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William "Bill" Weber (born May 8, 1957) is a former television sports commentator best known for his work on TNT and NBC NASCAR broadcasts. Weber was also the lead announcer for Champ Car World Series events and other auto racing series on NBC. He currently is working as an illusionist.
Early life and career
Weber was born in Middletown, New Jersey. His career began at WISH-TV in Indianapolis as a sports reporter while a student at Butler University. After graduating in 1979 with a bachelor of science degree in radio and television and a minor in journalism, Weber served as sports director at stations in Terre Haute, Indiana and Evansville, Indiana.
In 1987, Weber left television to work on the Miller Brewing Company's Unlimited Hydroplane Racing program as a media relations consultant. He then returned to Evansville and radio. In 1990, he relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina to work for a Sunbelt Video, a production company, which has since been purchased by NASCAR and is known as NASCAR Digital Media.
NBC Sports and TNT Sports
In 2001, Weber was tapped as pre-race host and pit reporter for NBC and TNT's coverage of NASCAR. For part of the 2004 season, Weber replaced Allen Bestwick as lap-by-lap announcer when Bestwick broke his leg during a charity ice hockey game in Rhode Island. On December 14, 2004, this switch was made permanent after weeks of rumors.
The NBC and TNT partnership continued with Weber hosting coverage of the North American International Auto Show for NBC, and both Weber and Dallenbach assigned to NBC's Champ Car World Series events in April 2007. The pair also called NBC's American Le Mans Series races.
Weber and commentators Wally Dallenbach, Jr. and Benny Parsons made cameo appearances as themselves in the 2006 Will Ferrell NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. In 2009, while in New Hampshire to cover the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, Weber was suspended by TNT and was not allowed to call the race or appear on the air. TNT senior vice president Sal Petruzzi stated: “As this is a private issue, it’s the policy of the company not to discuss personal matters involving our employees.” Other reports indicated that Weber got into a loud confrontation in his hotel lobby regarding complaints about his hotel room. On July 1, 2009, TNT and NASCAR announced that Weber would be replaced by Ralph Sheheen for the final two races of TNT's 2009 schedule. Weber was retained by NBC to call races for its coverage of the American Le Mans Series.
Weber was on the call for several notable races as lap-by-lap announcer. His only Daytona 500 call was in 2006, when Jimmie Johnson won his first Daytona 500. Later that season, Weber also called Johnson's first Cup Series championship at the Ford 400, the first of five consecutive titles for Johnson. Weber also called the July Daytona race in 2005, 2007, and 2008.
- Spoor, Mark (December 14, 2004). "Weber to assume lead on NBC/TNT race coverage". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- Breeze, Jarrod (July 31, 2006). "Weber to continue as voice of NASCAR on TNT". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- Pockrass, Bob (June 28, 2009). "Bill Weber won’t be part of TNT telecast today". NASCAR News Now. SceneDaily.com. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- Donatelli, Joe. "TNT Announcer Bill Weber In 'Loud, Public Confrontation' At Hotel". www.allleftturns.comdate= June 28, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- "Sheheen replaces Weber as TNT play-by-play voice". NASCAR.com. July 1, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- Bromberg, Nick (February 6, 2010). "Former TNT announcer Bill Weber now pulling rabbits out of hats – From the Marbles". Yahoo! Sports -NASCAR. Yahoo.com. Retrieved 2010-11-30.