Texas Thaw 2014 Photos

It’s that time of year again (or it was yesterday, at least), when the temps rise and hot rods from all over the southwest leave their garages on a pilgrimage to North Star Dragway in Sanger, Texas for the annual Texas Thaw car show and drag races, which benefits the USO and Unite for Troops.

Classic cars at the 2014 Texas ThawClassic cars at the 2014 Texas Thaw

It’s easy to forget what year it really is at Texas Thaw

This event draws a bigger crowd each year, and proves the nay-sayers that carry on about drag racing being on the decline wrong. The track was packed and cars filled with spectators consistently filed in all day long. We took our 63 Chevy C10 for some racing fun, and I brought along the camera bag to capture, as best is possible, the sensory overload of the day.

classic car at Texas Thaw 2014

A barn (or field?) find resurrected

It really doesn’t matter what your automotive taste is, there is something for everyone. From traditional classics to the outright weird, full-on racecars to subtle cruisers, the ‘Thaw has it all.

hot rods in the staging lanes at Texas Thaw

All shapes and sizes

We managed to grab a few win lights with the truck, and kept the attitude for the day light by not worrying about the timeslips (which were a bit off of what we were hoping for). Overall, there’s nothing like the Texas Thaw, and we can’t wait for next year.

Vintage coupe at Texas Thaw 2014

Goldfinger’s classic ride of choice

Check out the full gallery of photos from Texas Thaw 2014 by clicking any of the images above, or at the Shutterspeed Photo Site:

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ALMS and WEC – Austin 2013

A little preview and some thoughts from last weekend’s festivities in Austin. Not even a little (ok, a lot) rain could dampen the good times.

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After going to F1 last year (and don’t get me wrong, everyone needs to see them run at least once), I would highly recommend the sports car weekend next year to anyone looking to visit Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. Multiple classes battle it out in each race, and fans are treated to a whopping 8 hours and 45 minutes of top-level racing over two days, along with a host of support series in-between.

All this coupled with reasonable reasonable hotel prices, access to the paddock, pit walks, and a free and easy mindset all around the track make for a fantastic three days.

Just be warned: going back to work on Monday might be a little tougher than usual.

More pics from around the track and paddock will be up soon.

Power Tour 2013: Day 1 – Arlington

The past two years have been good ones to be in the Dallas area. 2012 brought both the Hot Rod Power Tour and Drag Week through the area, and today Power Tour again kicked off in Arlington.

Being who I am, of course, I couldn’t stay away. After doing two Long Hauls, it’s in the blood, and it’s just a given that I will have to go check it out. I highly recommend you do the same if it’s within any reasonable driving distance from you – there truly is nothing else like it in the world.

Click any of the photos below or this link to check out all 300+ photos.

Congraduations

It’s that magical time of year again, when the youth of America don hats and funny gowns and walk across stages and such. I had the chance to spend the morning taking some graduation pictures this past weekend. It was a really fun session, and as a bonus the pictures came out great.

Check out the full set over on the Shutterspeed Photo Site.

Congratulations (or, as my cousin’s son told me when I did, ‘congraduations’) Jenn!

GS550 Cafe: Coming Back to Life

It’s all about the process, right?

That’s what I keep telling myself each time I realize it’s been a month (or months) since I touched the GS550 project. It’s not like I forget it’s there. I mean, it takes up substantial space in my already small garage, and I walk by it every day. It’s just that some days it looks completely overwhelming (horribly pessimistic), while others it seems like I could order a few parts and be riding next week (heinously optimistic).

With the help of several parts that ended up under the Christmas tree and a new calendar year, actually getting it finished has seemed like a more attainable goal the past few months. My last few free weekends have been spent tackling the wiring, which is inching closer to being tidied up and tucked away.

With things pared down and everything that’s staying on board connected (I hoped), I decided it would be wise to crank it up before I set about looming up and tucking away the remaining wiring. The video above is the result I arrived at after 45 minutes or so of tomfoolery. Good feeling for me, not so much for my neighbors, most likely.

All-in-all, I feel better about this thing than I have in a while. It might, someday, maybe, go down the road again.

Maybe.

A photo tour of the forward progress made in Lucky 2013

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F1 Returns part 2: The 2012 USGP with Photos & Video

click to view the full set

Well, it’s been nearly 2 months since our whirlwind trip to Austin, and I’m still blown away by how amazing the entire experience was. It’s safe to say that Formula 1 has finally found a true home in this country; one that is better suited all around to host it than any were previously.

As unlikely a match as it seemed in theory, Austin was held up on the world stage and performed magnificently.

click to view the full set

With echoes of Texas Motor Speedway’s disastrous opening weekend that saw people still waiting the next day to get out of the parking lots looming in my head, I was fearful of the logistics involved going in. Simply put, the shuttle system was well thought out, well executed, and made getting to and from the track an absolute breeze.

click to view the full set

Texas Hospitality was also on full display from the moment fans approached the shuttle buses in town, and the gates at the track. Throughout the weekend, I noticed visitors from outside the state commenting on how nice the volunteers and employees were. There was also an amazing number of them patrolling the grounds in red shirts, with maps and guides in tow, ensuring that all needs were met.

The rush of people on Saturday and Sunday did lead to long lines for food and souvenirs, but in the end this was a slight blemish on a stellar event and facility, and everything was capped off Sunday with an outstanding race.

click to view the full set

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel duked it out from the moment the lights went out, with Hamilton eventually making use of dramatically faster speed through the DRS Zone to better the German in the penultimate race of his McLaren career. Passing was rampant throughout the field for most of the day, leading the packed crowd on the Turn 19 berm to cheer at regular intervals throughout the 56 lap contest.

A personal highlight was seeing Kimi Raikonnen quickly close the gap between his Renault and Nico Hulkenburg’s Force India as they flashed by us entering Turn 19. I pointed out the charge to my dad, then up to Turn 1 a few seconds later as Kimi looped out, then under entering the sharp apex at the top of the hill, executing a hair-raising pass as the two flowed into the esses.

All in all, I don’t think I could have wished for a better way to right the wrong of 2005. Bravo, Austin, and thanks to Tavo Hellmund and all the rest who have made this a reality. It certainly won’t be the last F1 race I attend.

Finally, what would an F1 post be without a little noise? Here’s a compilation of the videos I grabbed throughout the weekend.

Anderson Grain Elevators and an Old Farm Truck

Now that we are rocking 4 matching wheels, I finally got a chance to shoot the truck back home this past weekend. The light wasn’t the best either time, but pleased overall with the results.

These were shot by two of the more recognizable landmarks in east Sherman, Texas; the old Anderson Grain elevators which dominate the city’s skyline along with Wilson N. Jones hospital, and what remains of a billboard for the long-gone Chase Chevrolet.

Anderson Grain

Chase Chevrolet billboard

Click over to flickr with this link or the one on the side for the rest of the set.