Announcers are more than just people who talk (or sometimes yell) into microphones. At a short track racing event, they are just as much a part of the show as the racers. They can be the difference between a good show and a great show.
The responsibility of an announcer is to keep his or her audience entertained and informed. Not only do you need to be exciting on the mic, but you also need to be able to tell the audience exactly what is going on. You need to make them relate to the short track heroes that they are watching.
Throughout North America there are many great short track announcers that short track racing fans are lucky to have. In many cases, these announcers get their start in the short track ranks before moving on to the national level. Television and radio broadcasters Ken Squier, Dave Moody, Rob Albright, Jim Tretow, Kyle Rickey and Mike Massaro are just a few of those who have made the transition.
Since 2011, Speed51.com has honored the best announcers in short track racing during the annual 51 Awards. Today, we’re pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Short Track Announcer of the Year Award, as voted on by the fans.
Achievement in Audio Production
(Short Track Announcer of the Year)
If you attended any of the crown jewel Dirt Late Model races in 2017 or if you watched a live broadcast on DirtonDirt.com, you more than likely heard his voice. He’s an encyclopedia for Dirt Late Model racing throughout the country and his knowledge graces the ears of race fans nationwide.
Now, for the first time, Dustin Jarrett is the winner of the 51 Award for Short Track Announcer of the Year.
“This is so awesome! First off, thank you to Speed51.com for nominating me for this award,” Jarrett said. “The other announcers in the category are all absolutely outstanding and equally deserving of this honor. Second, thank you to the fans who voted for me. I’m unbelievably honored to receive this award. It means the world to me to get this and it’s certainly something I’ll never forget.”
Jarrett, a native of Ohio, began his announcing career at the local level while announcing at tracks in his home state. From there, he’s climbed the ladder to announce some of the biggest short track racing events in the nation.
In recent years, Jarrett has announced prestigious races such as the Dirt Late Model Dream and World 100 at Eldora Speedway (OH), Gateway Dirt Nationals at The Dome in St. Louis (MO) and Jim Dunn Memorial at Midway Speedway (OH). He also plays the role of pit reporter for major Dirt Late Model events like the Wild West Shootout at Arizona Speedway and USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway (WI).
Since the reopening of Mansfield Motor Speedway (OH) as a dirt track in 2017, Jarrett has also served as the house announcer for the facility.
When he’s not behind the mic calling the racing action, you can often times find him dropping knowledge as on-air talent for DirtonDirt.com.
Finishing second in the voting was defending award winner Tim Baltz, an announcer for the Super DIRTcar Series. Dave Buchanan, the announcer for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series and Lancaster National Speedway, completed the podium. Vores Compact Touring Series announcer Corey Hensley finished fourth. Finishing in a tie for the fifth position was Five Flags Speedway announcer Robbie Harvey and Aaron Maynard, the announcer for the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl (VT).
Former Short Track Announcer of the Year Award Winners
2016 – Tim Baltz
2015 – Eric Huenefeld
2014 – Eric Huenefeld
2013 – Russ Dowd
2012 – Mark Keeler
2011 – Rick Eshelman