Photographer turns lens on the people of Dacotah Speedway

Posted by D.S. 11/5/2015 5:40:47 PM
Layn Mudder has been photographing at Dacotah Speedway for 20 years. He’s captured countless images of cars speeding around corners, battling for the lead on the straightway, and in the winner’s circle. This year, Mudder aimed his lens in a different direction with the goal of capturing what he felt was the track’s real story.

“I talk about and think about the track and racing a lot,” says Mudder. “So, I decided before the 2015 season started that I was going to do a project. Something I’d work on each week. I wanted to tell Dacotah Speedway’s story by taking images of the people that bring the track to life each weekend.”

Inspired by the documentary style of Open Wheel magazine, a racing publication he read and collected as a teen, Mudder looked beyond the cars and focused his lens on the people. The result is a collection of more than 200 black and white images - drivers staring intently through windshields, crews scrambling to make repairs, the track’s sole corner woman waving a caution flag, fans pumping a fist of encouragement.
“If you go out to the track right now, there’s nothing there. The pits and the stands are empty,” says Mudder. “To me, the people and the activity they create each Friday night in the summer is what makes the track.”

Mudder will release his collection, “The People of Dakota Speedway,” this week. The images will premier at the track’s annual banquet. Afterwards, the collection will be posted online, He plans to show the images at a handful of track events too, like the annual car show. However, once the 2016 season begins, like his favorite racing magazine, the images will no longer be available.

About Layn Mudder
Based in Mandan, ND, Layn Mudder runs a commercial and editorial photography service called LPT Images. When he’s not photographing Friday night racing at Dakota Speedway, Mudder provides local and national organizations with quality images that showcase products and tell stories.

Contact Layn Mudder, (701) 667-9420 or
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