Legendary NASCAR announcer, NC native Barney Hall dies

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MRN's Barney Hall speaks during the Inaugural Induction Dinner at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 20, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images for NASCAR)
MRN’s Barney Hall speaks during the Inaugural Induction Dinner at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 20, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Legendary NASCAR announcer Barney Hall died Tuesday night due to complications from a recent medical procedure. He was 83.

Hall’s smooth and familiar voice made him a fixture with the Motor Racing Network since its inception in 1970, according to NASCAR.com.

His radio career began during his four years of active duty in the Navy. After serving, Hall returned home to Elkin, N.C., and became a disc jockey at a local radio station.

In 1960, Hall did his first broadcast of the Daytona 500. During his career, he commentated all but three Daytona 500s and introduced the catchphrase “flag-to-flag coverage of The Great American Race” in 1979.

As NASCAR took off, transitioning from a regional sport to a national one, so did Hall’s career.

Hall’s connection to racing fans earned him a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.

“Whether you met him or not, you felt like you knew him,” Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, told NASCAR.com. “His easy, conversational delivery made you feel like you were listening to one of your closest friends or relatives tell you a story — the story of the very NASCAR race he was describing. He could paint a picture that would make Picasso or Rembrandt proud and tell a story that would awe Hemingway or Twain.”

Hall’s final broadcast was July 5, 2014 at the Daytona International Speedway.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Karen Carrier.

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