If you’re a “car guy” then working at a car magazine is both a blessing and curse. Why? Well, sure you get to constantly go to car events, often for free, but the catch is that you have to work while everyone else enjoys the action. This is especially tough at driving events and races, since being a part of the action is markedly more exciting than taking pictures of said action. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my job and consider myself one lucky hombre, but wheeling my car through some cones or down a dragstrip is always my first choice. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to enter your car into an event and also do a good job covering said event. Of course, my situation was made easier since, for the last year or two, I didn’t have a car ready to run hard.
That changed shortly before the Holley LS Fest West when I finally stole enough time to get my 1971 Chevelle wagon sorted out enough to hit a track. Yeah, it’s not a race ready Camaro, but for a two-ton, four-door Chevy it’s surprisingly nimble. Of course, I still had an event to cover, so I juggled some numbers and hired Gregg Blundell to help me shoot some pictures of all the Holley LS Fest West action. This effectively let me play hooky and run my car in the event just like any other gearhead, and it was awesome! Yeah, when you’re “driving” a camera all day instead of a car you get to chat up your friends who are driving, but it’s different when you’re part of the event, a lot different. There’s a whole other level of comradery when you’re “one of the drivers” at an event and it reminded me what I love so much about all of this; namely hanging out with others who share a passion for beating the snot out of our cars.
So, what’s the moral of this story? Get involved. If you have a Chevy get it out there to the track, or even the show, and stop being a spectator. But I have to warn you, once you’re part of the action instead of just checking it out it’s really hard to go back to being a static part of the background scenery.