Vince Welch, who has been a pit reporter in ESPN and ABC’s auto racing coverage since 1999, will make his debut in the anchor seat this weekend when the network televises the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Nashville Superspeedway.
Welch, who lives in the Indianapolis area, will call the race from the booth with analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. The race telecast, which airs on ESPN2, begins at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday night. Welch also will call ESPN2’s coverage of a practice session on Friday night and qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
While he has never called a race as the lead announcer, Welch has experience as a TV sports play-by-play announcer, including 15 years with the Ball State University Sports Network, which broadcasts BSU basketball games throughout the Midwest. And in a previous position with WNDY-TV in Indianapolis, an independent station that focused on live sports event coverage, he did play-by-play for a variety of levels of football, basketball, baseball and tennis and won a regional Emmy in 1992 for sports programming.
He has been involved with coverage of the IndyCar Series, on both TV and radio, since its formation in 1996. Welch has also been a pit reporter for ESPN’s NASCAR coverage since 2007. In addition to his motorsports duties for ESPN, Welch also has worked as a college football sideline reporter for the network.
Welch, formerly the sports director for WIBC Radio in Indianapolis, has been in broadcasting for more than 20 years. His career began in 1986 at WKBV radio in Richmond, Ind., and then he went into television in 1990 at CBS affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis as a sports anchor/reporter.
Welch is an Indianapolis native and Ball State graduate. He also will call three other NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season for ESPN.