Welcome Back Terry!

By T.J. Buffenbarger

Essexville, MI — (06/21/2001) — Welcome back Terry, now can we hear “Full Time Racer”?

I went to the June Pennzoil World of Outlaws show at Eldora Speedway just expecting the typical one-day show with the biggest stars in our sport, and typical Eldora pomp and circumstance. Then during a tribute to Leal Beattie, the famous Dayton area sports writer that loved racing, “the voice” came back over the public address system.

Terry Baltes was back on the microphone at Eldora.

Terry in my mind was “the voice” of Eldora Speedway. Growing up his call of races still stick in my mind. I will never forget going to my first Kings Royal in 1986. Sure the big field of cars were impressive, I was very curious about the thrown with the red carpet in front of it, but after all the preliminaries were done it was time for driver introductions. One by one Terry rambled off each driver, their history with wins, losses, ect, how many kids they had, their marital status, and occupation. Of course, if the driver raced sprint cars for a living he was, as Terry would put it, a “FULL TIME RACER”.

After Terry was done, it was time to rumble. Everybody in the joint was so pumped up the race could have been a dog and nobody would have cared. Terry’s enthusiasm for star power made racing at Eldora seem that much more special.

Nicknames such as “The Good Lookin’ One, Doug Wolfgang”, “Slammin Sammy Swindell”, and my favorite intro of all time, “He rides’em high, because he’s not afraid to die! Can he do it? JACK HEWITT!”

Terry eventually left Eldora, and quite a few different gentlemen have taken the microphone since. Many of them such as Rick LaJune and current announcer Rick Eshelman are very good, but hearing Terry’s voice at Eldora made chills go down my spine, and made me feel like a little kid again.

This past weekend Terry also announced many of the races along with Rick at Eldora. For some reason on that Friday night it was almost as the drivers were listening as in the third heat as J.J. Yeley, Bill Rose, Tony Jones and Tyler Walker races four wide lap after lap around the Eldora oval having people literally standing and cheering during the race. It might have been one of the most incredible heat races I have ever seen. Yeley at one point coming down the front stretch was at the top of the four wide, and then shot to the bottom of it to lead the race! After that one, Terry exclaimed, “Wow, that was a good one!”

So welcome back Terry, we are so glad to have you back. Now that you are here, I just have one request. This year at the Kings Royal, either while doing the lineup for the feature event, or even better bring back driver introductions, can we hear “FULL TIME RACER”.