Through My Eyes
I sit here taking a break from the constant stream of messages, phone calls and emails regarding the upcoming race season. I never ever thought that I would be in the spot I am today, regarding working for a track. For many years I was always the one doing the bitching and complaining; now, the shoe is on the other foot! (But looking back to my days when it was me… these boys today got a long way to go to be able to argue with me!)
Now, many who love racing load up on a Saturday night and head for the track, stop by a favorite eating spot, then mosey on over to the track, get your seat all locked down and wander around talking to friends you haven’t seen since last season.
The announcer on the other hand, has been working on this race since last November, planning, working on rules, schedules, praying… Yeah lots of praying. Then as the day gets closer, doing all the promo work of flyers, social media posts and interviews, Facebook Lives, sending emails to sponsors, drivers and car owners. Then a week or so out from the event, you look at the weather, what needs to be done track-prep wise, looking at preventing any issues you may have had in the past few years to try and make the race bigger and better than before.
As the announcer, you’ve got to make sure all your note cards are up to date with drivers in what cars, drivers who have moved up or down in class, drivers who may have changed numbers… the amount of details is amazing.
Knowing the history of the race, past winners, highlights from the past year, little fun facts about the drivers. So much to keep track of, it is a challenge few ever see.
Each year the season is usually kicked off with an open practice so you get to check everything out, make sure batteries in all the microphones are new, volumes are all set correctly… kind of a “soft opening” so to speak. BUT… this year, life decided to toss a wrench into the program. This Friday on the same day as the open practice, AND during the exact same time, my day job employer decided to toss in our Annual Employee Appreciation Dinner. Normally I would skip the dinner to go racing, but this year, I have been asked to speak, and they are handing out bonuses! So my racing season will start at a fancy dinner on Friday night, then up at 7 am, head to the track to get ready for a 9 am pit gate opening, and racing to start about 1 pm. Then announce qualifying, heats and 8 main events this year! Then we have the “Party on the front straight” for the fans to meet and greet the drivers and winners; then home to do write-ups on the races, send out to all media outlets, and in bed by 4 am. Up by 8 and drive 2 hours to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame to work on some projects over there, and back home to get ready for The Mitch Walker Show on Monday night.
Yeah, it’s going to be a wild weekend, but it gives you just a little insight into the job I love so much.
Announcing has become a huge part of my life and I love it. I strive each day every time I pick up the microphone to be better than the last race, to keep the fans entertained and excited. This year I have taken on working with the legendary Gordon Pirkle at the Georgia Hall of Fame in Dawsonville in addition to all the other stuff I do, so this year will be wild, but it is going to be fun and I look forward to sharing it with each of you through my articles this year, giving you a behind the scenes look at racing through my eyes.
Have a blessed week, and take someone new to the races this week and create a new fan of the sport we all love so much… Racin!