September 25, 1919
Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.
|Died||February 11, 2011
Zionsville, Indiana, U.S.
|Alma mater||William Jewell College|
|Occupation||Public Address Announcer, Sports Broadcaster|
|Known for||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Public Address Announcer|
Tom Carnegie, (born Carl Kenagy; September 25, 1919 – February 11, 2011) was the public address announcer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1946 to 2006. His signature calls while at IMS were "He's on it" and "It's a new track record," which were said many times during his tenure. Carnegie died on February 11, 2011 at age 91.
Carnegie's father was a Baptist minister, which led to moving the family during Carnegie's childhood from Connecticut to Waterloo, Iowa, Pontiac, Michigan and finally Kansas City, Missouri. Carnegie graduated from William Jewell College in 1942, a four year liberal arts college in Liberty, Missouri, 10 miles northeast of Kansas City. Carnegie was afflicted with a 'polio type' illness while in college during his junior year which led to partial paralysis in his leg. Before being afflicted, Carnegie played on his college baseball team.
The illness led to his entering into extemporaneous speech and debate competitions, and was quickly a star debater. During one such competition he entered a sports radio contest, which he won.
Upon graduation, Carnegie took his first radio job with WOWO radio in Fort Wayne, Indiana, before taking a job in Indianapolis, Indiana. While in Fort Wayne, Carnegie broadcast Fort Wayne Pistons games. While living in Waterloo, Iowa, Carnegie would listen to radio broadcasts of a young Ronald Reagan and credits Reagan with being one of his main broadcasting inspirations and influences.
While in Indianapolis, Carnegie would announce antique car shows and was approached in 1946 by new Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman about being the Speedway's announcer. It was 20 years before Hulman began to pay Carnegie for his work. Carnegie would serve in this capacity until his retirement in 2006 and became "the voice of the Speedway". His signature phrases race fans came to know and love hearing included, as a driver would come down the front stretch to take the green flag signaling the start of the driver's qualifying four lap run, "...annnnnd heeeeeeeeeeee's ON-IT!". And, following a particularly good qualifying run, "...race fans, you are not going to believe this....iiiit's a nnnnnnewwwwww traaaaack record!"
In addition to his PA work at the Speedway, Carnegie, from 1953 until retiring in 1985, was sports director for WRTV, originally WFBM-TV, in Indianapolis.
Carnegie also served as the PA announcer for the Indiana State High School Basketball championships during this time. He, along with his broadcast partner Hilliard Gates, coined the elongated called of "Heee missed it." Carnegie had a small role in the 1986 film Hoosiers, where he portrayed the PA announcer at the championship game held at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse on the campus of Butler University.