One of the biggest differences between racing here in Arizona and racing in California is the quality of the announcers. I realize that Mr."Windy" has been doing the announcing at Manzanita since the 50s. I'm sure that there are many people who feel a strong connection to having him in the booth. When I listen to him scream and yell and make numerous mistakes (he couldn't keep track of which race was which) I think back to when Pat Summerall began having difficulties calling a football game those last few years. The thing that bothers me most is that he assumes all of the fans know exactly what's going on and he only needs to fill in the driver names. The second problem is his insistence that yelling every driver's name into the microphone no matter when he's talking about them. I'm not saying he needs to retire but he needs a little help in the booth.
On Friday night I went with my mother and on Saturday I went with my wife Robin and we all agreed that listening to Dennis at Chico or George at San Jose was always enjoyable. That's not to say that Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Hennig are slouches because they're not. I enjoy their work as well.
I think the other thing that was missing last night, that we had the last two years, was Bobby Gerould in the infield. He always makes you feel like you're learning a little something that's inside information. I was very disappointed he was not last night. I do miss the good old days with Dennis and Troy in the booth and Bobby was roaming the infield and pits.
I do realize I can be a tough trip to Petaluma and Antioch sometimes. I'm not sure if that guy still there at Antioch but he was a hard one to listen to. I didn't get a chance to travel to Hanford and Tulare enough to get to know the announcers there. I was trying to think of the name of the announcer who worked with George at San Jose. I know he passed away a few years back. Was his name Spencer? I always enjoyed the way those two worked together on Saturday nights.