Jake Hodge: On the Mic
Big money bracket racing announcer Jake Hodge gets a shot at the NHRA Big Show.
For the last two years, Jake Hodge has been the voice of big money bracket racing events. Covering races throughout the Midwest and along the East Coast. This experience has led him into a whole new world.
In April, Jake will join the NHRA announcing team at the 2019 NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas. Jake admitted, “I’m pumped to have the opportunity to announce at a NHRA national event.”
How It All Started
Jake grew up with a racing background as his father was involved in motor sports since Jake was a child. Although his father owned a bracket car, Jake’s first driving experience came on a dirt track. At 13 years old, Jake entered the Stock class at a local circle track.
Jake continued driving in circles for several years before eventually moving to the drag strip. “I got tired of people driving into the side of me” admitted Hodge. Eventually, Jake took the reigns of his father’s Vega Wagon bracket car. The wagon, built by Rich Gebhardt the year Jake was born, is still part of the Hodge family racing operation today.
A New Chapter
In 2017, Jake took on a new challenge when he climbed behind the microphone at Muncie Dragway. With a decade’s worth of driving experience, Jake brought his unique perspective to announcing. By the end of the year, Jake had the opportunity to announce the first SFG Promotions big money bracket race that was live streamed on Motormania TV.
The 2018 season brought more opportunities as Jake became the lead announcer for the ever popular SFG Promotions big money bracket racing series. In addition, Jake grabbed the mic at a number of other bracket races throughout the season. The list included the Little Banger Cinco de Race-O at Kil-Kare Raceway and the NHRA Division 3 Bracket Finals among others.
Because his announcing skills kept him on the road for most of the year, Jake rarely drove the same car twice. As a result, he jumped into anything he could borrow, competing in almost 20 different race cars during the season.
In addition to his bracket racing exploits, Jake started a drag racing podcast with good friend Zach Schlumpf in 2018. Dialed-In with Jake & Zach has been a big hit while providing Jake additional experience behind a microphone. The duo interviewed guests such as Brian Lohnes, Shawn Langdon, Devin Isenhower, and more.
With a growing media following and years of announcing experience, Jake welcomes the challenge of announcing on the biggest stage in drag racing. “I think I can make a difference in the NHRA and bring attention to the sportsman racers,” he acknowledged.
As the calendar rolls into 2019, you’re sure to find Jake Hodge at a dragstrip doing what he does best, entertaining crowds on the mic and climbing behind the wheel of any borrowed ride he can find.
Cover photo from left to right: Mark Walter, Brian Lohnes, and Jake Hodge
Words by Gary Don Free