Former NASCAR announcer Allen Bestwick spoke to AA this week about (SRX) Superstar Racing Experience and returning to the racing broadcasting booth.
Bestwick worked on NASCAR broadcasts for NBC and TNT from 2000-07, and then he staretd working on NASCAR and IndyCar broadcasts for ESPN from 2007-2017.
“Ray has been a friend of mine for many years. A couple of years ago he said ‘I’ve got this concept I’m working on, what do you think?’ I said “I love it! I love the sound of it! Keep me posted.’ He kept me posted as time went on, and it all came together nicely. From the ownership group of the series to the execution of everything, it’s just been really, really well done. But I’m not surprised, and that’s one of the reasons I was interested; I knew the people involved, and I knew it would be everything they said it would be, and it has been.”
Bestwick’s said Superstar Racing Experience is a better approach than the old International Race of Champions series, it create conditions where the best driver will win however, with less scheduling inconvenience from in-competition drivers and superspeedways.
“This is that concept modernized, and eliminating all the problems the old IROC series used to have by using drivers presently racing for a championship. Take the scheduling hassles out of it for the drivers, take the superspeedway angle out of it, put them on short tracks. We’ve got these great historic short tracks. And these guys at the stages they’re at in their lives and careers, they’re there to do two things; they’re there to race, and they’re there to have a blast. Being around that just naturally is going to be fun, and that’s what I was after. The fun factor’s high, it really is.”
“I never planned any of this stuff, it’s just kind of how things unfolded. I didn’t get into this business to be a racing broadcaster, I came up doing football, basketball, baseball, and then the racing thing happened, which was wonderful. …Back in 2016, ESPN lost NASCAR. The people running ESPN at that point in time came to me and said ‘Hey, we have the Indy 500. We’d really like you to stay, and we’ll make it fun for you.’”
“CBS has committed an amazing and wonderful amount of resources to this project. We’ve got first-class equipment, we’ve got everything we could possibly ask for to make this thing work. Because SRX owns all of the racecars, we have the ability to do things you don’t have the ability to do in NASCAR or IndyCar. ‘You want to put a camera there, yeah, we can do it!’ Whereas maybe you can’t in the other series. So we’ve done a lot of things in cooperation with the series.”