Known affectionately as “The Dean of American Motorsports” legendary commentator Chris Economaki passed away at the age 91.
“The passing of Chris Economaki is a tough loss for me on both a personal and professional level, having known Chris throughout my life,” said NASCAR chairman Brian France. “Many people consider Chris the greatest motorsports journalist of all time. He was, indeed, ‘the Dean.’ 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. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughters Corinne and Tina and the rest of Chris’ family.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Economaki saw his first race at the age of 9 in Atlantic City and began selling copies of the National Speed Sport News at the age of 13. He later would become the editor of it and began writing a column called “The Editor’s Notebook,” which he continued for more than 50 years.
Economaki went on to become a commentator for ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” motorsports events, covering several Indianapolis 500s, Daytona 500s and other forms of racing.
Jeff Gordon tweeted that this was a “Sad week in motorsports losing Bob Newton & Chris Economaki. Both were pioneers & really meant a lot to the sport. They will be missed.”
Details on funeral arrangements have not been released.