It was an early morning that turned into a long day. On Thursday, I woke up at 3am for a 6am flight. Because of heavy fog around Chicago, that flight would later turn into a 12pm departure. Things did not go as planned, but I’m very thankful for the airline safety precautions that are in place.

My tentative schedule was 1 long ARCA practice, 2 truck practices, ARCA qualifying, and the ARCA race. That changed to scrambling to make the last truck practice in time, working some quick images, and then running out the door to catch the ARCA guys getting strapped in for the race. It was a mentally frustrating time, but you just have to keep your head clear and work to the best of your abilities.

Changing schedules and surprising obstacles would be a common theme this weekend, but they would not be what defined the weekend.

Two things stuck out to me this weekend. The first of which, is my growing comfort level working in the Cup garage. I think everyone knows that I’m a pretty timid guy. I try my best to stay out of everyone’s way. But I love working in the garage capturing candids, and that job is impossible if you don’t step up and get close to the action. This weekend in particular I felt more at ease in the garage stalls. I felt like I was suppose to be there. I felt like I did a decent job of not being an obstacle. And I felt like the drivers worked better with me (instead of burying their faces in their phone or a computer).

The second thing that defined this weekend was Wyatt. Wyatt is a 9-year-old cancer patient that not only designed the paint scheme on Kasey Kahne’s 5 car, but he and his family were guests of the team this weekend. I had the pleasure of being with them on the grid before Sunday’s race. Seeing how the PR reps, Keith Rodden, Kasey, and even Mr. Hendrick interacted with Wyatt and his family was nothing short of awesome. They couldn’t have been nicer and more inviting to these sweet people, and I’m honored to have witnessed and captured a few of these moments.

When things don’t go as planned, it’s easy to lose perspective and let frustration take hold. But when you’re able to keep perspective and keep moving forward, sometimes things work out way better than you could have imagined.

Thank you Nigel and NKP for this great weekend.

Also, a special thanks to Aaron Bearden with kickinthetires.net for having me on Through the Paddock this weekend. I can’t wait for people to hear me sound like an bumbling fool 😉