The NASCAR world is feeling sadness as one of the sport's greatest voices was called home. Ken Squier, the voice of NASCAR to generations of racing fans, passed away Wednesday at the age of 88.
His memorable call of the famous 1979 Daytona 500 and the Donny Allison-Cale Yarborough fight will live on. However, Squier's importance to NASCAR is bigger than just that moment in time.
Squier was one of the most influential people in NASCAR media who helped bring a much larger audience to a sport that used to be just a regional attraction.
Squier's legacy will live on. He co-founded the Motor Racing Network, which still covers the races from start to finish each weekend over the radio. He was also the biggest lobbyer for getting the 1979 Daytona 500 to air on CBS from start to finish.
His career spans many decades of NASCAR, and he covered all of the biggest figures the sport has ever offered. He called races on television for many years for both CBS and TBS until 1997. He became the host for those race broadcasts until 2000. He made his long-awaited return to the TV booth during one of the segments of the 2015 Southern 500 at Darlington.
Squier was rightly bestowed the honor of being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2018, where former broadcaster and pit reporter Dick Berggren talked about Squier's importance to the sport in a video during the ceremony.
"Ken Squier has been the most influential television person in the history of motorsports. Hands down," Berggren said.
NASCAR Chairman Jim France was saddened by the news of Squier's death and offered his deepest condolences to Ken's family and friends in a statement shared by NBC Sports.
"Though he never sat behind the wheel of a stock car, Ken Squier contributed to the growth of NASCAR as much as any competitor," 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. On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Ken Squier."
France wasn't alone, as Hall of Fame drivers-turned broadcasters Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Dale Jarrett also shared their thoughts via social media about what Squier meant to the industry.
Ken Squier was there when Nascar was introduced to the rest of the world in 1979 for the Daytona 500. I?m convinced that race would have not had its lasting impact had Ken not been our lead narrator. We still ride the wave of that momentum created on that day. Kens words and?
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) November 16, 2023
"Ken Squier was there when NASCAR was introduced to the rest of the world in 1979 for the Daytona 500," Earnhardt said. "I'm convinced that race would have not had its lasting impact had Ken not been our lead narrator. We still ride the wave of that momentum created on that day. Ken's words and energy were perfection on a day when NASCAR needed it. I am forever grateful for his major role in growing stock car racing. RIP."
As for Jarrett, he and Kyle Petty, a fellow NASCAR on NBC broadcaster and former driver, shared their thoughts in a heartfelt tribute video posted on NBC Sports's X page.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 16, 2023
He is now gone, but his contributions and legacy in NASCAR will live forever. Farewell, Ken — thank you for everything you did for this great sport.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.