A legendary motorsports journalist who called auto racing events for ABC, CBS and ESPN over four decades has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Chris Economaki, who earned the nickname “the Dean of American Motorsports,” was 91.
Economaki was recommended by NASCAR founder Bill France in 1961 to announce the Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway for ABC, marking the network’s first broadcast of a motorsport, the story notes. After that, he broadcast races for ABC and its "Wide World of Sports" through 1983. He then jumped to CBS, where he worked through the mid-1990s, the piece adds.
In 1987 and 1988, he broadcast Formula One telecasts for ESPN. He was the longtime editor of National Speed Sport News, writing his “Editor’s Notebook” column for more than 50 years. Under his leadership the weekly paper became known as the most authoritative publication on U.S. motorsports.
In 2006, the news conference room at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was named after Economaki, the piece notes.
Economaki appeared as himself in the racing movies "Six Pack" (1982) and "Stroker Ace" (1983).