Tommy Bolton with Tombo Racing started out as a customer but has turned into a very good friend over the past couple of years. He is one of the funniest guys I know and will do anything for his friends. We did a story about him for Ride Oklahoma Magazine about a year ago. The story was about two good friends who used Tommy to help build their drag racing bikes, and who competed against each other on a regular basis.
I have photographed at Thunder Valley Raceway several times and it just has a wonderful sunset, right down the track in the summer. The people there know Tommy well since he is a major figure in the local and national drag race scene, so I can get create access to the track for photos. For the shot above I placed a Nikon SB-900 at the starting line to fill in the shadows of Tim Howard as he launched his bike from the starting line. I shot with a wide angle lens very close to his rear wheel. The noise from here is deafining so earplugs are a must. I used a pocket wizard to trigger the lights. I have learned to watch the start tree and trigger my shot when the light turns green. If I wait to fire when I see the bike move it is too late, they are gone.
While waiting between rounds this really powerful Mercedes came up for a run. I quickly threw a couple of lights on it during the burnout. I used two SB-900’s to light up the smoke from his burnout. Unfortunately I didn’t get to photograph him starting down the track since he blew a rear tire in the burnout. I picture really shows the potential of these supposedly luxury cars!