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Man behind the mic at Lincoln Speedway | Fast Lane

Wayne Harper has been calling races for 40 years.

ABBOTTSTOWN, Pa. — If there's one saying that's true, find your passion and you won't work a day in your life. That has Lincoln Speedway track announcer, Wayne Harper's name written all over it. For nearly three decades, Harper has been the voice of the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. 

“There’s been a lot of things changed throughout the years. What hasn’t changed is how good these drivers and race teams are and how professional they are," says Harper.

Like most, Harper grew up going to races. Taking toys into the infield while his dad worked as a security guard at Williams Grove. His passion for racing continued to grow. Fast forward a couple years, Harper graduated from Shippensburg University with a Bachelors' and Masters' degree in communications. 

“I was looking many years ago, for a part-time job to pick up a couple of extra dollars. Just happen to be a racing fan and Williams Grove was looking for an announcer at the time," said Harper.

And since, He's announced races at the Grove, the former Susquehanna Speedway and now, the last 28 years, at the Lincoln, and of course, not without a few TV and Radio gigs in mix. 

If there was one type of racing Harper liked the most, it was sprint cars, even through his idol is the King, Mr. Richard Petty.

“Sprint cars are the sharks of racing,' said Harper. 'Other than the safety equipment put in these cars and safety requirements. Everything in those racecars is built for speed and they are so fast and so ferocious."

But, it's not just the cars that have changed. The technology used to announce and score races has immensely changed. 

“There was a day when I first started announcing, you had a microphone and that was it. Now, you have a monitor in front of you. The screen shows you time trial results. We used to have a timing light. Now, everything is done electronically," Harper said.

He's said to have seen over 2,500 races. A story and a memory for all of them. A special one coming in 2015 when a couple legends, who haven’t raced in years, put on a show at Lincoln.

As he heads into his 29th year at Lincoln, Harper has since scaled back from his duties at the track. It has become harder for him to get down to victory lane and interview the winners, something he absolutely loved to do, and just calls the races from the press box. 

Throughout the years, something that resonates with him the most is every person he's interacted win. Whether a fan, driver, crew member, owner, the list goes on.

“It’s the people that you meet. The time you spend with them and the relationships you develop, through the years, that means the most," said Harper.

The 2022 season will be Harper's 41st year announcing races.

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