Jul 4, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
Tom Higgins, a Charlotte Observer reporter that is credited as the first newspaper beat writer to cover the entire NASCAR schedule, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.
Higgins, who retired in 1997, will be honored during the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Jan. 30 and be part of an exhibit in the Hall of Fame.
He was part of a group of eight nominees that were up for the Squier-Hall Award, which is named for NASCAR broadcasting legends Ken Squier and Barney Hall.
While beginning his career in 1957 with the Canton (N.C.) Enterprise, Higgins started covering motorsports as a writer for the Asheville (N.C.) Times. In 1964, he moved to the Observer to cover the outdoors, but soon started to follow the stock car circuit as well.
“Tom Higgins helped establish what it means to be a NASCAR beat reporter,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in a statement. “For more than five decades, his words have told the story of NASCAR, and the people and emotions that define the sport.
“He has been much more than a reporter to those in the NASCAR industry – serving as friend and confidant to competitors, administrators and his fellow journalists.”
Higgins is also a recipient of multiple other awards pertaining to racing media, including the International Motorsports Hall of Fame’s Henry T. McLemore Award (1980) and the NMPA’s George Cunningham Award (1987). Additionally, he was NASCAR’s Bill France Award of Excellence winner in 1996.
These days, Higgins continues to write columns on motorsports from the nostalgia perspective for both the Observer and its racing site, ThatsRacin.com.
Video from NASCAR America
- Jeff Gordon would love to return to Saturday Night Live — and wants to bring Ricky Funck with him (video) 0
- 2-for-1: Jamie McMurray wins Martinsville pole, sets track record 0
- Caterham given dispensation to miss Austin and Brazil 2
- Caterham the latest team to fall foul of the Leafield ‘curse’ 1
- Administrator takes over running of Caterham F1 Team 1
- Remembering the Hendrick Motorsports airplane tragedy: 10 years later, it still seems like just yesterday 3
- Talladega mystery: Did missing woman even make it to NASCAR race? Second fan to disappear in 18 months 14