IHRA and SPEED Announce 2005 TV Package
All Four Professional Classes Featured
IHRA and SPEED have announced the finalization for the 2005 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series TV package, featuring all four professional classes—Top Fuel, Torco Race Fuels Pro Modified, Funny Car, and Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock.
Steve Grein’s NeWave Productions will produce and coordinate all SPEED IHRA coverage with Ken Stout, Brian Olson and Tiffany Furman providing on-air commentary, insight and information.
Stout will be in his third season as IHRA’s play-by-play announcer. He first came to IHRA in 1999 when he handled pit reporting duties.
“It is hard to put into words how much I am looking forward to this season,” Stout said. “At NeWave we have come up with a few new ideas that are fast and hard…really unique to drag race broadcasting. IHRA has been coming out with fast and hard new ideas of its own. This is a great marriage. We both have great ideas and are going to get to work together with the best people in the industry.”
Brian Olson will work with Stout in the broadcast booth, providing color commentary. Olson has been involved with drag racing for 35 years and currently works with the Carrier Boyz team as well as the Fram Air Hog and Autolite XP Spark Plug sportsman entries.
“I have been away from announcing for three years and have been actively racing in the sportsman ranks,” Olson said. “This opportunity presented itself and I figured it was a good time to get back into announcing.”
Furman, known throughout the drag racing world as “Nurse Tiffany” for her work with Tommy Lipar’s Von Smith-driven entry, will be called upon to handle pit reporting duties.
“We’ve been blessed here at IHRA with our TV partners,” IHRA President Aaron Polburn said. “Being a part of Clear Channel Entertainment, having SPEED as the network carrying our broadcasts and now with NeWave Productions taking over as our production company, the quality and excitement of our broadcasts have shot through the roof. The IHRA brand is growing, and our TV presence is helping us move in exciting new directions. With the increased exposure of the 55 additional hours of SPEED programming carrying us right through to 2005, IHRA is poised to take off.”
Mike McFarlin, Senior Director of Production/Television for Clear Channel, is looking forward seeing the talent package Newave Productions has assembled in action.
“Ken Stout has been with us for many years with IHRA and Monster Jam, Brian Olson has many years of drag racing experience and Tiffany is no stranger to drag racing,” McFarlin said. “She worked on the marketing side with Von Smith and also worked with us with Monster Jam. She is no stranger to live events and big horsepower. It is a solid team.”
“NeWave has a few shows on SPEED and Steve, the owner, was involved with the early days of IHRA television,” he said. “They come very highly recommended and have a passion and determination to make all their TV productions as good as they can possibly be. Our goal is to have a few live events on SPEED Channel, possibly going live with a selected event this year. We want to take our coverage to the next level and increase awareness of IHRA racing. We want to grab the viewers and hold them as a fan base…not just drag racing purists but those who might be seeing IHRA for the first time.”
Grein, owner of NeWave Productions, is chomping at the bit to start presenting IHRA racing to the audience in a new way.
“We are going to take drag racing one step further. We have some ideas on how to make things different and more entertaining for the viewer. Audio is always hard to capture on telecasts, especially Top Fuel cars. We have some unique ideas on how to capture that. The stories in the pits are usually pretty interesting, they are a huge key,” he said. “We want to do a better job of capturing them.”
Grein has come full circle with IHRA racing. He started broadcasting motorsports as a cameraman on IHRA telecasts.
“This deal is especially big for me,” Grein said. “I started out with IHRA and it means a lot to me to get to work with the organization again. The talent last year did a nice job and we have different talent that will bring a lot to the table. Any time, as a production company, you can work with great talent it makes your job that much easier.”
The IHRA Hooters Drag Racing Series schedule on SPEED:
Classes Date Day Time Event Episode
TF/PM 4/23/2005 Sat. 5pm ET San Antonio Original
TF/PM 4/25/2005 Mon. 5pm ET San Antonio Repeat
TF/PM 5/7/2005 Sat. 4pm ET Rockingham Original
TF/PM 5/9/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Rockingham Repeat
FC/PS 5/14/2005 Sat. 4:30 pm ET Rockingham Original
FC/PS 5/16/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Rockingham Repeat
TF/PM 5/23/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Virginia Original
TF/PM 6/4/2005 Sat. 1:30pm ET Virginia Repeat
FC/PS 6/25/2005 Sat. 5pm ET Virginia Original
FC/PS 6/27/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Virginia Repeat
TF/PM 7/9/2005 Sat. 5pm ET Grand Bend Original
TF/PM 7/11/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Grand Bend Repeat
FC/PS 8/13/2005 Sat. 4pm ET Grand Bend Original
FC/PS 8/15/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Grand Bend Repeat
TF/PM 8/20/2005 Sat. 5pm ET BMP Original
TF/PM 8/22/2005 Mon. 5pm ET BMP Repeat
FC/PS 8/27/2005 Sat. 4:30pm ET BMP Original
FC/PS 8/29/2005 Mon. 5pm ET BMP Repeat
TF/PM 9/3/2005 Sat. 5pm ET Milan Original
TF/PM 9/5/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Milan Repeat
FC/PS 9/10/2005 Sat. 4:30pm ET Milan Original
FC/PS 9/12/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Milan Repeat
TF/PM 10/3/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Toronto Original
TF/PM 10/8/2005 Sat. 4pm ET Toronto Repeat
FC/PS 10/15/2005 Sat. 4pm ET Toronto Original
FC/PS 10/17/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Toronto Repeat
TF/PM 12/3/2005 Sat. 5pm ET U.S. 131 Original
TF/PM 12/5/2005 Mon. 5pm ET U.S. 131 Repeat
FC/PS 12/10/2005 Sat. 5pm ET U.S. 131 Original
FC/PS 12/12/2005 Mon. 5pm ET U.S. 131 Repeat
TF/PM 12/17/2005 Sat. 5pm ET Norwalk Original
TF/PM 12/19/2005 Mon. 5pm ET Norwalk Repeat
FC/PS 12/24/2005 Sat. 5pm ET Norwalk Original
FC/PS TBA Norwalk Repeat
TF/PM TBA New England Original
TF/PM TBA New England Repeat
FC/PS TBA New England Original
FC/PS TBA New England Repeat
TF/PM TBA Maryland Original
TF/PM TBA Maryland Repeat
FC/PS TBA Maryland Original
FC/PS TBA Maryland Repeat
TF/PM TBA Rockingham Original
TF/PM TBA Rockingham Repeat
FC/PS TBA Rockingham Original
FC/PS TBA Rockingham Repeat