Wendy Venturini is considered to be one of the most dynamic and knowledgeable women in the industry today.
No stranger to the sport, Wendy has become one of the most recognizable faces on NASCAR television. Wendy brings experience from both in front of and behind the camera to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. She is a correspondent on FOX Sports 1 covering Sprint Cup & Nationwide practice and qualifying sessions as well as other NASCAR live programming.
Her latest undertaking, co-anchor for the Performance Racing Network, has amassed Wendy titles that will go down in the NASCAR history books. In 2012, she became the first female to co-anchor a NASCAR Nationwide race. One year later, she was offered the role permanently. And in September 2014, Wendy will make history again as she co-anchors a Sprint Cup race making her the first female to do so.
But that’s not the only list of “firsts.”
In 2004, Wendy became the youngest full-time Pit Reporter on SPEED’s premier live event in the NASCAR Camping World Series. The time spent as a child in the garage with her family was apparent. Wendy could naturally speak the racer’s language, and quickly gained respect from the competitors.
In 2007, Wendy took on the challenge of double-duty Sundays as Pit Reporter for DirecTV’s NASCAR Hot Pass in addition to her duties on NASCAR RaceDay. TV executives took notice and Wendy made NASCAR history that year by becoming the first female ever to anchor a Sprint Cup race broadcast from the booth.
Wendy’s 10 seasons on the highest rated pre-race show, NASCAR RaceDay, will be sure to go down in the history books as well. Wendy took viewers where no cameras had gone before and told stories that had never been told. Her easy conversation with drivers and crew members was obvious and her ability to ask the right questions at the right time was a natural talent, not a learned skill. Viewers learned. Viewers laughed. Viewers cried. And at the end of the 10 years, Wendy forged a bond with her NASCAR RaceDay family that has yet to be duplicated.
With virtually a lifetime of motorsports experience, Wendy’s passion for racing came naturally as she was born and raised into a family of dedicated drivers. Her father, Bill Venturini, is a two-time ARCA Champion and retired NASCAR Winston Cup competitor. Her mother, Cathy Venturini, spent many years as a tire changer on the first-ever all-female pit crew. And while her older brother, Billy, decided to follow in their father’s racing footsteps (driving in the ARCA Series and eventually running the family’s race team), Wendy decided to make her mark in television. And so she has.
Wendy’s broadcasting career began in 1998 working both in front of the camera as well as the control room as a producer at UNC-Chapel Hill. Passionate about gaining knowledge and skills, she also commuted every week as a sports intern at the NBC affiliate in Charlotte. Wendy spent her 1999 summer between seven countries, studying International Television & Film mostly in Norway and England. Graduating from Carolina in three short years, with 2 degrees (Media Production & Psychology) and a minor (Journalism), Wendy was clearly already proving herself in the professional world.
A quick-learning understudy, Wendy soon found herself in front of the camera full-time as a reporter for a local news station in Mooresville, North Carolina where she convinced her General Manager to let her host her own racing show on top of her regular daily reporting duties. Before long, Wendy went onto Wheeler Television as an Associate Producer for their NASCAR related program airing on TNN. Her goal was to gain more experience behind the camera. And her background in motorsports made her an ideal candidate.
As her skills matured, Wendy was chosen to join NASCAR Productions. Wendy worked as a Feature Producer for NASCAR This Morning airing on FOX Sports Net until her unique vision and experience earned her title of Producer for NASCAR Victory Lane on SPEED.
Wendy’s relationship with SPEED continued to grow, eventually pushing her back to the front of the camera as the youngest Pit Reporter on their premier live event in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. She never lost sight of those roots, and was both honored and pleased to also return to the ARCA Re/Max Series as a Pit Reporter. Ironically, the year Wendy went on-air for SPEED, her father was replaced on the network for “younger talent“. A now family joke, her dad has never been happier about the switch.
Wendy’s vibrant personality, dedication to the motorsports industry and professional accomplishments has allowed her to represent several charitable causes. Wendy currently serves on the board for Speedway Children’s Charities being hand-picked by SMI President Marcus Smith. She is an advocate for the Armed Forces Foundation and Motor Racing Outreach. She has served on the Board of Directors for WAM, the Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports as well as her local YMCA Board. She has also been a spokesperson for the NASCAR Foundation which supports a wide-range of charitable initiatives that reflect the core values of the NASCAR Family.
Wendy has been fortunate enough to combine her career in television with her first-hand love and knowledge of motorsports. Her proven level of dedication and natural talent has made her a well-respected favorite among her colleagues and friends in the garage. With her obvious diligence, Wendy Venturini is clearly on the fast track and beyond.