A Day In The Life>>speedhunting Wine Country

One of the new article types we are introducing to the site is called "A Day in the Life". As the name suggests, the idea of these stories is to follow people through a typical day on the job. Whether it's a race driver, a car builder, a crewman, a photographer or anyone else – the goal is to give a behind the scenes look at life in the automotive world .

For the first of these stories I figured, why not use myself as the subject?

During my trip to Infineon Raceway last Friday, I made sure to keep the camera out capture a glamorous day in the life of a Speedhunter at work.

Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head…

As with most Speedhunting trips, this day started with an early wake up. Double check that the bags are all there – clothes, laptop, and camera gear. Check.

Although the trip would be a more exciting behind the wheel of my Mustang, four bucks a gallon for gas has me relying on the wife's Honda Insight for most road trips. It's slow as can be, but I can't complain about getting nearly 50mpg on the highway.

One good thing about leaving early – the roads are deserted.

Before hopping onto the freeway, a quick stop for breakfast was in order.

The good old Makku Egg McMuffin is my go-to pick for breakfast on the run.

With the stomach full it was time to hit the open road. According to Google maps it would be about three and a half hours from Clovis, California to Infineon Raceway.

Not a whole lot of scenery to take in here, but cool in its own way I suppose.

Being on the road so much, it's important to have something to listen to. Lately I've driven tons of miles while listening to the The Adam Carolla Show. The guy is hilarious and happens to be a huge car nut. Highly recommended.

Continuing up through California's Central Valley, we pass through the city Modesto. This is the birthplace of George Lucas and the setting of his classic film American Graffiti.

These days, ubran sprawl has nearly transformed Modesto into an outer suburb of the San Francisco Bay Area.

A quick turn to the west and it's on towards the Bay.

Of course I always keep an eye out for interesting vehicles traveling down the road. Here's a transporter full of brand new Nissans, including the Leaf EV.

In contrast, a flatbed carrying cars that have seen the end of their lives…

The car-spotting never really stops. This Impala was moving right along. (Please excuse the crappy "through the window" shots BTW)

Also caught this little Citroen cruising on 680 amongst all the SUV's and big rigs.

Over the Martinez-Benicia bridge. We are getting close!

The final stretch is a drive along Highway 37, skirting the edge of the San Pablo Bay.

Infineon Raceway! We've arrived.

As soon as we drove through the gate, the signs of vintage racing were abound.

After picking up media credentials it was time to park the car and hike down the hill to the main paddock.

First up was a walk around the pits to look over the machinery.

A good thing about shooting at a facility like Infineon is having access to the Media Center. Last weekend it provided a fine place for a break from the rain.

After getting acquainted with the paddock, I headed over to the grandstands to have a look at the on-track activity.

It turns out the Trans Am class was just heading out for practice. Good timing!

After shooting for a bit, it was time for some lunch so I headed over to the trackside cafe for a bite.

Cheeseburger and fries. The all-American combination.

After eating, I decided to check out Wine Country Motorsports, the race shop at Infineon Raceway.

It's quite a cool place. Lots of automotive books and diecast models in stock.

Also autographed F1 memorabilia.

In addition, they also stock a nice selection of racing equipment. Helmets, shoes, suits, steering wheels, etc.

A special display of McLaren goods for the weekend. Love that license plate!

Next up, I headed to the garages to see what was going on there. Heaven for Can Am fans…

Throughout the day, we always try to keep you guys updated with live shots from events. I can't believe there was a time we did this without smart phones…

After hunting around the garages a bit, I headed back out to the track to explore and grab some more action shots.

As I mentioned before, Infineon is a great track for photographers. Lots of opportunities, as long as you don't mind hiking a bit.

I spent the afternoon shooting on track before packing up and heading to the hotel. That's right, just in time to hit rush hour traffic on the 101.

Eventually we made it to the hotel, but not before a stop at 7-Eleven for some goods.

