyone in the stands. So that becomes a problem when you’re trying to get a unique photo of a car on the starting line. But it is what it is, and we deal with it.

This is also now a concern at NHRA national events where new photographer rules for this year are that credentialed photographers must kneel down to take shots in an area from the starting line down to 100-feet. Oftentimes what you end up with are shots of cars with empty stands in the background and nobody wants to see that, or for that matter use those shots. The reasoning for that? They’ve said because spectators have complained that photographers are in the way, at least that’s what I’ve heard. Somehow I can’t believe that more than a dozen; if even that; have complained. And if it is a dozen out of how many thousands of fans there are… it just doesn’t seem to my common sense mind to have changed the whole way we publicize our sport in pictures. But then again, maybe that’s the problem. Common sense isn’t all that common anymore.

I got the chance to be on Cameron Ferre and Don O’Neal’s Racers In Rental Cars podcast this past week. We talked about a lot of “stuff,” from the Charlotte Four-Wide race where there was a mass exodus of fans leaving the track Saturday before all the racing was done to announcers to a lot of other things. Because I was at GALOT for the Fling, there was a lot of background sounds of burnouts and the like while we were talking. I’m not sure that made it sound more interesting or…  But in any event, it was a pretty interesting time and if you get a chance, check it out at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/114938/john-dibartolomeo-from-drag-racing-edge-magazine.