With Ken Squier reportedly not in good health, many NASCAR fans are giving their tributes to the man who set the standard for NASCAR broadcasting. He had many incredible moments behind the mic throughout his illustrious broadcasting career, and it is hard to narrow it down to a few. However, we have put together the five best Ken Squier NASCAR moments.
5. 1988 Daytona 500: “What a Tremendous Family Performance”
For nearly two decades, Ken Squier was the undisputed voice of the Daytona 500, so, naturally, many of his greatest moments came from this race. One of which came in 1988, when Squier called one of the most incredible moments in Daytona 500 history. The race came down to Father and Son, the grizzly veteran Bobby Allison and the young hotshot Davey Allison.
On this day, the age and experience of Bobby beat the youth of Davey. Squier, like in his best moments, called it home like only he could. The quote people remember him for on this day is, “What a tremendous family performance.”
4. 2015 Southern 500: Squier Returns to the Booth
For NASCAR fans of a younger generation, they did not get to hear Ken Squier in the booth. However, in 2015 at Darlington as a part of the new, “Throwback weekend” for the revitalized Southern 500, Ken Squier returned to the booth. He was joined in the booth by former partner Ned Jarrett and Kyle Petty.
Despite being out of the booth for nearly two decades, Squier never missed a beat. For a few laps, older fans were transported back in time while younger fans got a chance to hear the broadcaster every NASCAR broadcaster measures themselves against. It was a legendary moment as an iconic race was revitalized.
3. 2001 Daytona 500: “Whatever stock car racing is, Dale Earnhardt was.”
Credit to Mr Matthew CFB on Twitter for first posting this clip online. The 2001 Daytona 500 was a day of unspeakable tragedy, and broadcasters were faced with the near-impossible task of putting words to the death of arguably the sport’s greatest driver. Ken Squier joined the Fox broadcast as a studio host for the race that day, and there was no one better to try to put words to that tragic day.
He depicted what it was that made Dale Earnhardt relate to so many fans. It was an incredible tribute during a moment of great sorrow for NASCAR fans. Ken Squier put it into great words when he said, “Whatever stock car racing is, Dale Earnhardt was.”
2. 1976 Daytona 500: “The Winner is Car Number 21!”
One of Squier’s crowning achievements was co-founding the Motor Racing Network, and, before his TV broadcasts on TBS and CBS amongst others, he made his name on the radio. One such race was the 1976 Daytona 500, where Squier was tasked with calling one of the greatest and most chaotic finishes in NASCAR history.
As Richard Petty and David Pearson, the top-2 cars, were both crashing Squier guided the radio audience through the crazy finish. In the end, David Pearson took home the win, and Squier had another iconic radio call.
1. 1979 Daytona 500: “Hey There’s a Fight”
The 1979 Daytona 500 might be the most important race in NASCAR history. Ken Squier was the perfect commentator for the race, and his grandiose verbiage and colorful metaphors added incredible flavor to an incredible race. The call of the final lap and the ensuing aftermath may very well be the most iconic broadcast call in NASCAR history.
Squier guided the country through a finish that saw the broadcast crews struggling to find third place Richard Petty after Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison crashed out. Then Squier said the iconic phrase, “Hey, there’s a fight!” when camera crews panned to the fight. The race was iconic, and Ken Squier was the perfect voice for it.
It’s hard to imagine NASCAR getting to where it is today without Ken Squier. He was the undisputed “Voice of NASCAR” for many years, and he set the standard for NASCAR broadcasting.