Hendrick: We love the smell of engines in the...

Hendrick:  We love the smell of engines in the...



We love the smell of engines in the morning!  Add in a competition, live audience, a dozen cameras, and you’ve got one of the most exciting, nail biting, teeth grinding events we get to work on each year. And this year was no different at the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown, where the tension was palpable as teams competed against each other and the clock, to leave only one team standing in the Winner’s Circle.  

Hendrick Automotive Group, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, has created a unique and truly fascinating event, in honor and memory of Randy Dorton, who was an inspiration to the advances in the race engine and a revered co-worker and friend. Two man teams are comprised of a technician from the Hendrick Automotive Group and an engine builder from the famous Hendrick Motorsports Team (more NASCAR wins then we can count. Two teams compete simultaneously, to build an entire stock car engine that must run for an entire minute. As if it wasn’t stressful enough, time penalties are added after the build for critical fasteners that aren’t tightened correctly.  It’s a race against the clock and the two top teams advance to a final showdown, where the best time wins! It’s extremely difficult and considered a high honor to be chosen to compete.

This was our second year partnering with Hendrick Automotive Group to help capture, produce and feed the livestream for the event. The event draws interest of all varieties of spectators. It was important to capture all the aspects of the event, including interviews with the competitors, the commentators and engine experts, who shed light into what was going on and the intricacies of this unique event.

To accurately capture everything, we had 12 cameras running simultaneously on the floor.  Two were un-manned and mounted over the engines, the rest were stationary or floating, all feeding into the production truck and then out to the live stream.  Once the competition began we had little opportunity to make lighting or camera adjustments without affecting the competitors, so the cameras and some of the lighting were connected and could be remotely controlled on the fly.  

We spent several months in pre production with the very talented team at the Hendrick Automotive Group and together, came up with a detailed plan to manage this robust project. And though there will always be exciting unexpected technical challenges that arise on projects like this one, our rock star team pulled everything together and we were able to share this event with the masses.

We love covering this competition every year and to have the working relationship we have with Hendrick. We’re looking forward to next year and we highly recommend you tune-in in to join us, it’s a one of kind experience!

Molly Mckinney


CLIENT: Hendrick Automotive Group

PRODUCTION: La Storia Productions



Co-Host: Kimberly Coon

Co-Host: Ralph Sheheen

Floor Commentator: Jimmy Thompson

Valvoline Spokesperson: Scott Wieland

Producer: Geoff Walker

Producer: Michelle Wheeler

Director of Photography: R.C. Walker

Production Truck Producer: Dale Hill

TV Director: Randy Belk

Assistant Director: LeAnne Morse

Floor Director: Thomas Torrey

Gaffer: Jim Cote

G & E Swing: Corey Skipper

Camera Ops: Angela Synan, Josh Franklin, Daniel Coston, Shannon Ostrower, Jason Rowland, Daryl Chesser

Handheld Camera Ops: Zach Whiteside, Brent Belk 

Production Assistant: Jordan Hansen

Production Assistant: Sarah Batista

Makeup Artist: Sandi Fix


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