Dean of Motorsports, Chris Economaki passes away at 91

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.

John Boarman
John Boarman
Founder and Owner of Tireball Sports.


  1. About 10 years ago I was sitting at a small bar in Charlotte and the subject of cars came up between the bar tender and myself. The bar keep said, “…well you ought to talk to this guy (pointing to the elderly man next to me) he knows a thing or two about cars”.
    Wouldn’t you know it? It was the voice of racing since I was a little kid in the 70’s!
    This man rubbed elbows or interviewed all of them…Fangio, Ascari, Moss, Unsers, Brabham and on and on…It was a magical evening listening to and hearing the indelible voice of Mr. Econmaki.

    I know heaven has a microphone waiting for you!

  2. Chris will be always looked at as the Racing super star, the sports commentator who told it like it was, called so many events it is mind bogling to think of a number. Chris will always be the man for me, he knew his racing like few others can, this type of man only comes along once in a life time, im glad i got to be part of his glory and heard all the facts that he could bring into the sport. Chris made it look easy, he loved this sport to the max and it showed everytime he appeared in front of the camera. Im 64yrs old and have been watching Chris since the 1960s, i don’t cry very often but i will today, may the lord take you to a peaceful place,and the lord watch over you and farewell my friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. R.I.P. Chris, a gentleman and a racing scholar. I doubt we will ever see your kind again. I enjoyed our exchange of letters and opinions when I headed WRN and thank you for the many nice compliments on our productions.

  4. My sincerest condolences to the Economaki family. My late stepfather Ernest Talbot was a friend of Chris and always spoke very highly of him.
    We have lost a true Motorsports Legend, RIP Mr. Economaki.

    Scott Rowlands
    Camarillo CA

  5. Met him in a cafe about 10 years ago and recognized his voice from the table next to me. I smiled at him and asked if he was Chris Economaki and he smiled back so warmly and said yes.. It was a smile I’ll never forget, as memorable as his voice.
    The voice of auto racing.

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