Tom Carnegie, the longtime voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has died at the age of 91. Indianapolis TV station WRTV, where Carnegie worked for many years, reports that Carnegie passed away on Friday, with family members by his side, after a long illness.
Carnegie joined the public address team at the Speedway upon its re-opening following World War II in 1946, and remained the iconic voice of the track until retiring in 2006. He served as the sports director for WRTV from 1953 to '85.
Carnegie was perhaps best known for his trademark "Heeee's on it!" call at the beginning of each qualification attempt for the Indianapolis 500.
"When you're talking about the Indianapolis 500 and the personalities who have made this event, I don't think anyone will be able to equal Tom Carnegie," Mario Andretti told WRTV.
"You could take him to Daytona, you could take him to Sonoma, it doesn't matter," added Tony Stewart. "You take him and put him on a microphone at a racetrack and, if you know anything about racing, you know who that is on the other end of the microphone."
“Tom Carnegie was a legend. He was such a huge part of the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Dario Franchitti. "The first time I went to IMS I heard his iconic, booming voice and I'll always remember his commentary of the races. He will be missed.”
Added Mari Hulman-George, Chairman of the Board of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp., "This is a very sad day for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and everyone worldwide who loved Tom Carnegie. Millions of race fans who never met Tom still felt as if they knew him because of his distinctive voice and his passion for the Speedway, its events and its people.
"Tom cared about everyone at the track, whether it was a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner or a young fan attending a practice day. He provided the soundtrack for the greatest moments of 61 years at IMS, and he never will be forgotten. Tom was a dear friend of four generations of the Hulman-George family, and we will miss him dearly."
Funeral services for Carnegie have not yet been announced.