CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Legendary NASCAR commentator Barney Hall, who called his first Daytona 500 in 1960 and was one of the most recognizable voices in NASCAR history while working for the Motor Racing Network, has died.
NASCAR said the 83-year-old died from complications following a recent medical procedure.
Hall was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012. Along with Ken Squier, Hall was one of the first two recipients as well as the namesake of NASCAR's Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, which is awarded during the annual Hall of Fame induction.
“Barney’s accomplishments and contributions to NASCAR are immeasurable and without parallel. Covering NASCAR for nearly 55 years through seven decades, he became known by millions as ‘The Voice of NASCAR,’” said NASCAR Hall of Fame Director Winston Kelley. “He was that recognizable voice that you would hear with every broadcast. You may not have known the face, which he would joke with his ever-present wit that it was ‘made for radio,’ but his voice was unmistakable.
Hall began working at MRN with the network's inception in 1970 and retired from his weekly broadcasting duties in July 2014.
He had been part of all but four Daytona 500 broadcasts in the 57-year history of the race.
"Barney has also tutored dozens of broadcasters throughout his career, many of whom you hear on the air today on both radio and television."
As word spread on social media Tuesday that Hall was not doing well, Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted earlier in the day: "For the longest time he was THE voice of @NASCAR. Just perfection. Thoughts and prayers."
Hall is survived by Karen Carrier, his girlfriend of the past 35 years.
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