One of the best offroad races of the year just went down in Parker, AZ. The BITD Parker 425 is a favorite among racers and fans alike. From the qualifying session on Thursday, and the racing action all day Saturday, Parker always delivers great racing, and great photography.

The course is a 140 mile loop filled with all types of terrain, which for photographers means we get a lot of options and variety. Qualifying was set for Thursday morning so Scott Smith and I headed up Wednesday night. The qualifying session is always a lot of fun to shoot because you get two laps so you are able to get more shots for your clients, and also the racers are going all out so you are bound to get some great action.

Before it started myself, Scott and Brian from Bink Designs was able to scout the course out and we found one area that we thought might be good. However the more we hung around waiting for the session to start, my gut told me to move to another spot down the course and I’m glad we did. For the practice lap we shot at a nice sandy s-turn where the cars would throw up a nice roost.

It was a nice spot because you could work a few different angles.

Camburg Racing

Strobel Motorsports

Ray “Ray Ray” Griffith

Another angle that I liked was after the vehicles went by they would shoot a nice roost right at you. I have the sand in my pockets to prove it. I know some people are going to think why put yourself in that position, but it was actually very safe. We never put ourselves in a position of danger for a photo.

Riot Racing

Herbst Motorsports

Bilek Racing

For the second lap of qualifying we moved down course a bit to an off camber g-out, our thinking behind it was let it get dug out more on the first lap, and that they’d also be hitting it faster this lap. It was another good spot where you could work different angles.

Here is Shannon Campbell proving us right 🙂

Adam Householder

Andy McMillin

Robby Gordon

Friday was pretty uneventful as the only thing going on was contingency which is like watching paint dry, so Scott and I took most of the day to scout out spots along the course. We wanted to try and find some new areas on the course to shoot, and we were able to find some good spots, but logistically it just wouldn’t work out. The only “negative” about having a few clients to shoot is that you need to make sure you get them multiple times. If you’re just shooting on your own you have the freedom to do whatever you want.

The 5:45am wake up call Saturday morning marked the start of a long but fun day. That alarm clock sets in motion a day of running around spot to spot, eating only nutter butters and sunflower seeds, facing the clock trying to beat cars to the next spot, and the big exhale at the end of the day when everything comes to a close.

The first spot we went to was at race mile 5, which is at the end of a long wash that has some nice sized holes that creeps up on the racers. Everyone knows its there, but in the heat of battle sometimes you tend to put your prerun homework aside.

After the majority of the race vehicles went by, we got back in the truck and headed to our next spot around race mile 130 to catch the lead group finishing up their first lap. It was another spot we have shot at before and its a nice spot to go to because the loop is so long, the majority of the vehicles are still going on their first lap. We hustled to get there and with a few minutes to spare we were able to catch the leaders.

After the majority of the lead group went by we got back in the truck and hustled to race mile 125ish to catch them once again at a quick sweeping turn. We only stayed there for a few cars so that we could run to race mile 5 which was down the road, but far enough on race miles that we’d be able to catch the leaders again.

At race mile 5 is a long sandy downhill into a right hand turn that always gives you some good action. At the bottom there is some big sand whoops, or if they go wide some soft sand to get some dirt in the air.

We finished off the day by heading deep into the course around race mile 90 that not a lot of media go to because of access. There isn’t anything too exciting out there, but its something different and is a bit scenic.

Well that wraps up this issue of “Blog post from two months ago”, below you’ll find some more photos from the race that I liked, as well as a link to the full gallery on my site. Thanks for looking!