Observer’s Tom Higgins receives NASCAR Hall of Fame award for media excellence

07/04/2014 2:20 PM

07/04/2014 3:31 PM

Tom Higgins, who chronicled motorsports for The Charlotte Observer for more than three decades, is the recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.

Higgins will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Jan. 30, 2015, and featured in an exhibit at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.

Higgins, 76, who officially retired from the Observer in 1997, is the fourth recipient of the award, joining late broadcaster and writer Chris Economaki and broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall, for whom the award is named. Higgins continues to write for the Observer on a part-time basis.

“Tom Higgins helped establish what it means to be a NASCAR beat reporter,” said NASCAR Chairman Brian France in a statement. “For more than five decades, his words have told the story of NASCAR, and the people and emotions that define the sport. He has been much more than a reporter to those in the NASCAR industry – serving as friend and confidant to competitors, administrators and his fellow journalists.”

“I’m just an ol’ boy from the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said Higgins, a native of Burnsville whose father was a game warden. “I’m absolutely stunned by this. I’m grateful for the Observer to give me a chance to have the career I had.”

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