PERRIS – Promoter Don Kazarian and the staff at Perris Auto Speedway said they are saddened by the death of the track’s first announcer, Bruce Flanders. The legendary mic man died Friday, Aug. 21, at the age of 75 after a long battle with COPD.
Flanders’ baritone voice and quick wit had been a staple on the Southern California racing scene for nearly a half-century. A jack of all trades, when it came to motor sports announcing, the Vietnam War veteran was popular to Speedway Motorcycle, Sprint Car, Stock Car and Indy Car fans not only in Southern California but also around the country. His longest continuous gig was the Long Beach Grand Prix. He took over the announcing duties for the race in 1978 and announced everyone since. His work was rewarded in 2016 when he became a member of the Motorsports Walk of Fame in Long Beach.
“Bruce Flanders was our announcer the first three years at Perris Auto Speedway,” Kazarian said. “He was a pleasure to work with and he was a complete pro. Like everywhere else before and every place he announced after, the fans loved him. He never missed a beat and his quick wit and extreme knowledge of racing made him one of a kind. Most of all, he was a great guy. He was the same on and off the microphone. Just a genuinely nice person with a tremendous sense of humor. Everyone at Perris Auto Speedway is saddened by his passing and we send thoughts and prayers to his children Megan and Michael.”
While many know Flanders as an announcer, many do not know that he was also a racer. He raced Speedway Motorcycles on the Southern California circuit. And in his late 20s, he set a land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats when he went 141.703 seconds on a production motorcycle. He also hot lapped a Sprint Car at Ascot.
“Bruce was the greatest motorsports announcer of all-time,” Scott Daloisio, the current Perris Auto Speedway announcer, said. “A lot of people try to imitate him, but nobody has or ever will equal him. He was just too good. In addition to being a great announcer, he was also a great man. Bruce was always willing to help up and coming announcers hone their craft. When I was transitioning from a race photographer to an announcer, he was my mentor. He answered all my questions and offered advice. The same with longtime Costa Mesa Speedway announcer Terry Clanton and many others. He wanted to help all of us. A lot of the other guys would not give you the time of the day, but Bruce was different. He cared.”
Once racing resumes, tickets for all PAS events will be available 24-hours a day by calling 800-595-4849 or online at http://www.pas.tix.com. For fans who do not wish to buy tickets in advance, they can be purchased on-site.
Perris Auto Speedway is located on the SoCal Fair and Event Center, home of October’s Southern California Fair. For directions on MapQuest, the address to enter is: 18700 Lake Perris Drive and the ZIP code is 92571.
For more information, visit Perris Auto Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or at http://www.perrisautospeedway.com.
Submitted by Perris Auto Speedway.