My home for the night, also known as the Quality Inn.

The accommodations are nothing special, but more than enough to get the job done.

Within seconds after getting to the room, the laptop was fired up and memory card inserted. No matter how many times I've done this, there's still an excitement that comes with seeing the day's shots on the computer screen.

The aforementioned goods from 7-Eleven…

I also kept an eye on the Livestream from Formula Drift in Florida. By this time most of the day's action had wrapped up, with the East Coast being three hours ahead of California.

I also checked up on the weather forecast for the weekend. The verdict? Not good.

I'll tell you one thing, it can be damn hard to focus on work when there's a state of the art Nintendo 64 available to play in the hotel room.

After editing photos for a while, we headed down the street to a local sports bar for dinner. My choice was this "California Style" chicken sandwich. Protip: add avocado to anything to make it "California Style".

After dinner, a little more photo editing before turning in for the night.

Gotta rest up before doing all this again tomorrow.

Lots of driving, lots of walking, lots of shooting, lots of time spent in front of a computer screen. A good example of a day in the Speedhunting life I'd say.

-Mike Garrett



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Ooh! une 2CV Charleston with California lisence plate, great ! A lot of remember...


Will ya americans quit complaining about your high gas prices, you pay 1$ for 1 litre(eur) of gasoline, in europe we have to pay between 2 to 2½$, thats about 8 to 9$ a gallon!!!


Yes, it's true the Americans don't really have high gas prices, especially considering how cheap everything else is, but they do (usually) have to drive much longer distances than us overseas


Great idea...taking pics while driving...bad idea!


I'm Canadian we don't measure driving in distance we measure it in HOURS. Just to give and example, if one was to drive the speed limit across Ontario, it would take 29 hours! or 2018km


Seven a.m., waking up in the morning. Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs. Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal.


Wow $4 a gallon. Here in the uk, it works out over $11 a gallon, I thought we got it bad


Hamburger is invented in Germany and french fries in Belgium!


nice to see how you guys do it, its funny that you spotted an old 2CV on the way to work, one of those marmite cars. i wonder what the 'Leaf' will be worth when the battery technology is finally perfected. i wouldn't mind some of those MClaren goodies. Thanks


Great article, Mike! Can't want for what you and the other members have in store for the next "A Day in the Life of Speedhunting"!!


Nice day Mike! Love to see a day of Linhbergh too :D


Trattkantarell I have no pity for you.


a day in the life of...! this should be interesting! it got some work to do if its to match the 'things before for die' posts!

but so far so gooooooood


nice! Infineon Raceway is the best race track on the west coast!! and the best thing I only live 15 minutes away from Infineon =) good stuff Mike!


Where's the hater patrol at? Sheesh! So who can name all the crushed cars? lol I got a few, I think... that bottum one has me stumped!


looool @ Linhbergh!


SHMF? Does that stand for Speed Huntin' Mother Fucker?


Mike, you really have bad eating habits. Nice article.


I wonder how the 2cv land here, that's such a french car !! (no problem with the gallon prices with it )


The Fabulous Hudson Hornet.... nice!


Eating so much junk food is bad for your health, man.


Not to be a jerk but I feel like you tackled this all wrong. I thought this new series was supposed to shed insight for people looking to get into a career in the automotive world? Yeah it's cool you drive your wife's car and eat burgers when you're not taking pictures, but what did you need to do to get your job? As a photographer, what can I do to get my work noticed? How much time do you spend editing and taking pictures? What is the accessibility of your particular field? Does it require formal education? What other jobs could a photographer expect to get within the automotive industry and what sort of pay scales are there? That sort of thing. I mean if that wasn't the teams' intention with these articles that's fine, but I think we can guess that race car driver drive cars and breathe air, and that pit crew members turn wrenches but also drink water when they're thirsty. I'm sorry if this came off as rude (not the intention) but hopefully this series picks up.


I really dig these "insights". Keep them coming! :)