CLIX by Brian Losness, Photographer
It was a bit of unexpected pleasure and honor when Al Heisley asked if I would be the first to select one of my favorite photos for this Feature Article. I thought about it for quite a while and then decided to go against the grain and do it.
As you can imagine, when a motorsports photographer is asked to describe one of their favorite photographs, it is an image of a high-speed crash or a car leaving the starting line with roof-high header flames in a one-foot wheel stand.
But when I approached this project, I decided to go in another direction entirely. I selected this picture because of its raw emotion.
I took this photo at the 2014 March Meet in Bakersfield, CA. A group of us were in the turnoff area after James Day had upset Dan Horan for the funny car title.
The instant I saw them after the race, I saw the emotion of success and winning! And I saw the feeling of pure friendship between Day and Crew Chief Chris Nance, who had also been friends and teammates since an earlier short-lived ‘Big Show’ funny car effort.
For me, the image I chose shows that these two men had climbed a mountain together and taken the win at the most prestigious nostalgia drag race on the planet.
However, when I look at the picture today, I see sadness because a few years later, Nance would pass away at his home north of Los Angeles.
Nevertheless, for that one weekend in March 2014, James Day and Chris Nance had become Champions, and you can see the look in Nance’s eye and the meaning of that win for him.