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NASCAR Hall of Fame broadcaster Ken Squier passes away

Legendary NASCAR broadcaster Ken Squier passed away at the age of 88 on Wednesday evening.

Squier was a pioneer whose iconic voice masterfully told stories of NASCAR's greats, bringing the entire sport into the modern age.

Among his many achievements, Squier founded the Motor Racing Network (MRN) alongside NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr. in 1970. He would later help bring in-car cameras to the sport.

Squier was also the voice behind one of the most important moments in NASCAR history. In 1979, CBS presented its first flag-to-flag coverage of the Daytona 500 to a national audience. As the leaders crashed dramatically in the battle for the race win, handing victory to Richard Petty and then brawling in the infield, it was Squier who said: “And there's a fight between Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison! The tempers, overflowing. They are angry. They know they have lost."

Squier spent two decades as a play-by-play announcer, retiring from that role in 1997. He was succeeded by Mike Joy, but he never strayed too far away.

He was among those who helped guide a shocked and grieving sport in the hours following Dale Earnhardt's tragic death, saying on that day: "Whatever stock car racing is, Dale Earnhardt was."

Joy would post following Squier's passing: "Whatever race broadcasting is, Ken Squier was."

Squier was a true wordsmith, describing the sport in ways that no one else could. He coined the phrase “The Great American Race” to describe the Daytona 500, and called NASCAR's stars "common men doing uncommon deeds."

In 2018, he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He was inducted alongside Robert Yates, Red Byron, Ron Hornaday Jr., and Ray Evernham.

Two-time Daytona 500 winner and current NBC announcer Dale Earnhardt Jr. said of his passing: "Ken Squier was there when Nascar was introduced to the rest of the world in 1979 for the Daytona 500. 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. Kens words and energy were perfection on a day when NASCAR needed it. I am forever grateful for his major role in growing stock car racing. RIP."

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France released the following statement: “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.”

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