Thank You Steven Moxley

I’m not sure where Santa Pod coverage on Eatmyink will come from without Steven Moxley. His thorough, blow-by-blow writing and photography told the full story of events, and he was scheduled to do a lot of them for me this year. His enthusiasm for the sport and natural rapport with racers are irreplaceable, and as I write this I’m at a rare loss for words.

Steven and Julie Moxley flanking Kevin and Lizz Charman at their 2016 wedding on the SGMP starting line.

After working with Steven remotely for a few years, I finally got to meet him and his wife Julie—also an enthusiastic drag racing photographer—at the Man Cup World Finals in 2016. That event in those days was always a whirlwind for me, one where I found it difficult to keep up the pace of gathering material, posting timely information, and doing Job One—hanging out at the bar and catching up with all people I would see once a year at that event. I wasn’t giving the Moxley’s my full attention and wasn’t sure how to on that particular weekend.

British photojournalist and Best Man Steven Moxley

Fortunately, Steven was back in Valdosta the following year and we were able to spend some quality time together—trackside and at the Applebee’s. Then he and Julie came to an NHRA race at Bristol and the visit was top notch. When only covering bikes, the NHRA pace genuinely suits my style, and I was able to get to know the Moxley’s so much better this time around. After lunch on Monday, they headed off on a tourist’s tour of the Smokies and I was left looking forward to their next visit.

That visit was finally going to happen this year at Maple Grove—my favorite dragstrip.

Steven in 2017

It’s been such a year of loss, and Steven is the second of my far flung motorsports photographer friends to join the list of people I’ll never see again, never get to talk on the phone or exchange messages badgering each other to get our work done.

Truth be known, Steven’s work required a fair amount of work before publishing—his stories more like lists than an actual composition. I told him “You’re from England, why don’t you write in the Queen’s English?”

“That’s me style,” he said.

“What style? A lack of style is not a style!” was my response.

Steven’s importance to the Santa Pod racing community (and formerly Shakespeare, as well) was undeniable. There was a notorious moment when he contacted me in desperation that his credentials were denied by Santa Pod at the last minute. Perhaps against better judgement, I told the racers to let the powers that be know how disappointed they were with that decision. They did just that, and Moxley was eventually granted his credentials but banned by the track from working with Eatmyink for the rest of the season. Upsetting to the Santa Pod staff and sad for me, but the point of Steven’s importance to the racing community was made forever.

And now that importance will be one of memory rather than ongoing coverage of the sport. I have Steven’s Festival of Power report, and he was trying to get the photos to me at the time of his passing. Hopefully, Julie and I can get that task accomplished and get us up-to-date with his completed work.

Those reports and all of his previous work will remain online as long as Eatmyink’s server bill is paid. May the memory of what we all do here last long after we’re gone.

Santa Pod racers, be sure and get the “Thank You Steven” stickers at the track this weekend and get them on your vehicles. Big thanks to Ian King for seeing that these stickers got printed in time. At this time I’m not sure what photographers will capture them or who will write about the event.

story and photos by Tim Hailey

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