Sunday, June 3, 2012
Dr. Dirt Says Goodbye
There are many unique personalities in motorsports media, but Berggren tops the list. Driver, announcer, reporter and editor are just some of the things he has done in his life. By the way, he taught college psychology for almost a decade after getting his doctorate from Tufts University.
A New England native, Berggren has already been inducted into the National Sprint Car and New England Auto Racers Halls of Fame. After ending his driving career, Berggren moved to reporter and then editor of Stock Car Racing Magazine. In the print world, he may be best known for launching Speedway Illustrated over a decade ago.
I met Berggren working on the ESPN telecasts of NASCAR in the 1980's. Professional, personable and informed summed him up best. He has worked for many TV networks over the years, but FOX proved to be his longest run. He is ending a TV career that in total spanned 32 seasons.
"As a colleague and friend, Dick has had no equal in the 40-plus years I've been in this business," Mike Joy told the Detroit Free Press. "He always has been the best-researched reporter on the ground. Whatever the event, Dick by far is the best-prepared pit reporter this business has ever known, and he always has brought a great degree of professionalism to every telecast he has worked."
Berggren will be focusing his time on seeing more New England area racing, spending time with his wife Kathy and coordinating a New England motorsports museum that will be located at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. That is not to say the transition away from TV will be easy.
"I'm dreading the 2013 Daytona 500 because I won't be there on pit road as part of that team," Berggren said. "That will be hard, but nothing is forever and I understand that. But, it's time to move on."
Best of luck to Berggren as the newest chapter of his diverse life unfolds. His contributions to NASCAR TV are tough to summarize. Needless to say, he had a passion and pursued it vigorously. It will be interesting to see where he pops-up throughout the remainder of this racing season.
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