The motorsports world lost a legend today when Chris Economaki died at the age of 91. Economaki known as the “Dean of American motorsports journalism”, started his journalism career at the young age of 13.
Economaki first started selling National Speed Sport News back then and eventually became the editor of the popular magazine for over 60 years!
Economaki became a household name because of his great motorsports broadcasting moments. He was a staple of the Daytona 500 where he was used as a pit reporter for events like the ’76 Daytona 500 where Richard Petty and David Pearson crashed coming to the checkered flag. He was featured on both ABC’s Wide World of Sports and CBS Sports.
Economaki also called numerous Indianpolis 500′s, and was instrumental in bringing motorsports to the masses. The officials at INDYCAR had this to say when learning of Economaki’s passing, “INDYCAR and the world of motorsports have lost a true friend with the passing of Chris Economaki. The Dean of American motorsports journalists, Chris dedicated most of his life to reporting the sport of auto racing and telling the stories of the heroes of our sport. He was truly one of a kind. We send our thoughts and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.”
NASCAR Chairman Brian France also mourned the passing today, “The passing of Chris Economaki is a tough loss for me on both a personal and professional level, having known Chris throughout my life,” France said in a statement. “Chris was a fixture for years at NASCAR events, and played a huge role in growing NASCAR’s popularity. I’ll miss seeing him and of course, I’ll miss hearing that voice.”
However, Mario Andretti said it best when describing Economaki in an interview with NSSN, “If he wasn’t aware of you, you simply were not a factor in the sport,” Indy 500 and Daytona 500 winner Mario Andretti said in a 2004 interview with NSSN. “If you weren’t on Chris Economaki’s radar screen, you probably weren’t on anybody’s.”
From all of us at OneDirt.com our deepest condolences go out to the entire NSSN and Economaki family.