Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Legendary NASCAR announcer Ken Squier dies at 88

Ken Squier, a face and voice NASCAR fans grew up with when watching races on television, passed away Wednesday from complications of an intestinal blockage. He had been moved to hospice care the day before his death. He was 88 years old.

Squier was the lap-by-lap announcer for NASCAR Cup Series broadcasts on CBS from 1979 to 1997, making his début with the legendary Daytona 500 that helped launch the sport into the national spotlight. With him in the booth, NASCAR continued to grow to new heights in the 1990s, also calling telecasts for TBS. Fellow icon Mike Joy became CBS’ new commentator for CBS in 1998, though Squier continued to call races for TBS before retiring in 1999.

Although not a weekly face, he remained involved in the studio. Squier returned to the booth for the 2015 Southern 500 at Darlington, as part of its new Throwback Weekend tradition where he was joined by Ned and Dale Jarrett.

“Though he never sat behind the wheel of a stock car, Ken Squier contributed to the growth of NASCAR as much as any competitor,” said NASCAR chairman Jim France. “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.”

Squier co-founded Motor Racing Network, one of NASCAR’s two major radio broadcasters. Other projects in his portfolio included creating the American Canadian Tour and the Thunder Road International Speedbowl in his home state of Vermont.

Outside of NASCAR, he also called other sports aired by CBS including IndyCar, golf, and the Winter Olympics.

He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2018.

“With the passing of Ken Squier, Vermont has lost a true legend,” commented Senator Bernie Sanders. “From his work as one of NASCAR’s original broadcasters and the first journalist to be inducted into their Hall of Fame, to his founding of Thunder Road in Barre and his leadership of WDEV Radio, Ken was an undeniable voice for generations of Vermonters and car racing fans across the country. More than that though, Ken was an irreplaceable part of his community in Vermont. Jane and I extend our deepest condolences to Ken’s family and loved ones.”

Kenley Squier: 10 April 1935 – 15 November 2023