Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Buddy Baker Steps Down from SiriusXM

I’m saddened to say that NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Buddy Baker announced Tuesday night that he has inoperable lung cancer.  Baker will be stepping down from his co-host position on the shows “Late Shift” and “Tradin’ Paint” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, effective immediately. 

The “Gentle Giant”, a Charlotte, North Carolina native, has won 19 races and 38 poles in what is now the Sprint Cup Series.  In 1980, not only did he win the Daytona 500 with an average speed of 177.602 mph, he also became the first driver to reach 200 mph on a closed course at Talladega Superspeedway.  Buddy Baker was one of NASCAR’s best superspeedway racers, winning one Daytona 500, one Southern 500, and three Coca-Cola 600s. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with Buddy and the entire Baker family during this very difficult time. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Byrnes Named Fifth Squier-Hall Award Recipient

Studio Host and Pit Reporter Enjoyed 30-Year NASCAR Broadcasting Career

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 4, 2015) — Popular FOX Sports broadcaster Steve Byrnes has been named the recipient of the 2016 Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Byrnes most recently served as the play-by-play announcer for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on FOX Sports 1 and was the network’s co-host of NASCAR Race Hub. He passed away in April after a long battle with cancer.

Byrnes will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 22, 2016 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

“For three decades, Steve’s hard work and humanity brought NASCAR fans closer to their favorite drivers,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “His passion for the stories and people he covered was always reflected in his work. Steve was respected for his professionalism and adored for his easy demeanor.”

From 2001-14, Byrnes served as a pit reporter for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on FOX. He also served as a studio show host and appeared on various programs.

Prior to joining FOX, Byrnes hosted a variety of NASCAR programs including Inside Winston Cup Racing with Ned Jarrett and Darrell Waltrip’s Racers on TNN. He also worked as a pit reporter for CBS, TNN and TBS.

His courageous battle with cancer served as an inspiration to the NASCAR industry, fans and his peers. In April, shortly before his passing, Bristol Motor Speedway named its Sprint Cup race the Food City 500 In Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand up to Cancer.

Byrnes was among eight nominees voted upon by a panel comprised of NASCAR and NASCAR Hall of Fame executives, journalists, public relations representatives and former drivers. The Squier-Hall Award was created in 2012 to honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport.  Legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall, for whom the award is named, were its initial recipients. Other recipients of the award include Chris Economaki (2014) and Tom Higgins (2015).

The other seven nominees for the 2016 award were:

Norma “Dusty” Brandel, the first woman to report from inside the NASCAR garage

Russ Catlin, one of the best-known early racing writers and historians, served as editor of Speed Age Magazine

Shav Glick, covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years, bringing NASCAR coverage to the West Coast

Bob Jenkins, served as the lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor at ESPN from 1982-2000.

Bob Moore, spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer including stints with the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer

Benny Phillips, spent 48 years covering NASCAR for the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, 27 years for Stock Car Racing and 12 years on TBS

T. Taylor Warren, best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, he covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association® (IMSA®) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit and, and follow NASCAR at and Twitter: @NASCAR.

About the NASCAR Hall of Fame
Conveniently located in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, opened May 11, 2010, and includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits, a 278-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Productions-operated broadcast studio. The venue is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week and has an attached parking garage on Brevard Street. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000-square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000-square-foot ballroom. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rowdy Returns

I'm back. #RowdyReturns
Posted by Kyle Busch on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It’s official, after weeks of speculation, Kyle Busch will be back behind the wheel in the No. 18 Toyota Camry for this weekend’s All-Star Race.  Busch, who has missed the entire Sprint Cup season so far due to injuries sustained in the February 21 Daytona International Speedway Xfinity race, has been testing Late Model cars in order to work his way back up to the Sprint Cup Series level.

We’re all left with one burning question:  will NASCAR give Kyle a waiver in order to be eligible for the Chase if he should win one of the next fifteen races before the Chase starts?  It seems that fans are split down the middle with their opinions on this topic.  Some are against it saying that he shouldn’t have been racing in the Xfinity race, but others state that it is NASCAR’s fault because the wall where Busch hit didn’t have SAFER barriers.  What do you think; should Kyle receive the waiver or not?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Stand Up for Steve

This is certainly something I never thought I would have to write.  Sitting here now, writing this, I can’t stop the tears from falling or my heart from aching. 

I’m going to tell you how I met Steve because it’s truly one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  It was July 4, 2011 and I had started my blog about a year earlier, but still wasn’t sure if I would continue, not thinking it was very good.  I remember checking my e-mail at 9:30 at night and saw an e-mail from Steve with the subject line, “Blog”.  Quickly, I opened it and it said,

            I enjoyed looking at your blog.  I admire your ambition and desire!
            Steve Byrnes

Sixteen-year-old me couldn’t control my excitement and ran downstairs to tell my mom, now knowing I would continue this blog.  One thing led to another and mid-August, I was at the [then] SPEED Studio watching a taping of RaceHub.  Once the taping was over, Steve and I went back to his office and I asked him questions about reporting, interviews, and what seemed like everything under the sun.  Just when I was about to leave, Steve looked at me and said, “Keep writing from the heart.  People will notice that and be able to identify with you.”  Those two sentences will forever remain engrained in my brain.  

Fast forward a year and I was back at the SPEED Studio playing intern for the day.  Steve and I watched the Summer Olympics (I distinctly remember, it was volleyball), I went to the production meeting, I helped find out information for a segment, he taught me how to do a voice over, and I played fashion consultant – picking out quite the nice outfit for him for that night’s episode of RaceHub. 

A year ago almost to the day, I had the privilege of visiting Steve when he started hosting RaceHub again.  I’m not a person who likes hugging, but once I saw Steve after his brave battle, I nearly ran to hug him. 

So, Steve, although I may not get to sit at the RaceHub desk with you, I will always have the memory of four years ago when I did.  I’m not entirely sure what you saw in me at sixteen, but I promise you, I intend on doing everything in my power to make you proud.  I’ll have some big shoes to fill – literally and metaphorically – but I’m up for the challenge.  Your smile is unforgettable, your courage is inspiring, and your humor is extremely contagious.  I will always cherish the times I spent with you.  You were so much more than a mentor to me; you were part of my family.  

“It’s been a long day without you, my friend, and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”  I look forward to the day when I get to see you again, sir.  Love you.   

Friday, March 27, 2015

Keep Fighting, Steve

I believe the power of prayer is a very strong force in this world.  If you would, please keep Steve Byrnes and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he continues his brave fight against cancer.  

Steve, we’re all cheering for you!