GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2001) - The National Hot Rod Association announced today the broadcast team for the 2001 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2. Heading the list of newcomers to the booth will be Marty Reid, as...
GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2001) - The National Hot Rod Association announced today the broadcast team for the 2001 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2. Heading the list of newcomers to the booth will be Marty Reid, as lead play-by-play announcer. Alongside Reid in the booth will be veteran driver and 1992 NHRA Winston Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon.
Rounding out the group will be senior pit reporter Bill Stephens, along with two other pit reporters, David Reiff and Shelly Anderson. All three are veterans of last year's telecasts. The line-up finalizes ESPN Regional Television's production team, and marks the first year of a five-year exclusive relationship with ESPN and ESPN2 to telecast all 24 national events in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
Longtime play-by-play voice of NHRA, Dave McClelland, will be featured on each of the 24 national event broadcasts on special 50th anniversary segments designed to take the viewer back through NHRA's glorious history as the sport celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Reid is not unfamiliar to drag racing, starting his nearly 20-year career at ESPN and ABC Sports as on-air talent during ESPN's broadcast of NHRA in 1982. Since that time, Reid has covered nearly every form of motorsports imaginable, from CART, IRL and NASCAR to IMSA, off-road racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
New to the booth, but certainly not new to the sport, will be color analyst Cruz Pedregon. Pedregon competed in his first drag race in 1980, at the age of 16, in a diesel truck where he took home first place and a six-foot trophy. Pedregon raced Top Alcohol Dragster (1987-89) and Top Alcohol Funny Car (1990) before moving to Top Fuel, part-time in 1991, and then landing a full-time Funny Car ride in 1992. It was that year, as a rookie, that Pedregon won the 1992 NHRA Winston Funny Car championship. Since 1990, he is the only Funny Car driver to win a championship other than 10-time NHRA Winston Funny Car champion John Force. Pedregon has earned 22 national event wins, including three at the prestigious U.S. Nationals (1992, 1994-95).
Pedregon's father, Frank Pedregon, Sr., was a Top Fuel competitor in the 1960s. His brothers, Tony and Frank, Jr., currently compete in Funny Car. "I am excited about joining Marty in the booth and bringing the perspective as a driver and owner to the fans at home," said Pedregon. "Since learning that I'd be stepping out of the car and into the booth, I have spent countless hours thinking of ways to enhance the shows in 2001. I will take the same energy and enthusiasm I have for driving and apply it to my new position."
On the 15 NHRA Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series broadcasts, scheduled to air on ESPN2, Reid will serve as lead play-by-play alongside Bob Frey, a longtime sportsman enthusiast and member of last year's broadcast team. Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide, and more than 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Castrol GTX Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.