Kenley ‘Ken’ Squier, a second generation broadcaster, who was the longtime voice of NASCAR died on Wednesday, November 15 at the age of 88.
Squier’s family started Radio Vermont Group with the purchase of 550 WDEV Waterbury VT the same year he was born with Ken taking over the company following his father’s death in 1979. Ken began working for the station as a child and began broadcasting racing at the age of 14. This would lead to him building Thunder Road International SpeedBowl in Barre VT in 1960 and becoming the public address announcer for Daytona International Speedway in 1965. In 1970, Squier partnered with NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. to launch Motor Racing Network. His profile would grow as he spent time with ABC and then CBS television in both news and sports. That would lead to him becoming the primary play-by-play voice of NASCAR in 1979 on CBS and TBS through 1997
While previously also owning 1150 WNDB Daytona Beach, Squier grew Radio Vermont adding 96.1 WDEV-FM Warren, 101.7 WCVT Stowe and 93.9 WLVB Morrisville to its current holdings. Squier would also host WDEV’s Saturday morning “Music To Go To The Dump By” comedy and music show from the 1960s until 2020. While still licensee, the stations have been operated by Steve Cormier since 2017.
Squier has been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, Vermont Sports Hall of Fame, Vermont Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame.
Motor Racing Network co-founder and its first anchor, Ken Squire passed away last night. Squier, also known for his time broadcasting NASCAR on the CBS Television Network and later with TBS, had just entered hospice care earlier in the day on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, after a long series of illnesses.
It was Ken, who was personally selected by NASCAR Founder Bill France Sr., to build a nationwide network of radio stations to cover the growing sport. Of course, Squier started with the obvious, his family owned WDEV-AM & FM in Waterbury, VT, and Daytona Beach’s WNDB-AM… both of which still air MRN programming today… and then went on to add hundreds more stations to air the very first MRN broadcast of the Daytona 500 in 1970.
“Whether from a bed of a logging truck at the Morrisville (VT) Speedway, or high atop the grandstands of “The Great American Race” in Daytona, Ken Squier’s eloquent voice entertained and educated millions of race fans, no matter the medium. His passion for stock car racing contributed mightily to its rapid growth throughout his 70-plus year career,” said Chris Schwartz, President of Motor Racing Network. “An entrepreneur to the end, Squier co-founded (along with Bill France, Sr.) the Motor Racing Network in 1970 and set the course that the network follows to this day. We will continue to honor his unique way of storytelling by bringing the excitement and passion of this incredible sport to core fans, casual fans, and first-time fans alike.”
Motor Racing Network plans to share retrospectives of his life on MRN signature program NASCAR LIVE at 7pm ET Tuesday, during the NASCAR Champions Celebration & Awards broadcast on Thursday, November 30th at 7pm ET, and again during the 2024 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony broadcast at 8pm ET on January 19, 2024.