|The late Steve Byrnes and his son Bryson|
credit: NASCAR Media/FOX Sports
One year ago this month, FOX Sports NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes lost his battle with head and neck cancer, just days after the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer. This week in Fast Facts, we remember the newest recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR media excellence at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
- Steven Patrick Byrnes was born April 14, 1959 in Chicago, IL and raised in Maryland. Byrnes was the quarterback for Largo High School’s football team as well as a pitcher on its baseball team; he graduated from the school in 1977, and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1981.
- After college, Byrnes was hired as a weekend sports producer locally, then became an on-air personality in Nov. 1982 in South Carolina, where he worked until Jan. 1985. Following that stint, he was hired by Sunbelt Video to host Inside Winston Cup with Ned Jarrett, his start in NASCAR. He went on to work for TBS, TNN/Spike, CBS and FOX, mainly in motorsports. From 2001-2014, Byrnes was a pit reporter and fill-in host for NASCAR on FOX, and was the co-host of NASCAR Race Hub on FOX Sports 1.
- In Aug. 2013, Byrnes was diagnosed with early-stage head and neck cancer, and after treatment was deemed cancer-free early in 2014. Later in the year, he was diagnosed with a recurrence of stage 4 head and neck cancer, and took a leave of absence from work in Oct. 2014.
- On April 19, 2015, Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the tribute race, which had more than 4.5 hours of rain delays and went into overtime. Byrnes, watching the race from home, responded to a fan on Twitter who asked if he watched the entire race “I went the distance” – it was Byrnes’ last tweet before he passed away on April 21.
- Byrnes is survived by his wife Karen and son Bryson, who delivered his father’s completed ballot for the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame to the committee on May 20, 2015. Byrnes was honored as the Squier-Hall Award recipient in Jan. 2016 as part of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.