MIKE DUNN RELISHING HIS ROLE IN MARCH MEET PAY-PER-VIEW
There was a time when Mike Dunn found his comfort zone behind the wheel of a nitro-burning race car. These days he's traded in the steering wheel for a microphone.
Dunn, the former ESPN color commentator, will undertake his latest role as the lead commentator for the inaugural Pay-Per-View broadcast of this weekend's Good Vibrations 60th Bakersfield March Meet at Auto Club Famosa Raceway located outside of Bakersfield, Ca. He'll be joined by Chad Reynolds of Bangshift.com, who has brought race fans live streaming of the event for over a decade.
"Everybody seems to be pretty excited about it," Dunn said. "And I know this is a big event for all the racers. The kids growing up in Southern California, this was a big deal back in the 60’s and 70’s. My Dad was able to win it in both Top Fuel, and Funny Car, ’69 in Top Fuel and I think ’71 in Funny Car. And then I was lucky enough to win it in 1983.
"It’s nice to have on the resume that I won the March Meet on top of the other races I was lucky enough to win during my career. I’m excited to be going there."
Dunn will also be working alongside noted live streaming expert Mark Walters on the production.
"When you’re doing a production for a network, interviews are one question, one answer, move on," Dunn explained. "And with this, we’ll have time to sit down and have a conversation, to a certain extent obviously. I’m looking forward to the production."
Dunn is the former IHRA President, and together with Walter, they presented the sportsman series on ESPN3.com.
"I know it’s not going to be easy; it’s always going to have challenges, nothing’s perfect in any television production," Dunn said. "You’re going to have to make some moves during the event to adjust on the fly."
The Pay-View-Broadcast is available on Thursday and will run through the conclusion of the event on Sunday. CLICK HERE TO GET THE PAY-PER-VIEW -
Dunn, who has raced both fuel dragsters and Funny Cars, says he's coming into the event with an open mind and has no preference of one class over another.
"I’m going in with an open mind because… I’ve done the Hot Rod Reunion shows, I was Grand Marshall and this is a similar show," Dunn explained. "I always like the nostalgia cars, especially the ones that are, not necessarily the ones that are going up and down the track, just the ones that are period correct. I just love looking at those things. Those are cool cars. They bring back a lot of memories as a kid."
Dunn knows how he wants to approach conveying the excitement of this special event.
"I want to be able to relay that to the fans of what it meant to be a kid going out there," Dunn said. "I took my son out to Bakersfield and I wanted him to see what it was that drew me to the sport, and let him see that whole thing. One of the things that was perfect was the Cacklefest that year. You know, they’re push starting the cars down in front of the grandstands, and we sat in the grandstands and we watched them all. And they lined them up on the track and the funny thing is, it was Saturday evening, so it was dark.
"It was just like at Lions or Irwindale back in the day where you see the cars but you couldn’t read the names on the cars in the evening, but you could see certain silhouettes and pick up different things unique to those cars, I told my son, I said, ‘Other than these cars not going down the race track, this is exactly how it was back in the 60’s when you’re sitting up in the grandstands at Lions or Irwindale."
Dunn understands there's no feeling like experiencing this race in person, so his goal is to make the pay-per-view the next best thing to being there.
"We’re just going to try and equate to the people what this is all about and get them to want to come out to one of these events whenever they get a chance," Dunn explained. "And if they don’t, if they’re too far away or can’t make the trip, then hopefully they’ll want to watch it on pay per view every year."