Just days after the NASCAR world united to celebrate and honor Steve Byrnes, the legendary NASCAR announcer died of cancer Tuesday at the age of 56.
FOX Sports Megan Englehart relayed the tragic news:
On behalf of the Byrnes family, it is with profound sadness we relay the news that Steve Byrnes passed away today at the age of 56.
— Megan Englehart (@MeganFOXSports) April 21, 2015
NASCAR honored Byrnes over the weekend by changing the name of the Bristol 500 race to the “Food City 500 In Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer.” Following the event, Byrnes thanked everyone who supported his long fight with head and neck cancer:
Byrnes covered NASCAR for over 30 years but did not call a single race in 2015. He was a well respected analyst who worked for Fox Sports since 2001 covering Sprint Cup series races.
Several drivers and teams, including Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch, offered their condolences following the announcement:
Very sad to hear about our friend Steve Byrnes passing today. Huge loss for our racing family. He was one of the best ever! We will miss you
— Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) April 21, 2015
My thoughts n prayers are with the Byrnes Family. Steve was a great man, and a blessing to all that knew him. He will be greatly missed.
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) April 21, 2015
My hope is Steve was able to see how much he was loved & appreciated by so many. Rest easy friend. Prayers to his family. #ByrnesStrong
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) April 21, 2015
Stomach just dropped, truly saddened by the news of Steve Byrnes. A great friend & had the chance 2 do one of my 1st Hub interview w/ him. — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) April 21, 2015
We’re heartbroken about the passing of our friend Steve Byrnes. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone he touched. — Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) April 21, 2015
We are saddened by the passing of Steve Byrnes. Our prayers are with his family. We’re thankful to have known and worked with this great man — Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) April 21, 2015
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France also offered his thoughts on the huge loss for the sport:
Byrnes was married for 22 years to Karen Byrnes and had one son, Bryson, a 12-year-old student at Charlotte Christian School.
As the NASCAR world mourns the loss of someone who fought hard to survive, it’s hard to imagine life without Steve Byrnes in the booth moving forward. His professionalism and courtesy to the fans will be his legacy.
Visitation for Byrnes will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 27 at the Church of Christ in Fort Mill. A memorial service will then be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Palmetto Funeral Home in Fort Mill.