This weekend marks the beginning of the 400th running of the Ky Speedway Quaker State 400. A special commemoration will be held Saturday at the track. However, to ensure there are no misunderstandings, a quick look at the history of this year’s race and the role of the announcers is essential.
History Of The Race
The Ky Speedway Quaker State 400 is among the earliest major sporting events in the country. The tradition of the race dates back to 1911, and it’s one of the biggest annual sporting events in the state of Kentucky. This year’s edition will mark the 400th running of the event. The first three-quarters of the race will be held at the speedway, with the final quarter being carried at night. The 400th running of the event will be known as the Quaker State 400.
Modern-Day Announcers For The Event
Though there have been many changes over the years, the role of the announcers at the Kentucky Speedway Quaker State 400 has remained largely unchanged. The race is still largely called by the local media, and it retains a very strong connection to the region. For the most part, the same two or sometimes three broadcast teams call the race each year. However, the occasional change does occur, and it’s important to keep in mind the various roles the announcers play for this event. Most notably, several of them are there to keep the fans informed of what’s happening during the race as well as to provide instructions to the drivers and relevant information about the track. There is also the “driver’s voice”, the radio voice of the race car drivers, whose calls add an extra layer of information for the fans. These six individuals will be responsible for providing the play-by-play action for this year’s race.
Key Roles For Each Announcer
Each member of the broadcast team at the Kentucky Speedway Quaker State 400 plays an important role in ensuring the race is called accurately. One thing to keep in mind is that, aside from the driver’s voice, each one of the six announcers will provide a different perspective on the action. Here’s a look at the various roles each one of them play and how they contribute to the success of the event.
Bob Patch (play-by-play)
Bob Patch is the primary play-by-play announcer for the event and has been calling the races at the Kentucky Speedway for over 20 years. He will be responsible for relaying all the important information to the fans during the race. Essentially, Bob is in the best position to provide the most objective information about the action. He will also be responsible for naming the drivers and the various teams that are involved in the race.
As a member of the media, it’s important to always be truthful, so it’s vital that Bob is completely objective during the calls. In recent years, he has been known to provide erroneous information about the cars and the status of the teams, so it’s vital that the fans have complete confidence that what they’re hearing is accurate.
Mike Massaro (color commentary)
Like many other sports, the entertainment value of the Kentucky Speedway Quaker State 400 comes from the commentary. Mike Massaro is the lead color analyst for the event and has been providing in-depth analysis of the race for several years. In addition, he usually gets involved in some of the betting action as well during the race. Mike Massaro is known for being extremely personable and providing extensive knowledge about the sport. He also has a keen eye for the entertainment value of the race, so he is often able to provide the most entertaining commentaries about the race. His ability to engage the audience makes him a joy to listen to during the event. He will be working alongside Ray Dunlap for the 400th running of the race this year.
Ray Dunlap (replay coordinator)
As the replay coordinator, Ray Dunlap is in charge of ensuring everything going on during the race is correct. It’s a vital role as mistakes can cost the teams and the drivers a lot of points. Ray Dunlap has been working at the Kentucky Speedway for over 30 years and has been calling the event for over 20 of those years. He has a unique perspective on the sport having worked at several different tracks, so he feels completely at home when working at the Kentucky Speedway. One of his duties is working with the director of scoring to ensure the points are correctly credited when adjustments are made on the track, so errors can be avoided. The replay official will be Chad Weber.
Dick Bernero (race mechanic)
Since cars are mechanical pieces of equipment that sometimes require regular maintenance, it’s no surprise that mechanics play an important role at the Kentucky Speedway. In addition to taking care of the cars and the tires during the race, the mechanics are also responsible for dealing with any issues that might arise before or after the event.
You’d be amazed how many issues can arise with a car that’s just been driven 600 miles or so. That’s a lot of wear and tear for one vehicle. It’s very important that the fans understand the role of the mechanics in order to have confidence in what they’re hearing about the car performance. For the most part, the same team of mechanics work the whole weekend, so there’s never any problems with continuity. This year, the race mechanic will be Chris Gaynor.
Bob Vandergriff (spotter)
Though they don’t get as involved in the actual racing as the other five announcers, spotters play an important role at the Kentucky Speedway Quaker State 400. The spotters will be responsible for getting in the way of the drivers as much as possible so they don’t hit any of the other cars. In addition to getting in the way, spotters are also responsible for relaying the information from the officials to the other drivers so they can make the proper pit stops for fuel and tires. Finally, they will be responsible for helping the teams with any problems that might arise.
Though it might seem like a coincidence, the six sports announcers mentioned above have all been involved in calling the Kentucky Speedway for many years. They’ve seen it all and know the history of this great event. Additionally, they are all very excited to be working this year’s edition as they know it will be historic in nature. The fans should expect to hear some memorable calls this year, as the drivers, the teams, and the track all have something special planned to celebrate this momentous occasion. This is sure to be an exciting season, so be sure to follow the news and the scores as they come in. You can also get updates by following @KySpeedway on Twitter, as they will be tweeting news and notes during the entire race. Who knows? You might just hear something that will make you interested in following the race even more.