CART Surfer's Paradise (2002)   CART Surfer's Paradise (2002)   CART Long Beach (2002)
Left: Keeping an eye on da Matta and Junqueira in Surfer’s Paradise (Credit: QRDA)
Center: With Dick Johnson in Surfer’s Paradise (Credit: QRDA)
Right: Talking with Alex Tagliani in Long Beach (Credit: Paul Jasper)

CART TV Team Ready
Article by Robin Miller (February 2002)
 
    Tommy Kendall, his hat on backwards and that wicked grin creeping over his face, eyeballed the assembled media and exclaimed: “I had settled into a reclusive lifestyle and I was getting comfortable with unemployment and that white-trash persona.
    “But this job was too good to pass up.”
    Kendall’s slighted jaded but always refreshing persona will be on display all season as the color analyst for CART’s telecasts on CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel.
    And the atmosphere should be entertaining as the former IMSA and Trans-Am champion is teaming with Bob Varsha and Derek Daly in the booth, while Scott Pruett and Calvin Fish handle the pit coverage of the FedEx Championship Series.


    “We’ve got to have some fun while keeping people informed and I really think this group can keep things lively,” said Daly, who called CART races for several years on other networks before joining SpeedVision four years ago. We’re going to be very much personality driven.
    “FOX will bring a refreshing attitude to CART and we’ve all got a passion for this series. It’s unmatched in the world of motorsports.”
    This group also brings the voice of experience.
    Daly competed in CART and Formula One, Pruett won twice during his 10-year CART career and Fish was an accomplished road racer like Kendall.
    “I lived and breathed CART racing when I was a youngster and I never made it into the series thanks to my genetics,” said Kendall, referring to his 6-6 frame. “So this is the closest I can get and I’m passionate about it because I believe in it.”
Fish said he thought CART was the best series “on the planet” and he welcomed the opportunity to cover it for the next nine months. “There’s a lot of positive energy about this series and I think this team will click,” he said.
    Pruett, fresh from a GT victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona, used his life savings to secure his initial CART ride in 1988 and then suffered career-threatening injuries in 1990 before bouncing back to win one of the most thrilling finishes in CART history at Michigan in 1995.
    “The four of us share something besides a love for CART racing,” he laughed. “We all limp from our racing injuries.”
    Terry Lingner, the veteran motorsports producer who also drives in endurance events whenever possible, brings an impressive track record to CART and he’s impressed with the talent behind the camera.
    “We have an outstanding opportunity with this talented lineup and it’s not going to be boring, I assure you,” said Lingner, who helped create ESPN’s award-winning coverage of NASCAR.
    “We had a well-oiled team in those days and my first memo to these guys will challenge them to be even better.”
    Lingner said that giving CART 60 percent more coverage than in the past also provides the opportunity to be more creative and let the viewers enjoy the whole race and victory lane.
    FOX’s Doug Sellers said Daly will host a Friday night magazine show on CART and there will be a two-hour qualifying show on Saturday and a 30-minute pre-race show on Sundays.
    “SPEED Channel is now in 48 million homes and continues to grow monthly,” said Sellers. “We are the destination for racing fans and FOX is a promotion and marketing machine. We feel this is the right marriage at the right time.
    “CART is cool and it’s cool to watch. That’s the message we need to get out.”

Advertisements