Bob Jenkins

BOB JENKINS enjoyed a distinguished career in race broadcasting, in both radio and television, and after retiring from broadcasting in 2012, he was a much-sought-after master of ceremonies at racing functions. The Liberty, Indiana, native was one of the first on-air employees of the ESPN cable network when it launched in 1979. From ’79 until 2000, he anchored NASCAR races on ESPN and occasionally ABC, including the first seven Brickyard 400s. Jenkins’ voice was heard globally from 1990-1998 as the chief announcer, or “Voice of the 500,” for the worldwide Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network broadcast of the Indianapolis 500, after several years of reporting from other positions around the Speedway. Along with his NASCAR and IMS work, Jenkins anchored, for accomplished Indy-based producer Terry Lingner, ESPN’s popular Thunder series broadcasts of USAC Sprint and Midget car events, and he was host of the SpeedWeek show on ESPN, also produced by Lingner. From 2009-11, Jenkins anchored IndyCar races broadcast by the Versus network (now NBCSN) until his decision to retire in 2012. Along with frequent emcee duties, Jenkins stayed busy with public-address work at IMS and elsewhere. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in early 2021, and after a valiant fight with the disease, he died Aug. 9 of that year at age 73.

Year Inducted: 2019