Long Time Voice of the Speedway - Adams Has Been Announcing for Three
By Ken de la Bastide
18, 2011) –
Change is a constant in all facets of daily life, but one thing
that has not changed in more than three decades is the familiar voice of
Denny Adams as the announcer at Anderson Speedway.
Adams announced for the first time on July 4, 1980 when legendary announcer
Dutch Hurst became ill.
“They had honored Dutch for 30 years of announcing,” Adams recalled
recently. “I told John Hellis that I would like the opportunity to announce
if Dutch ever got sick or decided to retire.”
Adams said no one expected Hurst to become ill and he asked by Pat Hellis
if he would be interested in announcing on July 4, 1980.
“That was the second biggest show of the season, aside from the Little 500,”
Adams said of his first night as track announcer. “I was shaking in my
Prior to that night Adams had never done any announcing. He was a reporter
for Marc Time Racing news, worked the old scoreboard at Anderson Speedway
and communicated with the flagman.
“I sat beside Dutch for a long time,” he said. “We talked together many
times. Dutch was a legend around Anderson. I told everyone at the track and
myself that I can’t be Dutch, I have to be me.”
For many nights when the racing program came to a close, Adams would sign
off on behalf of Hurst until his death.
“I was holding the seat until he came back,” Adams said. “Over the years as
I watched and listened to him, I thought that would be a cool thing to do.”
Every announcer has phrases that become attached with them, for Adams one
has to be, “He’s on his donkey”, when racing gets particularly tight.
One tradition started by Hurst that has been carried on by Adams is the
brief introduction prior to the playing of the national anthem before the
start of racing which recognizes it as one of the most important things
before any sporting event.
Adams said one of the things he is most proud of during his 30 year tenure
as announcer is getting more information about the drivers in the various
divisions to include sponsors, wins, championships and rookie of the year
“Dutch used to have a sheet of paper with the car number, driver and
driver’s hometown,” he said. “That was it. I wanted to have more information
on each driver.”
Over the years Adams has garnered information on every driver that has
competed in the Pay Less Little 500 and said it is still a hard race to
“That first year in 1981, I had no information,” he said. “I went around to
every driver and built up a card file of information. It was a challenge to
build it up. Now the veteran drivers know what information I’m seeking each
Just about every weekend for 30 years from March through October, Adams has
been bringing racing fans the action at the speedway. But he admitted there
are times when it’s better not to say very much.
“The owners don’t like quiet time on the PA (public address) system,” he
said. “But at times when someone is seriously hurt, I don’t think we should
be selling hot dogs. Another tough time is during rain delays.”
While admitting it would be hard to select the best drivers he has seen
compete at Anderson Speedway over the years, Adams said it would have to be
drivers that can compete in a lot of divisions.
Two he named were Joe Beaver, who he would like to see race a competitive
sprint car, and the other is Rod Phipps.
“Joe (Beaver) can drive anything on wheels,” he said. “Rod (Phipps) is
competitive in anything the drives. Not always a champion, but always in the
Adams said he plans to continue announcing as long as Anderson Speedway
offers him the job and it’s something he enjoys.
“I takes a lot of dedication to be here every Saturday night and not take a
vacation,” he said.
Adams is a retired letter carrier having worked for the U.S. Postal Service
for more than 31 years.
“One of the things I’m proudest of is something I started on my own,” he
said. “The invocation prior to racing. It has developed into a mini-ministry
for me. People respond to it.”