Race Tracks
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WGI The new Start/Finish line at Watkins Glen International.
Zippo This 1,200 sq. ft. painting is in Turn 1 at Watkins Glen International. It replaces the Zippo Blu logo with the tradional Zippo logo.
Tissot Heluvagood Sour Cream Dips was the new sponsor for the 2009 Nascar race at Watkins Glen. After reviewing tapes of the 2008 race, they wanted their logo painted right next the Zippo logo we painted the previous year as it had a tremendous amount of TV time. The painting will be 20' x 60' (1,200 sq. ft.). The top photo shows Larry Orr (Orr Signs) using an overhead projector to trace a pattern on heavy gauge plastic. Holes will then be punched along the lines. We load the truck with paint and head to the race track. After painting the red background color (a special mix to match Heluvagood color) we lay the pattern on the surface. We then spray the holes in the pattern with traffic marking paint. When the pattern is removed there are small dots on the red background giving us the pattern to paint. I decided to paint the background of the letter colors first then paint the black outlines. Bob Timmerman (Sunshine Sign Co.) is helping with the painting. The long distance shot is from the camera tower. 90% of this painting was painted with 4" rollers. A technique taught to us by Keith Grubbs (JKS Motorsports).
Tissot Watkins Glen International wanted (2) 20' x 60' paintings located in the run-off area of the First Turn (the 90). Larry Orr and I were to paint the Zippo logo and Keith Grubbs (JKS Motorsports in Winston-Salem, NC) was to paint the Sprint logo. They do all of the Sprint work at all of the NASCAR tracks. Keith (Cowboy hat) is a good friend and we decided to team up on this project. The first step was to locate the paintings. Tim Coleman, General Manager, and I are standing there (I'm scratching my head) with Steve Ely (Race Director) and the Marketing people. We figured the location out and marked the asphalt. We rolled on two coats of black and then "pounced a pattern on. Keith and his crew are the best roller painters in the world!! They taught Larry and I the art of painting with rollers. This entire job was painted with 4" rollers! Rudy (track maintenance) washes the paint wash down the track after we were caught in a quick shower! They turned out great! They were positioned right and were on TV almost every lap!
Tissot The last time we lettered a Guard Rail, I conned Steve Hughey to do it! (See the Sirius Rail lettering below) This time I got Larry Orr to help me. The first time we did it was the night before the IRL Indy Car race at Watkins Glen. I was black letters on a white rail. The bad part, it was at night and in the rain! The second time we lettered it, they wanted to paint the rail black and letter in white. We projected the layout on the rail at 11:00 at night! The next day, we lettered the rail. From an angle, you can't read it. Straight on, it doesn't look too bad! NOT an easy job!!!!
Tissot This is an IRL Indy Car Series logo we painted at the Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, PA. It is not a large painting, but it was not an easy one to paint, as it had some small and narrow lettering. Painting small letters on grass is not easy! My old pal Larry once again helped me on another "race track" job!
WGI Larry Orr (Orr Signs) and I were lettering logos on pit wall when a good friend Keith Grubbs (from JKS signs in Winston-Salem, SC) stopped by and asked for some help. Seems the vinyl for the Pedestrain Bridge got there late and they only had one day to put it on. We got a second Man-Lift and started to work! Keith and his son Joey started at one end while Larry and I started at the other. The bridge is 9' high x 96' long! It also has large 20' x 20' panels on each end. We worked late into the night and when we met in the center...it lined up!
pepsi hit AMD (a computer chip company) sponsored the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen and wanted a grass painting in the "Esses" so the camera would pick it up every lap. It was not a very hard logo to paint, but I needed help so I called Larry Orr and Craig Gardner. The painting was about 12' high x 32' long.
pepsi hit This is a beautiful shot of Steve Hughey working on the Pepsi logo on the wall between turns one and two at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. The flag is HUGE! Here is what it looks like when a car hits your lettering at 180 mph!!!!!!!! Lots of touch up!
pepsi hit Coors Brewery in Denver, Colorado wanted to have a water tank, at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY, painted to be an exact reproduction of a Coors Light Beer can. I called Steve Hughey, a sign artist, from Addison, NY, to help me on this project. The tank was sprayed silver, then the artwork was completely hand painted! Water drops were painted with a brush and thenhighlited with an airbrushe. We used a close-up digital photo of a cooled down Coors Light can to get the proper shape and colors of the water drops. The tank has a circumference of 31 feet and is 30 feet tall. The painting was not the only challenge..........I am petrified of heights!!! Notice the Fluid Ounces at the bottom of the can. I got permission to do this from Coors. We calculated the fluid ounces the tank could hold!
pepsi hit Who got the bright idea to letter a guard rail? At Watkins Glen International, SIRIUS Satellite Radio wanted a 61 foot section of guard rail lettered! This was a "nasty" job! Larry Orr and I went to the track 11:00pm, on a warm, dark night, and placed my overhead projector on the front straightaway and we drew the outlines on the rail in the middle of the night, with layout pencils. The next day we had Steve Hughey letter the rail. What a tough job!! It did look great as long as you looked straight on. From an angle, you didn't know what it said!
ford This is a Ford Racing billboard at Watkins Glen International. The size is 12 feet high x 36 feet long. That's Larry Orr doing some painting.
winston Pretty good size sign....120 feet long x 6 feet high and lettered on both sides. This is at Watkins Glen on top of the GT Center Building. The wind never stops blowing up there!
