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Memories of 1995

Please picture in your minds a photograph of Dale Earhnardt Sr. shaking someone's hand while you are reading this. Blogger must be having problems, because I can't upload any pictures right now. Once I can get it to upload right I'll update this post with the picture.

I finally have my scanner working to perfection. With this posting I have included one of my favourite pictures from the Aug. Michigan race of 1995. I have a pretty good story that goes along with this picture too.

On the day of the race you can enter the pit area with the purchase of a special pass and there is a pedestrian tunnel under the track on the front stretch for those fans to get back to the grandstand area before the race starts. Just outside the tunnel staircase, located in the grass on the infield, they set up the driver introduction area. Only people with special media passes are allowed to stay and take pictures etc. At that time the media pass was the same size as the pit pass and had the same colourization.

My friends and I decided to try and stay for the driver introductions, so we split up with Dave going one way, Brad going the other, and myself in a third direction. The deal was we would get as many pictures as possible before we got kicked out and meet at the seats after. Well, Dave and Brad didn't make it too far, they didn't even get any pictures whatsoever. I didn't even make eye contact with them as they were escorted by me on their way out of the area.

I happened to have a half decent 35 mm camera with me, that made me look at least semi-professional - maybe I worked for the community paper or something, you know? I also conveniently placed my camera bag in front of my ticket holder so that you could only see part of the pit pass - the part that looked like the media pass. I struck up a small conversation with the guy beside me, who truly had a legal media pass, to make it look good to security who were walking around scrutinizing people. Just as the security guy was coming towards me to check my visually obscured "media" pass, I tapped the true media pass guy on the shoulder and said, "Kevin ... (yes I found out his name) ... there's Dale Earnhardt," and placed my camera up to my eye and started taking pictures, as did Kevin. The security guy, who was eyeing me backed off, and found another media pass poser behind me. As the poser was leaving I could hear him say, "But that guy doesn't have one". I don't know if he was talking about me or not, but I took off my hat and moved to another spot just in case, saying bye to Kevin as I did.

My new location was even better and that is where I got this great shot of Dale Earnhardt. I also got an even better picture of Jeff Gordon, oh the irony! I called Jeff's name as he was walking by, and he stopped and gave me a half smile. Great stuff!

After driver introductions were over I managed to get myself into the pedestrian tunnel before they closed the door and made it back to the grandstand side. Once I was out of the tunnel I ran into Dave and Brad, who were waiting for me. They thought since they got caught so fast that I would be along in a minute too. No such luck for them! They stood there for almost 35 minutes waiting for me. Suckers! I at least got copies of the pictures for them when I got my film developed.

Since then the people at MIS have gotten smarter. Now all of the media folks wear these bright yellow or blue vests and it is easy to catch the 'media' posers. I know, because I've been caught several times trying to stay for driver introductions. I don't even make it to the first driver's name before I'm kicked out to the tunnel.

Oh well, at least I've got these awesome pictures from 1995!

I've been having problems uploading pictures from Blogger again. Uhg! I had the Dale Earnhardt one on, but I tried again to put it on with the Jeff Gordon one too, and now it won't load either one of them! I'll keep trying!