One of the hardest parts of the job that I love doing each and every Saturday night is making a call of the action on the track when two cars get together.
On one hand I have an obligation to the people in the stands and those listening on-line to add to the entertainment factor of what is going on on the track. Sometimes that means a little joking around with Roger or some of the "crystal regulars" during down times, other times that means plugging sponsors without whom none of us would be able to enjoy the sport we all love, and on rare occasions that means calling a race where one car gets into another car and might end one or both of there nights and cost a lot of money to repair. On the other hand I have an obligation to Ron and the track to be as impartial as I can. In the middle of these two obligations lies the part of my night that occasionally gets me in trouble.
Before I continue let me be clear, I have never yet been physically assaulted for my call. I have been threatened with violence, I've been told that I have no idea what I'm talking about, and I have been challenged to pay the bills on one of these cars before I "run my mouth" but never has bodily injury resulted from my call.
I would like to give a little insight into what goes through my head as a race rolls on the track. What I'm trying to do here is explain why I make the calls I do. As I look at the lineup I try to find the guys with history together or bad blood. If those guys exist in a given line up then that's who I always try to keep an eye on as that is where action can happen. Often times it doesn't but sometimes racers can't help themselves. I do not think its meant to be malicious in nature I just think that a driver is trying to assert his position much like a basketball player tries to be as physical as he can beneath the hoop to get a rebound. I think when this happens it is a natural reaction for the driver that feels he was wronged to retaliate and a chain reaction happens that can carry on for weeks at a time. Is this a good thing? No. But it does make for a degree of excitement and it is what I as an announcer look for when calling a race.
Sometimes it happens where I make a split second decision on what I might have seen on the track. I may be right or wrong, but in the moment it is what I saw and how I perceived the incident to have happened. I am in no way an official, and nothing that I say should or ever does have any baring on the official caution car or who is to blame I'm simply calling the incident as one person saw it. And that statement right there leads me into my whole reason for writing this article this week: IT'S NEVER EVER PERSONAL!!!!!
I think that it's only natural that as race fans no matter what the level of racing we have drivers that we like the way they race and some we don't. But I always try to respect the driver for the fact that they are out there and doing it. I don't think I could. I never EVER have an agenda against one driver or another. It's all about what I saw and I do try to get over it as soon after it happens as I can and move on. If you are a driver or a fan of a driver and you feel that I personally singled you out, I am truly sorry. Just know that I'm calling a race as I saw it and nothing more.
If you as a driver or fan take nothing else away from this article, please remember this. I respect each and every man and women boy and girl that straps into a race car for what they do every weekend. I never intend to offend and I'd I do I feel terrible about it. I am just calling a race from another prospective.
Let's go racing'!!!