HIN 2013: Auto Club Speedway Part One

Words by Tim Wong


We had originally set the weekend aside to shoot the Royal Purple 300 and HIN while we were there along with the Auto Club 400 on Sunday. The media request was approved which we requested for full track access and the garage pass. This lead to the decision to skip all other events we had pending for that same weekend which was no short list. The information sent to us lead us to believe that if we attended the 8:30AM photo meeting, there we would receive a photo vest for the weekend to cover the events. Considering we all live pretty far out like Matt in San Diego and myself in Long Beach, Fontana isn’t exactly nearby and changing plans wasn’t in the book anymore.

We arrived at Auto Club Speedway at 7AM in other to get our passes and extra time to factor before the photo meeting. Before the meeting, we were walking around hoping to grab shots of the preparation before the race, but denied access to pretty everywhere so we assumed it we because we didn’t have the photo vest yet. When the meeting finally started, we were told not everyone will be given a vest and only a list of people would be given access. Being denied full access before the actual event is one thing, but making us show up then be denied is unbelievably unprofessional. They should have at least told everyone what exact pass and access would be granted when they sent out approval emails so we would know exactly what we would be getting in to. If we had known this, we would have bothered making the trip out and next we won’t even waste our time with event organizers that would conduct their business is such a poor manner.  Last time we shot in Las Vegas to cover Global Rally Cross along with the NASCAR event before it, we had no issues with our media access and were more than satisfied with the way it was operated. This time I was beyond pissed about the way they treated us and put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

The pit pass we got was no better than your average Nascar pass really. At this point, it was clear we were not going to get much coverage of the race or the event, so we gave up. Considering there were 4 events that day in San Diego, we couldn’t really make the trip down at that point so the most we could do was cover Hot Import Nights. Since the event started at 4PM and it was still early in the morning, we made a run out to grab some food and hope to re-park in a closer lot to the HIN location. Again we were disappointed and were turn away from the HIN lot and forced to park back on the infield.

Honestly, HIN was extremely disappointing even with us expecting nothing really. The event lot was pretty small while at the same extremely crowded. Cars were parked extremely close together and in pretty random spots to the point where cars were not going to get much attention due to being hidden away by other cars and booths. I felt the organization was extremely weak in that field. While we spent most of the day shooting and chatting with people, I couldn’t help, but wonder why roll in was so early in the morning consider the late start time.


A shot of a red S2000 at the ItsJDMyo booth during setup.


Since we had so much time throughout that day, I had plenty of chatting time with everyone. Here I was chatting with Gilbert from ItsJDMyo.


The infamous red NSX on gold Mugen MF-10s is a sight I never get sick of seeing. Even when I spot it rolling about Long Beach, it is quite a treat.






Sam Ip’s JDM converted Civic is impressive as ever. Although I have been seeing more conversions lately, it’s still a great looking car. This one in particular stands out with the extreme aero.



We also spotted Mikey from Photo M.D shooting with a GoPro.


Team är-kªn’ was present with several cars.


Paris Mataiumu’s RX-8. You may remember it from a rolling shot on Pacific Coast Highway a while back which got some attention from Mazda. His car was debut his latest additions with a new carbon fiber vented hood and a new front bumper.



The “VAPE” trend has been on the rise lately which I really don’t care for since I don’t smoke nor am I a trending following hipster, but here I put that to good use to produce some smoke effect.



With all the free time, we did a selfie shot of the entire Timscribbles team.


I’m no stranger to this orange Corolla, but with the new addition of the Hella lights is a nice touch.



Not too often do I see Nissan S12s, but this one definitely stands out as the cleanest from the handful I have seen. The simple look and good condition is something to appreciate.



The Extreme Autofest group was there to promote their upcoming show in Anaheim in May.



The Mexican sports car: The Mastretta MXT in chrome.


After a while of walking around, we just hung out around the ItsJDMyo booth hipstering around with photo gear.




We’ll be back with part two of HIN coverage.





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