Bob Jenkins, who enjoyed a decades-long career on both radio and television covering different racing series including INDYCAR and NASCAR, passed away Monday from brain cancer. Jenkins was 73.
Jenkins’ smooth, sonorous voice offered both excitement and calming reassurance to race fans throughout his career. He often teamed in NASCAR with the late Benny Parsons, Jenkins playing the perfect event caller/straight man to Parsons’ jovial storytelling and insight.
Jenkins was a throwback to an era when the announcer went out of their way to not be the show yet were very much a part of it. He understood the art of calling a race, and when there was no great amount of action on the track bringing out from Parsons and sometimes Ned Jarrett a story or anecdote with which to keep the viewers entertained until things picked back up during the race.
Jenkins never over-dramatized a call. He let the race speak for itself, fleshing it out and giving it a voice to which fans both new to the sport and seasoned veterans could relate. Jenkins was serious and studious about his craft, but he also knew how to have fun and invite the viewers along with him.
God speed, Bob.