Sunday April 19 the NASCAR community held a race to support Steve Byrnes, who would then pass away just two days later. After a long battle with mouth and throat cancer, Byrnes who was also called the Mr. Rogers of NASCAR, would leave behind an amazing life and career, a legacy that will live on. For the last 30 years Byrnes was the warm, friendly voice behind NASCAR broadcasting, and everyone in this community is really feeling the loss.
Everyone who knew Byrnes knows that he was a humble, but hard-working man, and he treated everyone the same. Colleagues would say that he was professional and friendly, and everyone’s best friend. He loved his job and worked until the very last day he could. He did not talk about his cancer very often, but put up a hard fight. Racer’s and fans alike could not say enough wonderful things about this man, he was always a good reliable source for NASCAR, and he was a classy man. He did everything with integrity and kindness, and that is why there is such an outpouring of love for him.
Just two days before he passed, they had a race in his honor, it was the Food City 500 in support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer. He tweeted about the race that day, wishing he could be there, but he was too ill to attend. The race was to support Byrnes and other people fighting the disease.
Byrnes graduated from the University of Maryland in 1981 and moved on from their to be a television sport’s producer. He started out covering only NFL teams, and in 1985 he started to work for NASCAR, and eventually moved down to the racing pit. He worked for several large networks, but worked mainly with racing. He was also expected to by the lead announcer for the Camping World Truck Series.
NASCAR posted a video remembering Byrnes, and he truly exemplifies passion, and sincerity. It also talked about when he met his wife, and when his son Bryson was born, and how they were his two most important priorities. He seemed to have a way of charming everyone he interviewed, and was always honest and sincere in whatever the subject was about. Everyone around him knew that when he was around, they would be treated with respect. The video also explained that Byrnes was an amazing football player, with great agility, and that his son is following in his footsteps.
When reading posts about condolences and words of respect for Byrnes, people can see the amazing legacy he is leaving behind. Everyone that knew him feels his absence, and the absence good energy he brought to any situation. The NASCAR community will not be the same without him, but people can always remember him, and his warmth and personality will forever affect the lives of people who knew him. His legacy will also live on in his family, and they will always have all of that video of him, and all of those precious memories.
By Brooke Latu