The enchantment is back! Ever since I’ve been back from Italy I can’t stop raving about the country, the people, the culture, the language… my experience there was more enchanting than a fairytale and I felt so blessed. Now, it’s as if I’m caught up in yet another exciting dream! I’ve had access to an entirely different world – the world of Indy racing!
I have worked with and interviewed so many incredible people! I’ve really gotten to know IndyCar Driver Jeff Simmons because he’s the driver for the Ethanol team and that’s the cause I’m covering during this free lance gig. The young man is so engaging. He is constantly put in this huge spotlight and he simply opens up to his audience – invariably with lightning flash wit – and within seconds has his entire audience in the palm of his hand. But, Jeff is so humble and accommodating. It’s so refreshing to see a more or less super star be so down-to-earth!
There’s another absolutely engaging man I’ve gotten to know. His name is Tom Holm. In the past he’s hosted a television series on Outdoor Living called Adventure Highway The series represents everything I’ve ever dreamed of for my career in broadcast journalism. Travel, adventure, nature… everything! Now, he’s working on a series that both Discovery and National Geographic are making a bid for. It’s another adventure type show, but it’s all centered around the new buzz for ethanol fuel. He’s doing some really exciting shows… can’t wait to check em’ out when they’re finished! We’ve thrown around ideas about me getting involved in various ways… I pray that those opportunities really will come to fruition!
Tonight, there was a media dinner at this absolutely posh restaurant. CNN, New York Times, CBS, Discovery, U.S. Farm Bureau… they were all there. Somehow… I ended up being invited to sit at THE VIP table with Jeff Simmons and former IndyCar Driver Bobby Rahal. We’re talking an event with at least 45 prominent media guests and the next thing I know, I’m one of 8 dining with Simmons, Rahal and his wife, the Discovery guy (Tom Holm), the Yahoo Sports writer and a couple of ethanol guys. Tom and I were pretty much like, “Man… this is too cool!” In case you don’t know, Bobby Rahal is a MAJOR big wig in the auto biz. His wife is also the woman who originally marketed and sponsored Danica Patrick (the popular female driver in the series). But, Rahal and his wife were just like Jeff. Incredibly down-to-earth and engaging. They both have lived in Europe and pretty much share many of my sentiments about European lifestyle and culture. It was simply a collection of some really amazing people! I feel so blessed!
On a final note… I tried my hand at capturing IndyCars in motion during their practice runs. At speeds of 200+ (on race day it’ll be 230+), it can be difficult to snap an upclose pic and actually capture the car within the frame. But, even if you succeed at that, often times you freeze too much of the motion and it just looks like the car is at a standstill. The trick to a great pic is to get the car crisp, clear and sharp, but capture the wheels and the background in a blur to show the motion of the car. For my first shoot, I did alright. Some pics actually managed to get some blur action going on. I definitely need improvement, but I think I’m off to a good start…
I also snapped some pics of the pit stop challenge. Helio Castroneves and his Penske crew won the challenge for the second straight year. They managed to set a record too. There are tons… here are a few… not particularly the best. Just a few I pulled. Let me know what you all think! (And yes, every pic on this post is an LMAC original!)