Focus on Racing Radio

iRACE Focus On Racing Radio - http://www.irace.com/gatheringplace/focus2.htm In the view of Ron Martin and Billy Edwards, a focus on racing includes much more than telling who won the race or how fast they went. Instead, the weekly radio show...

iRACE Focus On Racing Radio - http://www.irace.com/gatheringplace/focus2.htm

In the view of Ron Martin and Billy Edwards, a focus on racing includes much more than telling who won the race or how fast they went. Instead, the weekly radio show delves into the personalities and issues that contribute to the final results.

And that approach shows in each episode of Focus on Racing, the radio show the pair produces each week which is available through RealAudio files for iRACE visitors.

"We're much more than a show that just reports what's going on -- that's not our forte or what we're really interested in," Edwards says. "We want to get more into the emotional and psychological side of that person and find out what's going on in their head. Racing's a head game, not a muscle game or a hero game." The show, which has been a fixture in Memphis for eight years, includes reports from an international network of correspondents interwoven with the Focus on Racing Spotlight, a five-part profile of a racing figure that anchors each episode. Subjects have included drivers Dale Earnhardt, Michael Andretti and Rusty Wallace, along with Chrysler Motorsports chief Lou Patane. Other features include a tech line to teach listeners about their cars, live segues to tracks hosting major races and the rants of Jo E. Stickshift, a hard-bitten fan who pulls no punches in sizing up the racing scene.

Ron Martin started his radio career at age 14 sweeping floors at KSYD in West Memphis, Ark. His first on-air job came six months later, reading children's Gospel stories between "Preacher segments" on the Christian station.

Since then, Martin's career has touched down in several aspects of radio, including a stint as a talk show host on WWEE Radio, owned by legendary Sun Records founder Sam Phillips. He then worked for five years as morning drive host on WHBQ, interviewing celebrities including golfer Arnold Palmer, astronaut Neil Armstrong and legendary baseball announcer Red Barber, who Ron lists as his only hero.

Billy Edwards has written extensively on automotive topics for the past decade, and has worked in television broadcasts of racing along with co-hosting Focus on Racing on the radio. He has worked as a reporter with The Nashville Network's RaceDay, as well as ESPN's MotorWeek Illustrated. Along with covering race drivers, he is one. Billy teaches newcomers to the sport with TrackTime Performance Driving Schools and gets to scare police officers at TrackTime's Police Pursuit Schools. He lives in Sylvania, Ohio.

Edwards' career has taken him from playing drums in support of performers including Rodney Dangerfield and Robert Goulet to a race driver co-piloting a One Lap of America car with comedian Tim Allen, but he feels it's all part of one continuum.

"Some studies have been done that show that musicians make very good racecar drivers," Edwards said. "They both need good hand-eye coordination and the ability to concentrate for a long time."

But all iRACE readers need to enjoy the full benefit of Edwards' and Martin's expertise is a computer set to receive audio files and an interest in a fresh, people-oriented approach to racing.

-- -------------------- Chris Poterala chrisp@irace.com http://www.irace.com/gatheringplace/focus2.htm

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Series General
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Michael Andretti