-Tony George has taken over as Hulman & Company Chairman of the board

Monday, August 3, 2009

Q&A With Bob Jenkins

(Photos courtesy of BobJenkinsRacing.com)

16th And Georgetown:
How does it feel to finally be back in the T.V. booth?

Bob Jenkins: I can't even begin to put into words how thrilled I am to be back in TV. And not just in TV...working in the series that has been my favorite since I was a child. Growing up in Eastern Indiana and after becoming an Indy 500 fan, my goal was to combine my love of racing with my profession as a broadcaster. Although I've worked in almost all types of motorsports, the IndyCar Series is and always has been my goal. Although a great portion of my career was spent in Nascar, there is no question that my current job is where I've always wanted to be.

16th And Georgetown: If you could go back and broadcast any of the previous 93 Indianapolis 500's which would it be?

Bob Jenkins: I'd probably have to say the Indy 500 in 1960. That was the first one I attended when I was 12 years old. Although I wouldn't take anything for the memories of traveling to Indianapolis, and riding the train to the Speedway with my father, the '60 500 was one of the most exciting in history. I can remember sitting in Grandstand "C" that day, and looking toward the 4th turn almost every lap, to see if Jim Rathman or Rodger Ward was leading. It would have been fun to be a part of the radio or TV crew that day, but I'll settle for the fond memories.

16th And Georgetown: You host a 1950's music radio show in my hometown of Brownsburg, IN. What's your favorite group from the 50's?

Bob Jenkins: That's a very tough question. Generally speaking I love doo-wop groups. Their "street corner harmony" is something I love to listen to but I'm not sure I can name one group as being my favorite. My favorite artist of the 50's is Buddy Holly. While covering the IndyCar Series a few years ago, I drove from Ft. Worth, Texas to Colorado Springs and visited Lubbock, Texas where he grew up and is buried. His "new sound" brought a whole new dimension to music. I'm also a big fan of Fats Domino. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform live one evening...something I'll never forget. He bridged the gap between R & B music and "pop".

16th And Georgetown: In a recent post on your website, you wrote: "I'm hearing there's a better than 50% chance she'll [Danica] go". What kind of effect do you see on the Indycar Series if Danica does decide to leave?

Bob Jenkins: I think it will be a very big loss if Danica goes to Nascar. She has captured the interest of the media and that is great for the IndyCar Series. Having said that, racefans are quick to forget. Some thought the loss of Sam Hornish, Jr to Nascar a few years back was going to be a big blow to the series. But open wheel race fans, while interested in what Sam does in stock car racing, haven't stopped following the series because he isn't in it anymore. Personally, I think it would be a mistake if Danica went to Nascar. She has a lot to accomplish in open wheel racing, including an Indy 500 win, and I'm hoping that goal in itself will keep her where she is now.

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