CONCORD, NC - You might recognize Buddy Long as "THE VOICE" behind the NASCAR Xfinity, Truck and Cup race series but did you know that he is a vital part of the WKA team? As the WKA Operations Director, Buddy is a key component of planning and creating successful race weekends. We thought you should get to know a little more about the WKA Team, so we are getting this party started by getting to know more about the man, the voice, the legend, Mr. Buddy Long!
Where are you from?
I am originally from Leonardtown, Maryland, about an hour south of Washington, DC, two hours south of Baltimore.
How did you become involved in racing?
I became interested in stock car racing when my Dad took me to my local dirt track, Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Maryland. I was about 12. I never had the desire to race, I just love watching and participating in other ways. In total, I have been in racing for 37 years.
How did you get the opportunity to be a race announcer?
My inspiration for announcing came from my love for reading my racing paper out loud. It not only helped develop my announcing style, it also helped me to remember things about racing better by reading out loud.
By the age of 15, I was the track announcer. I didn’t even have a Drivers License yet. I worked at Potomac for many years and I also announced at many other tracks including Dorsey, Hagerstown, Southside, Langley, East Carolina to name a few.
I auditioned for Motor Racing Network, and have been working as a NASCAR announcer for MRN for the last 17 years, doing Truck, Xfinity, and Cup races, as well as being the PA voice at Daytona and Homestead.
How did you get into the karting scene?
I began working at karting tracks in the mid nineties; Amelia Motor Raceway and Virginia Sports Arena, as well as pa at Richmond International Raceway. The late Ricky Carpenter of Virginia Sports Arena brought me down to be one of the announcers in 1995 to work the George Kugler Memorial at Charlotte Motor Speedway, part of the North American Karting Championships. Drivers back then included Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli, now racing Formula One.
From there, I worked various events as an announcer for WKA until 1999, when they were looking to hire a full-time Operations Director. The radio station I was working at in Maryland was about to be sold. So I made the leap to North Carolina.
Which is your most memorable race?
Karting: Introducing all the Italian drivers at the NAKC at Charlotte and butchering their names. They laughed. Also playing the wrong CD. Instead of the national anthem at this international race, I played Sugar Pie, Honey Bun. Not my best moment.
NASCAR: Announcing the starting lineup for the Daytona 500 this year on National TV. It was a great honor.
Which racing series are your favorite?
In karting, I enjoy all series. In NASCAR, I prefer the Truck Series, and in Dirt racing I like Late Models, World of Outlaw and Lucas Oil Series---or my hometown track when I am home on a weekend!
What do you enjoy the most about WKA events?
What I enjoy the most about the WKA events is breaking through the barrier of the US vs THEM. I love my karting family very much, and there isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do for them. And they know that. I am very approachable. In my profession, announcing and WKA, that’s everything. I love the sport and its people.
For a glimpse into a recent MRN broadcast with Buddy, CLICK HERE.