Legendary motorsports broadcaster and widely-known voice of NASCAR and IndyCar on ABC/ESPN coverage for decades, Bob Jenkins, has passed away at the age of 73, after a courageous fight with cancer.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway confirmed the sad news on Monday.
The Liberty, Indiana-native announced in February 2021 that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer, after a further examination of a stroke that he suffered in December 2020.
Jenkins’ began his tenure as a television anchor with ESPN in 1979. As the network’s coverage of NASCAR began in the 1980’s, it was Jenkins who was named lead anchor, a designation he held until NASCAR moved on from their broadcasting deal with ABC/ESPN after the 2000 season.
After his time covering NASCAR races from the booth was over, Jenkins stayed very busy as the voice of the Indianapolis 500 with the IMS Radio Network, and he also served as the lead anchor for Versus, and later NBC’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500.
Jenkins, in his time as a NASCAR broadcaster, as part of the famed three-man booth along with NASCAR Cup Series champions Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett.
The golden-voiced announcer was in the booth for many iconic moments over the years including the epic 1992 NASCAR Cup Series championship battle at Atlanta between Alan Kulwicki, Bill Elliott and Davey Allison, the first-ever Brickyard 400 that was won by Jeff Gordon, as well as both times that Dale Earnhardt “rattled Terry Labonte’s cage” at Bristol in 1995 and 1999.
Jenkins’ passionate work during his Indianapolis 500 coverage earned him a 2019 induction into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.
When asked how he wanted to be remembered in the sport, Jenkins had a famous response.
“All I want to be remembered as is a race fan who got a job in radio or TV. For some reason, people liked me,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins was a consummate professional and had gained adoration from millions of fans of motorsports over the years. Jenkins, one of the best to ever hoist a broadcast microphone, will very much be missed.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.