22 Oct, 2017  |  Written by  |  under Drag Racing, Motorsports

The ripple effect of the Houston Hurricane savagery found me stepping to help Rob Geiger at Geiger Media Global whose home and business were flooded out. This meant I went to the races watching not through my usual photog lens and storyteller hunter, but with the perspective of a PR person, guided by Geiger’s very specific agenda that would ensure his clients would not experience any interruption in service. Know this: I have much deeper understanding and consequential respect for how hard the public relations folks labor during a NHRA National event.

While the “mission” was highly entertaining and educational, I was whipped after all 3 days keeping up with how four classes unfolded for five clients: Erica Enders-Stevens, Hector Arana, Jr., Mike Coughlin, Troy Coughlin and Jeg Coughlin, Jr. I should point out that while 2 racer’s pit were blessedly adjacent, the others were spread out over a few acres. With a sellout crowd, I was not going to attempt driving my manual shift credentialed sports car through the throng, and no golf carts were available so hoofing was the order of the day.  Mike Coughlin’s pit was all the way over on the Indy Car oval track which meant a circuitous one-mile “there and back again” trip. You quickly learn how to hitchhike with strangers.

This was also my deep water plunge into using a stinking cell phone for images of rapidly unfolding events as well as a voice recorder to conduct up-to-minute interviews for quick quotes that GMG would process and post from Texas. I was clueless about the recording bits on the Galaxy 8 and abhorred the idea of photos with a phone, but I became very proficient with both in about 24 hours.

Can you say “Old dog, new tricks?” yep. that’s me.

The eye-popping cognition was stumbling onto “burst mode”. The accidental wrong button push revealed the 3 x 6 x 1/4 inch handheld device was capable of capturing upwards of 65  images for any car, bike or digger that burnt out or launched off the line. All in focus. It was disgusting as it was delightful to learn. All I could think of was the tidal wave of obsolescence heading towards my vast investment in  Nikons and Hassleblads. . . .  I can’t wait to see what my new camera drone will teach me, or if it gets me arrested.

Have visual chew on the ones of Chris Karamesines, “The Golden Greek” that I captured like a Panavision Jedi operator using nothing but my index finger. Insert expletive. In 45 frames I have the full visual story of how one precisely and completely burns down a a perfectly good top fuel engines in under 200 feet. Just watching the zoomies imparts the unfolding, unavoidable mechanical doom. I call the series: “Golden Greek Top Fuel Saganaki Aluminum Style”

All the images you see here are fancy pants phone shots, some are digitally manipulated – on the stinking phone of course. Yo! Adobe! Your turn is coming.

Click on any image for a “bigger” view.

Troy Coughlin burnout

Oh, please Troy, win this round. . .

Moment of truth

Jeg the Junior

Fearsome tire-hoppin display

TJ & Fast Jack take Terry with them

JFR Prez R. Hight: Man on a Mission

If  J Force has an AARP card Alexis doesn’t care!

Arana Sr sends Jr. down the track

What’s up with Eddie?

Jr. knows how to smoke ’em.

Greg’s chasin’ Jason

Bad Ass Pro Stock Driver Erica Enders-Stevens

So Ready. So Steady

Burn It Up Girl!

Golden Greek Saganaki Aluminum Style – “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth succumbs to shooting with a smarty pants phone at Gateway Motorsports Park during NHRA Midwest Nationals.

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