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If You Were Lucky Enough To Know Who Steve Byrnes Was…

By: Candice Smith  @Chief187s

Steve Byrnes

Steve Byrnes (April 14, 1959—April 21, 2015)

 

My breath is shallow, my heart is heavy, my eyes are watery.

Death once again rears its ugly head in the NASCAR garages.

This time it is cancer that ravages one of our own, but racing accident or illness or anything in between doesn’t matter. What is left is loss.

I did not know Steve Byrnes. Our paths never crossed so I won’t regale with what a wonderful human being he was, how kind and generous he was, or how bright that mega-watt smile was in person.

Others who knew him as a friend and/or colleague can do that with firsthand knowledge. I’ll read those and celebrate the man that was.

What I can do is tell you that Steve Byrnes was around when I started watching NASCAR in 1990. Byrnes was already a name in NASCAR reporting. As a fan of the sport I always enjoyed the human interest segments delivered on race day.

Byrnes worked with Ned Jarrett on Inside Winston Cup. I devoured those shows and especially enjoyed Byrnes’ personality, professionalism, and realism interviewing the top drivers of the day, especially my driver Dale Earnhardt. Byrnes always found the interesting stories to tell and share.

Once Dale Earnhardt died I left my NASCAR fandom for a number of years but when I returned in 2007 Byrnes was there to greet me on my television. His personality was the same if not even more authentic. He introduced me to a new roster of drivers and got me back on track about the sport.

For me Byrnes bridged the gap between the old and the new.

He added humanism to the sport when some felt it was becoming too commercial. Byrnes showed the fan that our heroes in the racecars were real men (and women).

I am relieved that Byrnes is no longer suffering.

But my heart bleeds for his widowed bride and their son. I ache for all the lives he touched personally and all of his fans who will miss him terribly.

I am one of them.

There are few people who can reach an audience as large as Byrnes did and keep it real.

Byrnes’ legacy will never cease.

The ripples he left on this Earth will keep reverberating.

If you were lucky enough to know who Steve Byrnes was, you were lucky.

Godspeed, Steve.  Say hi to Dale.

12 comments

  1. Excellent. Enough said.

  2. I will miss his smile. I will miss his humor. I will miss him.

  3. I am saddened and my heart is heavy with this loss. I was lucky enough to know Steve in a very small way! You see, I was a fan! I was fortunate enough to exchange tweets with Steve especially when Steve first began his battle. I was an encourager and I really thought he could beat this thing! But evidently God needed him more than we did. Now, we must remember his family left behind ! Green , White, Checkers my friend!! God Bless !

  4. So sorry for the families loss. I enjoyed watching Steve Byrnes on Nascar, he was a man who enjoyed his job and loved his family. Rest in Peace Steve and God Bless!!!

  5. you nailed it, nicely said.

  6. Paula Dugan Tozer

    Candice, so beautifully said and like Mike said you nailed it. I always loved racing but only became a Nascar fan about 5 years ago. Years after the death of my husband I meant a wonderful man who is crazy for Nascar and has been for over 30 years, well I knew I had to find out all I could about the sport and the driver’s so I tuned into Race Hub and Steve Byrnes. I couldn’t wait to tune in and listen to what Steve had to say and it just was not the same when Steve first took his leave of absence. He just had a special way about him and how he engaged those he interviewed and those watching the show. He got me excited for Nascar and all the races, no matter what series. Steve (also my late husband’s name) will be dearly missed. Loved that smile and the twinkle in his eye and will not forget it. My heart goes out to Steve’s wife, his son, all his family and friends and the Nascar world and all those in that world. Godspeed Steve, you were one in a million.

  7. I didn’t know him personally but have watch racing since I was little. Steve thanks for letting me know you. Please tell Dale Sr. I t h ink about him alot. But watching Dale Jr. His son trying to win.

  8. I am sorry for his wife and son. I didnt know Steve personally but i enjoyed watching him on nascar. He brought a lot to the sport and he will be greatly missed by many … Cancer is a terrible disease and i have had family members to pass away also from this terrible sickness. . I know that Steve is no longer suffering and commentating in heaven. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, son and family. Steve you will be greatly missed! !

  9. My family send their thoughts and prayers to Steve Byrnes family and his many friends….I have listened to Sirius radio and watched his tribute tonight on Race Hub and I am honoured as a fan to have had a tv connection to an amazing man….

  10. Well said, he will be missed. Prayers to his family and friends.

  11. That’s exactly what he brought to the sport. His caring personality is what came through his reports. He let you know the humanity behind the scenes. He will be sorely missed. Not Another like him. My thoughts are with his family and friends.Excellent article.

  12. We have lost another wonderful man; God Bless his family & the Fans who are grieving. Prayers to All. He will surely be missed by all.

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