The Five Greatest Indy 500 Broadcasters Of All-Time

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports /
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  1. Bob Jenkins

The only member of both our Top 5 NASCAR Announcers list and this one for the Indianapolis 500, Bob Jenkins is a hall of famer in motorsports on television and radio. A native of Indiana, the greatest spectacle in racing has always been close to his heart, and it showed in every broadcast on ABC and the IMS Radio Network.

For much of his career, however, Jenkins was on a different path, covering the stock cars in NASCAR. He was the lead man behind ESPN and ABC’s coverage of the series from 1979 to 2000, when they lost the rights to coverage. However, that did not stop Jenkins from taking time each Memorial Day weekend to contribute to coverage from the IMS Radio Network, working first as a reporter and later chief announcer. He would then become the lead announcer for ABC’s coverage for just three years, but would remain a part of the broadcasts through 2003.

While his time covering the Indy 500 for television was short, his passion poured through the screen with how he covered the race. In 2003, he gave a powerful speech defending the Indy Racing League, then in a very public war with CART still, to a national audience on ESPN. But maybe his best performance in calling a race was the 2000 Indy 500, where Chip Ganassi Racing returned to IMS and brought Juan Pablo Montoya to victory lane in dominant fashion.

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