‘Standard of excellence’: NASCAR broadcasting legend Ken Squier dies at 88, report says
Squier is credited with helping grow the popularity of the sport in its formative broadcast years.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Legendary NASCAR broadcaster Ken Squier has died at age 88, according to a report.
Dave Moody of the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM broke the news Thursday morning. He said Squier passed shortly before 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, surrounded by family, after spending time in the hospital and in hospice care.
“I grieve the loss of my dear friend and lifelong mentor, but rejoice in the fact that his pain and struggle are over,” Moody said on social media. “Thanks everyone for all the prayers and good wishes [for Ken].”
Squier was one of NASCAR’s original broadcasters, and his lasting legacy led to his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2018.
It was Squier leading the call for one of the sport’s biggest days - the live, flag-to-flag broadcasting of the 1979 Daytona 500 on CBS. The race is widely credited for growing NASCAR’s national popularity.
On its website, the NASCAR Hall of Fame credits Squier with “[carving] a massive footprint during NASCAR’s formative broadcast years,” and said “Squier’s golden voice took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage.”
Fellow Hall of Famer and 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. noted the moment in history and the impact Squier had on it on Thursday morning.
“Ken Squier was there when NASCAR was introduced to the rest of the world in 1979,” he said on social media. “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.”
Earlier in the week, with news coming out about Squier’s failing health, Earnhardt Jr. also shared some of the personal impact he has had on his own broadcasting career.
“When I got my first job as an announcer for [NASCAR on NBC], I wrote down a full page of ‘Squierisms’ that the legendary Ken Squier used during his career. I tried to use one per race during my ‘rookie’ broadcasting season. Ken is the standard of excellence for any NASCAR broadcast.”
Following that milestone moment in 1979, Squier continued to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997, when he transitioned to a studio host role until 2000.
The Squier-Hall Award, named after the legendary broadcaster, is given each year by the NASCAR Hall of Fame and is awarded to members of the media who have made “significant contributions.”
“Ken’s contributions to and accomplishments in NASCAR are incalculable,” Hall of Fame director Winston Kelley said. “His legacy, influence and legendary calls of NASCAR racing will live in our minds, our hearts, our archives and at the NASCAR Hall of Fame forever.”
Watch continuous news coverage here:
Copyright 2023 WBTV. All rights reserved.