NASCAR Mourns Loss of Prominent Motorsports Broadcaster Bob Jenkins

Published 08/14/2021, 3:31 PM EDT
May 30, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; The Borg Warner trophy sits with a bottle of milk on the yard of bricks before the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports


In a spot of tragic news, reports emerged that longtime motorsports broadcaster Bob Jenkins passed away. The 73-year-old was best known for his exemplary work in the Indianapolis 500 and in NASCAR. As it turned out, Jenkins lost his long-standing battle with with brain cancer.

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During his broadcasting tenure, he worked for ESPN, ABC and later on, NBCSN. Apparently, he has primarily worked on the IndyCar scene, but later moved on to become the IMS’ main announcer. Prior to Jenkins’ appointment, Tom Carnegie made the role famous for 60 years until 2006.

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Among other accolades, Jenkins received the Robin Miller Award at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is also worth mentioning that it was not the first time he has battled cancer. Back in the 1980s, he managed to survive colon cancer and went back to commentating. Sadly in 2012, tragedy struck when he lost his wife to cancer in October.

Bob Jenkins was a respected figure in NASCAR and IndyCar

“Bob Jenkins had an incredible passion for racing and his enthusiasm, combined with his genuine love and knowledge of the sport, endeared him to motorsports fans all over the world,” said Roger Penske. “His announcing career spanned nearly 50 years, and to an entire generation, the sound of Bob’s voice simply meant it was time to go racing. That legendary voice became the soundtrack for the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

May 30, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; The Indy series during the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Jenkins is best known for his baritone and the 1992 Indy 500. During that particular race, Al Unser Jr. managed to best Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds. Owing to that, it became one of the closest race finishes at the track and a truly memorable moment to commentate over.

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Last year, he had to retire from the role of IMS track announcer. This was because, doctors discovered two malignant tumors in his brain. After month of fighting, the commentating legend has finally succumbed and will be sorely missed.

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Dhruv George

12023 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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