Over 4.5 million photos reside in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo archives at the Hall of Fame Museum. In the next few weeks, I will extract some of the most fascinating shots to share the story and provide insight to the “behind the scenes” of how they were taken.
People often ask me what my favorite photo I’ve ever taken here at IMS is and with the hundreds of thousands of them I’ve shot over the years, I would be hard pressed to select just one of them. I do have my favorites.
To begin with my all time favorite photo in the archives has to be the one taken in 1954 of Bill Vukovich after winning his second Indianapolis 500. He was not too fond of the interviews and questions about how the race went for him, all of the photos snapped of him after the race, and the pomp and circumstance of a win. Bill was finally alone in his garage and an IMS photographer (O’Dell & Shields were the “Official Photographers” at that time) happened along and shot the photo below of an exhausted Vuky sitting, sweaty and covered in dirt and grime, on the work bench of the garage.
The photo conveys how draining an afternoon of racing could be in those days and is one of the most often used images in the massive IMS Photo Archives. The photographer was not identified on the negative envelope so kudos could not be given to him. Quite a shame for such a great photo.