thanks fans Grass painting at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. I was contracted to do this job for Britten Banners in Michigan. It took 825 gallons of paint!! Total sign size was about 24,000 sq. ft.!!! A little known fact......before we did the grass painting, because of a drought at the time, they actually had a turf company come in and paint the grass green so it would look good on TV!!!!! The Tri-Oval at Talledega is 6 Acres!!!!!
talladega This is a HUGE sign. It is painted on asphalt. Located between the Allison Grandstands and the ticket booths it will see a lot of foot traffic! The sign is 126 feet long x 56 feet high. It took 129 gallons of paint. The layout was the critical part as the long sweeping arcs presented problems if the layout was not accurate. Steve Tinker did the layout in AutoCad for me. When I got to the speedway, I found that the dimensions the Track had sent me were off by 18 feet! I had my computer with me, so it took a day for me to recalculate the layout! Steve Hughey went up in a 120 foot man lift to get the arial shot. I wouldn't do it!
nazareth We were sent down to Nazareth Speedway, in Pennsylvania, for the Busch Race. The front straight wall had so many coats of paint on it, the old paint was flaking off. Tim Coleman, General Manager at Watkins Glen International, said, "can you touch up the front straight wall"? What a mess! It only had to last two races, as the 100 year old speedway was closing for good! The Firestone logo took a direct hit from Ed Carpenter in the IRL Practice session. WE had to fix that before Sunday's race.
Nazareth The series sponsors require grass paintings at certain tracks. At Nazareth Speedway, the Busch race and the IRL Indy Car Race required them. With a limited amount of grass at Nazareth, the logos were small. Being this small, actually made them harder to paint! The "SERIES" in the IRL logo was rarely hard to make.
wgi This one unique sign!!!! I was contacted to do a huge pair of Serengeti sunglasses to the exact specs of the real ones, only mine were to be 16 feet long! I called in help of a friend of mine, Bob Timmerman, who owns Sunshine Signs in Dryden, NY. I figured it would take two, should I say, "creative" people to do this, and he and I fit the bill! They are made of plywood and foam, carved to shape. The lenses were oversize plexiglass, tinted to the exact color of the original glasses from a company in Syracuse, NY. Serengeti loved them! Some of the drivers were heard to say, after coming in from practice, "holy s***, you outta see the sunglasses down in Turn 2!" After one of the races, we actually caught a fan trying to steal them!
talladega This was a "last minute" idea the track had to honor Dale Earnhardt after his death. We had one day to do it! Steve Hughey and I were there alone. I said, "I need two men from the track painting crew to handle the paint buckets to the sprayer and to hold the hose, as we couldn't wait for paint to dry! We had to wait a extra day to get permission from Richard Childress to us the 3, as it is copywrited. The location is outside Turns three and four at the Talladega Superspeedway. Here, it would be visible from I-20, and as the fans drive in. The size is 40 feet high x 60 feet wide. What made the job very difficult was the degree of the banking we had to work on. 120 gallons of paint were used on the job.
talladega Subway wanted four of these logos painted on the wall at Talledega. They wanted the exact logo as they use on everything. I called a meeting of track marketing people and Subway, telling them that the logo, in its original form would look too small. It had to be "stretched and distorted". They would not do it. We painted the four logos. The next day, I get a call from marketing, "the logos are too small"! We went out and repainted them from the drawings I showed them the day before! The original logos were about 12 feet long, the "modified one's were 88 feet long. You can see how hard it is for me and Bob Timmerman to work on the "high banks"!
Chicagoland Speedway Retaining wall lettering done at the new Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. These Tropicana logos are 100 feet long. Last minute addition forced some night work on us! Two, 100 foot long www.chicagolandspeedway.com logos were added at the last minute. Larry Orr repairing a "hit" on the wall logo! The wall has to look perfect for the race on Sunday!
Sirius Satellite Radio Sirius Satellite Radio changed their logo, so it required a complete repainting of a 30 foot tall water tank. Larry Orr and I painted the tank with two coats of blue, then laid out our "pounce patterns" and put the layout on the tank. It is completely "hand painted"!
Sirius Satellite Radio This was a last minute deal at Watkins Glen International. A company in Michigan called me to install Perforated vinyl (see throuugh) for SIRIUS Satellite Radio on the glass of the Press Tower at the track. The glass had a mirror vinyl on it, so that had to be removed first. This was a "Huge" job! Working with 10 foot sheets of vinyl that I had never worked with before, 20 feet in the air and in the wind, was not my idea of fun. I called Larry Orr, of Orr signs to help. We managed to get the job done, but shortly after, the unimaginable happened!!
I Love NY This was a small, 25 foot x 25 foot, I Love NY logo we put on an asphalt pad, just inside Turn 1 at Watkins Glen International. We, Larry Orr and I, taped the layout on the side of my truck and went from there. We also used some "pounce patterns". We used "pad painters" and rollers to do the painting.
HighWallers Working on the "High Banks" at Talladega Superspeedway is tough on the legs and feet. I invented a pair of adjustable shoes that allowed me to stand straight up on the 34 degree banking at Talladega. With the help of friends Ken Coates and Mike Wells of Ithaca, NY we built the prototype of the shoe I called "the Highwallers". A severe Lateral Destabilazation problem kept them from working properly. They caught the eye of Track Officials and the ended up in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Alabama. Bottom photo is the induction ceremony.
talladega A bunch of "stuff from Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.


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