Sarver, PA (May 1, 2016) It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of a beloved member of the Lernerville Speedway family; longtime PA Announcer Dow Carnahan. Dow passed away suddenly Friday Night, April 29. We ask that you pray for Dow’s immediate family and the Lernerville Speedway family that loved and will miss him dearly.
Of Dow’s passing, Lernerville General Manager Gary Risch Jr. stated, “Our racing family is as strong as ever, but it will take all of us to get through this and move on as he would want us to do. It will be hard, but we will persevere just as he did last summer when his beloved Nancy passed away in a similar, sudden manner.”
Dow’s viewing is Wednesday 1-3 and 6-8 PM at Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, Inc. 1500 Ligonier Street, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650, Phone: 724-537-5575
On his Facebook page, Rappin’ on Racin’ founder and host Don Gamble posted the following biography of Dow Carnahan:
Dow Carnahan the voice of Lernerville Speedway and the former announcer from Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and Motordrome Speedway. In 2011 Dow was inducted into the Pittsburgh Circle Track Club Hall of Fame.
Dow was the Operations Manager at 1489 WCNS Radio in Latrobe PA. His responsibilities included news and sports. Carnahan’s Corner was a weekly segment where Veteran announcer and host Dow Carnahan interviewed people in the know about sports and other topics
During his 30-year career in radio, Carnahan has had the opportunity to broadcast many sporting events. The station where he works in Latrobe carries all Latrobe High football and basketball games and St. Vincent College baseball games.
Carnahan never envisioned being involved with motor sports in any capacity. He said “I was just a fan, somebody who sat in the grandstands,” Carnahan said. “That was it. This announcing wasn’t something that I planned to do. I got the opportunity and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Through his work at the radio station, Carnahan met Bruce and Nancy Rhinehart who were the promoters of Motordrome in the early 1980s. He began announcing at Motordrome in 1984 and then started at PPMS when the Miley’s took over in 1989. In 2004 Dow became the voice of the Lernerville Speedway
Even though he has announced both dirt and asphalt racing, dirt racing was what he preferred. “I grew up on the dirt,” Carnahan explained. “I grew up going to dirt track races primarily at Schmucker’s, Jennerstown and Motordrome. I’ve always been more familiar with dirt.
Carnahan was very professional about his announcing. When the gates open each weekend at the track, Carnahan could be seen walking through the pit area speaking to many of the drivers. He kept rosters on all of them and updates it with new information every week.
He enjoyed what he did but admitted that the hardest part is something that is out of his control. “It’s not a hard job at all when things are moving smoothly and the races are good,” he said. “When you have an hour and a half rain delay and you are trying to keep people entertained and informed, that is when it gets tricky.”
Dow was not only the PA Announcer, but was truly an ambassador for the sport of dirt track racing in Western Pennsylvania. He exuded class and professionalism with a cool and easy demeanor that is truly unrivaled. His knowledge of local racing was immense and his passion for the sport came through in everything he did; from calling the races themselves and victory lane interviews to emceeing banquets and just casual conversations.
His class and professionalism were never better on display than they were last fall when his longtime girlfriend and life partner Nancy Henry suddenly passed away. Despite the sudden and tragic loss, Dow was at the track the next day; doing what he loved and surrounded by people that loved him. The best way we can honor his memory is to do the same for him next Friday Night. We know it won’t be easy and Fab4 Fridays will never be the same without him, but he would want us to push forward with business as usual and that’s exactly what we’ll do. The show must go on and so it shall, with Dow and Nancy watching from above.
Rest in peace Dow Carnahan, we are all better for having known and worked with you. God speed!
Contact: Lernerville Speedway
Eric J. Westendorf, Public Relations Director
Contribution by Don Gamble/Rappin’ on Racin’
(724) 664-1075 / firstname.lastname@example.org