ELKIN - Elkin native and NASCAR Hall of Famer Barney Hall will be honored Friday for his “indelible” media career in the sport.
In recognition of Hall’s half-century broadcasting career and his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday, Elkin Mayor Lestine Hutchens has declared the day as “Barney Hall Day” in Elkin.
“In honor of Barney Hall’s distinguished NASCAR anchoring career and his recognition with the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, I proclaim Feb. 8, 2013 as ‘Barney Hall Day’ in Elkin,” Hutchens released in a statement.
Hall, a Elkin native who got his start at local radio stations in the area, will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday. The sport also announced the creation of a new award to “honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport.”
The award - dubbed the “Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence” - will bear the names of the first two award winners (Hall and fellow broadcaster Ken Squier) and will be handed out annually to recognize media personnel along with the Hall of Fame honorees.
“Media have played an important role in the growth and popularity of NASCAR over the years by telling the stories of legendary drivers, championship moments and week-to-week action to millions of fans across the world,” Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO, said. “The voices of Barney Hall and Ken Squier are an indelible part of our sport’s history and we couldn’t be more pleased to recognize their long and outstanding careers.”
In addition to the award, a special exhibit will be created as part of the existing media section within the NASCAR Hall of Fame to recognize the careers of Squier and Hall, as well as honorees in the years to come.
Hall began his career in the 1950s working at local radio stations in North Carolina and served as Bristol Motor Speedway’s first public address announcer when the track opened. He called his first Daytona 500 in 1960, and has missed only three broadcasts in the 54-year history of ‘The Great American Race.’
Hall joined Motor Racing Network (MRN) as an original announcer at the network’s inception in 1970, first as a turn announcer before moving to the booth in the late 70s, where he has been a fixture ever since at race tracks from coast to coast. The Elkin native, who is widely known for his “calm voice and unmatched storytelling,” was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame in 2007.
Hall has called a number of the sport’s milestone moments, including the landmark 1979 Daytona 500, Richard Petty’s 200th-career victory in 1984 and Dale Earnhardt’s 1998 victory in the Daytona 500.
Following Friday’s ceremony, five nominees for the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence will be selected by a panel made up of NASCAR executives, NASCAR Hall of Fame staff, and the president of the NMPA, among others.
From there, a voting panel will select an annual winner of the award, beginning with the third honoree (Squier and Hall are the first two) in 2013. According to the Hall of Fame, it is anticipated the annual award winner will be announced in June, approximately one month after the Hall of Fame inductees are announced.
Squier-Hall Award winners will remain eligible for NASCAR Hall of Fame induction. Likewise, current and future inductees who made significant contributions as a member of the media will be eligible to win the Squire-Hall Award.
For more information on the NASCAR Hall of Fame, located in uptown Charlotte, or on the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, visit www.NASCARHall.com
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.