The more NHRA events that I go to the more I learn to appreciate the sport and its drivers. Being able to harness all that power and make it down the track in under 4 seconds in a pretty amazing feat for the teams, and being able to be right at the start line only a few feet away is pretty exciting.

The majority of racing is held during the day, but at some events you’re blessed with a few runs at night. These are my favorite times to shoot for the obvious reasons, that you get to see the flames breathing out from the dragsters. Here are some photos from the night session, along with other photos from the weekend that I thought you’d enjoy.

Here Steve Torrence of Torrence Racing makes a run under the lights. Composition wise its always nice to have the whole dragster in frame, but I also like to try and focus more on the driver, engine and rear wheels as well. I think it lets you feel more of the power.

Here you can see sparks shooting out of Brandon Bernstein’s Top Fuel Dragster as he makes his pass.

In comparison, here is a shot of Johnny Gray in his Funny Car, and Antron Brown in his Top Fuel Dragster during the “Golden Hour”, before the sun fully dropped below the horizon. Shooting at that time of the day always gives you some great rich colors in your photos.

Yes the car isn’t 100% in focus but I still like the shot.

While shooting drag racing at night is a lot of fun, it can also get pretty repetitive so I looked for a different angle. Behind the start line is the media center, so I talked to track official and got permission to shoot from the roof top. Because of the heave waves the cars put off, once they leave the start line it can be challenging to get a clean in focus shot, so while your ratio for good shots is a little less shooting here, when it comes out I think it looks great, and its an angle you don’t see everyday.

Matt Hagan

Cruz Pedregon and his team looking over his run.

Here you can see the effects of the heat waves once the cars get down the track.

On Saturday Basketball star Thurl Bailey came out to support Steve Torrence so we took a few candid photos in his pit. That night they had a meet and greet at the MGM Grand Hotel where passerby’s wanted to take photos with the 6’11” star. A few people thought Steve was his assistant so he had to take a few photos.

Another great place to shoot, and what makes shooting NHRA fun is being in the staging lanes right before the drivers go on their runs. All the drivers are very approachable and don’t mind getting shots taken of them there.

Shooting with a long lens you can get a good closeup of the drivers eyes. Here is a shot of Alexia Dejoria.

With a wide angle you can get more of the car and get some interesting angles.
Cruz Pedregon

Del Worsham

Here are a few more of my favorite shots from the weekend, next NHRA race for me is July in Denver! Its another great track to shoot at and will also have some night runs so stay tuned!