DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2016) – NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame today announced longtime High Point (N.C.) Enterprise reporter and sports editor Benny Phillips as the sixth recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.
Phillips spent 48 years with the Enterprise, serving as its sports editor for 32 of them. He will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 20, 2017 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In addition to his time at the Enterprise, Phillips wrote for Stock Car Racing magazine for 27 years and spent 12 years with TBS. The prestigious Squier-Hall Award is the latest in a long list of accolades bestowed upon Phillips during, and after, his exemplary career. Phillips was named the NMPA Writer of the Year seven times, won the NMPA Joe Littlejohn Award in 1977, the IMHOF Henry T. McLemore Award in 1978, the Buddy Shuman Award in 1986 and the NMPA George Cunningham Award in 1988.
Phillips, who battled polio throughout his life, died in 2012 at the age of 74.
“Benny Phillips told the engaging stories that transformed our drivers into heroes, and with it developed a deserved reputation as a trusted confidant whose determination and affable personality made him a beloved fixture in the NASCAR garage,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “Benny delivered the stories of our sport to millions of NASCAR fans on a daily basis through newspapers, books, magazines and television. This award has been given only to the giants of his industry, and unquestionably, Benny was exactly that.”
Phillips penned four books, including Dale Earnhardt’s autobiography “Determined,” which he co-authored with fellow NASCAR reporter Ben Blake.
Phillips was among eight nominees voted upon by a panel comprised of NASCAR and NASCAR Hall of Fame executives, journalists, public relations representatives and former competitors. The Squier-Hall Award was created in 2012 to honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport. Legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall, for whom the award is named, were its initial recipients. Chris Economaki, Tom Higgins and Steve Byrnes have since won the award.
The other seven nominees were:
Norma “Dusty” Brandel, the first woman to report from inside the NASCAR garage
Russ Catlin, one of the best-known early racing writers and historians, served as editor of Speed Age Magazine
Shav Glick, covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years, bringing NASCAR coverage to the West Coast
Bob Jenkins, served as the lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor at ESPN from 1982-2000.
Bob Moore, spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer including stints with the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer.
T. Taylor Warren, best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, he covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008.
Steve Waid, covered NASCAR for more than 40 years for the Roanoke Times & World News, NASCAR Scene and NASCAR Illustrated.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www.NASCAR.com and http://www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (’NASCAR’).