Photo Gallery

Chet's Photo Blog

June 28, 2011
  • Here is a shot of my setup in the announcer’s booth. Small computer is my database, which we learned about in previous blogs, and the larger monitor is the loop data feed from the track. The black binder on the left holds the “reads”, which are the advertisements you hear from Hannah and myself each night. We do not pre-record them because they change from race to race and many times we do not receive the copy until race night. See, you probably learned something already!
  • I walk down to the pits through the Stockyard, taking me past the Outside Road Course, which is another source of great entertainment. In this case the Exotic Cars were running, hence the exotic car in the pic. When the Superbikes are running we usually get to watch at rider or two scuff their tail through the dirt. Like I said, great entertainment!
  • Heads Up Motorsports handles fuel sales at the Bullring and The Strip. At the Bullring Keith and Susan man the depot, which is located in the back of the pit area away from anything potentially “sparky”. Randy Irwin, who is the father of Justin and Jason, is the gent buying fuel in this pic. Note all the “No Smoking” signs and the fire extinguisher sitting at the ready. Keith and Susan are amazingly laid back despite spending their weekends sitting next to a giant fireball waiting to happen.
  • I followed Randy back over to the Irwin’s pit area to give Justin his “Feature Event Winner” sticker. I have found that most of the racers are just as excited, if not more so, about this sticker as they are about the trophy they receive in Victory Lane. In the background you can see Jason going over his car. It is easy to forget the massive amount of hours, work and energy these drivers and crews put into their cars before they even hit the track, and that is true for all divisions.
  • Speaking of work, Justin Griffiths lends a hand to Tony Reigart on his #67 Bomber. Tony is working at the battery of the car, which in the Bombers is relocated to the back seat area for safety. Crew sizes vary from team to team, but it is not unusual to see drivers and crews helping other teams in the pits.
  • Leaving the Bomber area of the pits, I had to walk through “Lineup” and I saw Christian Warren sitting patiently in his car waiting for the Legends practice time. There are two things that strike me about this picture. First, drivers spend a great deal of time sitting in lineup dressed in their fire suits and equipment during some very hot temperatures. Second, the Iceman is “on task” even in the practice sessions.
  • Bud is the head of Fire and Safety for LVMS and he is also the point man for the crew at the Bullring. This shot was taken at the top of the entrance ramp where Bud controls cars entering the track for practice. An interesting fact is that during practice sessions most of the flagging is done from turn 2, not from the starter’s stand. Bud also has control of the track lights from this position.
  • Jim O’hanley, of O’hanley’s 9” Rears, maintains a fleet of Bandolero Cars. Here, fuel is going into the 91 driven by Caden Carlin who, as of this writing, is the current points leader in the Bandits division. Bandoleros are without a doubt the most fickle car when it comes to setup. Air temperature, humidity, planetary alignment, you name it and it effects these little buggers. I have seen grown men making verbal deals with these cars on a regular basis.
  • The Tire Barn, run by American Racing Supply, is another location fans rarely get to see. Gary Harwood was having a Bando tire mounted but he was also thinking about Charger tires as Wyatt will be moving up to that division after the summer break.
  • “Jammin’” Jay Beasley was rolling in a little late with his Dad but they were still all smiles, as it should be. Jay is having a tremendous rookie season in the Super-Lates, currently sitting third in points.
  • And speaking of family, the Thigpen Family Racing team does everything together, including transferring the fuel to a container that doesn’t have a leaky pouring spout. If I were a photographer I would do a coffee table book that had portraits of families and racing, both in the pits and in the stands. There are way more smiles than frowns at any race track!
  • Of our regular weekly divisions, the Bandos, Legends, Roadsters and Bombers do not have spotters, or at least they do not have radio communication with a spotter. Many teams, however, utilize a variety of hand signals from the pit area fence, relaying information such as distance of a competitor, lap times, gaining or losing ground, or bunt. Well, not so much the bunt but with some of the signals I’ve seen I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t accidentally come up.
  • The Tech Barn is where the official stuff takes place. Robby Guevara, ’06 Legends Masters and 3x SNORE Off Road Champ, is checking in with Tami and picking up his transponder.
  • Meanwhile in the back, Kevin organizes all the plaques and trophies for the nights events. He will also post practice times as well as results from qualifying and the heat races, so most drivers or crew members will visit the tech barn multiple times during the night. If you are a fan and looking for autographs, just outside of the tech barn is a great place to hang out. You can also see the Practice, Qualifying, Heat and Feature stats online at the end of the night. Simply go to MyLaps.com and search for “Bullring Las Vegas”.
  • David Anderson and the Jagged Edge Day Spa & Salon number 5 roll through pre-race tech. If he finishes in the top 5 he will be subject to a post-race tech, which is much more involved. After the racing action is over for the evening, fans are welcome to walk down into the pit area (closed toed shoes only) and watch the post-race tech take place. I highly recommend doing it at least once.
  • If things don’t go well in practice, crews may have to seek some outside assistance. Here, the Collision Masters Team brings in some consultation from Phil’s Phabrication.
  • If things go well in practice, crews can just kick back. Something I have noticed over the years is this; if it is pre-race, crews (like the Anderson’s pictured here) will sit facing the cars. If it is post-race, they will sit in a circle. You can come up with a hundred different arguments on why this makes sense, and I will agree with most of them, but it still makes me laugh.
  • Practice comes to an end with the Driver’s Meeting.

Fun Extras!