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Published December 31 2010

Where are they now?: Former RRVS announcer Rod Miller still into racing

Rod Miller was the public address voice of the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo for 33 years.

A fast-talking and knowledgeable auto racing fan, Miller was nicknamed “Motor Mouth” for his ability to cram tons of background information, clichés, and humorous anecdotes into each Friday night show.

However, Miller is using the slow lane these days.

Well, as slow as can be expected for a fully retired 75-year-old auto racing junkie with six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

“I play a lot of golf in the summer and I take it easy with the grandkids,” said Miller, who retired from announcing following the 2006 season.

Miller worked as the announcer at Minnesota tracks in Thief River Falls, Glyndon, Detroit Lakes and Ada. He also spent time at Grand Forks, Jamestown and Minot.

But he will always be known for being the voice of the RRVS.

Miller said his favorite memories occurred in his early days in the 1970s.

“There was something special about those years,” he said. “We only had two classes back then. And we had cars from all over that used to come out. It was great racing.”

Miller said he still makes it out to Red River Valley and Buffalo River Speedway in Glyndon when he gets a chance.

He briefly came out of retirement last year to help RRVS regular announcer Ron Krog during the season opener in West Fargo.

“We’ve had some great drivers,” Miller said. “I mean, some super drivers.”

Miller said he likes the direction of the RRVS since Danny Schatz took over the day-to-day operations of the track prior to last season.

Yet, he says he misses the half-mile oval that made West Fargo the place to go on Friday nights. Schatz changed RRVS to a C,-mile track before last year.

“I loved the half-mile,” Miller said. “It was always a thrill. It was like the major leagues. All the race car drivers looked forward to racing at West Fargo because of it.”

Also a NASCAR fan and a follower of driver Jeff Gordon, Miller remembers ribbing RRVS patrons constantly about their favorite drivers. Most times, if you were wearing a hat, t-shirt or jacket of a Gordon rival, you would hear about it from Miller over the public address system.

He admits he might be a little less “Motor Mouth” about that these days.

“He’s in the Chase (for the Sprint Cup championship),” Miller said of Gordon, a four-time NASCAR champion. “But he’s not doing so well. Maybe next year will be his year.”