Hickory Motor Speedway

This is my contribution to Scott’s Assignment 15: Competition.  It is one of the hardest assignments for me, and one that I enjoyed the most so far.  I thought it would be interesting to photograph car racing, a sport that I knew nothing of.  We visited the Hickory Motor Speedway on Sunday, the race usually held on a Saturday night and since this is the 35th Annual Bobby Isaac Memorial, it was held on a Sunday afternoon.

I quickly learned what each flag stands for.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/4, 1/1600sec, ISO 400, Exposure Bias 0 step, focal length 200mm, evaluative metering

The Speedway looks very busy taken as is.  My intention was to do panning, a technique that a camera is panned to follow a moving race car, the background is blurred while the car remains sharp.

Green-flag racing means go.

Canon T2i, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 800, Exposure Bias 0 step, focal length 29mm, evaluative metering

The first race was the Limited Late Model, race info source.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/50sec, ISO 400, focal length 163mm, evaluative metering

Lead by #75 Landon Huffman and right behind him was #11 Matt Piercy.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/50sec, ISO 400, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

During lap 42,  (69) Trevor Hignutt made contact with the outside wall. I noticed some would get excited watching this.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 400, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

Back under green flag conditions (75) Huffman and (11) Piercy continued to battle for the lead. The two ran side-by-side until the end making contact sending both cars across the finish line sideways.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/32, 1/15sec, ISO 400, focal length 70, evaluative metering

(75) Huffman crossed only inches ahead of (11) Piercy grabbing the win.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/32, 1/40sec, ISO 400, focal length 154, evaluative metering

(75) Huffman

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/4, 1/1600sec, ISO 400, Exposure Bias +0.3 step, focal length 200mm, evaluative metering

(11) Piercy

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/4, 1/800sec, ISO 400, Exposure Bias +0.3 step, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

The second race was more intense.  It’s the Bojangles Late Models 150-lap.  (43) Jesse LeFevers lead the first 149 laps.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/60sec, ISO 800, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

Another accident.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/60sec, ISO 800, focal length 118mm, evaluative metering

With 10 laps remaining in the feature, (12) McDaniel gained ground in the corners, but (43) LeFevers continued to inch ahead on the straightaways.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/40sec, ISO 800, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/40sec, ISO 800, focal length 200mm, evaluative metering

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/40sec, ISO 800, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/40sec, ISO 800, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

The two were side-by-side on the final lap heading out of turn four when (12) McDaniel crossed the finish line only inches ahead of (43) LeFevers grabbing the win.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/40sec, ISO 800, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

(12) Austin McDaniel won the 150-lap Late Model Feature and crowned Rookie of the Year.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/40sec, ISO 800, focal length 168mm, cropped, evaluative metering

(12) Austin McDaniel

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/5.6, 1/800sec, ISO 800, Exposure Bias 0 step, focal length 70mm, evaluative metering

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO 800, Exposure Bias 0 step, focal length 154mm, evaluative metering

(43) LeFevers’ second-place finish kept him first in the Track Champion point race making him the 2011 Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champion.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/5.6, 1/1000sec, ISO 800, Exposure Bias 0 step, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

It is a very noisy sport, some came prepared.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 800, Exposure Bias 0 step, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

Lee was there for the food, it was 1/2 price towards the end of the race.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Aperture Priority, f/5.6, 1/320sec, ISO 800, Exposure Bias 0 step, focal length 70mm, evaluative metering

Bo enjoyed watching the race, second time for him and first for Lee and I.

Canon T2i, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/25, ISO 800, focal length 26mm, evaluative metering

Last race for the evening was the Sportsman Racing Classics.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/30sec, ISO 1600, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/30sec, ISO 1600, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

The Sportsmen Racing Classic division capped off the 35th Annual Bobby Isaac Memorial with the No. 99 of Todd Bradberry leading the field to the green for the 25-lap race.

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/22, 1/30sec, ISO 1600, focal length 200mm, cropped, evaluative metering

(99) Todd Bradberry

Canon T2i, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, AV, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 1600, Exposure Bias 0 step, focal length 200mm, evaluative metering

This is the most photos I took for an assignment, thank you Scott for this opportunity.

15 thoughts on “Hickory Motor Speedway

    • Hi seeharhed, there were other Asians there also, some are friends or family of the racers. The Asian populations are blending in well in this community. I wouldn’t watch a car race on TV, but would watch it live and taking picture of the race is more fun anyway. 🙂

      • Cambree, I think the earmuffs are more of a fashion statement to Lee than a real protection, and I’m glad she likes wearing them. The race track was loud and I was surprised to see many kids there, especially the little one and some don’t have earmuffs.

  1. I am a race fan from way back (don’t ask how far, please) and know about this track. Several big time racers have gone on from here to very successful careers in NASCAR racing. I will have to make note of the names of the drivers you photographed here. You even got a classic wreck at the finish line.

    Notice how much better your panned photos were when they were on the back stretch? When the subject and camera are perpendicular to each other, that’s when panning works best.

    • Scott, I had my camera set at f/5.6 in Aperture Priority for still images, and f/22 in Manual for panning that way I can switch back and forth real fast and not missing any action. It works well here, and I bet for any sporting events.

      I was worried about panning sitting way back and saw how well it did right away. I never thought I would enjoy the race this much, and it’s a lot of fun to photograph sporting events. I have to get out more. 🙂

  2. So cool you got the chance to try panning – that came out really well! I’ve wanted to try that since Scott first wrote about the method some time ago, but haven’t had the opportunity. I love the confetti shot and the picture of Lee is sweet!

    • Hi Karma, panning creates real cool images especially when the background and foreground are real busy like this race track. As for the confetti shot, I didn’t understand the big celebration when he came in second place and found out later that he had won the 2011 Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champion. I’m glad I took many shots and like this one best. Lee loves to pose for my camera, and thanks for the nice comment. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Assignment 15 Recap | Views Infinitum

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