Floods, Fires, Wrecks, and Darkness. This is Talladega! – by Randy Sartin

Talladega race

Flooded campground at Talladega Superspeedway before the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312. Photo by Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Knoxville, TN-based photographer Randy Sartin shares photos of the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR race in Talladega for USA Today Sports Images.

It was just five and a half years ago that my wife and I attended the fall NASCAR race in Talladega. It was our first time there and we really enjoyed the trip but what I will always remember about that trip is something that changed my life. A good friend of mine heard we were going to the race and insisted that I take along a DSLR camera that he was trying to sell. I did not really want to take the big thing along, but my friend (Jim Norman) was pretty aggressive and I finally gave in and took him up on his offer.

I had no idea how to operate the camera, did not know how it worked, and really had no clue about what I was doing…but by the time we were heading home I was absolutely in love with photography. I bought the camera and a lens, started studying, shot everything I could, and got frustrated as you know what. Luckily I stumbled across a non credit digital photography class at UT that kept me from throwing the camera off of a cliff, and slowly but surely began to learn and understand what I was doing. After a few more classes and a ton of time reading and shooting, I knew that I was going to be making a drastic career change

Continue reading and see more photos on Randy’s blog.

Talladega race

Nationwide Series cars in a slow shutter speed image during the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Regan Smith won the race. Photo by Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Talladega race

Nationwide Series driver Kurt Busch (1) leads Nationwide Series driver Brian Vickers (20) during the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Regan Smith won the race. Photo by Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Talladega race

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler (11) and Landon Cassill (4) and Alex Bowman (99) crash on the final lap of the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Regan Smith won the race. Photo by Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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