Continuing my articles on the newest nominees for the Hall of Fame. This week, I highlight Ken Squier.
Ken Squier has been synonymous with racing for years. He can be heard in many great racing calls from over the years. He even coined the term “The Great American Race”. His radio career started at a rather young age. He began working at his father’s radio station, WDEV at the age of only 12. Ken inherited the station after his father’s death in 1979. Ken continues to own the station today.
Ken Squier’s race announcing career started at a young age as well. His first race was at a small dirt track in his home state of Vermont when he was only 14. He became the track announcer at three different New England tracks during the 50’s. Those tracks being Malletts Bay, Northeastern Speedway and Monadnock Speedway.
He opened his own track, Thunder Road International SpeedBowl, in 1960 in Barre, VT. Just like the radio station he continues to own the track today. The track is best known for running its races on Thursday night’s rather than Saturday like most small town short tracks. A few years later, he was part of a group that created Catamount Stadium. Sadly that track closed in 1987.
The 60’s were a busy time for Ken. After opening two tacks in the years prior Ken would co-founded Motor Racing Network with Bill France Sr. in 1969. He would announce races for MRN until he moved to TV in 1971.
Ken’s big TV debut was on ABC as a pit road reporter at the first flag-to-flag covered race, The Greenville 200 in 1971. He joined CBS Sports the following year. He became a lap-by-lap commentator 1979 with the first flag-to-flag covered Daytona 500. He would work the booth for CBS till 1998 when he was replaced by Mike Joy. Ken would move to the studio and stay there till 2000 when NASCAR would break away from CBS. He continues to work for NASCAR in different ways, narrating pre-race shorts, driver introductions at select races and even was called back to the booth to call part of last year’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 alongside another broadcasting and racing great Ned Jarrett.
Ken Squier will always be remembered as a great broadcaster, even years after he’s gone. Which I hope won’t be anytime soon.
What do you think? Will Ken Squier be a first year inductee? How long do you think it will take before he does get inducted? Let us know how you feel.