Wednesday, August 1, 2012

7/31/2012 11:22:00 AM
Denny Strimple, longtime racing photographer, mourned by race community
Adrian "Denny" Strimple was a well-known and widely published photographer and fixture at the Evergreen Speedway. 

Photo by Dan Bucher, photo courtesy of 
Polly Keary - Editor

The West Coast racing community last week expressed shock and sadness at the news of the death of Adrian "Denny" Strimple, 65, of Index; a nationally-published race photographer and a longtime official photographer for the Northwest Tour, the Western Washington Racing Association and the K&N Pro Series. 

Strimple died Friday, July 20, of complications from an infection. 

Strimple was also known as "Scruffy" for his beard and his well-loved clothes, according to longtime friend and Evergreen Raceway announcer Scott Ellsworth. 

Strimple came to racing early; his father, Les Strimple was also involved in racing, working on the pit crew for Shorty Templeman, a midget racecar driver. 

"By the time I was six years old my bedroom wall was covered with 8x10 glossy black and white photos of the local midget racecars and drivers," Strimple wrote in a bio that appeared on the Northwest Racing Enterprises website. 

In the 1960s, during Strimple's teen years, he joined his father, working in the pits and doing tasks around the dirt track in Monroe. 

At 19, Strimple began racing himself, and raced at Washington tracks for the next seven years. 

Strimple also began his career in photography in his teens, studying the work of Skagit Speedway photographer Harold Bietler. Upon retiring from racing, Strimple began taking pictures at Skagit and Sky Valley speedways. 

He took some time off to complete college, but returned to the tracks in 1998 at the request of a driver. He continued to photograph the Northwest Tour from then on, founding photography company North Fork Photo. 

Publications carrying his work included Winston Cup Scene, Stock Car Racing Magazine, Late Model Digest, Late Model Racer, Racing for Teens and others.

He was married to Caren Strimple, herself a photographer, and the two worked together to cover the racing scene. 

"They are so in demand that sometimes he must work at one track while she works at another," wrote photographer Randy Lewis on his blog after visiting the Monroe racetrack several years ago. 

Strimple recently took a fall and developed an infection, and his health suffered, but friends said that as recently as Saturday, July 14, he was photographing races and talking with friends. 

Strimple was a beloved figure in racing, said Ellsworth. 

"He was a great guy, was quick with a quote or an anecdote; he always had an answer for you and it was funny. He was an all-around good guy," said Ellsworth. "He took a lot of pride in his work. Racers loved him being around; he took such great action shots." 

Saturday the Western Washington Racing Association honored Strimple with a memorial lap around the track, and another salute to his life and work is planned for Aug. 11 at the track. 

He is survived by his wife Caren, son and fellow photographer Marty Strimple and stepdaughter Cindy Burggraff. 

No comments: