It is only fitting that the first member of the news media to be inducted into the National Midget A...uto Racing Hall of Fame began his career in midget racing.
Born in 1920, Chris saw his first auto race when he was nine years old at the Atlantic City board track and his first midget race at the Holmes Airport in New York City in 1934.
Midget racing came to the east coast in 1934 and Economaki sold the Bergen Herald’s weekly special race section titled “National Auto Racing News” in the grandstands. He also began writing a weekly column for the paper that year at the age of fourteen. Chris hung out at the famous “Gasoline Alley” in Patterson, New Jersey helping various midget drivers and earning his way to the tracks as a stooge for some of auto racing greatest names.
A little known fact about Chris Economaki is his work in setting up Duane Carter’s outboard powered midget during the 1938 season. Today the job would be classified as ”Crew Chief”. His one time experience at driving a midget was described as “A really frightening experience.”
After the second World War the “National Auto Racing News” resumed publication as “National Speed Sport News” and Chris became the editor. He later aquired control of the paper and his weekly column has become the must read for all of auto racing. His television work at some of the world’s greatest races has never diminished his love for the mighty midgets.
Surrounding himself with the nation’s best writers, Chris has established his paper as the most read publication in all of auto racing and himself as the “Dean” of auto racing journalists.