Chris Economaki, Renowned Motorsports Journalist, Dies at Age 91

Friday, September 28, 2012--Chris Economaki, Dean of Motorsports Journalism, died early this morning at age 91. Economaki was known for his distinctive voice and incisive analysis as both a columnist for National Speed Sport News (a paper he worked for as a teenager and eventually bought) and as a broadcaster working for ABC, CBS, ESPN and TBS. He watched and chronicled the careers of most of our racing heroes including that of A.J. Foyt whose comments are below.

ďChris Economaki meant a whole lot to my career. He saw me when I first started and he said Iíd be the next one coming up whoíd be a good race driver. †He wrote, You will read about this boy. †I donít remember if it was Ted Horn or who, but he compared me a couple times to these old greats which I felt very honored. I think he respected me and I respected him. He was a good friend. I really enjoyed his stories and itís a shame to see good writers like him pass on.

To be honest, Chris was writing when racing was at its very best. Iím talking about midgets, sprints, dirt cars and Indy cars. He saw the sport grow to where it is today and how it grew, including NASCAR. †And he contributed to that growth. Iíd say when he was in his heyday of writing that more people would read his column than any column thatís been written today by faróI know I did. And Iím not the only person who says that. He really knew what he was writing about and he understood the sport in every field of it because he came through all the different types of racing. Todayís writers havenít done that and they donít understand racing like Chris did.

Sometimes you didnít agree with all his articles, but one thing about it, you might not agree today when he wrote it but in the next two or three weeks what he said happened, so you have to give him credit.Ē