The first of three live ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races on CBS Sports Network is coming soon, beginning with the Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care at Elko Speedway Saturday, June 21.
Veteran motorsports television anchor/analyst Rick Benjamin will serve as play-by-play announcer for all three telecasts alongside color analyst Andy Hillenburg, the 1995 ARCA driving champion. Longtime NASCAR pit road analyst Dr. Dick Berggren will cover pit road for two of the three events while Todd Lewis, veteran of NASCAR Canadian Tire, Champ Car, and IndyCar coverage, will handle the pit road duties at Elko.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for all of us at Carolinas Production Group, and for me personally," Benjamin said.
"I hosted my first ARCA event on TBS back in 1992, and have been honored to work alongside Ron Drager, Mark Gundrum, and the whole ARCA team frequently since then."
Benjamin's production company, Carolinas Production Group, will produce the shows.
"We will bring state of the art production and storytelling to our CBS Sports Network shows and I can't wait to showcase ARCA's garage full of outstanding young and veteran drivers...plus terrific race teams.
"We've assembled an all-star team of broadcasters to work on these telecasts both on air and behind the scenes. Andy Hillenburg brings a wonderful energy and insight as our analyst, and having Dr. Dick Berggren sign on to cover pit road for us is a huge boost.
"We'll be bringing racing fans incredible action from three of America's best short tracks at Elko in Minnesota, Winchester in Indiana, and Madison in Wisconsin. Each of these races will be its own major event for CBS Sports Network and we can't wait to get started."
Berggren began his television career at NASCAR races in 1981 as a pit road reporter for ESPN. He has announced NASCAR races on CBS, TBS and TNN and worked as a pit road reporter for the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series as well as at World of Outlaw sprint car races.
Berggren was also the lead pit reporter for NASCAR on FOX from 2001-2012, and covered events in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.
Berggren also wrote for local newspapers early in his career. He worked for Stock Car Racing magazine while he taught at Emmanuel College and raced on the weekends. He later became the magazine's editor. After 22 years with the magazine, he left in 1999 to start Speedway Illustrated.
In addition to the Akona 250 at Elko, CBS Sports Network's coverage, part of its CBS Sports Spectacular programming, will include the Herr's Chase The Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway on July 6 and the Herr's Live Life With Flavor 200 at Madison Int'l Speedway August 24.
"We are pleased to provide additional exposure of the ARCA Racing Series on CBS Sports Network," said Mark Gundrum, ARCA Vice President for Business Development and Corporate Partnerships. "This opportunity is great for the teams, sponsors and fans of the series.
"The ARCA short track race events are some of the best each year, and we're excited to bring the side-by-side action to CBS Sports Network's viewers," Gundrum concluded.
ARCA Racing PR