Page Comes Full Circle At Indianapolis

Paul Page (left) with A.J. Foyt in 1977. (IMS Archives Photo)
Paul Page (left) with A.J. Foyt in 1977. (IMS Archives Photo)

Ironically, his first and last Indy 500s on the IMS Radio Network he called a four-time winner – Foyt in 1977 and Al Unser in 1987.

Page would enjoy an outstanding career with ABC and continue to play a role in the Indy 500 telecast before he missed the 1999 500, ceding the position to Bob Jenkins, when ABC/ESPN had Page as the CART announcer and Jenkins calling the Indy Racing League.

Page’s last appearance for ABC at the Indy 500 came in 2004 but he was not the lead announcer – that Todd Harris held position.

He would continue to work for ESPN as the announcer of the National Hot Rod Ass’n (NHRA) telecasts before leaving the anchor position in 2012 but continuing the do “essays” on NHRA telecasts. From 2009-2013 Page served as a “quasi-analyst” for the Indy 500 on the radio network and remained an avid motorsports enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge on the sport including the Indianapolis 500.

Officials at Indianapolis Motor Speedway recognized this and last December Page was brought back to the position that he loves so deeply as the “Voice of the Indianapolis 500” as well as play-by-play for all the Verizon IndyCar Series races on the network.

“I’m being presented with some of the same opportunities as I was in 1977 from a historical perspective,” Page said. “The very first road race with IndyCars at the Speedway – that’s awesome. I will be part of it. The Indianapolis 500 as it does every year holds all kinds of potential. We’ll see a new qualifying system and that’s a big change.

“Am I pumped? Absolutely. I hope to be able to walk away from the race with comparisons to 1977. There is so much going on there this year. What I hope to do with it is take the team that I have and do it smooth.

“You don’t change the nature of the coverage at the Indy 500 all that much. The changes will be in style so when something happens we are on top of it.”

And Page will be the first to see the satisfaction in seeing his career come “full circle.”

“Indy was always my dream even when I was in grade school,” Page said. “I’m going to have a chance to do the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016. If I can get to that threshold I will have a very complete life, if not so already.”