Tonight we wind up the 2012 IndyCar Season, crown a new champion and enjoy for the final time Bob Jenkins anchoring a TV broadcast.
When you look back at the meteoric rise of stock car racing, you have to acknowledge the contribution ESPN’s weekly coverage of races in the 80’s meant to their success. The man whose voice made those drivers household names was Bob’s. But his true love, his heart, was at 16th and Georgetown and the open wheel cars.
In 1993 I was lucky enough to be hired to do the pit reporting for ESPN’s Thursday Thunder and the FastMaster Series from Indianapolis Raceway Park. I was more than a little nervous before the first production meeting. When I walked into the trailer, Bob went out of his way to welcome me, introduce me to everyone and make me feel comfortable. I’ll never forget that.
Bob won’t disappear from the scene completely. He’ll be on the Public Address System at the Speedway in May and I wouldn’t be surprised if Wally asked him to be a part of an event or two on the IMS Radio Network. Maybe Bob will write a book? Need to get Dave Argabright on that right away:)
So enjoy tonight’s race on TV or radio, root for your favorite and realize an icon is hitting it out of the park one last time.