Hunt The Front Super Dirt Series

Hunt the Front Super Dirt Series taps Lenny Batycki for series announcer in 2024


Hunt The Front Super Dirt Series

Hunt the Front Super Dirt Series taps Lenny Batycki for series announcer in 2024

MILTON, Fla. (Feb. 15) — When the Hunt the Front Super Dirt Series kicks off the 2024 season, the second-year tour will have a new man behind the mic. With Travis Scott’s promotion to Hunt the Front’s director of race day operations last month, veteran Lenny Batycki is set to step in as the tour’s official announcer. Batycki brings a wealth of experience — in both announcing and public relations — to the position. When searching for Scott’s replacement during the offseason, Batycki’s experience and diversity is just part of what drew the Hunt the Front Super Dirt Series to him.

"We're excited to have Lenny as the voice of the Hunt the Front Super Dirt Series this season,” said HTF series director Joshua Joiner. “Lenny is not only one of the best announcers in all of motorsports, he's also one of the most professional and versatile media personalities in the business. We were looking for an announcer who can provide excitement for both our in-person audience and our live streaming viewers, and who could also help us continue to grow the Hunt the Front Series as a brand. Lenny definitely checks all those boxes. He'll be a great addition to our events."

Batycki began his career as a BMX announcer and is considered one of the best of all time in those circles. It was the beginning of a career that’s now spanned five decades and has taken Batycki to all corners of the globe.

“I started announcing when Jimmy Carter was president, which would have been the summer of 1980, his last year in office,” said Batycki. “Became what the magazines … I still have the magazines that say ‘World's best BMX announcer.’ I was the toast of the town flying all over the country on behalf of sponsors and things like that.”

At the suggestion a young BMX competitor, Batycki made the move to motorsports, though admittedly he didn’t really like auto racing at the time. Since that decision in 1986, Batycki has been immersed in the sport. From drag racing to NASCAR — and all points in between — Batycki has been there to help document the action.

A native of Hollywood, Fla. — he was born in the same hospital as late NASCAR star Davey Allison — Batycki now lives in Mooresville, N.C., just down the road from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and only 20 minutes from Concord, N.C., the hub of NASCAR. Batycki was the vice president of marketing at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway for six years before spending seven years at Richard Childress Racing, helping build the brand of the famous — or infamous — black No. 3. He was there through the good times — when Dale Earnhardt Sr. finally won the Daytona 500 in 1998 — and he was there in the what was arguably the sport’s darkest hour — when Earnhardt tragically lost his life on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

“I learned who I am today (and) was shaped as much by those first-generation racing promoters as anything today," said Batycki. “They were just, ‘Lenny, you need to do it this way. Lenny, you need to do it that way,’ and they really showed me those ways. I don't sound southern, but I feel it to my bones and it was because of the people I worked with there and the mentoring and just guys that didn't have to be as good-hearted to me as they were.”

Don’t be fooled by his NASCAR roots though. After taking the position of vice president and general manager of World Wide Technology Raceway (formerly Gateway International Raceway) in Madison, Ill., in 2006, his relocation to the St. Louis area helped spark an interest in short track racing that took him back to the grassroots level. In an effort to raise awareness and attendance at Gateway, a conversation with Kenny Schrader put Batycki on the right path.

“Schrader says, ‘Well, they weren't connecting with the grassroots.’ And I go, ‘Well, you own a track out there. What do I need to do?’ He told me about connecting with the grassroots fans out there,” said Batycki. “I was going to tracks that were anywhere, whether it was Paducah, Ky., or up into Illinois, in the center part of the state, down into southern Missouri, over into eastern Kansas. Wherever there was a race, my theory was the only place that I can be assured to put the effort in to sell a ticket is a place where somebody has already bought a ticket to racing. These grassroots fans will come if they feel a kinship to what we do. So that's how I started getting involved with dirt tracks.”

Through the relationship he built in the early 2000’s, Batycki’s radio show PRN at the Track was developed. Focused on grassroots racers from all types of motorsport genres, Batycki is able to shed light on other forms of racing. He’s also gotten acquainted with drivers he may not have had the chance to otherwise.

“I went to a (DIRTcar Summernationals race) or a couple, so I've seen the Billy Moyers of the world out there,” he said. “Had a great interview with Billy on the radio show years later. There's been 18 drivers announced for the Hunt the Front Super Dirt Series and 10 of them have been on the radio show already.

You know Carson Ferguson and Ashton Winger, I've known since they were in single digits. Sam Seawright and I always get along. Not only Trent Ivy, but his father (Petey) … great friends. Trent's first time on the radio show he tweeted something about watching his father's face almost come to tears when Trent's interview played and the things that Trent said about his father. Zach Mitchell, Josh Putnam, just interviewed late last year. Josh Henry, Dalton Cook, clearly Jeff Smith. Trey Mills has been on two or three times. So all of those I'm super comfortable with.”

Batycki, 60, credits other announcers he’s worked with for helping shape his career as well.

“I learned a lot from Ken Squire working with him,” Batycki said. “It was a blessing to really have somebody like Squire as a mentor and watching him in his late 70s still scooting around the country doing what he did. And so many other announcers, like Roby Helm. Everybody from James Essex, Ozzie Altman, (the late) Rick Eshelman, Johnny Gibson, all the guys. You know there's a pretty good list of guys even older than me that have done this, and shoot, I still have a fun time doing it.

“Love feeling the energy of a crowd and feeling and hearing the roar of the engines. And I have always said, and there's probably two or three publications that have my quote in it, Dirt Late Model, Midget and Top Fuel are my three favorites of all these different divisions, different series that I've covered. To see a Dirt Late Model car rise up and do its thing in a corner, it's just a thing of beauty. The way they pass, the way they hum down a straightaway. You know Midgets are just so wild in what they do. And the kings of speed, Top Fuel (dragsters), that's a whole 'nother story. But Dirt Late Models caught my attention when I was there in St. Louis.”

Article Credit: Robert Holman | Josh James Artwork

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