VERSUS names Firestone Indy Lights broadcast team
Mike King, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Kevin Lee will call the action for Firestone Indy Lights telecasts in 2009. VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the IndyCar® Series, will air the races in an hour-long show each Monday after events. The network’s Firestone Indy Lights coverage begins at 6 p.m. (ET) April 6.
King, who has anchored the IMS Radio Network’s coverage of the IndyCar Series since 1999, has been a pit reporter for Firestone Indy Lights telecasts on ESPN2 for the past two seasons.
“There’s definitely a difference between calling an IndyCar Series race on radio and then playing to pictures on television,” King said. “I believe I need to bring that same energy to the (Firestone Indy) Lights series. That’s the way I do races. While you cut down a bit on the descriptive part television announcing, you still have to be excited about great racing.
“My style is the way I feel about racing. I’m essentially the guy in the stands jumping up and down rooting for all of them and wanting to see a great race. Until someone says to me calm down I don’t plan to calm down.”
Luyendyk moves to the booth as analyst following a series-high 62 starts, including his first career victory in the 2008 season finale at Chicagoland Speedway in September.
“I’m definitely excited about the opportunity,” said Luyendyk, who has filled in on occasion on the radio broadcasts. “No one on the team knows more about the Firestone Indy Lights drivers, teams and cars than me so that’s going to be an advantage for me on the broadcasts.”
Luyendyk said joining King in the booth will be a fun way to stay involved while looking for opportunities in the IndyCar Series.
“It is not a career change for me because I still have a passion to be an IndyCar Series driver,” he said. “It’s just another new experience and another interesting job.”
Lee is also a veteran of the IMS Radio Network, calling IndyCar Series races since 2001. He hosts a weekly motorsports show in Indianapolis.