Paul Page has collected a lifetime of Indianapolis 500 memories.
That gives him plenty to share with race fans. “An Evening With Paul Page, Voice of the Indianapolis 500” is set for 7 p.m. May 15 at the Basile Westfield Playhouse, 220 N. Union St. SONAX is the presenting sponsor. The event, hosted by the Central Indiana Region Porsche Club of America, benefits Heart and Soul Free Clinic in Westfield.
Page anchored the Indy 500 radio broadcast as the Voice of the Indy 500 from 1977 to 1987. Page, who splits time between Indianapolis and Florida, had joined the network in 1974 and was mentored by the late Sid Collins. He started working with ABC for all its IndyCar telecasts in late 1987. He was joined on the Indy 500 telecast by Sam Posey and Bobby Unser.
Page is still part of the race day coverage on radio network for the Indy 500 broadcast, sharing his expertise on past races. In his public speaking appearances, Page said he typically makes opening remarks and then takes questions.
“I tell a few stories and get everyone warmed up,” Page said. “The questions are always the most fun.”
Page said he always gets asked his favorite moments.
“In terms of personal pride in something, I’m particularly proud of the call in the last 15 laps of Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser Jr., when Fittiipaldi won after Al spun and hit the wall,” Page said. “I’m very proud of what the radio network and I did in 1982, calling the last lap of the 500 when Gordon Johncock and Rick Mears battled to the finish and Johncock won it.
“Every time I think of one, I think of another, so to say one is more of a favorite is difficult. There are several that I’m pretty proud of.”
Page said he definitely has some stories of the booth with Posey and Unser.
“Working with those two was maybe the most fun I’ve ever had,” Page said. “There were times it got so contentious that Jack Arute, our pit reporter, bought me a referee’s shirt to wear one year.”
Page considers many drivers as friends after being with the community for so many years.
“I love spending time with Mario (Andretti),” Page said. “I had a good friendship with Dan Wheldon. Johnny Rutherford and I talk all the time. It’s a little more difficult now, not being on the entire circuit. I’m only there for the Grand Prix and the 500. I don’t know the new guys as well as I would like to do a proper job commenting on them.”
Page said broadcasting a major event like the 500 is a complex technical achievement.
“It’s kind of like your home computer, it doesn’t always work exactly like you want it to,” he said. “We’ve lost power to one of our control trucks. We always lose cameras. The announcer’s job becomes hiding those facts as best we can.”
Tickets are $15. For tickets, visit cirpca.org/event/an-evening-with-paul-page-voice-of-the-indianapolis-500-presented-by-sonax/.