Barney Hall Obituary
January 27, 2016 | 4:09 P.M. EST
Barney Hall went home to be with the Lord on January 26, 2016. The longtime anchor for the Motor Racing Network was born in Elkin, NC, June 24, 1932, and made the Elkin area his lifelong home. Following his graduation from Elkin High School in 1951, he joined the U.S. Navy and proudly served his country four years during the Korean Conflict, a portion of that time aboard the U.S.S. Essex. After the war he returned to Elkin to work at Chatham Mfg.
Barney was an avid gardener and an exceptional pilot, maintaining a private pilot’s license for many years. He also enjoyed spending time in the outdoors fishing and playing golf. His love of the game led him to design, build and operate a Par 3 Golf Course. A natural craftsman, Barney loved salvaging materials from old buildings to use for other projects. He used salvaged wood and other materials to prove his skill as a remarkable builder, designing and constructing his own three-story home without the help of blueprints, or building plans. Through most of his life, he maintained his fitness by working out on a trampoline. In his early years he served as a trampoline instructor at the YWCA in Elkin.
Barney launched his radio career in his hometown of Elkin and worked as a disc jockey at WIFM radio for 13 years. While there, he entered the world of NASCAR stock car racing when he received promotional tickets and started attending and covering races. He began his 54-year racing career, attending his first Daytona 500 in 1960 and missing only four broadcasts of the Great American Race in its 57-year history. In 1961 he became the first track announcer at Bristol Motor Speedway and long considered that his “home track.” He joined the Motor Racing Network at its inception in 1970 as a turn announcer and became the anchor of the network in 1979 where he became known as “The Voice of NASCAR.” The network honored Barney with an appreciation award for “45 Years of Great Racing Coverage” at MRN’s annual kickoff meeting in January.
With his calm voice and folksy delivery, Barney was beloved by millions of race fans worldwide. He served as MRN’s lead anchor through July, 2014 when he worked his final, live broadcast in July, 2014 covering the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. He mentored and served as a role model to dozens of broadcasters over his career, many of whom are still active in NASCAR. Barney remained active with MRN until his passing serving as analyst and contributor on various programs and was honored, along with his producer Darrell Smith in January by the National Motorsports Press Association with a first place award in the category of “Topic Oriented Feature,” providing a perspective on the new Daytona Rising project at Daytona International Speedway.
Barney was an original member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel and was honored by the same organization as the co-namesake and inaugural co-recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence, along with former MRN and TV broadcaster Ken Squier.
He was honored on numerous occasions by the National Motorsports Press Association and was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2009, he received the prestigious Myers Brothers Award from the NMPA and also had a special award named for him to be given to broadcast members of the NMPA who has made special contributions to the sport.
The NASCAR industry also honored Barney with the Bill France Award of Excellence, the Buddy Shuman Award, and the Jim Hunter Memorial Award for Media Excellence.
Barney was of the Baptist faith and was preceded in death by his mother, Mazie Shumate.
He is survived by the love of his life of 35 years, Karen Carrier; his special canine companion, Lilli; aunt Eller Garris, several cousins, special friend Joanne Carrier and his MRN and NASCAR family.
The family will receive friends Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 6-8 pm at Jonesville First Baptist Church and also on Friday, January 29, 2016 from 12-2pm prior to the funeral service.
Flowers will be accepted or memorials made to Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman, NC 27317 or Woltz Hospice Home, 945 Zephyr Road, Dobson, NC 27017 Dobson, NC.
Online condolences may be made to www.elkinfuneralservice.com
Elkin Funeral Service is serving the Hall Family.