"Voice of NASCAR" had a Bristol past
Barney Hall, one of the most influential and well-respected radio personalities in sports, passed away yesterday at the age of 83. Affectionately known as the "Voice of NASCAR", Hall was a wealth of knowledge about the world of stock-car racing and the way to effectively appeal to the masses over the radio.
Hall's career spanned decades, but one interesting fact stands above the rest in the Tri-Cities - Bristol Motor Speedway was one of the launching pads for his legendary broadcasting career.
Hall, a native of Elkin, N.C., began his career in the 1950's as a personality at local radio stations in the Tar Heel State, where he began attending races as the recipient of free tickets. His popularity and recognizable voice led to him being offered an opportunity to be the public address announcer at the newly built Bristol Motor Speedway (formerly known as Bristol International Speedway) in 1960. Hall was the first PA announcer at the World's Fastest Half-Mile alongside well-respected motorsports journalist Chris Economaki and local journalist Bob Montgomery.
Hall would cover his first Daytona 500 in 1950 and his PA duties at Bristol would lead to a position at the Daytona 500 Network, operating out of WNDB in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame recognizes Hall and fellow NASCAR media legend Ken Squier annually as the namesakes of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, presented to influential members of media in the NASCAR industry.
You can hear one of Hall's voiceover pieces he narrated for Bristol Motor Speedway here: