CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – The motorsports world is mourning the loss of longtime NASCAR broadcaster Ken Squier after a close friend announced his death Thursday morning.

“Ken earned his wings last night at 8:20 PM ET, surrounded by his incredible, loving family,” Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio host Dave Moody wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “I grieve for the loss of my dear friend and lifelong mentor, but rejoice in the fact that his pain and struggle are over.”

Squier, who worked at CBS Sports covering NASCAR for many years, died in Vermont at age 88, according to the management of the local WDEV radio, which he owned.

“Though he never sat behind the wheel of a stock car, Ken Squier contributed to the growth of NASCAR as much as any competitor,” Jim France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR, said in a statement.

“His calls on TV and radio brought fans closer to the sport, and for that he was a fan favorite. Ken knew no strangers, and he will be missed by all.”

NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt Jr. also posted about the broadcaster’s death on social media.

“Ken Squier was there when Nascar was introduced to the rest of the world in 1979 for the Daytona 500,” Earnhardt said on X.

Earnhardt said Squier significantly impacted NASCAR.

“I’m convinced that race would have not had its lasting impact had Ken not been our lead narrator,” he said. “We still ride the wave of that momentum created on that day. Kens words and energy were perfection on a day when Nascar needed it. I am forever grateful for his major role in growing stock car racing. RIP.”

Ken Squier
Broadcasting from the CBS Sports production booth, announcer Ken Squier is photographed at the Daytona 500 on February 18, 1979, at Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Moody had been sharing updates on Squier’s condition via social media prior to his death. In a thread posted to X on Sunday, Moody detailed several health issues that Squier had battled in recent years.

“The last three years or so have been extremely difficult … with a series of health challenges that included a nasty case of shingles, an near-fatal bout with COVID, a minor stroke and a real recent fall that left him with a fractured pelvis,” Moody wrote. “Amazingly, he seemed well on his way to rebounding yet again, until another medical issue this week proved too much for even Kenley to overcome.”

At the time, Moody relayed a message from Squier’s family that the broadcaster was “almost certainly in his final days.”

Squier was moved out of a hospice facility on Wednesday in order to spend “whatever time remains” at home, the Squier family announced via Moody.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.