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Motorsports Photographer David Allio Celebrates 35th Year in the Business

February 5, 2009 by  

Celebrated motorsports photographer David Allio launched his professional career in 1974. Thirty-five years later, he still is involved on the front lines of the sport as the chief track photographer for Las Vegas Motor Speedway, contributing photographer to a variety of auto racing and mainstream sports publications, guest speaker, workshop instructor, and industry consultant.

Allio was born in the Commonwealth of Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Communications and Visual Arts.

Over the course of his award-winning career, Allio has served as the official track photographer for more than 10 race tracks and a comparable number of touring series. He has provided photographs from thousands of feature events at nearly 300 race tracks on three continents. His archive of over 300,000 historic racing images are organized by track and date.

Allio’s first professional auto racing photos – from a 1974 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman and Modified doubleheader at Martinsville (VA) Speedway – were published in Chris Economaki’s National Speed Sport News. Five years later, he was the chief track photographer at Bristol International Raceway in Tennessee when a rookie named Dale Earnhardt won his first NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Series event.

In 1984, after a ten-year exclusive oval racing schedule, Allio was assigned to his first NHRA Winston Drag Racing event – the 24th Winternationals at Pomona, California. By the end of the decade, he was immersed in road racing as the official IMSA Camel GT Series photographer, and motorcycles through the AMA Camel Pro and Supercross Series. In the 1990s, Allio was also heavily involved in dirt oval super late model and sprint car racing. In 2001, Allio made the transition from traditional film to digital photography. Since then, he has continued to work a rich and dynamic assignment schedule covering all forms of motorsports.

“Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have the support and encouragement of people in the sport who respect my talents and have provided an environment for creative work,” said Allio. “The business is completely different now — much tougher today than it was when I began working as a teen.”

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