Legendary motorsport broadcaster and former ‘Voice of the Indianapolis 500’ Bob Jenkins has died at the age of 73, following a valiant battle with cancer the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced on Monday. Jenkins attended his first Indianapolis 500 in 1960 and was a staple of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing for over five decades and was one of only four commentators on ABC’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500.

Jenkins was involved in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in one form or another for over forty years and speaking about the 1992 Indianapolis 500 which was won by Al Unser Jr who to this day holds the record for the closest finish in the 105-year history of the Indianapolis 500 as he won by just 0.043s from Scott Goodyear.

Jenkins described this race saying:

The checkered flag is out, Goodyear makes a move, Little Al wins by just a few tenths of a second, perhaps the closest finish in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

Jenkins attended his first “500” in 1960 and said he had only missed two races since – in 1961 when he couldn’t get anyone to take him, and in 1965 when he was on a trip as a high school senior. He came to the track last May while fighting his illness to receive the Robin Miller Award, where he made a brief, poignant acceptance speech and was warmly received by a large group of friends and admirers from the racing community and media.

Jenkins was one of the first on-air employees of ESPN when it launched in 1979. For more than 20 years, he was the lead voice of NASCAR races for ESPN and occasionally ABC, including the first seven Brickyard 400s at IMS. His pairing with former stock car drivers Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons became one of the popular trios in motorsports broadcasting history.

Jenkins announced in February this year that he would be scaling back his work commitments as he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

In a tweet on Monday, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said:

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of legendary motorsports broadcaster Bob Jenkins.

He will be truly missed by race fans around the world.

Bob was one of the kindest, most genuine people anyone could meet, and his legacy will live forever.

President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, J Douglas Boles tweeted:

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