Riding Along At The MDR 400
We'd watched it take shape at C&D Fabworks, checked it out at the Off-Road Expo, and finally photographed it on its maiden Mojave voyage. "It" is none other than Matt Towery's Class 8 F-150. We'd hoped for a stint in the codriver's seat during the maiden voyage, but that day was dedicated to suspension tuning and general shakedown. The shakedown day was still a day well spent: We got plenty of photos for a full-length feature story ("Standard of Excellence," July '07), and the suspension tuning helped Matt take the overall win at the MDR Don Griffith Memorial 250 two weeks later, a race Matt sponsored in honor of a dear friend and crewmember.
Longtime Photographer, First-time CodriverI know quite a few women who would be scared out of their wits strapped inside the rocket of a race truck. This is a sport where roughly half the competitors DNF; after all, driving off the beaten path at somewhere around 100 mph isn't exactly something that should be taken lightly.
I, however, am not one of those women. I don't have as much of that healthy fear you should probably have when you get as close to zooming trucks as I do with my camera. Fortunately, I do have a healthy dose of sensibility, and that tends to ward off stupidity. Still, being in the race is a whole different animal than what I'm used to.
The weather on race day was hovering close to 100 degrees F, and while other women at the race were in shorts and a tank top, I had zero chance of sunburn in a fire suit, neck roll, and helmet.