Paul Page (born November 25, 1945) is an American motorsports broadcaster who was the lead announcer for NBC's coverage of CART from 1979-1987, and ABC/ESPN's coverage of CART and the IRL from 1988 to 2004, and the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on ESPN2 from 2006 to 2012.
1.1 Early life and career,
1.2 IndyCar Racing career,
1.3 National Hot Rod Association,
1.4 Other Events,
2 Awards and honors,
4 External links,
Early life and career:
Page was born in Indiana, but grew up as an "army brat" living in Stuttgart, Germany. Page graduated high school in Highland Park, Illinois. He is married to fellow broadcaster Sally Larvick. He studied at the University of Tulsa. He served six years in the U.S. Army.
Page's broadcasting career began on WIBC in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1968. On December 1, 1977, while doing a helicopter traffic report, Page was nearly killed in an accident, as he crashed near a Speedway, Indiana, high school.
IndyCar Racing career:
From 1974-1987, Page served on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network (IMSRN). He served as a pit reporter from 1974-1976, and as Chief Announcer from 1977-1987. Page was considered the hand-picked successor to Sid Collins at the IMSRN. Page took over as chief announcer after Collins committed suicide.
Page left WIBC, and moved to NBC Sports. He served as anchor of auto racing telecasts on NBC from 1978-1987, covering Indy cars, NASCAR, and the NHRA. He also worked on NBC's Sportsworld. Page has many network broadcasting firsts. He also called Formula One races in Long Beach and Caesars Palace. He also was the announcer on NBC for the first CART race in 1979 at Phoenix.
In the 1980s, Paul was also a commentator for the motorsports show American Sports Cavalcade on the cable network TNN. While working for TNN, he covered NHRA, World of Outlaws sprint car racing, AMA supercross, monster trucks, tractor pulls, and swamp buggy racing, among others.
In the fall of 1987, Page switched to ABC Sports, and was their lead anchor for CART IndyCar racing, including the Indy 500. During that period, he also worked on NASCAR and IROC broadcasts. Parallel to his work at ABC, Page also worked at ESPN, primarily as the anchor for CART IndyCar telecasts. When the IRL was founded in 1996, he started covering those events as well. His work on the Indianapolis 500 in 1988 and 1989 help earn the Sports Emmy award for "Outstanding Live Sports Special."
Paul gave the opening introduction to Papyrus's IndyCar Racing & IndyCar Racing II video game, released in 1995. Page also was selected to be the short-phrase commentator for the Destruction Derby 2 wrecking/racing video game of 1996.
While working for ABC, he was also their lead AMA Supercross commentator when ABC would cover dirt bike racing.
His place on ABC's IRL coverage was taken by Todd Harris for the 2005 in a move that proved unpopular. Page was reassigned to cover other events for the ESPN family of networks, most notably the X Games, NHRA, and has quietly become a fixture calling the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. He called both IRL and Champ Car races. In 2006, Page split announcing duties with Marty Reid on ESPN's coverage of NHRA Drag Racing, sharing duties with Reid, when Reid was on assignment, ironically calling the Indy Racing League. Page became the full-time anchor in 2007.
In 2009, Page returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network coverage of the 2009 Indianapolis 500. It was Page's first Indy 500 race he covered since the 2004. He had also voiced the race between 1988 and 1998, also from 2002-2004. He was back for the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
National Hot Rod Association:
Page was one of the announcers along with former Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car driver Mike Dunn for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on ESPN and ESPN2.
At the end of the 2012 season, he parted ways after nearly 25 years with ABC/ESPN. NHRA announced on February 6, 2013 that Dave Rieff, who has been a pit reporter since ESPN began its NHRA coverage in 2001 and a staple of NHRA television for 17 years, will move into the anchor announcer position for the 2013 season. Joining Rieff in calling the action from the booth will be former NHRA racer Mike Dunn for his 12th year with ESPN as a color analyst for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
From 2006-2013, Page has also done the play-by-play for ESPN's coverage of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest annually on July 4. In 2013, Page voiced the announcer character in the film Turbo.
Awards and honors:
In 1989 and 1990, his work was awarded two Emmy's for the coverage of the Indianapolis 500. He also was host / play by play in shows or series that garnered 13 other Emmy's.