- Awarded: 2014
Economaki was the editor, publisher and columnist for National Speed Sport News for more than 60 years, a weekly racing publication he began selling at race tracks at the age of 14. He began his television broadcast career with ABC in 1961 and with CBS Sports helped make the Daytona 500 one of racing’s marquee events.
The son of a Greek immigrant who was born in Brooklyn but spent most of his life in New Jersey, Economaki participated in the growth of automobile racing from its pre-World War II small-town and county fair circuits. He worked at the sport’s grassroots, alongside many historic promoters – including NASCAR founder Bill France – and went on to cover most of the 20th and 21st centuries’ greatest figures. He appeared in several racing-themed motion pictures and was part of the CBS broadcast team that won a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Special (the 1987 Daytona 500). He was awarded the 1990 NASCAR Award of Excellence and NASCAR Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Economaki is a member of several halls of fame including the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) Hall of Honor, Eastern Motorsports Press Association (EMPA) Hall of Fame and the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame.