Behind the Mic: Grandview’s Bruce Rogers

I’ll return with a new blog post on May 22.  This week, I’ve asked race announcer Randy Kane to guest blog.  RCN-TV viewers should recognize Randy from the Grandview Speedway broadcasts airing April through August each year.  Click here to read Randy’s bio from the RCN-TV “Our Broadcasters” page.

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Grandview Speedway Owner-Promoter Bruce Rogers Certainly Will Be Missed 

Longtime Grandview Speedway owner-promoter Bruce Rogers, who passed away in late March after a long battle with a number of health issues over the past year, was an icon in the local auto racing community. He certainly will be missed.

Rogers had been running the show at the Bechtelsville-based, high-banked third-mile dirt track since it opened back in 1963.  His father, Forrest Rogers, owned 100 acres of land and for many years was a race fan, who took his son along to all the weekly local tracks. After several tracks closed up, Forrest decided to plow under his farmland and build his own race track. Ground was broken in 1962 and the first race was held in August 1963.  The new speedway got its name simply from Forrest Rogers looking out over the area while standing on the back straightaway and telling everybody it was a “grand view.” Truly, that name just stuck.

When Forrest passed away in 1966, Bruce and his mother took over as speedway promoters.  Bruce’s mother sold admission tickets for $2 each out of the back of a station wagon parked at the main entrance.  Bruce had a full-time job in addition to the race track position, but he loved his part in the family business.  Eventually, the annual Forrest Rogers Memorial became a race every driver wanted to win. In recent years, drivers have earned as much as $20,000 for the win on those special nights.  The first race ever on August 11, 1963 paid $350 to win and was won by Lauden Potts.  Together, the Rogers family – Bruce, wife Theresa, son Kenny and daughter Tina – turned the track into a huge success. Grandson Brad recently joined the staff as well.

Grandview Speedway has long been known for its smooth racing surface and superb track preparations, with Bruce Rogers the main man operating the grader.  Rogers brought many different types of racing to the track through the years, from winged sprint cars to midgets to the 358 Modified cars of today, along with the Late Models and Sportsman.  Thunder on The Hill mid-week racing specials were brought to life by Rogers and promoter Bob Miller. NASCAR greats raced at the track on special nights as well.  The track today continues to present some of the finest weekly competition around and the grandstands continue to fill up.

RCN TV joined forces with Grandview Speedway back in the 2001 racing season. The very first television broadcast took place on May 5, 2001. Today, after 17 consecutive seasons, Grandview remains a solid partner with RCN TV bringing the local fans some of the finest local dirt track racing around.  In the past, RCN TV brought the fans local racing events from Nazareth Speedway, the Flemington Fair Speedway in New Jersey, races from Pocono, Nazareth National Speedway and other places, but the most success has been brought by the marriage with Grandview Speedway.

Throughout it all, Bruce Rogers was there for every minute of it until earlier this year in late March.

Bruce Rogers no longer is calling the shots at the track, but the foundation he built continues to be strong today. Bruce Rogers certainly will be missed, but the track will continue on, running every Saturday night throughout the summer in his memory. Rogers truly was an icon in local racing.

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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