Fox Sports announced that announcer Steve Byrnes passed away on Tuesday. He was 56.
Byrnes had been battling head and neck cancer after he was diagnosed in August of 2013. Sunday's race at Bristol was renamed to be the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and many in and around NASCAR paid tribute to him throughout Fox's coverage of the race.
He joined Fox in 2001 when the network picked up NASCAR rights. He was scheduled to be the network's lead announcer for Camping World Truck Series coverage in 2015.
“NASCAR extends its condolences to the many friends, FOX Sports colleagues and family of Steve Byrnes," NASCAR Chairman Brian France said in a statement. "Whether you had the privilege of knowing him or if you watched him on television for the last three decades, Steve’s work ethic and authenticity made him a beloved individual inside and outside the garage.
“His level of professionalism was matched only by the warmth he showed everyone he met. He battled cancer with tenacity, and was a true inspiration to everyone in the NASCAR family. Simply stated, we’ll miss Steve dearly. Our thoughts are especially with his wife Karen and son Bryson during this difficult time.”
Before that, he had covered NASCAR for CBS, TBS and TNN. Byrnes played football for a season at James Madison before he transferred to the University of Maryland, where he graduated with a degree in Radio, Television and Film.
He's survived by his wife of 22 years, Karen, and his 12-year-old son Bryson. According to Fox, funeral services are pending.
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