Legendary NASCAR broadcaster Barney Hall died Tuesday after complications from a recent medical procedure. He was 83.
“The entire NASCAR family extends its condolences to the family, friends and fans of Barney Hall, a NASCAR broadcasting giant for more than 50 years,” NASCAR chairman Brian France said in a statement. “Barney’s impeccable delivery and incredible storytelling skills left an indelible mark on the sport that he so clearly loved.”
Born in Elkin in 1932, Hall began his career at local radio stations around North Carolina. After a stint as the public address announcer at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Hall called his first Daytona 500 in 1960. He joined the fledgling Motor Racing Network in 1970 and spent the rest of his career there until retiring in 2014.
Hall’s folksy style and story-telling ability set him apart from other announcers.
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“For many of us in the racing and broadcasting industries, Barney was more than just ‘the voice’ who brought us the NASCAR action each week on the radio,” MRN President David Hyatt said in a statement. “He was an inspiration, a teacher and mostly, a friend. Barney was a consummate professional whose style and honesty made him one of the most revered voices of the sport and perhaps the most trusted reporter of his day.
“In a world that can have its share of egos, Barney’s humor and humility kept everyone around him firmly grounded. His smooth and easygoing delivery was the mark by which others were measured. His co-anchor, Joe Moore, once commented that ‘Barney was the calming force in the midst of a raging storm and simply by listening to him, you knew there was safe passage through it.’ ”
The NASCAR Hall of Fame created the Squier-Hall Award For Media Excellence. Hall and fellow broadcaster Ken Squier were the first recipients.
“His legacy remains through an honor that rightly carries his name,” France said. “It will remain a constant reminder of the skill and passion that Barney brought to his work.”
David Scott: 704-358-5889, @davidscott14