Friday, February 11, 2011

Rest In Peace, Tom

Tom Carnegie has died at the age of 91.

Carnegie is best remembered as the longtime public address voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, delivering his trademark calls, including, "Heeeeez-on-it!" and "It's a newwwww trrrrrack rrrrrecord" from 1946 to 2006.

He recalled his hiring by track owner Tony Hulman in a Sirius Speedway Legends conversation nearly a decade ago, saying, "I was announcing some little event at a short track somewhere, and Tony Hulman and Wilbur Shaw came over and said, 'Hey, you want to work the 500?' I don't know what came out of my mouth, but it was good enough for them to hire me.

"After that, I think they were too embarrassed to fire me. So I stayed for 61 years."

Carnegie was also an award-wining sportscaster for more than 30 years at WRTV Radio in Indianapolis, calling the Indiana State High School basketball tournaments for decades. He retired from radio 1985, but continued as the voice of the speedway for another 11 years.

Carnegie called virtually every meaningful moment in the history of the legendary Brickyard, and was close with many of open wheel racing's legendary names. In addition to being one of the finest announcers ever to hold a microphone, Carnegie was a truly beloved figure at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and throughout the state of Indiana.

We will celebrate the life and career of our friend Tom Carnegie with a special Sirius Speedway Legends rebroadcast in the final half-hour of today’s show.

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