Friday, July 18, 2008

WoO announcer gets up to SPEED

Johnny Gibson, who has worked for the World of Outlaws sprint car series since July 1995, will be featured Friday night on SPEED-TV after participating in 1,100 consecutive WoO events earlier this month at Huset’s Speedway in Souix Fall, S.D. The 39-year-old Marianna native began selling souvenir programs at the tracks and went behind the microphone in 1997 as track and radio announcer. The voice of WoO will be featured in “For the Love of Racing” at 7:30 p.m. Friday on SPEED.

The network's television cameras were at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio, two weeks ago to film Gibson in action for the Brad Doty Classic. Viewers will be able to see what a day at the track is like for Gibson, who puts together race programs before the gates open and later announces the action on the dirt track.

“It’s taken some luck,” Gibson said Thursday afternoon. “To me it’s not that big of a deal because I do what a love. I’m very fortunate ... to see the greatest sprint car drivers in the world. I’m looking forward to the next 1,100 (races).”

Gibson now lives in Indianapolis, but his parents still live in Marianna. He graduated from Beth-Center High School and California University of Pennsylvania. Freelance racing reporter DJ Johnson has known Gibson for many years and was in Lima to profile him after the landmark achievement.

“He is so into his work. He truly loves it,” Johnson said. “His signature announcement of four abreast is something everyone loves to hear and stands up the hair on the back of your neck. He’s very recognizable. They may not know the face, but they know the voice.”

Read more about Gibson in the Observer-Reporter.

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