I spent over 30 years broadcasting auto races. My first job in television was in early 1979 as a pit reporter for the first CART race in Phoenix, Arizona on NBC with Paul Page and Charley Jones. When ESPN, the all sports cable network went on the air in September of 1979, I was one of the first announcers hired. Through the years I served as host and play-by-play announcer for the Izod IndyCar telecasts including the Indianapolis 500, and from 1982 to 2000 I anchored ESPN and ABC’s coverage of NASCAR Winston Cup telecasts which received 17 Sports Emmy Awards during that time.
From 1983 to 1997, I served as host of ESPN’S SpeedWeek, a weekly program of racing news, results, previews and features. I also worked as a co-anchor on Speed News, which aired on Speed TV.
In 1990 I was nominated for an ACE (Award for Cable Excellence) Award in the Sports Host Category. From 1979 to 1999, I served as a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, serving as the “Radio Voice of the 500” from 1990-1999.
I have received many honors including induction into the National Auto Racing Fan Club Hall Of Fame in May of 2006, and the “Tony Hulman Award” given by the same organization for unselfish devotion to motor sports, the Roger McCluskey Award from the United States Auto Club in recognition of standards of excellence in the sport of auto racing, and the Henry T. McLemore Motorsports Press Award which recognizes outstanding motorsports journalism in the field of writing, broadcasting or photography. A permanent plaque with my likeness is in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama. I am a member of the Hoosier Auto Racing Fan Club Hall of Fame and the only two time winner of its Media Person of the Year Award.
I was also awarded a “Sagamore of the Wabash”, the highest civilian award given by the state of Indiana, in recognition of work in many civic and charitable efforts.
Growing up in eastern Indiana, I fulfilled a lifetime dream when I began anchoring the ABC telecast of the Indianapolis 500. I am the only announcer who has anchored coverage of three events held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR’S Brickyard 400, and the US Grand Prix Formula One race. I also serve on the tracks public address staff.
In October of 2012 my wife of 44+ years died of brain cancer. I am a survivor of colon cancer and currently reside in suburban Indianapolis with two miniature Schnauzers - Sophie and Bailey.