The Time Capsule Race Imagery Of Ken Steinhoff

I fell into a deep rabbit hole while searching for black-and-white motorcycle race images on Google Images and then one shot stopped me cold. It is a pan shot of two racers in wind-cheating tucks, hauling down a dirt track at speeds that must be approaching 35 miles per hour. You see, these competitors are not on Harleys or Triumphs or BSAs. They are racing Honda S90s and both have the determined look of competitors racing for a world championship. I was mesmerized by the shot and lucky for me (and you) this was just the beginning. The awesome black-and-white photo lead me to the work of Ken Steinhoff.

Ken Steinhoff, who graduated from Cape Girardeau Central High School in Missouri in 1965, was a professional news photographer (and editorial operations manager and telecommunications manager) for his entire professional career until retiring (sort of) in 2008. I say “sort of” because Ken still pens a cycling blog, Palm Beach Bike Tours.

The copyrighted photo that got my attention was from a race held at Cape Girardeau’s Arena Park and Ken graciously has posted other images from the day of racing here. I intentionally didn’t post his photos in this story because I don’t want them copied, downloaded or shared without Ken getting credit (or you getting permission from Ken).

Ken also shared a link of his copyrighted images from a stock car race on the same track. It is tough to pick a favorite but I’ll go with the flash shot of two young guys, one behind the wheel and the other sticking his head inside the car. Ken’s iconic images capture the heart and soul of a small-town raceway and its racers in a way seldom portrayed.

If you are aching for more, you might like this gallery. Ken explains, “Not everybody played nicely at the races.”

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