France family moves mouth of NASCAR to Grand-Am
Veteran motorsports broadcaster Eli Gold (and one of the best in the business) has added a new title to his long list of accolades - "Voice of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 radio coverage." Gold and Preston Root will call the action live for the Motor Racing Network (MRN) for the remaining 11 races on the 2010 Rolex Series schedule, beginning with the Grand Prix of Miami.
The Grand Prix of Miami, Round 2 of the 2010 season, takes the green flag at 5 p.m. ET Saturday, March 6, and will be broadcast live both on SPEED and on selected MRN affiliates.
Gold has been with MRN since 1976. His NASCAR Live show, heard Tuesdays on more than 475 stations from 7-8 p.m. ET, has been a mainstay of the MRN schedule since 1982. In addition to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Gold has also called action in the World of Outlaws sprint cars, NHRA drag races and IRL IndyCar Series.
"Yes, I've been known most for NASCAR when we talk motorsports," Gold said. "But in the 35 or so seasons, I've been used to making that crossover into other forms of motorsports, and, importantly, respecting those other forms of motorsports. As a result, I think I can handle this transition, and put forth a good effort and build up the GRAND-AM Rolex Series to its fans without constantly having them think, 'Oh, that's the NASCAR guy.' I'd like to be able to build and establish a rapport with the sports car fans."
For fans of the 2009 NCAA National Championship University of Alabama football team, motorsports is a sideline for Gold. He has been the voice of the Crimson Tide since 1988.
"I'm still reveling in the National Championship victory over the University of Texas," Gold said. "It was a very special year. It was one of those seasons you dream about, but you don't know if it will ever happen. It was the 13th National Championship for Alabama. It was great doing the broadcasts all season long and capping it off with the BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl Stadium. It was also very nice showing up at Daytona for Speedweeks and seeing how many in our racing community came over to offer their congratulations."
A native of New York City - where he once sold peanuts at Madison Square Garden to be close to the action - Gold began his broadcasting career in 1972. He originally specialized in announcing hockey, ranging from several minor leagues to the NHL. He moved to his present home in Birmingham, Ala., to broadcast the Birmingham Bulls in the World Hockey Association, and also was the voice of the Birmingham Barons baseball team. Living in the shadow of Talladega Superspeedway, it was only natural that NASCAR captured his attention. An on-air "tryout" during the 1976 Coca-Cola 600 landed Gold a position with the MRN broadcast team.
Now, Gold is looking forward to his next challenge.
"I am very excited to be part of the team as GRAND-AM Road Racing joins the MRN family," Gold said. "Getting ready for the Grand Prix of Miami will mean doing a lot of homework. The act of calling the race is not difficult; learning the personalities and building up those personalities to the listeners is what radio is all about. Certainly, there will be lap-by-lap coverage, but we will also talk with many of the personalities in the sport. It's going to be an educational process. The more the listener knows and understands, the more likely they are to tune in to the next race."
Gold is a four-time Alabama Sportscaster of the Year Award winner. He resides in Birmingham, Ala., with his wife Claudette and their daughter Elise.