We rode our bikes to the last day of qualifying at the NHRA Mile High Nationals last weekend. Motorcycles get preferred up front parking. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some pictures and enjoy the rush of drag racing, up close and personal. There is nothing like the power of top fuel and funny cars.
We had great seats right down on the strip and I was able to get quite a few pictures. Packing for the bike, I carried only one lens, a 28-300mm zoom lens.
Here are a couple of shots of Tony 'The Sarge' Schumacher piloting the US Army dragster, in a qualifying round against Melanie Troxel in the VVA POW/MIA dragster. The track temperature was about 130 degrees, so the traction was limited. Melanie had just lost traction and had to pedal a little. You can see the smoke from her tires and the raw fuel and a little oil from her pipes in the first image and the fireball as she gets back in the throttle in the second image. On the other side you can make out the flames from Tony's car and the wrinkles in his tires from being under steady power. If you look behind his car you can even see the heat waves in the Jesel and Lincoln Welders signs. If you click on the images you can view larger versions.
These images were cropped from the originals, re-sized and compressed for the web. I will show the entire sequence of 22 frames in a second post.
Here is the EXIF data for those who are interested. The exposure was automatic with aperture priority. It is interesting to note the shutter speed differences between the two images. Despite the time stamp being the same the two images were about 1/10 second apart. The timestamp is generated at the beginning of a burst and doesn't update until the shutter button is released.
File size: 14.5MB
Camera Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Date/Time: 2007:07:14 14:47:22
Shutter speed: 1/4000 sec
Exposure mode: Av
Metering mode: Evaluative
Drive mode: Continuous (high): frame 1
Lens: EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
Focal length: 28mm
AF mode: AI Servo AF
Image size: 3888 x 2592
Image quality: Raw
Shutter speed: 1/5000 sec
All other settings were the same.