As the official photographer for NASCAR, Getty Images covers every race, providing up to the minute images that capture the sport’s intensity and speed. With the final race of the season coming this Sunday, we examine what it takes to shoot a NASCAR event. In a four part series, our photographers take you behind the lens — from four different positions at a raceway.
A crew of people swiftly moving around, fixing parts, changing tires, refueling gas tanks — all focused on a 3,500 pound car with a driver inside who wants to leave the scene as quickly as possible. Line up 43 of those cars on a narrow stretch of pavement and you’ll find yourself on “pit road.”
On pit road, every second matters. A half-second can be the difference between winning and losing a race. Every aspect of a pit stop requires perfect execution in order to get the car and driver back onto the track as quickly as possible. This is a major part of NASCAR and it happens multiple times a race.
As the official photo agency for NASCAR, Getty Images photographers are on hand to cover all of the storylines of race weekend for editorial and commercial clients. Part of that job involves capturing what happens on pit road. Whether it’s a slow pit stop that causes a driver to fall from contention or a car heading to the garage for repairs because of an incident on the track, there is always a photographer covering the action. “You are constantly chasing the story – sometimes literally,” says Getty Images photographer Jared C. Tilton, who listens to the race audio on a headset to know exactly what’s going on at all times. “It can be a chaotic scene, but it’s incredibly rewarding to capture that one moment that can potentially change the outcome of the race.”