Tom Carnegie – The name itself evokes memories of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that those of us who love the place and the man will never forget.  His booming voice echoing off of the aluminum grandstands throughout the entire IMS facility.  “And Heeeeeeees On It” or “It’s a New Track Record” have become part and parcel of the vocabulary at IMS.

Tom passed away today at age 91 at a hospice in Indianapolis. He was the public address announcer for 61 years at the Speedway. For most of us, his voice was the only one we associated with the hallowed oval. In the 70’s his voice did not resonate with me as a young child. But, as I started to understand the mystique of IMS in the 80’s, I realized how much a part of the Speedway he truly was.  In 2000, my son got to hear his voice for the first time at the inaugural Formula 1 Race. I recall him saying, “Wow Dad, he DOES have a BIG voice.”  My son and I also got to meet him under the Paddock Grandstands at a refreshment stand in 2007 during Carb Day. He gave each fan that spoke to him a moment of his time and thanked them for saying hello to him or sharing a favorite memory. I remember being terrified to say anything to him. I often do that when I am face to face with greatness.

As can be seen on the Twitter Stream today, there are a lot of Indy Car fans expressing their grief over the passing of Mr. Carnegie.  Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the entire Carnegie family during this tough time. But rest assured, we the fans of IMS and the Man, will never forget him.

Godspeed, Tom Carnegie. Thank you for touching our lives in such a magnificent way.

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