With the beginning of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season comes with it the familiar voices making the call on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network that covers every session of every race weekend on the schedule.
In his 24th season on the radio network, Mark Jaynes (at right in photo above) returns to the booth for his fourth year as the lead announcer. He will be flanked by Anders Krohn, who returns for a second season as the driver analyst. Jaynes is happy to have his booth mate back.
"Anders injected a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and energy into the booth, and his knowledge is just so very impressive," said Jaynes. "Not only does he have an incredible knowledge of the technical side, but he is able to present it in a manner in which the novices are able to understand."
Familiar faces and voices also are back to cover the action in the pits and turns, beginning with this weekend with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman, Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Michael Young are back for most or all of the races. Ryan Myrehn, who joined the team last year, is also back for some events.
The radio network There will be one change. The radio network’s beginnings trace to the Indianapolis 500, and “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” remains the centerpiece broadcast. There will be a small change for the radio network at Indy this year, but it won't be noticeable, as the broadcast booth is moving from the Pagoda to the media center.
"I am firmly convinced that no matter where we would broadcast from, we would do a very good job," Jaynes said.
Jaynes added that the radio network will continue to bring coverage and descriptions of the Indianapolis 500 like no one else can, and that won't change just because the booth has moved.
Wally Leavitt, general manager for the network, said he plans to add a turn announcer for Turn 1 this year as well.
"For the 500, there will be four turn (announcers), five pit (reporters) and a garage/medical center person," said Leavitt. "Then we will have three in the booth…Mark Jaynes, Anders Krohn and (Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian) Donald Davidson." Paul Page, a past radio network lead announcer, will also be on the Indianapolis 500 broadcast to share his observations for the listeners.
Leavitt said much focus is coordinating setups at new venues Circuit of The Americas and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The placement of turn announcers and other considerations must be studied well in advance of the race weekend.
"What I'll do is look at a track map first and find long straightaways," Leavitt said.
He wants to find points around the circuits that allow for continuity as the turn announcers pass the track action to each other, providing the best descriptions of the race as possible. Leavitt even goes to YouTube to watch old races and consults with drivers to see where passing zones are. This helps give him an idea of where to place the turn announcers, typically Query and Yeoman.
Jaynes is confident listeners won't be able to tell that the broadcasts from the new tracks will be the first. He and several other of the network talent attended INDYCAR Spring Training last month at COTA to become more familiar with it.
"As far as Laguna Seca," said Jaynes, "several members of our crew have been to Laguna Seca to cover various other series over the past few years."
Jaynes pointed out that the network team has increased its interaction on social media to better engage fans.
"It's a very small world, and social media especially has made it very small," said Jaynes, "and it's allowed us to interact with (listeners) almost instantly.
"Quite frankly, if it is something that you embrace, you'll realize that magnitude of the impact of it. It is cool to have the interaction with the fans because it's very meaningful to them to send a question while they're listening and for you to mention them and answer it right away.
"That personalizes it, and that's the beauty of the immediacy of radio," said Jaynes. "We can enhance the immediacy of radio by using social media in a manner that I don't think any other form of media can do."
The Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network covers every NTT IndyCar Series session. Commentary for practices is available along with live timing and scoring on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. Qualifying broadcasts are available on Race Control, the INDYCAR Mobile app and Sirius/XM Radio. Race broadcasts air on network affiliates in addition to Race Control, INDYCAR Mobile and Sirius/XM.
The radio network’s race broadcast for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg begins at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.