Steve Byrnes, a well-known NASCAR announcer and pit reporter, died of cancer complications Tuesday. He was 56.
Byrnes’ NASCAR career began in 1985 when he became host of TNN’s “Inside Winston Cup Racing.” He was also a pit reporter for CBS and TNN before moving to Fox Sports Net in 2001 as host of “Totally NASCAR.”
Byrnes remained at Fox for the rest of his career, where he covered races and hosted shows on Speed and Fox Sports 1. In 2014, he was appointed the play-by-play announcer for the Camping World Truck Series races on FS1, and in January of this year, Byrnes was added to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel.
The NASCAR community held Byrnes in high esteem, and his death has evoked kind words from many of the field’s key players.
Even President Obama weighed in on Byrnes’ passing at a White House event honoring NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick Tuesday.
“I also want to offer my condolences to everybody in the NASCAR community on the passing of legendary reporter and broadcaster Steve Byrnes,” Obama said. “I know a lot of fans’ thoughts and prayers today are with his wife, Karen, and his son, Bryson.”
In an interview with NASCAR Illustrated last fall, Byrnes articulated that he hoped his passion for NASCAR was genuine.
“I just want people to know that I care that much back,” Byrnes told the magazine. “At the end of the day, when my career is over, that I really did care. I wasn’t doing this just as a job.”