20 Questions With Dave
Moody- writer, Thunder Road track announcer, MRN radio Announcer.
1. How long have you been involved in motorsports?
I started as a fan at
age five. Since then I've been a crewmember, second-rate driver, writer,
announcer, and radio broadcaster.
2. What is your earliest memory in motorsports.
My uncle, Doug
MacDonald, used to drive from Rumney, NH to Thunder Road to the races. When I
was five years old, he dragged me along. I can still recall the feeling of
being able to hear (but not see) those cars from the ticket booth. I was
captivated before I ever laid eyes on them. When the racing started, I
picked Larry Granger's black #GT-1 Chevy as "my car," probably
because it was the prettiest car out there. He won the Triple Crown that
afternoon, and I was hooked for life.
3.Do you see motorsports gaining in popularity or will it start to decline
as people get bored with it?
It will continue to
grow, though quicker at the top than at the grassroots level. The advent
of Saturday night televised races on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit will make
it more and more difficult for short tracks to attract fans. Sloppy,
overpriced shows are going to have a tough time cutting it. Smart promoters,
though, will survive, since a good live race beats a great TV race every time.
4. What is the best race you have ever seen live?
I can narrow it to
three, in no particular order. 1) Dan Beede's upset win over Junior Hanley in
the 1991 VT Milk Bowl at Thunder Road. NOBODY could beat Hanley back then, but
Beede made a great, three-wide move on a late restart to claim his first
career ACT win on his home turf. 2) Dave Dion stealing the 1985 Oxford 250
from Joey Kourafas when a lapped car drifted too high on the backstretch of
final lap. Sandy MacKinnon (Kourafas' car owner) looked like he'd been shot.
3) Ricky Craven's .002-second margin of victory over Kurt Busch at Darlington.
If only they were all like that.
5. Do you think NASCAR running Winston Cup races has an effect on the
attendence of local short tracks across the USA?
Everyone wants to do things like the big boys do, leading to foolishness like
short-track time trials and heads-up starts. When the fastest car wins the
race without passing anyone, the fans are getting screwed. Also, no-one is
content to be a great short track racer anymore. Instead, everyone has a
five-year plan to get to Winston Cup. When I was a kid, Grand National (now
Winston Cup) racing was like another universe. We saw it on "Wide
World of Sports" once in a while, but it wasn't real to us. The Dragon
Brothers, Dave Dion, Mike Rowe...those were real racers, and we
6. If you were in charge of NASCAR but could only make one change, what
change would that be?
Stock bodies. I mean
STOCK; no fender flares, no laid-over windshields, no snowplow front
valances...nothing. Put a rear spoiler on `em and let `em go. Heck, I'd even
make `em run the door handles.
7. What advice would you give to a young driver looking to get into racing?
Start small. I wish I
had a nickle for every driver who I've seen jump right into a Late Model, only
to blow $50,000 and disappear. Build a Street Stock and have fun for two
years. Then, if you're any good, start thinking about the next step. If you
stink, who cares? You've spent a couple of grand and had a hell of a good
8. How did you get involved in motorsports?
Like most people, as a fan. Then, as a crewmember on a couple of mini-stock
cars; Harry Gammell's #32 and the #77 (driven by a number of drivers). After a
few years turning wrenches, I got talked into writing a weekly column for
Speedway Scene, then into announcing when Ken Squier started traveling a lot
for CBS. The rest is history.
9. In your honest opinion... whats the best race track in the world? What
is the worst?
Thunder Road laps
the field. But then again, I'm biased. There's a lot of competition in the
"worst" department, and I've seen them all. New Smyrna (FL)
used to be awful, with 30 minute "breaks" between heat races and 6-7
low car-count divisions that all looked exactly alike, and all started
heads-up. The last time I went there, I left at 3 a.m. with two features
still to go. I'm told things have improved since then, but I've never been
back to see for myself.
