CONCORD, N.C. - Hall of Fame broadcaster Barney Hall, a cornerstone of MRN’s NASCAR coverage since the network’s founding in 1970, died Tuesday from complications following a recent medical procedure. He was 83.
At the time of his death, Hall was in the company of long-time companion Karen Carrier – the love of his life.
Hall was born on June 24, 1932, in Elkin, N.C., the town he called home his entire life. After graduating from high school, he joined the Navy and served four years of active duty, during which Hall launched his radio career. He would return to his hometown and work as a disc jockey at radio station WIFM for 13 years.
Hall was widely known for his calm voice and unmatched storytelling. He was part of MRN’s award-winning race coverage since the network’s debut in 1970. Prior to that, Hall served as Bristol Motor Speedway’s first public address announcer, called his first Daytona 500 in 1960 and missed only four broadcasts in the 57-year history of "The Great American Race."
One of those was the "500" won by Matt Kenseth in 2012, when illness sidelined Hall. But as NASCAR returned to Martinsville Speedway one month later, fans once again heard a comforting, familiar voice over the airwaves.
Barney was back in the booth.
Hall remained an integral part of the network's NASCAR coverage throughout the next two years. On July 6, 2014, he worked his final race - calling Aric Almirola's rain-shortened win at Daytona International Speedway, which returned the iconic No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports entry to Victory Lane.
Hall's voice was heard on a number of special broadcasts in the months that followed. The National Motorsports Press Association named Hall its Broadcaster of the Year in 2014. He and MRN producer Darrell Smith teamed up to win another NMPA award in 2015. Barney was inducted into that organization's Hall of Fame in 2007.
In May 2012, NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame jointly announced the creation of a new award to honor the media’s contributions to the success of the sport. It carried the names of two legendary MRN broadcasters: Barney Hall and Ken Squier, who were also the first recipients.
Hall was recently recognized by the Motor Racing Network with an appreciation award for his 45 years of service.
Mr. Hall is survived by Karen Carrier, the love of his life for 35 years, an aunt and several cousins.