The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 14, 2013

Motorsports: Carol Houssock still announcing auto racing after 19 years


"When I left, the station manager gave me a time-slot for a weekly motorsports show," she said.

Her show "Start-Finish Lines" debuted in the winter of 1989 on WDLS. She was on the air until the station was sold in 1995. Her first interview for the show was with the late Dick Trickle, the 1989 NASCAR Rookie of the Year.

Among the local tracks she was doing driver interviews at for the show was Evergreen, now Mountain Speedway in St. Johns.

"While I was there at Evergreen, there was an independent cable station that was broadcasting the races. They asked me if I would do the color commentary and victory lane for their show, The Checkered Flag Racing Series," she said.

Over the next three years, she did broadcast from Penn National, Big Diamond and Flemington.

In the winter of 1994, Dino Oberto, then the announcer at Evergreen, was leaving. The track asked Houssock if she would like to the be announcer.

"I told them, 'I can't do that, I've never done play-by-play and I don't know how to entertain a crowd,'" she said. "Dino helped me a lot. I had a very rough beginning."

Houssock remained the track announcer until 1999 and recalled that no one ever questioned her role in male-dominated position.

"They viewed me as one of their own from doing the driver interviews for the radio show," she said.

After doing some announcing at Woodhull Raceway in Woodhull, N.Y., for then promoter Vern Wasson, he invited her to join him on the mic when he took over Clinton County five years ago.

"Working with Vern is really a lot of fun, but it was a big adjustment for me going from asphalt to dirt as the terminology is so different," she said.

"For me, announcing has been and always will be about the driver," she said. "That's the way I want it to be."

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