I’ve been a bit busy the last 10 days. Had an assignment for Newsweek, it has not run yet and I will post more about it when it runs, and a gig for Red Bull. The job for Red Bull was an interesting one. They sponsor many athletes in many different sports and from time to time they do a cross promotion where one athlete shows another all about his sport. Great PR and it helps to re-enforce the ‘team’ mentality that Red Bull promotes among it’s athletes. They are all friends and hang out and have a blast meeting each other and learning about new professional sports. I ended up working with 3 athletes, two who were the cross promoting ones and one who just came by to hang out. The two athletes are Scott Speed, a race car driver who spent time in the Formula 1 series in Europe and is now working his way into NASCAR in the Arca and Truck series, he just won an ARCA race on April 25th in Kansas and Carmilo Villegas,a PGA golfer who is super talented and has many fans. He is considered by some to be the best dresser on the tour.
The other athlete was Matt Johnson, a Rally America championship driver
So this job went crazy right from the beginning. The plan was simple, meet at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at 730am, Scott will show Carmilo around a stock car, then they would drive a few laps using the cars from the Richard Petty Driving Experience. After that we would head over to a golf course where Carmilo would show Scott how to hit a golf ball a long straight way. Sounds awesome, easy to photograph, many great photo opps, what could go wrong? Well, everything. Alarm goes off at 6am and the first sound I hear is rain on the metal roof. Awesome. As I am getting ready, I get the call at 640am from the PR person at Red Bull Racing. Obviously we are not going to the track, but stand by as we are coming up with a new plan. Sounds great. New plan is to meet at the Red Bull Racing Team shop where Scott, Carmilo and Matt will get a guided tour. Sounds good. Show up at 945am, video guys pull in at the same time, talent is about 30 minutes behind us. No problem. Tour goes well, lotsa great info, the guys are genuinely interested and we head off to lunch. After lunch we had a plan of going to an indoor go-kart track and using that as a fun stand in for Lowes. Looks like golf got scrapped all together. But, Scott notices that it not only has stopped raining but the roads are dry. dry roads = dry race track! Crackberries are pulled out and PR folks are making calls left and right and we are back on the road heading to Lowes. We get there and everyone is having a blast getting ready, the guys get into fire suits and into the cars, Scott pushes the button, the cars roar to life and then the sky opens up , again. Another rain out. So, back to the go-kart track where everyone had a blast racing the carts, even me. The head PR guy invited me to run a race or two. Nice to be be thought of. I was running laps of like 27 seconds and Scott and Matt were running like 20 seconds! As they should be. So at the end of the day, at 730pm, it is decided that we will head back to the track at 8am the next day for racing shots, then head over to Quail Hollow Country Club where Carmilo has a practice round for the Wachovia Championship.
Next day, wake up it is sunny and clear. Ahhhhhhhh. Everthing goes well yesterday and the shots are fun. I did have an interesting camera problem. My batteries only lasted for 10-20 shots each, and when I pulled it out and put it back in it read a full charge and then quit again after 20 shots. All of the batteries did this, so I’m guessing I have a camera issue or all my batteries went bad at once, could be, they are all old and about the same age.
So here are some of the pix.
The guys getting the tour
Scott showing Carmilo the inside of a stock car
Carmillo at the track
Carmilo and Scott racing carts
Red Bull cars taking off for some laps at Lowes
Matt and Scott watch Carmilo hit to the green
The guys walking up a fairway