Report: Paul Page takes over radio duties for IndyCar, Indy 500

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What’s old is new again for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, as Paul Page – the voice of the Indianapolis 500 from 1977 to 1987 – has returned to the post.

“It’s an overused phrase, but it’s almost a dream come true,” Page told Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star on Monday. “I’ve always thought radio was so much more fun to do, and I think more artistic.

“A radio broadcast can be your creation, not what [a television screen] shows you. It’s so much more lively and creative.”

Page is replacing Mike King, who stepped down as the IMS Radio Network’s lead announcer on Nov. 1 to tend to his family and other business responsibilities.

In rejoining IMSRN, Page becomes the first of the six “Voices of the 500” to have a second run. He first joined in 1974 as a pit reporter and was mentored by the lead announcer at the time, Sid Collins; Page then took over as lead himself after the legendary Collins died a few weeks before the 1977 running of the “500.”

After a decade that also saw him anchor NBC’s auto racing coverage on television in addition to his “500” work, Page joined ABC in 1987 and his announcing effectively became one and the same with American open-wheel racing.

In 2005, however, he was re-assigned from his role on ABC’s Indy Racing League coverage to other events within the ABC/ESPN portfolio. He served as lead announcer for NHRA drag racing from 2006 to 2012.

Page later confirmed the report with this tweet:

 

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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