Saddlemen

So Where’s Flanders?

| 28 October 2013 12:37 pm

Announcer Bruce Flanders, The Voice of Speedway

Story and Photos by Howie Zechner
CA, OCT. 25, 2013

“So where’s Flanders?”

That’s the question many were asking when the popular announcer was not at his usual post on the last Friday night race of the season. Their concerns were well founded, as “The Voice of Speedway” never misses a race date.

2013 1025 CA Bruce Flanders PHOTO A

“I had it all planned out so I could announce the event, but Mother Nature intervened and we had a rain-out,” Bruce Flanders said. “That moved the race to the following Friday, but unfortunately I was scheduled to participate in a clinical trial at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Westwood, California.”

Bruce Flanders has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, with emphysema. The 68-year-old U.S. Army Vietnam veteran jokes about his health and having to carry around a oxygen tank or concentrator to breathe everywhere he goes, but his condition is quite serious.

Bruce Flanders at The Grand in June.

Bruce Flanders at The Grand in June.

“This is my fifth clinical trial, and it’s been the most invasive so far,” Bruce said. “I always walk a lot, but I still had to increase my exercise regimen by around 50 percent. I needed to bring the most fit body that I could to this procedure. On top of that, I could not have any adult beverages the week before. Needless to say, I was a little anxious about the whole deal. There were lots of unknowns.”

Now back home and sitting in his favorite big chair, Bruce says the procedure went well, and he thinks it’s already helping. “I’m stronger every day and am back to taking my daily walks. The doctors are paranoid of infections, so I am being closely monitored. Still, it feels right and I feel good.”

2013 1025 CA Bruce Flanders PHOTO C

So what’s next for the Flanders guy? Will he continue doing voice production and announcing at Irwindale, the Long Beach Grand Prix, and Pirate Speedway?

“That’s the plan,” Bruce replied. “It’s what I do and what I enjoy. It’s what keeps me alive. Still, you never know what tomorrow brings.”

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Category: Newsbits, POV, Riders All, Speedway

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