This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Bruce Flandeers

Brian Nieman Photography

We’ve met some legends in the past 20 years of Freak. One of the largest: track announcer Bruce Flanders, the voice of the Long Beach Grand Prix for forty plus years.

Bruce died this week. A respiratory ailment. He died at home. He was 74. Bruce and his silky baritone voice made a race fun for fans. And I promise he took his craft seriously but not himself.

The one thing I won’t ever forget, though, is some Freak fun at the Long Beach Grand Prix. We had a promotion involving Boris Said and a rickshaw on Shoreline Drive.

He let us know to be ready by announcing to the throng: “Top Fuel Rickshaw to staging lane three.” Still brings a smile.

I’ve been in many booths with Bruce. Even shared a shot of rye or two with him. Bruce was special. A Vietnam Vet. Speedway bike rider and announcer who made me a Speedway Bike fan. Google Bruce Flanders. He was so good that fans stayed away when he wasn’t on the mic.

The next time you hear thunder in the sky, smile. Bruce is calling something.