IRL: Experienced team to broadcast league races on FOX

INDIANAPOLIS, March 18, 1999 -- FOX Sports Net today unveiled its broadcast team for Pep Boys Indy Racing League telecasts in 1999, with Dave Calabro as play-by-play announcer, Jack Arute and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk as ...

INDIANAPOLIS, March 18, 1999 -- FOX Sports Net today unveiled its broadcast team for Pep Boys Indy Racing League telecasts in 1999, with Dave Calabro as play-by-play announcer, Jack Arute and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk as analysts, and Vince Welch and Calvin Fish as pit reporters.

FOX Sports Net will telecast nine of the 11 Pep Boys Indy Racing League events this year. This will be FOX Sports Net's entry into televising American motorsports events as the network adds to its sports portfolio, which already includes the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and the NCAA.

"We are very happy with this new broadcasting team," said Tony George, Indy Racing League founder. "We believe they will be able to bring the excitement of the Indy Racing League's close, competitive racing home to our fans."

FOX Sports Net's coverage starts with the MCI WorldCom 200 on March 28 at Phoenix International Raceway. FOX Sports Net is the first truly national, regional and local supplier of sports programming and reaches more than 65 million homes through 22 regional sports cable networks.

"As we get closer to the debut of the IRL on FOX Sports Net, we are very pleased with the telecast team we have assembled," said Arthur Smith, executive vice president of production, FOX Sports Net. "Fans of open-wheel racing are very particular and require knowledgeable announcers when they tune in. FOX Sports Net's telecast team offers a unique balance of on- and off-track experience that will add an informative flare to the events." Calabro has a variety of experience in sports broadcasting. He has served as sports director at WTHR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, since 1992 after stints as a news and sports reporter-anchor at stations in Dayton, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Ind. Calabro has served on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track announcing staff since 1985 and worked on ESPN "SpeedWeek" telecasts since 1994.

Arute comes to FOX from ABC Sports, where he served as a reporter during telecasts of many events, including motorsports, Super Bowl XXV, the 1991 Pan American Games, college football, college basketball and the Tournament of Roses Parade. He was a member of ABC's broadcast team at the Indianapolis 500 since 1984 and was ESPN's primary pit reporter during auto racing broadcasts from 1984-86. Arute is a two-time recipient of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association Award (1987, 1989) for best television feature reporting. In 1988, he earned the same honor from the National Motor Sports Press Association.

Luyendyk is one of the most celebrated Indy-style drivers in history. He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1990 and 1997, and is the winningest driver in Indy Racing League history. He holds the one-lap and four-lap qualifying records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and his average winning speed of 185.981 is the fastest in Indianapolis 500 history. Luyendyk is retiring as a open-wheel driver after this year's Indianapolis 500.

Welch has held many sports reporting roles during his career. He is the sports director at WIBC-AM in Indianapolis and has worked as a pit reporter on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network since 1996. Welch also was a pit reporter during Indy Racing League telecasts by The Nashville Network and SpeedVision.

He also served as sports anchor for WISH-TV in Indianapolis from 1990-95 and has performed play-by-play announcing of Ball State University basketball.

Fish brings a wealth of racing and broadcasting experience to FOX. He has served as a pit reporter for a variety of motorsports broadcasts on ESPN and SpeedVision, including the Indy Racing League. Fish is an accomplished race driver. He won the British Formula Ford Championship and competed for many years in the British Formula 3 series. He won the 1987 Formula Atla ntic championship and also competed in Indy Lights and IMSA races.

FOX 1999 PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE TELEVISION SCHEDULE Date Event site Network(s) March 28 Phoenix FOX Sports Net May 1 Charlotte, N.C. FOX Sports Net/SpeedVision June 12 Fort Worth, Texas FOX Sports Net June 27 Colorado Springs, Colo. FOX Sports Net July 17 Atlanta FOX Sports Net Aug. 1 Dover, Del. FOX Sports Aug. 29 Colorado Springs, Colo. FOX Sports Net Sept. 26 Las Vegas FOX Sports or FOX Sports Net Oct. 17 Fort Worth, Texas FOX Sports or FOX Sports Net

Source: IRL/IMS

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Calvin Fish , Tony George