NHRA Summernationals Raceway Park Englishtown NJ PicsThe thunderous sound of a top fuel dragster launching from the starting line at the drag strip is a sight, sound and sensation that can only be experienced. There are no words to describe just how loud, just how fast and just how powerful these machines are. Yet, as racing photographers, it is our job to try to capture all the intensity of the action and reduce it to a single moment of time that will be printed on the pages of a motorsports magazine or appear on the web site of a racing internet space. If only the readers and viewers of our images could, just once, stand 15 feet away from one of these 11,000 HP monsters as they blast down the quarter mile race track. This image was captured at the NHRA (National HotRod Association) Mello Yello drag racing series event known as the Summernationals. It is held once every year at the legendary racing venue known as Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. The picture is of the Sealmaster sponsored top fuel dragster belonging to Kalitta Motorsports and being driven by Troy Coughlin, Jr. Perhaps his words, quoted from an interview that was referenced in a feature on the NHRA web site can give some idea what the top fuel dragster is all about. Keep in mind these words come from a third generation racer who has competed in many lower classes before getting behind the controls of one of these machines. Troy stated "I'm completely humbled…it’s just so fast. Everything comes at you so quickly in the seat. It's much more intense than I ever imagined. This is one aggressive racecar, and it never stops accelerating during the run. It's a beast, and it's also very, very cool." Kalitta motorsports runs under the direction of the legendary drag racer, Connie Kallitta, known to his fans and competition as "The Bounty Hunter". Today Kalitta Motorsports not only fields Troy Coughlin, Jr’s Car but also the Top Fuel Dragsters of Shawn Langdon and Doug Kalitta. Rounding out their NHRA stable are two Funny Cars driven by J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria. It is important, as a racing photographer, and sometimes reporter, to be knowledgable about the individual racers and their team associations. Without understanding this dynamic you may not capture the speed contests, the behind the scenes shots and the team emotions that all tell the story of any particular race. Bringing the right photographs home to my magazine editor or race team/sponsor client is what I’m all about.