This is ON PIT ROW
That’s what that deep voiced announcer-man says at the first commercial break, of “The Fastest Two Hours on Radio” each week.
2009 will be the ninth season that “ON PIT ROW” has brought you a live weekly look at the world of NASCAR. The sport has changed over those eight plus seasons and so has the show. There’s a changing of the guard in every sport and sports announcers are trying to keep up with these changes. Already, the poker industry is seeing major shake-ups in its coverage and other sports are set to follow its lead. Witness ON PIT ROW as it drifts along with the waves of change.
ON PIT ROW started as a fifteen minute segment on the daily morning radio show of our original co-host Bill Clark Bill was joined by my partner Steve Wronkowicz . I was late to join the party. My first show was two days after the 2001 Daytona 500 where, tragically, the great Dale Earnhardt died in a last lap wreck.
Now, unlike Bill and Steve, and as those of you who listen to ON PIT ROW certainly already know, I am not a trained radio professional. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. We were supposed to be having fun, talking some NASCAR and here comes my first radio appearance and we have to eulogize one of the greatest drivers in history and a sports icon. But we got through it and people seemed to enjoy the show.
Before that 2001 season ended, we expanded from fifteen minutes to a real live hour long radio show. And we started getting real live NASCAR guests to join us.
And you thought you had problems
Robby Gordon was a guest on the Tuesday before the 2002 Daytona 500. We caught up with Robby while he was having dinner with friends. He graciously spent about fifteen minutes with us and answered all of our questions. It was a great interview.
Bill Clark’s son, Jason was our producer at the time and Jason had arranged for Robby to call him back at a different phone number, after the interview, to tape a promo for our show. We were sharing studio space at the time with a local FM Rock station. Gordon called back and one of the disk jocks from the FM side answered the call. When Robby identified himself as a NASCAR driver, the DJ told him something like’ “yeah and I’m Mick Jagger” and told him to kiss off. I’ll never forget the look on Jason’s face when he told us. It was one of the many times that we wondered if anyone connected to NASCAR would ever have anything to do with us again.
Well, Jason called Robby back to apologize, prepared to be blown off at best. But Robby just laughed it off and taped the promos – at his dinner table in Daytona. I will always be a Robby Gordon fan.
Welcome To Syndication
2005 was our first year in syndication thanks to a partnership with the ABN Network that continues today. Thanks to the ABN satellite, ON PIT ROW can be heard on radio stations throughout the Midwest. If your local station doesn’t carry the show, call them and tell them about us. Give them the website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us who to call.
Big Man Steve
We have plenty of stories. The fact is, I can’t think of a bad experience with any of our guests from the racing community. I hope that relationship comes through on the broadcasts. Bill Clark and Jason have moved on to other ventures. Steve handles the big job of scheduling guests now. He’s very proud – and protective – of his cell phone directory. I have to admit that I get a little jealous when he tells me about taking a call from Dave Despain or Brad Keselowski while standing in line at the grocery store.
The Fastest Two Hours On Radio
In 2006 we took ON PIT ROW to two hours and at the end of the NASCAR season we made the decision to continue doing the show throughout the so-called off season. We are very proud of the fact that, while most of the NASCAR radio shows shut down for the winter, ON PIT ROW never goes quiet.
The Future Is Now
2008 brought more changes. You are reading this on the redesigned OnPitRow.com website. We think it’s already great, thanks to a big assist from our friend Luke at the Thunder Lounge. There’s tons of NASCAR content and now – finally – you will be able to listen to ON PIT ROW live by streaming audio. Older shows and podcasts of our best interviews are available on the site as well.
Steve and I were the co-hosts of the official weekly radio show of ARCA and the ARCA RE/MAX Series – called INSIDE ARCA - during the 2008 ARCA racing season. Both ON PIT ROW and INSIDE ARCA were broadcast live from the Toledo Speedway Bar and Grill. That led to several opportunities for Steve, BethAnne and me to provide live race coverage for the ARCA Racing Network at tracks like Pocono Speedway, Salem, Cayuga and the mile dirt races the old fairgrounds tracks at Springfield and DuQuoin, Illinois. To end the 2008 ARCA season the three of us were part of the show for the ARCA Championship Weekend at historic Toledo Speedway too.
We won’t stop with that either. ON PIT ROW is your show! For 2009 we will continue to bring you insight from folks like Jeff Hammond of Fox Sports and Speed, the a fore mentioned Dave Despain of Wind Tunnel fame, Lee Spencer and David Poole, Rusty Wallace, Booty Barker, Michael McDowell, Boris Said……. That’s why we call ON PIT ROW the best from the pits to the pressbox.
Our Listeners, Our Friends
There is a point during nearly every show when I stop and wonder – “how did I get here and why is this person talking to me?” The answer is our listeners. These big names from the NASCAR world talk to us – so they can talk to you. For that and so much more, I want to thank you for listening.
Listen…. “This is ON PIT ROW”
- Charlie Turner