Although he may be a new face to the world of short course off road, veteran trackside reporter Derek Pernesiglio brings a wealth of experience and talent to the Lucas Oil Off Road Series. The newest addition to the broadcast team for 2020 will handle pit reporting duties at the races, providing viewers with the latest breaking news from the paddock as well as one-on-one interviews with the drivers that make the sport so exciting.
A native of the New England area, Pernesiglio has spent his entire career at the racetrack, where he’s spent time behind the wheel, on the mic, and in front of the camera. Growing up in a racing family, he had the privilege of competing at a young age, with the dream of perhaps one day racing in the Indy 500. As time wore on, Pernesiglio started to focus on a career in broadcasting and was able to get his start as a local track announcer. After completing school with a degree in television and radio production, Derek took advantage of a chance to work for NASCAR and made the move to North Carolina, the proverbial heart of stock car country, in the early 2000s.
From the moment he stepped foot in Charlotte, Pernesiglio has made inroads within the greater NASCAR community. After spending his early days behind the lens as a producer, he eventually made his on-air move in 2006 for the ASA Late Model Series. Shortly thereafter, he became the full-time pit reporter for NASCAR’s developmental K&N Series and has held that position ever since for what is now the ARCA Menards Series. He also serves as the pit reporter for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour since 2015. Through his role with the ARCA Menards Series Pernesiglio might be a familiar face and name to some viewers of MAVTV, where he’s also served as Ralph Sheheen’s co-host on Speed Sport.
After leaving a strong impression through his work with MAVTV, the opportunity arose for Pernesiglio to bring his talents to a new audience at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. While the racing world was unfortunately put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pernesiglio found himself more available than originally expected and he got the call to join the off road team. Moreover, as a racer himself, Pernesiglio has an uncanny appreciation for the craft.
“I can’t wait to check out these racetracks and experience a new type of racing for the first time. It’s clear that all the drivers in this sport are exceptionally talented, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better so that their personalities can come out on camera.
“I know I’m going to need to learn on the fly, but I’m really looking forward to jumping in and figuring it all out. I’ve been a racer my whole life, and I still have my own small race team, so I’m always in the shop turning wrenches. I can’t wait to see what goes into the fabrication process of these off road vehicles because what they do on the track is spectacular. I’ve always been called a ‘nuts and bolts’ reporter because I’m such a gearhead, and I think that’s going to help me learn everything there is to know about short course off road in a hurry. I really just can’t wait to get started.”
With his many years of reporting on the oval track circuit, Pernesiglio has garnered quite a loyal following of supporters that he hopes will follow him over into the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and expand the sport’s continuously growing fan base.
“I know that I find myself jumping out of my seat and yelling at the TV screen whenever I watch these races, and I’m sure the people who really spend most of their time watching stock cars and sprint cars will appreciate how exciting and unpredictable off road racing can be. If there’s one thing I really hope can come out of this season it’s bringing the awareness of the sport to different parts of the country that wouldn't otherwise see it.”