When 40 cars line up to start the Daytona 500, it can be hard to keep track of who's leading — and who's even still on the track — at any given moment. The viewers at home need someone to let them know the details of the race and do it in a way that gets them excited enough to stay for the entire race, even when their favorite driver is eliminated. This is the arena in which NASCAR announcers shine.
While there's no substitute for the experience of going to the track to watch a NASCAR race in person, there's also never been a sport as perfect for television as auto racing. At most tracks, spectators in the stands can only follow the cars as they pass; on TV, the cameras follow the entire field, taking the viewer to where the action is.
To truly follow the race, however, images aren't enough. NASCAR announcers and color commentators can give viewers a lap-by-lap, flag-to-flag experience like none other. Combining technical know-how to follow the scenes on the track while providing commentary that grabs — and keeps — the viewers' attention, the experts in the booth give the race a dimension you couldn't otherwise get outside of pit road.
Some of these announcers have had careers more colorful than the drivers they cover — and a large percentage have also put in their time on the track. So strap in, and let's take a look at some of the legends of the broadcast booth!