DOVER, Del. — Chris Economaki, a journalist regarded as the authoritative voice in motorsports for decades, died Friday. He was 91.
National Speed Sport News, where Economaki worked as an editor for more than 60 years, announced his death Friday. It did not release a cause of death. Economaki was known as the "Dean of American Motorsports Journalism," and worked in TV for more than 40 years with stints at ABC, CBS and ESPN. He was part of ABC's first telecast from Daytona International Speedway in 1961.
His love of motorsports blossomed as a child and he sold copies of National Speed Sport News as a teenager.
"Many people consider Chris the greatest motorsports journalist of all time," NASCAR chairman Brian France said. "He was, indeed, ‘The Dean.' Chris was a fixture for years at NASCAR events, and played a huge role in growing NASCAR's popularity."
Economaki, who switched from ABC to CBS in 1984, watched stock car racing branch out from its Southern roots to become a national attraction. The watershed year, he said, was 1984.