Its Sunday June 29, 2020 I am in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin turn 12, aka “Canada Corner”, 10 mins before the last MotoAmerica Superbike race starts for the weekend. You ask yourself how did Epic Beard Photography get here? Welcome to MotoAmerica Round 2 at Road America Wisconsin the Epic Beard Photography Experience.
It was early June 2020 and I was contacted by a friend, named Jordan, that I have known for a while. He had asked if I would be interested in taking my sports and commercial photography to a new level. I asked “What’s the gig?” His replied with, “To go to Elkhart Lake Wisconsin to photograph MotoAmerica Round 2 at Road America.” My response was “You bet I do.”
In that three and half week leading up to the race weekend I had a long to do list and a short time to really get it accomplished. To make it to MotoAmerica Round 2 at Road America Wisconsin Epic Beard Photography experience I had to get media credentials first. After submitting my information to Jordan and a head shot he took care of the credentials, and I had to fill out two waivers. Next was taking care of all travel arrangements right down to finally getting TSA prechecked.
June 24, 2020 5:00 am and I wake up the wife to take this Virginia Beach sports photographer to Norfolk International Airport. 10:30 am and I arrive in Milwaukee Wisconsin and my adventure begins. I get my rental car drove an hour north to the hotel in Fond Du Lac Wisconsin. I get settled in and drop of the non-essentials and then I am off to explore. First stop was to go and check out the track in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin just out side of Sheboygan.
After checking out Road America I headed up to the Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Not exactly what I expected for some reason I imagined the stadium in a more historic district. It was actually located right on the out skirts of a neighborhood right in the middle of Green Bay. Lambeau Field opened in 1957 as a City Stadium replacing the original City Stadium at Green Bay East High School. Lambeau Field is the oldest continually operating NFL Stadium.
June 25, 2020 8:30 am Jordan and I are out or the hotel and headed to Road America. When we get there I do my check-in with MotoAmerica and Epic Beard Photography’s real experience begins. Credentials in hand Jordan and I meet up with one of the rising riders of MotoAmerica in Superbikes Max Flinders number 88 riding for Thrashed Bike Racing. Today is just load in and set up for the riders and their teams. Also it was a good day for me seeing how I have never been here before to photograph to explore the track and see where the good vantage spots to photograph are.
June 26, 2020 8:00 am Jordan and I make it to the media meeting we get our vest and now is time to start capturing the action. My first spot is turn 3 when those bikes come in to that turn it was crazy fast, much faster than I imagined. You can hear the bike motors wind out as the riders down shift to a safer speed coming out of the straight away. As they come out of the turn you can that motor topping out on each gear as the rider is launched down the track like a missile. After turn three I was off to turn 8 where I befriended a fellow photographer who I would talk to through out the weekend. This fellow photographer gave me some good tips on being successful at Road America and some other vantage points to go for. Turn 6 and Turn 12 were my favorite corners to stand in because of how close to the track I was allowed to get.
At the end of the weekend I made some great connections and learned a few new things. I got to hang out with Max Flinders number 88 riding for Thrashed Bike Racing. He finished in the top 10 which in how tight the competition is a great victory in itself. I got to meet Max’s parents and learn all about him. What I really liked about Max was how humble he is and how much he enjoys interacting with his fans of all ages. This weekend Max actually got his first fan art which was totally awesome.
There was one other rider I met over the weekend that I have become a huge fan of because I had such a huge connection with was Tony Blackall number 11 in the Superport class. My strong connection with Tony and his team is that they are all veterans. There mission now “is to race on the national platform in the Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.” There goal is to “create a pipeline to produce a facility where warriors can transition to elite leaders in our workforce.” I plan on writing more on just Blackall Racing when I return from photographing them all weekend at Road Atlanta. So stay tuned.