Working With The Champ

It’s late in the day at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. The sun is low in the sky, yet still shining brightly through a thin layer of clouds. The winds are steady, cold, and piercing through my hoodie I’m wearing. Dust is swirling across the track and upwards into my eyes, my nose, and everywhere as far as I can still see on the horizon. There’s grit in my mouth that I’m constantly spitting out. It’s cold. Very cold.

chuckwalla cvma sunset
Where I shall stand

Ten minutes prior, I was in the paddock, mostly sheltered by the Rickdiculous Racing rig and trailer, under the canopy next to the classroom. I was talking to The Champ, Scott Russell. He’s a hooligan. I’m a hooligan. Together, we usually come up with some cockamanie plan to get a cool or unique shot that neither of us had ever seen or done.

Today it was going to be at the top of The Slide coming onto the back straight. The weather was less than ideal for being a goon, but the lighting was magnificent. Today was our only opportunity as well, considering that tomorrow we would be running the opposite direction on the track. We hashed out the game plan in just a few minutes and off we both went to do our parts.

This was the result:

scott russell wheelie bmw s1000rr

I’d imagine to most people that’s a really cool picture (or maybe I’m just so full of myself that I think people would think so…). To me, it’s okay. It’s a fun wheelie shot, I guess. But it’s not EXACTLY what I wanted.

For 3 laps in a row, The Champ did EXACTLY what I told him he needed to do for me to get the shot. But I was wrong. Each time he came by, I tried to force the shot, even knowing that it wasn’t exactly what I thought I wanted. So in a spur of creativity, I thought about his line, his angle, the background of my shot, and I changed it up on the 4th lap before he came back around.

And this is the result:

scott russell mr daytona s1000rr wheelie chuckwalla valley raceway rickdiculous racing

I couldn’t have asked for a better shot! Better than I’d been trying to get! Even if other people don’t think this is awesome, I think it’s awesome. And with my track photos, believe it or not, I’m the only person I’m trying to impress. :)

Sometimes things don’t work out as planned and there’s nothing you can do to change the wheels in motion until your opportunity has passed and your chances of doing something great is gone. So sometimes, you just need to change up the plan on the fly and take a chance. :)

Thanks for being awesome, Scott, and putting life and limb on the line for a photo op!

Here’s a few more pics of The Champ that I’ve taken to finish off this little blog post:


miller motorsports park

njmp new jersey motorsports park ycrs

lvms las vegas motorspeedway

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