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“By late 1968, after serving as a multi-faceted television announcer, host, newsman, sportscaster, weatherman, etc., I was promoted to Program Director of the station that I had joined some five years earlier. The only way to keep up with what was happening was through reading HOT ROD Magazine. since 1961 was when I started my announcing career in earnest. answers, right here: What was the impact of Bob Petersen, since he was the man behind HOT ROD and Wally started there and . “Being a native of Missouri and spending my formative years in the Midwest, there was little or no drag racing going on close by.— Moving to Argus Publishers in 1978 as an Advertising Account Executive, Dave took on the responsibility of special projects which included the creation and development of the SUPER CHEVY SUNDAY series of automotive events, and the television series, “Performance Plus from Popular Hot Rodding” which enjoyed an extended run on TNN.— Mc Clelland left Argus at the end of 1984 to form his own company, Dave Mc Clelland Enterprises, which serves a broad range of clients both in and out of the motorsports industry. “Folks in Nebraska, not only California, could see what was happening as a result of the magazine’s coverage. “Certainly the magazine supported drag racing and made it a national enterprise,” says Dave. “In early 1971 I was contact by NHRA Division Director, Dale Ham, about possibly taking the position as VP/GM of Dallas International Motor Speedway. that the track with its strong schedule could meet the financial obligations and it would preserve a multi hundred acre piece of commercial property with huge road frontage on the interstate, just on the outskirts of Dallas, in the town of Lewisville.” Dave Mc Clelland had a good eye for the future, but maybe he was just a bit ahead of his time on this one. so the facility ended up being leased to Larry Carrier and IHRA. ” In all of his years around drag racing, did Dave have a favorite driver, someone he maybe thought of as the best? In the last couple of years Dave has cut back the number of things he emcees, but he’s out to 20 to 35 of these every year, most of them in Southern California. and no matter how gifted you are, a single entity never has the impact of a couple, and Dave is the first to admit that he couldn’t have done it without his wife, Louise. and after a few months of dating, a few months of engagement, the wedding occurred in December 1957. With the track about 45 miles from New Orleans — and not too much farther from Baton Rouge — there was a large population base to draw from, even though Houma itself was a relatively small community. Like Wally, his passing was a tragic loss, two individuals who did so much for the industry and the sport. Jay Leno has been the featured entertainer a number of times, and here we were just having some fun. All the stories don’t give him enough credit.” So there you have it, a fairly large slice out of Dave Mc Clelland’s life as the voice of drag racing, of hot rodding, and of a myriad number of events where — as the emcee — he honors those in a sport that he has come to command.
Little did I realize at the time that I was laying the groundwork for what eventually became a career. “In 1969 I was approached by the principals at Southland Dragways, inquiring about possible interest in the General Manager’s position. This is what Dave has to say: “Most likely, I met Bob Petersen for the first time in the early ’60s at Indy, then saw him more frequently as I started announcing more events. and still have a number of them dating back to the early ’50s. I have yet to meet a driver that I didn’t enjoy being around, partially because I am . Now I am certain, if you asked the same question of a tech guy or an event director, you would get a totally different response. One would be Jay Leno, the long-time host of NBC’s Tonight Show, and Linda Vaughn who began as Miss Hurst Golden Shifter . Dave said, “Linda and I started in motorsports at just about the same time and we have been fortunate to watch it grow through the years. “I think in both our lives, the two things that kept us going was the love of the sport and the friendships that we have made over all the years. She deals with the popularity and the crush of people with the dignity of a true Southern Belle,” said Dave. This provided me with tremendous exposure in the racing world. I could go on for several pages, but this is a broad cross section.” In the course of Dave Mc Clelland’s long cruise through the world of drag racing, and cars in general, he’s earned a special perspective on many things. When racing hit KC, I was primed and ready.” And, of course, the man who created a wide swath of publications under the banner Petersen Publishing, was Bob (Pete) Petersen. Thus, to many onlookers, they may seem a bit strange. and continue to be, a huge fan of everyone that would compete in this sport.” One other aspect of the question was if there were particular drivers that Dave Mc Clelland had trouble with over the years, and he responded by saying, “This all ties in with the most difficult to deal with question, and I cannot think of a single incident that I would use the word difficult to describe my relationship with a drag racing driver. Since I did the track announcing for some 45 years and the television shows for more that 27, I would guess it was a pretty good formula to follow.” Many of the people that Dave Mc Clelland ran into during his career weren’t drivers, but people who came with credentials of their own. and over all these years has become much more than that! “When you have the combinations of beauty and personality that are hallmarks of LV, you have lots of fans. All the while, I had continued to develop and progress as a race announcer, not only on the local and divisional level, but I was doing all of NHRA’s national events as well. Good Guys Hot Rod Hero “This,” says Dave, “gives you some idea. Even though I had not been to a race yet, I was still familiar with the sport and its numerous California stars.In a moment, though, he went from being the guy honoring people to the guy . — Dave also served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Meadowbrook Hall Concours D’Elegance and the Cranbook Concours D’Elegance, both in Detroit, plus the Los Angeles Concours D’Elegance and as the announcer for the Sport Class at the National Air Races in Reno. “It was an absolute surprise to both my wife and myself . — In addition, he also produced radio and TV commercials for NHRA and many other clients, a role he still fills today.