MRN Announcer Spotlight: Dave Moody
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on August 20, 2014 | 3:00 P.M. EST
Dave Moody has been a full-time member of the MRN Announcer lineup since 1998.
Get to know Dave Moody - Lead Turn Announcer - in this week's edition of MRN Announcer Spotlight.
Q: When did you first become interested in broadcasting?
Moody: When I was young, my uncle took me to a little short track in my hometown in Vermont and I never wanted to do anything else after that. The sights and smells, the noise and the color ... I was captivated by it and I always have been.
Q: How did you get your start in broadcasting auto racing?
Moody: I started out working on racecars as I got a little older into my teenage years and started writing a column for one of the local trade papers. When Ken Squier, who owned our local short track (Thunder Road Speedbowl), started getting busy with CBS, he needed somebody to fill in for him on the public address system. I still don’t know - to this day - how he picked me. He may have read some of my columns and thought I had a workable vocabulary. More likely, I was just standing there with my finger in my nose and he figured this is a kid with time on his hands. He drafted me and I started filling in for him when he was on the road. I ended up being the announcer there for 30 years.
Q: How did you become involved with the Motor Racing Network?
Moody: It was through Ken Squier. Ken ultimately - in 1983, I guess it was - got me an audition. I went down to Speedweeks and I've been working for the network full- or part-time off and on since then ... and full-time from 1998.
Q: What do you remember about your first broadcast with MRN?
Moody: My first official broadcast was during Speedweeks and I wasn’t supposed to be part of the broadcast. I went out to the turn with Dave Despain, did my audition and spotted for him for one of the 125s ... or maybe it was the Busch race, at that point. They decided to put me on the air in some capacity so they appointed me the garage reporter. I think it was one of, if not the only Daytona 500s in history where nobody blew up, nobody crashed and nobody even spun. I sat down there all day long just praying for somebody to talk to. I think I did get a couple minutes of airtime, but that was about it.
Q: Along with Ken, who were some of your role models in broadcasting?
Moody: I always say that I went to "Ken Squier High School" and "Barney Hall University." I worked with Ken for so many years - at his radio station doing play-by-play sports, all the stick-and-ball sports. I've probably done more basketball games than I have auto races. I learned so much from Ken, about the nuts and bolts of how to do this job. Once I started working for MRN, obviously it was just learning by example from Barney Hall. What a privilege it was just to work with both of those guys.
Q: Do you remember the first Cup race you attended as a fan?
Moody: When I was a freshman or sophomore in high school. I grew up in Vermont, so there wasn’t a lot of Sprint Cup racing there. It was either haul all the way to Martinsville Speedway, Pocono or to Dover. My first one was Martinsville. About eight of us stayed in a pop-up camper. We got there after dark, set the camper up and probably drank a little beer. OK - definitely drank a lot of beer. About 6 o'clock the next morning, when that train came about 15 feet from where we were sleeping, we thought the end of the world had come. But it was such a great experience because it was vintage old Martinsville, with the manual scoreboard. Every 10 laps, the guy would climb up the ladder and hang a few numbers on the scoreboard to tell you who was where. It was an awesome experience. My second race was at Dover. I clearly remember sitting on top of a friend’s camper watching the race when Harry Gant had, like, four laps on the field at the halfway mark. Even then, I thought it was cool. It was the worst race ever - Harry stunk up the show. But even then, I remember thinking, "This is just as cool as it could possibly be."
Q: Can you believe it's now been 11 years since Sirius approached MRN on starting "Sirius Speedway" and you hosting?
Moody: It really has flown by. Our first show was the day after Matt Kenseth won the championship. You couldn’t have picked a worse time to start a racing show. It was the end of the season. All of the drivers were either on an island or a boat somewhere. The race fans didn’t know we existed. We were brand new, and in the middle of a stick-and-ball sports channel. We would come on, do our three hours and lead into "World Soccer Daily." There was zero listener transfer from our show to the next. Somehow, we made a go of it and soldiered on. It's been 11 years, now, and it doesn’t seem possible.
Q: What's your favorite restaurant to visit on the NASCAR circuit?
Moody: There are so many really good ones. I would probably say Sambo’s in Dover. I don’t do a lot of the Dover races anymore because Mike Bagley lives right there and it’s his home track. So I do the Richmond races and he does Dover. But man, being a New England boy, I like my seafood and they do it real well there.
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