Dirt track racing a lifelong passion for Shaw
Some of the unsung heroes of the short-track racing experience are the photographers, who arrive early and stay late to catch action shots from the infield while lugging around camera equipment.
Kenny Shaw, in his third season as track photographer at Lucas Oil Speedway, is latest of a long line of outstanding "shooters" from the Ozarks area. He's on site each week, taking photos at all events at the track ranging from the Big Adventure Weekly Racing Series, to bull rides, monster-truck shows and pro pulling.
Once an aspiring race-car driver himself, Shaw has found a home behind the camera. His work can be found at KCShawPhoto.com with galleries updated each week. Many fans and even drivers aren't aware that his work is available for sale and more than just photos are available.
Racing has been a lifelong passion for Shaw, of Fort Scott, Kan. His dad, Kenny Shaw Sr., was a long-time Modified competitor.
"My dad raced for over 30 years, including parts of last year," Shaw said. "This year he has retired. But he's done that before and it's never lasted for more than a season. I'm assuming he will pick it up again next year.
"We went everywhere to race. Any track int he four-state area, for a long time... we would hop around between Wheatland, before it was Lucas Oil Speedway, to Nevada, Butler, Adrian, Linn County and Humboldt. And when there were big-money shows, we would travel to those.
"I tried racing a little bit myself when I was younger. Then about five years ago, I got into photography, shooting insects and nature. There was a race that I wanted to go to and I took along my camera and took some photos. Some people liked them and asked me to do more."
Not long after, Shaw said Lucas Oil Director of Race Operations Dan Robinson was looking for a new track photographer after long-time speedway photographer Chris Bork retired.
"I think I emailed Dan and asked him for an opportunity to show what I could do," Shaw said. "The rest is history, I guess."
While photo images and prints are the most-popular items to shop for on his website—in sizes ranging from 4 x 6 prints all the way up to gigantic 40 x 60 inch posters—Shaw also offers more.
"I also offer some metallic prints and some novelty items," he said. "Things like decks of playing cards with pictures printed on the back, coffee mugs with prints on them, computer mouse pads. There's even a puzzle they or kids can put together, of their favorite driver."
Shaw said he accepts orders through his website and can fill special requests.
The Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series resumes on Saturday with a program presented by the National Wild Turkey Federation and OnMedia/DISH/DirecTV. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds headline the action with a 25-lap, $1,000-to-win feature. Action also is scheduled for the Out-Pace USRA B-Mods, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models and O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks.
Fans also can enjoy the Lake Ozark Corvette Car Club, which will have their cars displayed on the midway.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05.
Adults (16 and over) $12
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $9
Youth (ages 6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family pass $30
Pit pass $30
For questions about tickets or camping for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.
Kids' bicycle donations sought: With the annual Kids' Night Bicycle Giveaway coming up on Thursday, July 4, drivers who want to donate bicycles can do so at the pit office when they check in on Saturday.
The Frog's Signs Junior Fan Club giveaway is set for the July 4 Casey's General Store "Thursday Night Thunder" edition of the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series. Bicycles are being collected for youngsters, ages 5-12, who can sign up to win a bike that evening.
Fans also can drop off bikes on Saturday or at the speedway office during weekday business hours. They also can make cash donations toward purchase of the bicycles. For questions or more details, contact Lisa Lorton at the Lucas Oil Speedway office (417) 282-5984 or via email at Lisa@lucasoilspeedway.com.