Former IndyCar driver Scott Goodyear couldn’t believe it when told earlier this year he was starting his 15th season as an analyst for ESPN and ABC’s telecasts of the Verizon IndyCar Series. Goodyear will join fellow analyst Eddie Cheever and anchor Allen Bestwick in the booth to call the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 14, at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC, and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29, on ABC.
He spoke with Front Row:
How did your television work start?
I had never thought about doing television and after the accident [in 2001 Indianapolis 500] when I had my second broken back, my IndyCar career had basically stopped. So when I was approached about it, I had to think about it for two months before I finally said OK. And then I thought, I’ll do this for a year just to see what it’s like. But then it got to be infectious because it’s so similar to motor racing.
How did you prepare for that first race?
It was Homestead in 2002 with [anchor] Paul Page. There wasn’t really a whole lot of training or anything like that, so he took me into his house and we started doing some practicing. Then we were out in Phoenix for the winter test and when we were riding in the car, he’d say ‘we’re in commercial, we’re coming back from commercial, 10, we’ll be there shortly, 5-4-3 – hey this is Paul Page back live with you here at the Phoenix International Raceway with analyst Scott Goodyear, and Scott what do you think about. . .’ and he made me comfortable and at ease. When we did the first show, I never felt pressure. It was neat, cool and fun.
Have the 15 years gone by quickly?
Not only has it gone by quickly, but I thought I’d only do it for a year. We had just built a cottage and I was about ready to retire [from driving]. I was going to slow down for a little while. I don’t think I could ever really slow down but that’s what my mindset was. When this came along, I didn’t know what was next and being around it for so many years, it’s just part of your makeup in a sense, so I don’t know what else I would do.