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Friday, September 28, 2012

R.I.P. Chris Economaki, the "Voice of American Motorsports" -and so many great weekends of my youth; #chriseconomaki

cjs3872 video: 1973 Indianapolis 500, Part 4 (The Start). Updated November 13, 2011. http://youtu.be/CysanZ78eBo

R.I.P. Chris Economaki, the TV Voice of American Motorsports -and so many great weekends of my youth.

Yes, back in those pre-cable TV days of only a handful of TV channels, when the day my Sports Illustrated magazine arrived in my mailbox, usually a Friday, was one of the highlights of the week. (In fact, the first issue I ever received as part of my subscription, in 1971, when I was ten years-old,  was of driving legend and ABC Sports analyst Jackie Stewart on the cover.)

Between ABC Sports' always excellent coverage of racing, including Wide World of Sports,  and SI's excellent news analysis and penetrating photography of motor sports -back when they had Indy-style racing on the cover more frequently than they have the past 20 years- I always knew what was really going on and who really disliked whom, when feuds were real and not always so contrived or orchestrated for marketing purposes.

By the time the Memorial Day weekend finally rolled around and Race Day arrived, I knew who all the drivers were, what their recent history had been, and which drivers or teams desperately needed to win or do well to keep going because of lack of sponsorship money.


USA Today
Chris Economaki changed motor sports coverage
by Nate Ryan, USA TODAY Sports
September 28, 2012
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/nascar/story/2012/09/28/chris-economaki-changed-motor-sports-coverage/57851350/1


The multi-day 1973 Indy race featured in this video, eventually won by Gordon Johncock, back when ABC's coverage was Taped, Same-Day coverage, and NOT LIVE, which made the waiting all the worse, was one of the most deadly and tragic in Indy 500 history, with the death of two drivers, a pit crew member and several fans being seriously injured during a horrific crash. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_Indianapolis_500



georgendy video: Uploaded February 16, 2008. http://youtu.be/X-IsOuo5be8

 
http://youtu.be/9yb9drI1XHk

Salt Walther's accident comes at 2:43, Swede Savage's deadly crash at 6:41 

Even now when watching thsi video, when the late-great Jim McKay goes thru the eleven rows of the starting drivers, I can almost recall what I was thinking, excited to see another race day come to Indy. When I think of those drivers now, this is exactly the way that I picture them.

And Chris Economaki as much if not more than anyone else, was the person most- responsible for filling my youthful head with all sorts of useful racing facts, telling historical anecdotes and amusing raceway trivia nuggets, to make me as fully prepared as possible to follow the race with some degree of understanding and intelligence -more than a thousand miles away in hot and humid North Miami Beach.
Little did I know then when listening to his informed words, that in just a few short years, Indiana would become a very important part of my life, as it remains to this day.


New York Times
Chris Economaki, Rumbling Voice of Auto Racing, Dies at 91
By Douglas Martin
Published: September 28, 2012
Chris Economaki, whose gravelly broadcast voice and prolific pen — specifically, his manual Royal typewriter — narrated the rise of auto racing from county-fair dirt tracks to a global multibillion-dollar business, died on Friday in a nursing home in Wyckoff, N.J. He was 91.
Read the rest of the article at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/29/sports/chris-economaki-rumbling-voice-of-auto-racing-dies-at-91.html

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