Paul Page returns to INDYCAR, Indianapolis 500 radio
I’m almost giddy with excitement over the news that Paul Page is returning to his natural home, the radio broadcast booth, and will henceforth be the voice of the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. It’s appropriate that the man who began broadcasting his beloved Indianapolis 500 in 1974 (mentored by the late Sid Collins) will helm the radio network’s broadcasts of both the 500 and the entire series in the coming years.
While Page, 68, has been active on television for the past 30 years, he had his start in radio broadcast. “I’ve always thought radio was so much more fun to do,” he told the Indianapolis Star. “I think it’s more artistic.”
Over the years, Page has been the voice and face of IndyCar, the Indianapolis 500 and branched out into X Games, Nathan’s hot dog-eating contest and he broadcast the fastest motor sport of them all for six seasons: NHRA drag racing. His love of the 500 – and all of Indy car racing – has always held sway, no matter what other jobs he held.
Page worked with prior radio broadcaster Mike King on the 500 the past five years and it was always a highlight of his season. It was like coming home for the Evansville, IN native, who traveled the world as a military brat but always found his way “Back Home Again in Indiana.”
In his new role Page will enjoy the freedom not offered by televised broadcasting, with an ability to excite the listener with words, rather than images. He considers that “freedom” more to his liking, he said.
Now that INDYCAR has announced its radio broadcast team, it needs to consult with ABC/ESPN to make sure the next television team has the same star power as radio. ESPN’s Vince Welch, who has ties to the Indianapolis area and whose son is successfully involved in the sport, is widely mentioned as one of the primary candidates for that position.
Words and photo by Anne Proffit