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I’m going to miss Bob Frey

October 12, 2012

Bob Frey captivates his audience
NHRA photo

I knew it had to happen some time, but I’m really not ready for it.

Bob Frey, the voice of NHRA’s Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is retiring at the end of the 2012 season. I’ve listened to Bob since he began announcing at Atco Dragway near my Philadelphia, PA birthplace, always enjoying his grand knowledge of the sport as much as his dulcet tones. And his rabid sense of humor.

Bob Frey has always brought a grand mix of dignity and hilarity to the sport of drag racing, his work neatly complementing the paradox that is this sport that mixes great people and mighty machinery.

Although I’ve only been working consistently in NHRA over the past half-decade, I’ve continued to love listening to the PA at the track, just to hear what’s next from Bob Frey. He’s always got something off the wall that will engage the crowds and his historic knowledge of drag racing always helps me with my work, since I don’t have the background of The Bob Frey.

Saying – with tongue firmly in cheek – he wants to get to know his wife and that “it’s time to settle down,” Frey reminded, “There are a lot of things at home I would like to do and take care of. I have six grandsons and I would like to see them grow up, play ball and be a bigger part of their lives. If I never see another airport security line in my life, I’ll be happy,” Frey said with his standard humor.

He plans on announcing the Don Garlits Hall of Fame induction in March of next year near Gainesville, FL and the DRAW auction next October – along with selected events – but he’s giving up the microphone as a trackside announcer. Frey also intends to continue writing his weekly columns for “That’s something I really enjoy, plus that’s something I can do from home and that’s a real bonus.”

A man who came into the sport before the Funny Car category was born, Bob Frey said it’s not possible for him to designate one occurrence or another as his most memorable in such a long-lived and storied career. “There has been so much that I have seen, from twin-engine dragsters to today’s fuel cars and everything in between. I love a good Competition Eliminator race as much as a Top Fuel one,” so it’s tough to designate a single moment.

“I’ve enjoyed every aspect of my career but I’m looking forward to slowing down,” he concluded.

Bob Frey will finish out the season with the final two races on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and on the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona dragstrip. “I want to thank everyone who has been so kind to me over the years, especially everyone at NHRA. It’s been a dream job and I will miss it.”

No, Bob, the thanks comes directly from all of us. No matter who assumes that microphone at Pomona next February, we’ll all be thinking of your contributions and your legacy. Make sure you enjoy more of those TastyKake treats you love so much!

By Anne Proffit

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