10. Do you think the internet has helped people get information about
racing or do you think it is just a vast wasteland of sites full of rumors and
I love the internet,
warts and all. A certain percentage of what you read on the web is
fantasy, but as long as you know that going in, what's the harm? It has allowed
drivers and teams to interact with their fans in ways never before possible,
and the dissemination of information happens instantaneously now, rathen
than in days or weeks. I love reading the opinions and viewpoints of
nationally known writers like Mike Mulhern and Monte Dutton. Local guys like
Big Bigelow push my buttons, too.
11. You can have dinner with anyone in motorsports (living or dead), who
would you chose? Why?
Barney Hall. My
colleague at MRN has more old "war stories" than just about anyone
alive, though I can't tell you most of them. He's ridden out a plane
crash with Junior Johnson, partied all night (and then some) with David
Pearson, and witnessed things in this sport that most people would never imagine
to be true. He's a fascinating guy, and I can listen to his stories for days.
12.What is your opinion on "bending" the rules and working in
that grey area of a rulebook? What about out and out cheating and disregard
for the rules?
There's gray, and then
there's black. I've grudgingly come to accept a certain amount of
"superior interpretation" in the upper levels of racing, but nothing
makes me madder than a guy in the Blunderbust division hogging out his intake
manifold, or building a stroker engine. If you want to cheat, build a car in
the headline division and cheat against the best. Tire softener? Those people
should be down at the VFW playing bingo, not driving race cars.
13. Its the last lap of a dream race.... who are the drivers and at what
track would you like to see them battle it out?
Mike Rowe, Ralph Nason
and Jimmy Spencer; three wide with the white flag flying at Thunder Road. None
of them would finish, but man, what a wreck!
14. What is the one thing you wish more fans would know about motorsports?
How could they possibly learn that one thing?
I wish every fan had
to spend one season working on a race car. Pull a few all-nighters patching
the car back together or building a new motor from leftover parts, and maybe
you won't be so quick to cheer those big wrecks from now on.
15. How do you think racing has managed to keep a somewhat wholesome
imagine while other major sports have what seems to be endless scandals
involving drugs, crime, etc?
There's no way you can
drive a racecar impaired. Try it once, and the other drivers will run you out
of Dodge, because you're jeopardizing their life, as well as your own. Also,
racing is sponsor driven. The day a NASCAR driver gets busted with a glove
compartment full of crack cocaine is the day he becomes unemployed. The
sponsors will not put up with that kind of negative publicity, so the sport
tends to police itself.
16. What could be done in racing to get it more diverse as far as minority
There are hundreds of
basketball hoops in every inner-city neighborhood, but not a single race
track. That's our major problem right now. Minority kids have no exposure to
the sport, and as a result, no reason to believe they can grow up to be
racers. As television brings racing into the inner cities and urban areas, I
think more minorities will become attracted to it. Women are also becoming a
bigger part of the NASCAR picture, though none have yet shown the talent to
succeed at the top of the ladder. It's coming.
17. What do you think about imported car manufactors getting into major
league auto racing in the USA?
anymore? Daimler-Chrysler is German, and every other make is manufactured (at
least in part) overseas. As far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier.
18. Your choice.... one ticket to a big league NASCAR race or a seasons
pass to your favorite local short track... which would you chose and why?
Oh come one, who are
you talking to here? Short track, all the way.
19.Where do you see yourself in 5 years as far as motorsports goes?
I like where I'm at,
with one foot still in the short-track world, and the other in the Winston Cup
arena. I still love the magic of radio, though if someone offers me a few
million dollars to stand in front of a camera, it'd be rude not to listen...
20. When you want a break from the world of motorsports, what are some of
the things you like to do?
I just finished a
75-80 game basketball and hockey season. It's a nice change of gears
(literally), and allows me to stay busy and stay sharp, a little closer to
home. I wouldn't know a vacation if it bit me in the backside.