When it comes to the combination of television and the sport of off road racing, you’d be hard pressed to find a voice more recognizable than Ken Stout. In fact, Stout has amassed one of the most impressive résumés in all of motorsports broadcasting, with experience across an impressive range of disciplines over the course of a career that now spans 22 years. He’ll once again step into a lead role for the 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as host for the broadcast team on CBS, CBS Sports Network, and MAVTV.
For more than two decades Stout has lent his talents to over 2,200 racing broadcasts, ranging from iconic one-off events like the Chili Bowl Nationals to world renowned properties like Monster Jam and the NHRA. The Clearwater, Florida, native developed his passion for motorsports watching his father compete, and like any youngster, one day dreamed of being behind the wheel himself. Unfortunately, the high cost of racing dashed any hopes of fostering a racing career, so Stout decided to pursue the next best thing. After moving to New Jersey, he took advantage of early opportunities as a public address announcer where his career started to blossom at the famed Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown.
As his talents continued to garner the attention of others, Stout received a phone call from legendary racing broadcaster Marty Reid that ultimately became his gateway into the world of off road 18 years ago. It was the early 2000’s, and Stout found himself as a newcomer on the broadcast team for Championship Off Road Racing (CORR), the precursor to the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, where he served the role of pit reporter. As surprising as it may seem, Stout didn’t know anything about off road when he stepped onto the track for the first time, having spent his entire life up to that point in regions where the sport didn’t exist. However, like the professional that he is, Stout was a sponge. He spoke to the racers, the mechanics, and everyone he could to absorb everything about short course. Thanks to his immense racing knowledge, Stout was a quick learner and soon enough was considered one of the best reporters in off road, highly regarded by the drivers.
Stout’s presence only grew from there, and in 2005 he fulfilled his dream of becoming a racer by piloting a Pro Lite truck for the Nissan team owned by Art Schmitt. When the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series debuted with its inaugural season in 2009, Stout was hand picked by the now retired Lucas Oil Executive Vice-President and MAVTV President, Bob Patison, to anchor the broadcast team. Stout was front and center in the TV booth, and has proudly held that role for the last 12 seasons.
With nearly two decades of experience in short course off road alone, Stout has become the sport’s foremost historian. He knows the ins and outs of its rich history, and his voice has documented many of its most memorable and groundbreaking moments. That knowledge, combined with his immense passion for racing, translates into captivating television.
“It’s never been about me. It’s always about the racers. I want the viewers to gain an in-depth understanding of what they’re watching, and I want them to have the opportunity to appreciate how truly talented these drivers are, and how exceptional these race machines perform. Short course off road is absolutely one of the most exciting forms of racing, and I’m always learning, always researching to bring the viewers the best experience possible.”
As Stout has continued to build on his incredible legacy in the broadcast world, he’s also been privileged to watch his son, Robert, emerge as one of short course’s hottest prospects. The reigning Production 1000 UTV Champion is an exceptional talent behind the wheel, winning in virtually everything he’s driven, and is now well on his way to off road stardom.
“There’s nothing cooler than being able to watch your son or daughter achieve their dreams, especially when it’s something you share a mutual passion for. We always wanted to race off road, but it never quite worked out. Then, just a couple years ago, we found ourselves in the right place, at the right time, and we jumped right in. We haven’t looked back and Robert is already making a huge impact on the sport.”
With the 2020 season just around the corner, Stout is eager to make his return to the broadcast booth.
“I just want to get back to racing! It’s going to be a different year, for sure, but I can’t wait for that first green flag to drop. We all need to commend Lucas Oil for everything they’ve done and continue to do for this sport. They are wholly committed to short course and want to give fans the highest quality racing possible. No group has done more for this discipline, and I’m grateful for all the years I’ve been able to work alongside them.”