ORLANDO, Fla. — Rick Lewis, the radio "Voice of Daytona" to millions of NASCAR fans, was killed in what police believe was a botched murder-suicide with his wife.
The 52-year-old studio voice of the Motor Racing Network, was found dead Wednesday night on a bed in his South Daytona home with a single gunshot wound to the head, police said Friday. Wanda, his wife of 35 years, was on the bed next to him, also shot in the head. A handgun lay between them.
Wanda Lewis, 51, was in serious condition at Halifax Medical Center. Detectives were hoping to interview her.
Investigators were uncertain who pulled the trigger, although the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that a radio dispatch message indicated Wanda Lewis had been tied up.
"Our listeners knew him well as the studio voice of MRN and the man who opened and closed each and every broadcast," David Hyatt, president of MRN, said in a statement. "He will be sorely missed."
Last Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, Lewis opened and closed the radio broadcast for the Pepsi 400, which was won by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Hyatt told the News-Journal that Lewis had recorded in advance the opening and closing sponsor credits for the Busch Series and Winston Cup races this weekend in Chicago.
Formed 30 years ago, MRN broadcasts are carried on 650 radio stations in 48 states. Lewis, a native of Lake Wales, Fla., had been with MRN for 18 years. He also had been broadcasting football, basketball, baseball and track since 1968.
Lewis' death is the latest tragedy for NASCAR. Seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt was killed Feb. 18 when he crashed on the final lap of the season-opening Daytona 500. Three NASCAR drivers also died in crashes last year.