Economaki Selected for Squier-Hall Award

Chris Economaki

Dale Earnhardt is interviewed by Chris Economaki following a win in the Miller High Life 400 NASCAR Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo: ISC Archives)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Chris Economaki, known as the “Dean of Motorsports,’’ has been selected as the third recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.

The announcement was made Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. The award is named after Motor Racing Network’s Barney Hall and former MRN announcer Ken Squier. They were the first two recipients of the award.

Economaki will be honored during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 29, 2014, and featured in a permanent exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Economaki spent more than 50 years as editor of National Speed Sport News and also was a broadcaster for ABC, CBS and ESPN. Economaki died last year at age 91.

“I ... wish he was here to enjoy it with us,’’ Hall said.

Economaki attended his first race at a board track in Atlanta City, N.J., at age 9. He began writing a column at age 14 and wrote it for 74 years. He brought racing to people across the country through his writing and broadcasting and was a mainstay at the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and many other races.

“He was motorsports,’’ said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, of Economaki. “He was a writer. He was a radio broadcaster and a television announcer. Certainly a deserving recipient.’’

Economaki was one of eight nominees for the award. The others were:

Russ Catlin, former editor of Speed Age Magazine.

Shav Glick, who covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years.

Tom Higgins, who covered motorsports for 34 years for The Charlotte Observer and was the first reporter to cover every race in a season.

Bob Jenkins, who served as the lead broadcaster for ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR from 1982-2000.

Bob Moore, who spent than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer with stints at the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer.

Benny Phillips, who spent 48 years covering NASCAR for the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise and 27 years for Stock Car Racing.

T. Taylor Warren, a photographer who covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008 and is best known for capturing the three-wide photo finish of the 1959 Daytona 500 that helped NASCAR determine the race’s winner.

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