If you were never there in person to hear for yourself, it's incredibly difficult to explain the effect Tom Carnegie's sonorous voice could have on an event as epic as the Indianapolis 500. Carnegie - who passed away Friday at the age of 91 - was THE voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for six decades.
Unlike the crass and tasteless 'modern' track announcers who seem to believe they are being paid by the word - Carnegie had a flair for the dramatic as his exhortations during Indy's annual qualifying parade made even a four-lap, single-car run bristle with excitement - his every word echoing to fill the circumference of the two-and-a-half mile oval.
Anyone who was in attendance to hear his trademark call of "heeeeeee's on it!" or "it's a newwwwwww trackkkkk recordddddd!" likely never forgot it. When I made the annual trek to the 500 - whether my bank account could afford it or not - one of the highlights of the entire trip was hearing his voice crackle over the PA on race morning - welcoming the crowds who had made their pilgrimage to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
It's hard to imagine one without the other - Tom Carnegie and the Indianapolis 500. The Man and the Voice will be missed...