MRN Announcer Spotlight: Woody Cain
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on July 9, 2014 | 10:00 A.M. EST
Along with being heard on MRN broadcasts, Cain is also the host of "NASCAR Today" and co-host of "MRN Motorsports Monday."
Get to know Woody Cain - Pit Road Reporter - in this week's edition of MRN Announcer Spotlight. Cain is also the host of "NASCAR Today" and co-host of "MRN Motorsports Monday." He can also be heard on MRN's broadcasts as the co-host of the pre-race show and social media reporter during the race.
Q: When did you first become interested in broadcasting?
Cain: When I was little I would always watch basketball and football, and was interested in how the broadcasters did their jobs. I thought it was really cool to be there in the middle of the action. I used to listen to Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier and then later, Summerall and (John) Madden when I was growing up. Billy Packer and Jim Thacker on the old ACC broadcasts ... I had a lot of fun listening to those guys. I was always interested in what they did and how they did it, and I would follow along. I wasn’t going to play sports other than recreation leagues and things like that. It was just a fun way to be involved with it and be up close to the action.
Q: How did you get involved with the Motor Racing Network?
Cain: I was doing traffic for the company that produced traffic reports for WBT in Charlotte and later, I was a news anchor. I knew Steve Post from when we would do short-track races from Concord Motorsport Park on what was then Vision Cable and is now Time Warner. It was locally produced. We would tape the races and play them back during the week. One day, one of our booth guys didn’t show up. Steve was walking through and Ted Laukaitis, who was at NASCAR Images and SPEED for a long time, introduced us. We threw Steve in the booth that day. He and I would hang out afterwards and got to be friends, and he was telling me about some possibilities at MRN. So I called David Hyatt, talked to him and here I am.
Q: Where was your first broadcast with the Motor Racing Network and what do you remember about that day?
Cain: It was in the turns at Texas Motor Speedway my first year, 2008. I was very nervous. I was at the hotel, standing outside trying to not be nervous and a little hummingbird came up. It flew really close to me, just looked at me and then it flew away. I thought, "That has to be some kind of omen." It settled me down. When they came to me for the first time in the race, I got tongue-tied trying to call who the leaders were. But it got better after that, once you get the initial jitters out of the way.
Q: What are your early memories of NASCAR and where was the first race you attended as a fan?
Cain: One of the earliest memories I have is of my grandmother telling me all about Fireball Roberts. She had a picture of him, showed me that, and told me about his career and what happened to him. When I was little, I would love to go to the old Metrolina Fairgrounds with my dad and see the sprint cars. I didn’t know what they were. I just called them little cars. As for the first NASCAR race, it was much later. There was a big gap in there, but it was probably 1991 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I remember Kyle Petty was practicing in the Mello Yello car and that was one of the first things I saw.
Q: Since you co-host "Fast Food" every Thursday at MRN.com, what's your favorite restaurant to visit on the NASCAR circuit?
Cain: There's a sushi place in Jackson, Michigan, called AKA Sushi. It’s just a little tiny place. Joe Moore and Amanda Trautman took me there for the first time and I loved it. I always look forward to going there when the races are at Michigan International Speedway. The salmon sashimi there is really good stuff. Another favorite is Hard Eight BBQ in Grapevine, Texas.
Q: Keeping on the topic of food, you also compete in area BBQ contests. How many do you compete in per year and what category have you won the most awards in?
Cain: We had been cooking together at gatherings for years and finally decided to form a team called the "Wee Hour Squealers" and compete. The most we've done is three or four contests a year locally in North Carolina. We don't get to compete as much as we used to because of my travel schedule and the other guys' schedules, but we will be back together at Biker Blues & BBQ in Salisbury in September. We've gotten eight "calls" over the years. (when they call your team name from the stage at the award presentations after judging to come up and get a trophy/check. I’m most proud of the fact that we have first place trophies in chicken, ribs and pork at three different contests. Most of the calls have been for chicken.
(Woody Cain co-hosts "MRN Motorsports Monday" each Monday at MRN.com (noon ET) with Brad Keselowski's spotter Joey Meier)
Be sure to check back every Wednesday for the latest MRN Announcer Spotlight.
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