The man behind the mic: Russell Schuck loves his job as NCSI announcerWORTHINGTON — Race fans of Nobles County Speedway Inc. (NCSI) may not know his face, but they know Russell Schuck’s voice when they hear it.
By: Amanda Walljasper, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Race fans of Nobles County Speedway Inc. (NCSI) may not know his face, but they know Russell Schuck’s voice when they hear it.
Every Sunday night at the speedway in Worthington, Schuck takes his place in the announcer’s booth. Along with keeping fans informed of racing action, Schuck tells jokes and announces birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions of members of the crowd.
“This is a family track,” said Schuck. “I like to tell a lot of jokes up here and pick on the fans while they come out to see a lot of good racing.”
Schuck first got involved in racing in 1974.
“From 1974 until today I have been involved in racing in some shape or form,” he said.
He started as a pit crew member, became a race car driver in 1995, then worked at the track in the infield. Four years ago, he was asked to be the track announcer.
“I only had to think about it a little bit,” said Schuck. “I said I would be willing, but I wanted a new announcer stand in the middle of the grandstand.”
In 2005, NCSI put up a new announcer stand, and that has been Schuck’s home during every race for the past four seasons — with the exception of only one race night last year, when he attended the Brickyard 400 with son Josh.
“NASCAR is in my blood,” said Schuck.
The sign above the announcer stand reads, “The Last Resort.”
“Instead of putting me as an oldtime race car driver out in the pasture, they put me in the Last Resort,” said Schuck with a laugh.
Schuck remembers well when he got his first race car, and he had no idea he was getting it.
“Back when my youngest son was 5 years old, my family bought me a car, and it was going to be a surprise for me,” said Schuck. “I called home and little Josh answered the phone and said, ‘Guess what dad, the race car is here.’”
From 1995 to 1999, Schuck raced in the pure stock (now known as sportsman) class at the Worthington Speedway.
Though he likes to have fun as the track announcer, he takes his job seriously.
“There’s a ton of things happening in a short amount of time on race night,” said Schuck. “I just love it. I want this track to keep doing well.”
Each week at the race track, Kim DeGroot helps in the announcer’s booth.
“A lot of credit goes to my copilot Kim DeGroot,” said Schuck. “We couldn’t fly this thing without her, even though she is a Kasey Kahne fan.”
That’s an ongoing joke between Schuck, who has been a Dale Earnhardt fan his whole life and now cheers for Earnhardt Jr., and DeGroot, who cheers for Kahne.
“As we sit here, I can almost tell you which family sits where in the stands, who they are cheering for and what colors they are wearing,” said Schuck, during a recent interview from the announcer’s booth. “I’ve gotten to know the people here so well.
“This town is loaded with racers,” said Schuck. “The fans are awesome. They are the greatest fans around.”
During race weeks, Schuck visits with local businesses to round up door prizes and sponsorships for NCSI. He also enjoys volunteering to help with improvements to the track.
When not busy at the speedway, Schuck works full-time for K & S Motors, where he is the manager of the detailing shop (a job he has had for 19 years), and farms.
During this weekend’s Worthington Nationals, Schuck hopes to see a packed house at the race track.
“This is one of the biggest get togethers of the season,” he said. “The top drivers come out for the Nationals.”