Former MRN Announcers
Barney Hall (1932-2016), a longtime anchor for the Motor Racing Network, launched his radio career in his hometown of Elkin, N.C. 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 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.
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.
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.
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One of NASCAR’s original broadcasters, Ken Squier began his career with the Motor Racing Network in 1970. It was his golden voice that took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage, giving his insider’s view of what he famously described as “common men doing uncommon things.”
He is perhaps best-known for calling the 1979 Daytona 500, a milestone moment for the entire sport, as Squier’s voice on CBS welcomed millions to the first live flag-to-flag coverage of “The Great American Race” – a moniker he coined.
Following that signature moment, Squier proceeded to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997 before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000. Squier continues to enlighten NASCAR fans to this day, mostly through special appearances.
In 2012, NASCAR announced the creation of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, which would be housed in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Squier and Motor Racing Radio’s Barney Hall were in inaugural winners of the award.
Squier was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.