While many Hardcore Race Fans may not know the name T. Taylor Warren, they surely know his work. The long-time NASCAR photographer made a name for himself right along with the sport he shot through his lens. Thursday in New York City, the National Motorsports Press Association honored the late T. Taylor Warren with the NMPA Myers Brothers Award.
Perhaps best known for his famous snapshot of the finish of the inaugural Daytona 500, Warren made his life shooting the sport of NASCAR. Warren's famous picture of Lee Petty, Johnny Beauchamp and Joe Weatherly crossing the line three wide led to the final decision to give Petty the victory.
Warren passed away on October 8, 2008 at the age of 83. Accepting Thursday's award on his behalf was NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter.
"Whether they know it or not, millions of NASCAR fans since the early 1950s saw the sport through T. Taylor's eyes," said NMPA President Tom Jensen. "T. Taylor's images brought the sport to life long before the advent of NASCAR on network television and the Internet. More than that, though, T. Taylor was a true gentleman, respected by the racers and NASCAR officials, and admired by his fellow photographers and other media members. He was a class act all the way."
The lifelong staple in the NASCAR garage was honored with the Henry T. McLemore Award by the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006, becoming the first photographer to be presented to the award.
While this journalist never had the benefit of meeting T. Taylor Warren, his presence in the sport was something that will never be forgotten. While drivers get the majority of the spotlight these days, there are numerous dedicated and loyal people that help make this sport go around. T. Taylor was one of those who laid the groundwork for those who followed after him and his contributions to the sport will never be forgotten.