SPARTA, Ky. - Kentucky Speedway mourns the passing of highly-regarded, long-time FOX Sports NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes following a two-year battle with head-and-neck cancer.

"We share the sorrow of the NASCAR community and are keeping Steve's wife, Karen, and son, Bryson, in our thoughts," Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger said.

"Steve was among the first to bring our sport to national television audiences and was well respected for his enthusiastic, dedicated approach to quality reporting. His genuine interest in others enabled him to form meaningful, lasting relationships with drivers, fellow broadcasters and fans throughout his distinguished career. He will be missed and forever remembered."  

Byrnes, 56, was born in Chicago and raised in New Carrollton, Md. He began covering the sport in 1985 with CBS, The Nashville Network (TNN) and WTBS. He joined FOX Sports' NASCAR team as a studio host, pit-road reporter and play-by-play announcer in 2001. He became a primary co-host of the network's daily evening RaceHub news show from 2010-2014.

Tonight's 60-minute RaceHub was dedicated to Byrnes memory and opened with tributes from colleagues Adam Alexander and Danielle Trotta.

"It's a sad day for all of us at FOX Sports and in the entire NASCAR world. We learned earlier today that our good friend, Steve Byrnes, passed away after a long fight against cancer," Alexander said.

"Today is a day we'd prayed would never come and a moment we hoped we'd never have to share together, but we wanted to pay tribute to a good friend who meant so much to so many of you," Trotta reflected.

The show continued with comments from current and former drivers along with broadcasters who knew Byrnes best.

NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer Brian France conveyed the thoughts of the sanctioning body. 

"NASCAR extends its condolences to the many friends, FOX Sports colleagues and family of Steve Byrnes," France said.

"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.

"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."

- Kentucky Speedway -