Tom Higgins, longtime NASCAR writer for the Charlotte Observer, was named the 2015 Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence on Friday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He will be honored for the accomplishment during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 20, 2015 and will be featured in an exhibit in the Hall.
According to a press release from NASCAR, Higgins was the first beat writer to cover all the races on the NASCAR schedule. He was a NASCAR beat writer from 1980 until his retirement in 1997.
“Tom Higgins helped establish what it means to be a NASCAR beat reporter,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said. “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 won the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Henry T. McLemore Award for lifetime achievement in motorsports journalism in 1980, the National Motorsports Press Association Geoge Cuningham Award as Writer of the Year in 1987 and the NASCAR Bill France Award of Excellence in 1996. He was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame in 2011.
Higgins began his newspaper career at the Canton (N.C.) Enterprise in 1957. He began covering racing during his time with the Asheville (N.C.) Times. Higgins joined the Charlotte Observer in 1967 and was soon covering stock car racing for the paper. He originally started as the Observer‘s outdoor writer. He continues to write “motorsports nostalgia” stories for the Charlotte Observer.