By LARRY VAUGHT
Few people I have ever known seem to have enjoyed their work more than Krista Voda Kelley did when she was with WLEX-TV sports covering not only University of Kentucky sports but also high school sports, the Kentucky Derby, the NFL and major league baseball.
She had a certain charm that came across on air and had a knack for making almost every interview/story special. And that contagious smile never seemed to go away.
In 2001, she took the advice of former WLEX-TV co-worker Gary Johnson and left for a job in Charlotte, N.C., as a reporter for Totally NASCAR. She was a rising star with FoxSports and covered all levels of racing before eventually becoming a pit row reporter and studio host for programs such as NASCAR Nation on Speed Channel and FoxSports’ Totally NASCAR. She was also a NFL sideline reporter for Fox.
She has been a regular contributor for racing websites and was part of several radio programs across the country, which was a big accomplishment for Voda — who began at KROS (radio)in her hometown of Clinton, IA. She lettered in volleyball, track and field, and
basketball in high school and graduated from Northern Iowa — one reason we will not mention NCAA Tournament play and Northern Iowa’s historic collapse against Texas A&M.
In 2015, Voda signed a multi-year agreement to serve as host of NBC Sports’ NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series pre- and post-race coverage. Her on-air duties now include a range of assignments across NBC Sports and NBC Olympics.
“Krista is a talented host that has established a strong connection with NASCAR viewers over the course of an already impressive career,” said Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports and NBCSN, when Voda was hired. “Her passion for the sport and comprehensive grasp of its stars, personalities and history will provide for an engaging and informative race day experience for the fans.”
She now lives in Pittsburgh when she is not traveling for work.
Voda will join Tim Estes and myself Tuesday on WPBK-FM (102.9) in Stanford Tuesday from 7:30-8 .m. You can also listen on http://www.wpbkfm.com/ and there will also be an archived file of the show if you can’t listen Tuesday morning.
We’ll spend time talking NASCAR and NBC, but also want to let her recall stories of covering high school football and UK sports. Certainly she’ll have at least one Alan Cutler story tell — and maybe more.
If you have a question you would like us to ask, let me know @vaughtsviews on Twitter.