Legendary Voice Of Indy 500 Dead At 73

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YouTube / Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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An Indiana native with an iconic voice, Bob Jenkins lead an illustrious career in sports broadcasting and became known as the “Voice” of the Indy 500.

Bob was a storied broadcaster with a true passion for motorsports. Every time he picked up a microphone or stepped in front of a camera, you could quickly tell how much the sport meant to him.

Often he was quoted summarizing his career as “I was just a race fan who got lucky.”

But luck had little to do with it. As a kid, he became obsessed with racing and watching the cars whiz around the track close to 200 mph. Just out of college, he snapped up a job as a radio news reporter and quickly began working toward sports broadcasting.

Jenkins would go on to become one of the very first ESPN anchors when it debuted in 1979. Over the next 25 years, he grew to become an iconic face and voice of various motorsports – easily earning a spot as host of SpeedWeek.

Throughout his tenure as a sports broadcaster, he worked with a multitude of networks for various races, series, and shows.

His most famous broadcasting moment came in 1992 during the year’s Indy 500 – when he called one of the closest finishes in the history of motorsports.

“Al Unser Jr. has the lead, one more turn to go. Here they come, coming to the finish line. Bob Jenkins, who’s going to win it?,” Bob Lamey said, handing the mic off.

Jenkins picked right up, calling it: “The checkered flag is out. Goodyear makes a move. Little Al wins by just a few tenths of a second, perhaps the closest finish in the history of the Indianapolis 500. Al Unser Jr. has become the first second-generation driver to win an Indianapolis 500. Al Unser Jr. has done it, holding off the challenge from Scott Goodyear.”

Bob Jenkins was a true rare part of broadcasting in any sport – and a treasured part of the NASCAR and IndyCar families.

He passed away at the age of 73 after a months-long fight with brain cancer. Sadly, his wife also passed away from brain cancer just under a decade ago.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.

Watch the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s video tribute to him below.