Longtime Indy 500 Announcer Bob Jenkins, 73, Dies of Brain Cancer: 'He Was One of Us'
Bob Jenkins, whose voice greeted motorsport fans for decades at the Indianapolis 500, died on Monday from brain cancer.
"Bob Jenkins lent his iconic voice to so many memorable NASCAR moments, telling the story of our sport to millions of fans for years," NASCAR said of 73-year-old Jenkins in a statement. "Though known for his immense talent as a broadcaster, Bob's passion for motorsports truly defined what it meant to be a racer."
"The motorsports industry lost a broadcasting legend and a friend with Bob's passing," the organization continued. "NASCAR extends its deepest condolences to Bob's friends and family."
According to Yahoo Sports, Jenkins called races for both NASCAR and IndyCar and was the chief announcer on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network for nearly 10 years. For his contributions, Jenkins was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Hall of Fame in 2019.
But, Jenkins — an Indiana native — took a step back from his role earlier this year after announcing his brain cancer diagnosis in February, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Signs of the disease first appeared on Christmas of last year when Jenkins began having an intense headache. After receiving a scan at a local hospital, doctors discovered two malignant tumors in his right temple, according to the outlet.
"With God's help and my beloved race fans, I'm going to make it," Jenkins said at the time. "I don't have a large family — I have a niece and a nephew — but I consider the first people I should tell is my family, and my family is my race fans."
The news came nearly a decade after Jenkins lost his wife, Pam, to brain cancer.
"Through all the successes, Bob never changed from what he truly was at heart — a race fan," J. Douglas Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said in a statement.
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"His humility and ability to always remain a fan — even when he was the top racing commentator in the sport — is why race fans around the world loved watching or listening to a race called by Bob Jenkins," he added. "He was one of us!"