Shooting Race Cars in the Snow?

Matt Kenseth poses with his Championship crew in the snow in front of New York's Waldorf Astoris. Photo by Brian Cleary www.bcpix.comAs I watched the Jacksonville Jags beat the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday on a snowy, windy Pennsylvania afternoon,I thought of the winter afternoon in New York City a few years back where I stood on Park Avenue wearing a tuxedo in a blowing blizzard and photographed the newly crowned NASCAR Winston Cup champion as show shot horizontally through the photo. Matt Kenseth had clinched the '03 championship a few weeks before and I as prepared to travel to New York for the banquet from my home in Florida, I was excited by the weather channel's forecast of snow for the banquet week in New York, as I hadn't seen any real show since I was a 5-year-old growing up in Massachusetts. When the snow arrived, however, it was much more than I had bargained or prepared for, with 17 inches falling over the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of banquet week. The storm reached its peak late Friday afternoon and Matt Kenseth and his team prepared to pose with their race car on Park Avenue in front of the Waldorf. At the appointed time the driver, crew, and all the media (me included) walked out into the storm to record the traditional image of the NASCAR Champion and his crew and car in front of the Waldorf on Park Avenue. Wearing my light tuxedo in the blizzard, I might as well have been standing there in shorts and a tee shirt. I would bet that this Park Avenue Champion's shoot was the quickest, and most unusual on record. We quickly shot our photos and everyone dashed back into the warm lobby of the Waldorf. I've always liked the look of the photos from that shoot, with the snow blowing through the pictures, and yesterday, as I watched Jacksonville's Fred Taylor carry the football on a snowy field in Pittsburgh, I thoguth to myself that NFL players aren't the only ones who are called upon to perform their jobs in less that perfect weather.

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2003 NASCAR Championship Standings

1 Matt Kenseth 5022 $4,004,104 1 2 11 25
2 Jimmie Johnson 4932 $5,514,850 3 2 14 20
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4815 $4,868,871 2 0 13 21
4 Jeff Gordon 4785 $5,084,542 3 4 15 20
5 Kevin Harvick 4745 $4,953,249 1 1 11 18
6 Ryan Newman 4711 $4,804,601 8 11 17 22
7 Tony Stewart 4549 $5,200,377 2 1 12 18
8 Bobby Labonte 4377 $4,722,207 2 4 12 17
9 Bill Elliott 4303 $4,257,059 1 0 9 12
10 Terry Labonte 4162 $3,606,700 1 1 4 9
11 Kurt Busch 4150 $5,020,485 4 0 9 14
12 Jeff Burton 4109 $3,820,164 0 0 3 11
13 Jamie McMurray 3965 $2,677,799 0 1 5 13
14 Rusty Wallace 3950 $3,761,741 0 0 2 12
15 Michael Waltrip 3934 $4,463,845 2 0 8 11
16 Robby Gordon 3856 $3,651,600 2 0 4 10
17 Mark Martin 3769 $4,025,846 0 0 5 10
18 Sterling Marlin 3745 $3,932,089 0 0 0 11
19 Jeremy Mayfield 3736 $2,935,152 0 1 4 12
20 Greg Biffle 3696 $2,384,483 1 0 3 3
21 Ward Burton 3575 $3,477,961 0 0 0 4
22 Elliott Sadler 3525 $3,637,048 0 2 2 9
23 Ricky Rudd 3521 $3,072,894 0 0 4 5
24 Johnny Benson 3448 $3,389,848 0 0 2 4
25 Joe Nemechek 3426 $2,538,264 1 0 2 6
26 Dale Jarrett 3358 $4,031,167 1 0 1 7
27 Ricky Craven 3334 $3,090,116 1 0 3 8
28 Dave Blaney 3194 $2,805,891 0 1 1 4
29 Jimmy Spencer 3190 $2,543,683 0 0 1 4
30 Kenny Wallace 3061 $2,458,347 0 0 0 1
31 Todd Bodine 2976 $2,487,098 0 0 0 1
32 Steve Park 2877 $2,665,170 0 2 1 3
33 Tony Raines 2772 $2,099,813 0 0 0 1
34 Jeff Green 2656 $2,654,813 0 1 0 1
35 Casey Mears 2638 $2,617,133 0 0 0 0
36 Ken Schrader 2451 $1,984,448 0 0 0 2
37 Kyle Petty 2414 $2,270,271 0 0 0 0
38 John Andretti 2379 $2,552,390 0 0 0 1
39 Mike Skinner 1960 $1,760,934 0 1 0 0
40 Mike Wallace 1298 $1,029,527 0 0 0 2
41 Jack Sprague 1284 $1,164,808 0 0 0 0
42 Larry Foyt 1228 $1,159,149 0 0 0 0
43 Kevin Lepage 877 $742,077 0 0 0 0
44 Christian Fittipaldi 857 $1,242,984 0 0 0 0
45 Jerry Nadeau 844 $838,727 0 0 1 1
46 Derrike Cope 822 $1,008,896 0 0 0 0
47 Jason Leffler 764 $594,500 0 0 0 0
48 Scott Wimmer 733 $514,529 0 0 0 2
49 Hermie Sadler 513 $551,110 0 0 0 0
50 Brian Vickers 503 $295,189 0 0 0 0