Ken Squier, the NASCAR Hall of Fame announcer who helped boost the sport to national popularity, has died. He was 88.
Squier defined what it meant to broadcast a NASCAR race. In 1970, he co-founded the Motor Racing Network with Bill France.
Nine years later, Squier successfully pitched the idea of televising a NASCAR Cup Series race flag-to-flag on national TV. Lending his voice to the 1979 Daytona 500, with the iconic fight and Richard Petty’s triumphant win, he helped paint an introductory picture of NASCAR for its newfound mainstream audience.
A pioneer, Squier brought the in-car camera to NASCAR broadcasts in 1982. He also called every Daytona 500 from 1979 to 1997.
Squier saw the rise of Dale Earnhardt, calling the first laps he ever led in that famous first 500. 15 years later, it was Jeff Gordon, the Wonder Boy he called home victorious for the first time in the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Now, when you think of NASCAR, it’s hard not to think of Earnhardt, Gordon and races broadcast flag-to-flag with on-board cameras giving audiences a glimpse at what their superheroes are doing behind the wheel.
Even beyond his time in the booth, Ken Squier was a voice in the moments that left everyone speechless. Squier provided insight after the 2001 Daytona 500 to grasp what was, and still is, ungraspable.
Squier is the only person inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on their merits as a broadcast announcer. The 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, along with the late Barney Hall, is the namesake to the Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence.
To describe Squier as a broadcast announcer or a pioneer may not even do him justice. To many, he is NASCAR history – and history that will never be forgotten.
Godspeed to the common man who did uncommon things.
NASCAR community remembers Ken Squier
Jim France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR:
“Though he never sat behind the wheel of a stock car, Ken Squier contributed to the growth of NASCAR as much as any competitor. 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.”