When it comes to broadcasting and the compelling competition that makes short course off road so unique, one would be hard pressed to find someone with more intuitive knowledge and experience than Brent Smith. A native of Bark River, Michigan, home to one of the most legendary venues in the sport, Smith has literally spent his entire life around short course racing. Since he was a toddler at just three years of age, Smith has had some sort of involvement with off road, and it has made him a perfect fit to step into the role of host for this season’s full slate of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series live streams on Lucas Oil Racing TV.
Smith’s love of the sport came during his childhood days cheering on the best short course racers at Bark River International Raceway. When he became a teenager, he jumped at the opportunity to get behind the wheel of his very own truck, where he and his family competed in the midwest’s popular super stock class for many years before eventually taking the next step to compete in Pro Lite.
As the challenges of owning and operating one’s own race team made Smith’s racing career tougher to maintain, he set his sights on giving broadcasting a shot. At the end of the day, Smith knew with absolute certainty that he wanted to be around the sport, and the prospect of being able to share his passion with the fans was very appealing. In 2016 he got his first real shot at giving broadcasting a go, and due to his immense knowledge of racing, familiarity with the drivers, and all around excitement for the sport, he proved to be a natural on the mic.
As Smith’s on-air talents continued to progress, so did his opportunities to work in broadcast. Last season, he had the chance to take his love of short course out west to the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series for the first time. Thanks to a longtime friendship with six-time champion Kyle LeDuc, Smith was able to get his foot in the door with the Lucas Oil Production Studios team. It didn’t take long for Smith’s skills and passion to shine both at the track and on Lucas Oil Racing TV, and soon enough he became a natural fit for the analyst role. Now, with the 2020 season approaching, Smith will step over to assume the duties of host, something he’s always aspired to be.
“I’ve always wanted to have the responsibility of being host, taking viewers out to commercial and welcoming them back. No matter what I’ve ever done, I’ve always had the drive to make it to the top. It’s part of that competitive spirit that inspired me as a racer and has carried over into the broadcast booth. I’ve always looked up to guys like Ken Stout and Rob Klepper, and I’m always going to make the most out of what I have, so it really means a lot to know that the team at Lucas Oil has the confidence in my ability to take a lead role this season.”
Smith’s easy transition into broadcasting can largely be attributed to his experience behind the wheel. He knows exactly what it takes to set up a car for virtually any track condition, and he has a wealth of first hand knowledge surrounding the intensity of competing in a short course from the driver’s seat. On top of all that, his interpersonal connection to such a large portion of the paddock has made him a natural storyteller, which has lent itself to an organic delivery that comes off genuine and is well received by viewers.
With the 2020 season rapidly approaching, Smith is as eager as anyone to finally get back to racing.
“After everything the world has gone through, I’m just ready to get back to racing. I’m ready to be back at the track, be back around the racers, and be a part of the camaraderie of the pits. I can’t wait to see the battles unfold. I always say that short course is like motocross on four wheels. There’s nothing else like it. Bumping and banging is the name of the game, and the gloves come off every time they take to the track, so you never know what’s going to happen or who is going to win. It’s something totally different, and I’m fortunate that I have the platform to share that passion and excitement with the viewers at home.”