My Indianapolis 500 Month of May Adventure began on the morning of Thursday, May 12th, with a departure of 3:30 AM from NW Indiana bound for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2 hours away.

Thursday

The drive down was very reminiscent of last year’s drive down on race day for the 500, as it included a beautiful sunrise drive through the windmills. I always know I am about halfway to the Speedway when passing through the windmills because of my very regular hour long trips to and from Purdue.

I arrived at the Speedway at about 7 AM, and went straight to pick up my credential for the month – and the weekend of making photos at IMS began.

First up, I met Taylor Goff, super cool guy who will I will be working with for the Month of May to show off SPM and the magic that is going to be the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

The day began with a garage unveiling for Schmidt Peterson’s Mikhail Aleshin’s #7 DOOM car and Oriol Servia’s #77 Lucas Oil car.

Sam Schmidt and Doug Boles were there to announce the exciting new look to the Schmidt-Peterson garages and unveil the cars.

First up was Mikhail Aleshin’s #7 DOOM Car unveiling. (which looks absolutely epic)

Up next was Oriol Servia’s #77 Lucas Oil car. Oriol was not present, but I really like the look the white/Lucas logo together, have.

Next up was the Schmidt-Peterson garage reveal. Which I think is best shown off by Taylor’s recap video:

Video credit: Taylor Goff // Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

The video does a great job of showing off both the car and garage reveal. SPM has done something totally new with the wall and floor decor, highlighting IndyCar, IMS, and SPM both where they’ve been and where they are now. It really is a beautiful design with what they’ve done and I encourage you to on Free Garage Fridays, head over and check it out.

Out to the track for the first practice.

Mikhail Aleshin talking to his engineers pre-practice.

Aleshin after his first few practice laps zooming down the front straight.

Mikhail Aleshin’s beastly DOOM road course machine during a pit stop.

Mikhail looking over in the mirror while waiting to head back out on the track Thursday during practice.

Hinch missed the first practice due to sensor errors but was back out running smooth during the 2nd practice of the day. Big thanks to my friend Dave Wegiel who I went to shoot with, allowing me to use his 400mm f/2.8 lens and capture this shot which wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.

Hinch looking right at me after coming in for a final practice run on Thursday

Friday

Friday was a beautiful, blue-sky day. Here is James leaving the pits for afternoon qualifications.

Hinch on the move in turn 13.

Autograph session with fans after the first practice session.

Getting suited up.

Hinch and Mikhail getting suited up and strapped in.

A good pit stop = a happy Kiwi.

Hinch’s Mom as he runs down the main straight.

Coming in after a successful P4 qualifying finish.

James reviewing things with engineers.

Finishing the day with a light-hearted press conference with the top drivers.

Saturday (Race Day)

A-10 flyover to start the day.

Stop and Go. Hinch giving running high fives for driver introductions.

Warming up — getting stretched.

Team Arrow Electronics talking things over.

Getting strapped in.

Resting before the race.

Fueling up.

Taking off the top layer.

Race anticipation turning to determination.

Hinch’s mini pit crew.

Racing down the straight.

Hinch mom ecstatic after a 3rd place finish.

Post race ESPN telecasts with Jon Beekhuis.

Selfies with fans.

Hinch getting his 3rd place trophy from local Indiana students.

Simon Pagenaud finished the race with a 5 second lead and is hot going into the first Indy 500 practice week. The rest of the drivers are trying to find a way to stop him, and I look forward to capturing the get up this week during practice.. I want to thank Sam Schmidt and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for providing me this opportunity to help and Tom Jones, my good friend who saw something in me and recommended me, I am happy to volunteer my talents to help capture such an amazing tradition and really am looking forward to these next few weeks. Lots of exciting stuff to come. Stay tuned!

I am a full-time professional photographer. If you would like to help make more photos like this possible, join my community and support me here on Patreon!