and they call me Rick! My OCIR story.
April 01, 2020 • 5 Comments
Richard Shute in 1973. I've had many personas during this crazy career, said Auto Imagery President and longtime drag racing photographer Shute. However, my favorite came after C.J. Pappy Hart asked me in the early 70s if I would be interested in being track photographer for OCIR. Of course I said yes, and my life changed right down to my name. I was shooting and supplying publications weekly with images, and I didn't like how 'photo by Richard Shute' sounded when spoken. It just sounded weird to me, so I changed my name to Rick. 'Photo by Rick Shute,' okay, that worked. I stopped shooting for publications and started Auto Imagery in March of '79, and then I went back to Richard. When I walk through the pits and my OCIR family is there, though, they still call me Rick. It always brings me back to a really great period of time in my career.
Kelly DeLuca, left, and Mary Langdon were two of the gals making ensuring dial-ins were recorded correctly and the OCIR clocks kept running.
OCIR's C.J. Pappy Hart changes the bulbs in the Christmas Tree with the help of his son Jerry. The discerning eye may recognize Bob 'Cookie' Cook in the foreground.
On any given weekend, regulars would watch the action from in front of the iconic OCIR tower. From left: Bill Middaugh of M&H Tire; Gary and Audie Christensen, who had a Hilborn Injected '58 Corvette they ran in Bracket 1; bracket racer T.C. Harrell; Gary Christensen's brother, Gene; and Riley Chappelle, another Bracket 1 competitor with his '66 Corvette.
Drag racing veteran Alan Miller has done it all. Driven an AA/FA? Check. Run a race? Check. Worked the starting line, been the starter, announced the race, managed the facility, managed the track? Go ahead and check all those boxes, too.
Bonnie and Clyde Miller (left), along with Gayle and Earl Sorenson, Glen Gailey, and the Sorenson's daughter Katie, exemplify the family atmosphere at OCIR. .
Orange County International Raceway (OCIR) starter Stan Swickey double checks a lane prior to the next racers making a pass.
Vicki and Sigi Mickschi met at Belmont High School in Los Angeles and were married in December of 1963, the same year their Plymouth Belvedere rolled off the assembly line. The couple raced the car they called 'Taurus' beginning in '67 at OCIR. They and their marriage are still going strong.
Miss Drag Scoop Cathy Murphy was more than a trophy girl; she was an outstanding goodwill ambassador for OCIR back in the day.
OCIR regulars Ronnie and Randy Marcum with their cousin, David.
OCIR regulars remember Jessica Hoffmeier as a bright, cheerful, and fun person on any given day at the racetrack.
Here's a classic shot of Mike and Karen English in their Atomic wagon. Some folks know that this is the same Mike English who went on to become an NHRA announcer - and Karen, well, she just went on.
Gordon Pye, Gordon worked staging and tech. and Judy DeLuca, Judy was a track mom of sorts at OCIR, but her role extended well beyond that. Judy ran the timing deck of the tower, and everyone knew that 'What Judy says, goes.'
A young fan gets a guest pass right into the cockpit of the Hawkeye Funny Car thanks to 'Hawkeye' Frank Harris, himself.
Fans perch on the wall above the AHRA logo on the wall at Orange County International Raceway.
Bracket racers Mark and Ginny Brownlee raced a front-motored econo dragster.
An unidentified couple display patriotism and the style of the time while keeping back behind OCIR security.
It was so cool to see my Wife Katie (then Sorensen) and her Mom and Dad among your photos.
Ken and Katie Dunning
Awesome Photos as Usual, fun to look at the "Good Ole Days"
Loving those days when we all had not a care in the world except who was running at the time with all you peeps. Judy DeLuca daughter Kelly, Mike English, Dave Wallace, and all you racers that are still going down the track. Hope your all still enjoying life.
Would have loved to experienced that track just once . Was still in high school when it closed . Thank God for all the great photographers like you and the publications for bring it to the east coast for me to dream about.
No comments posted.
Recent PostsThanks for the memories, Tobler AA/FA Coloring Book Photos! Free Coloring Pages National Dragster Issue 6 - Download for free! LOOKing back at Cody Herron in Indy. by Kelly Wade and they call me Rick! My OCIR story. Eric: A day in Oakdale Don Prieto's Taco Party Don Garlits's International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, March 12th 2020 LOOKing Back at Kenny Delco's First Win. by Kelly Wade