Fox Sports' NASCAR announcer Steve Byrnes died Tuesday, April 21, after losing his long battle to cancer. He was 56.
Byrnes' family confirmed the announcer's death with a statement to Fox Sports. "Mr. Steven Patrick Byrnes, age 56, of Fort Mill, S.C., went to be with the Lord on April 21, 2015," the statement read. "Steve enjoyed a successful and highly respected television broadcasting career for 30 years. He joined the FOX Sports family in 2001, hosting and reporting for multiple NASCAR programs and serving as a pit road reporter for NASCAR on FOX's broadcast of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 2001-2014."
The network also released a statement to Us Weekly on Tuesday, confirming the broadcaster's death. "It is with tremendous difficulty and deep personal sadness that FOX Sports acknowledges the passing of longtime FOX NASCAR broadcaster, Steve Byrnes, after a lengthy battle with cancer," the network told Us.
"A symbol of strength, compassion and dignity, Steve, 56, was a source of inspiration to everyone, sharing his fight in a very courageous and public way. Honored just days ago at Bristol Motor Speedway with the FOOD CITY 500 IN SUPPORT OF STEVE BYRNES AND STAND UP TO CANCER, race fans, race teams, NASCAR and track officials, co-workers, friends and family came together to surround him with a remarkable display of love and respect. A shining example of husband, father, friend and consummate professional, Steve Byrnes will forever be remembered as one of the good guys — his time with us cherished and appreciated."
Prior to his death, Byrnes was a play-by-play announcer and co-host for NASCAR. Before joining Fox Sports, he reported for CBS, TNN, and WTBS.
During his long career covering NASCAR, he also got to know many of the drivers on a personal level, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, and others.
— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) 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
So sad to hear that @SteveByrnes12 passed away. His last tweet-"I went the distance",You did my friend. Heaven gained a real fighter today!
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) April 21, 2015
Indeed, that is exactly what Byrnes wrote in his final tweet to a fan on Monday, April 20.
@maxinem I went the distance
— Steve Byrnes (@SteveByrnes12) April 20, 2015
NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France issued a statement to Fox Sports on Tuesday, mourning the loss of the TV personality.
"NASCAR extends its condolences to the many friends, FOX Sports colleagues and family of Steve Byrnes. Whether you had the privilege of knowing him or if you watched him on television for the last three decades, Steve's work ethic and authenticity made him a beloved individual inside and outside the garage," France said. "His level of professionalism was matched only by the warmth he showed everyone he met. He battled cancer with tenacity, and was a true inspiration to everyone in the NASCAR family. Simply stated, we'll miss Steve dearly. Our thoughts are especially with his wife Karen and son Bryson during this difficult time."
Byrnes is survived by his wife Karen, to whom he was married for 22 years, and their 12-year-old son Bryson.
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