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Racing broadcaster Chris Economaki dead

Sept. 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM

WYCKOFF, N.J., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Longtime auto-racing broadcaster and journalist Chris Economaki died in a New Jersey nursing home Friday, the publication he founded announced. He was 91.

National Speed Sport News said Economaki wrote a column on auto racing for them for 74 years as racing grew from a dirt-track novelty into a major worldwide sport.

Economaki began writing about racing as a teenager in New Jersey and made a national name for himself in 1961 when he was hired by ABC as one of television's first racing correspondents.

During his career, Economaki was a fixture at the Indianapolis 500, Daytona, various grand prix venues and drag strips. The New York Times said his experience paid off particularly well as one of the earliest pit reporters, who ventured out of the press box and explained the details of how cars were maintained on the fly.

The Brooklyn-born World War II veteran spent 23 years at ABC and later spent time at ESPN and CBS.

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