By Dale Calnan / OntarioOval.com Photographer – In 2011, I stood in over 120 victory lanes across the province and got to see many different expressions of winning. For some reason motorsport victory celebrations are fairly subdued. Consider for a moment how a touchdown in football, a slam dunk in basketball or even great goal in hockey are celebrated. There are various dances, leaps into the crowd, high fives along the bench – I am personally sick of that one - and self-chest-stuck-out posturing.
Racing doesn’t have that over the top flamboyance of celebration, but for a few exceptions. There is fence climbing, back flips off the roof of the car and of course Darrell Waltrip’s attempt at the ‘Ickey Shuffle’,… but that was a borrowed celebration anyway.
I think drivers for the most part know that there is much more to take into account for them being in victory lane. Most important is trying to recall all the people and businesses who helped foot the bill to race and then being able to recite the list by heart. There is also the pit crew, shop hands and family who lend moral support. Can’t miss a name there. Then of course there is the mention for the guy who raced you clean, even if he didn’t and a plug to say how great the track was even if it wasn’t.
For many of the drivers in the gallery below this is not their first, nor will it be their last visit ‘down front’ holding the checkers and the gleaming hardware. However, on some occasions it is a first time occurance and with such tough competition at all the race venues across Ontario, it could be a long while before an encore.
In this edition of Behind The Lens, I gathered up the mugs shots of several drivers that I had taken after all the other cameras in victory lane had been put away. These guys and gals are where they feel and seem most comfortable,… in the driver seat.
Dale Calnan is the lead photographer for OntarioOval.com as well as ImageFactor.ca Motorsport Designs. Questions, comments or concerns can be sent to Dale via our Contact page.