|NASCAR pioneers Ken Squier (L) and Barney Hall|
In 2012, NASCAR and the Hall of Fame announced the creation of the new award to honor the media’s contributions to the success of the sport. The Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence will become a permanent part of the annual enshrinement activities. Both Hall and Squier will be recognized as the first recipients of the award that bears their names during Friday’s program at the Charlotte Convention Center.
“Media have played an important role in the growth and popularity of NASCAR over the years,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said when the award was first introduced. “The voices of Ken Squier and Barney Hall are an indelible part of our sport’s history and we couldn’t be more pleased to recognize their long and outstanding careers.”
Hall is still active as a Motor Racing Network anchorman, working alongside colleague Joe Moore for most of the network’s NASCAR coverage. He joined MRN when it debuted in 1970, after previously serving as the first public address announcer at Bristol Motor Speedway. He called his first Daytona 500 in 1960 and has missed only three broadcasts in the 54-year history of “The Great American Race.”
The Elkin, N.C. native was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 2007.
Squier was one of NASCAR’s original broadcasters, leaving a large imprint on the industry during its formative years. Like Hall, he joined Motor Racing Network for its first season in 1970. Squier’s golden voice and clever turn of a phrase took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage, first over the radio airwaves and then on network television.
The Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence will now have a permanent home as part of the Media Section within the Hall of Fame – to recognize the stellar careers of Hall and Squier, and other honorees in years to come. They’ll join former MRN broadcaster Ned Jarrett in the halls of the NASCAR shrine. He was inducted in May 2011 as a two-time Cup Series champion.
“No other broadcasters have had as much impact on the development and popularity of NASCAR as Barney Hall and Ken Squier,” said MRN President and Executive Producer David Hyatt. “We treasure the association we have with them. Those men drew the blueprint for our success and I’m thrilled that the inaugural award has been presented to both, and at the same time humbled to be part of the industry and the network they helped create.”
Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – will have live coverage of Friday’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony beginning at 7:30 p.m. (EST), with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com. The Hall Of Fame inductions are part of the network’s 2013 broadcast schedule that features 88 live events from 34 venues, including coverage of Budweiser Speedweeks from Daytona International Speedway, beginning Friday, Feb. 15.