When he joined the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series broadcast team for the first time last season, Jack Korpela made his presence felt almost immediately. As a lifelong racer with years of experience both in front of and behind the camera, Korpela fit in seamlessly as the series pit reporter. With a year of short course experience under his belt, Korpela will make the transition into the booth for the 2020 season where he’ll step into the role of analyst on Lucas Oil Racing TV.
A native of Pittsburgh, Korpela grew up in the dirt as a motocrosser. His passion for two wheels was organic, as his father was a drag bike racer, and it started him down a path in which racing would remain a focal point for his future endeavors. When his father was faced with the harsh reality of the injuries that can often come with motocross, Korpela’s focus eventually shifted towards journalism, where he made certain to hold on to his roots. While attending the University of Florida, Korpela got his first taste of announcing at Gainesville Raceway. Just a few years later, he dove head first into a broadcast career working with Masters Entertainment Group.
During the early portion of his career, Korpela spent a lot of time on camera covering all corners of the racing world. As time wore on and his reporting experience continued to grow, Korpela took advantage of an opportunity to work with famed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Over the span of six years he learned the fundamentals of promotion, rivalry building, event hype, and other specialized broadcast tactics that make professional wrestling such a unique niche of the entertainment industry. Those skills further enhanced Korpela’s on-camera presence, as he became a studio host and lead announcer for multiple properties and programs.
Even during his brief time away from racing, Korpela always had the desire to return and pick up where he left off, leveraging his added skills to make a bigger impact in motorsports. He teamed up with Lucas Oil Production Studios at the end of 2017 and joined the drag boat racing scene. From there he continued to diversify his role within the company, where he produced, reported, and voiced over the broadcasts of several properties, including heavy involvement in the broadcasts of the Best In The Desert off road series.
Korpela has always prided himself on doing his homework, getting to know both the sport and the racers. Thanks to his motocross background, his learning curve in adapting to the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series has been quick, as he notes the many similarities of the two styles of racing.
“I discovered early on that there are a lot of parallels between motocross and off road. That’s why you see guys like Jeremy McGrath and Brian Deegan make that transition and have tremendous success. It’s kind of a natural progression. I found that helped a lot in my education of short course, which to me combines all the best elements of other forms of racing into one unique package that is unlike anything else in the world.”
With the 2020 season right around the corner, Korpela is eager to take full advantage of his new role in the booth, and Lucas Oil Racing TV’s presence at every round of the coming championship, to bring added depth to both the action on the track and the racers themselves. He’s also excited to rejoin his off road family and bring some much needed racing therapy to the viewers.
“It’s been a challenging and heart wrenching year for everyone, and there’s no doubt members of our own short course community have been directly affected by the pandemic. However, I know there’s a sense of gratification and unity that we’ll all receive once we’re finally back together at the track to do what we love. No matter where we are in the world, the sense of normalcy that this sport can provide is something we’re all excited about, and it’s going to make for a special season.”