Ken Squier, NASCAR's only Hall of Fame broadcaster, dies at 88
Ken Squier, an iconic voice in motorsports whose storytelling and advocacy for the sport helped launch it into the mainstream, died Wednesday night at age 88.
Squier, a NASCAR Hall of Famer who worked for several networks over the years, might be best known for his call of the 1979 Daytona 500. It was the first time the race was telecast live from start to finish and it ended with an infamous fight.
Not only did he help boost the sport with his voice and descriptions of drivers and various catchphrases, he also was integral in advocating for the technology of motorsports telecasts and the placing of those telecasts on a national level.
“Ken Squier trained 90 percent of the people that are doing television and radio in racing today, either directly or indirectly,” NASCAR on FOX announcer Mike Joy said in a video produced by NASCAR about Squier’s life.
Squier’s influence in motorsports went beyond the broadcast booth, as he was the developer and former owner of Thunder Road (Vt.) International Speedbowl. He still owned Vermont radio station WDEV.
He is the only broadcaster to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The media award that is presented during the induction weekend bears his name along with fellow broadcaster Barney Hall.
“Though he never sat behind the wheel of a stock car, Ken Squier contributed to the growth of NASCAR as much as any competitor,” NASCAR Chairman Jim France said. “Ken was a superb storyteller and his unmistakable voice is the soundtrack to many of NASCAR’s greatest moments.
“His calls on TV and radio brought fans closer to the sport, and for that, he was a fan favorite. Ken knew no strangers, and he will be missed by all.”
Squier was honored by many on social media Thursday:
Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.
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