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National Speed Sport News publishes last issue


NickHolt

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Very sad news to us oldtimers who, back in the days before the net, relied on National Speed Sport News for information about racing in other parts of the country. Chris Economaki made the publication what it became and truly was a man of vision and a genuine concern and love for the racing community.

 

Here are a couple of artilces, both from the NSSN

 

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Trying To Digest Some Heartbreaking News

 

by Dave Argabright

 

FISHERS, Ind. — The news came sharp and hard, bringing a dizzying blow and settling deep in the gut where it lay there and ached.

 

National Speed Sport News is ceasing publication and closing, effective with this issue.

 

For a few moments I couldn’t fully grasp what this meant. The greatest media institution in motorsports history, destined to exist only as a grand memory.

 

There isn’t any good way to digest this news, because this newspaper has been a great deal more than ink and paper. It has been our community, our identity, our trusted friend. A weekly visitor that brings news and information and a connection to the sport we deeply love.

 

It is perhaps a sign of the times, where shifting consumer habits have reshaped the world of information and media. But if you’re looking for analysis, I offer none; today I’m simply too sad about the “what” to care very much about the “why.”

 

This newspaper has informed and influenced the sport for 77 years; throughout that period no media entity held greater respect and credibility than Speed Sport News. Since 1934 the people involved in the paper made it professional and solid; yet, it never felt like a distant corporate entity. It was something that belonged to all of us; it was our paper.

 

It is impossible to measure the impact this publication has had. Collectively, you can trace the growth of motorsports directly through these pages. Four generations of readers have pored over the words and photos, gaining greater understanding and appreciation for our sport.

 

In the early, pre-war years when racing steadily grew, Speed Sport News was there. During the post-war boom, Speed Sport News was there. Through the dynamic 1960s and ’70s, and into the ’80s and beyond as racing moved into the mainstream, Speed Sport News was there. Throughout, this newspaper never wavered from its mission: to provide the most accurate and comprehensive coverage across the widest spectrum of motorsports.

 

But the real impact of this paper was on the individual. For those of us fortunate enough to have been directly involved, it literally changed our life. From the people in the office to the writers and columnists and photographers from across the land, we were proud to be associated with an exciting and earnest and vitally important entity.

 

And so it is with the group that perhaps most acutely feels the loss on this day — the readers. How many of us have savored that little surge of excitement as we opened the mailbox to see this logo? How often have we leaned back to study the pages, nodding and chuckling and grumbling and smiling and folding it up with the knowledge that what we read was important and meaningful?

 

That’s what I will miss the most: Holding the paper in my hands, learning, listening, reading between the lines.

 

Of course, my emotions include great disappointment for the people most directly affected by today’s announcement. For Corinne Economaki and her devoted staff, who now find themselves out of a job amid an economy that is still a long way from healthy. For the advertisers, to whom Speed Sport News provided a steady flow of customers and commerce. For the series and tracks and teams and their sponsors, who were followed each week on these pages.

 

It leaves us wondering: Where do we go from here? What will take the place of this newspaper in our lives? What entity will emerge that can deliver all the things this newspaper provided?

 

How will I reconcile the fact that there isn’t going to be that moment of excitement and satisfaction each week when the paper arrives at my house?

 

This is one of those moments where the present does not provide enough depth to fully interpret what this means. It will likely take some time — weeks, months, perhaps years — before we will adequately gauge the void this newspaper leaves with its passing.

 

But for today, we simply look back across those 77 years and say: Thank you. You inspired us, entertained us, enlightened us, and yes, defined us. National Speed Sport News was at the very heart of our sport, and anybody who even briefly touched these pages will never forget the role it played.

 

For the sport, for the players, for all of us.

 

Goodbye, old friend. It won’t be the same without you.

 

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And another about the history of the paper:

 

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National Speed Sport News is often and accurately described as “The bible of Motorsports.” Since 1934, the year midget cars led the proliferation of racing in the United States, National Speed Sport News has been the authoritative voice of the sport, providing race coverage that is timely, reliable and colorful. National Speed Sport News is the only auto-racing periodical available on microfilm at the Library of Congress.

 

Edited by the legendary Chris Economaki since 1950, and written by racing’s most talented reporters and columnists, National Speed Sport News is the weekly must-read for serious fans, drivers and crew, and industry leaders alike.

 

While most racing publications concentrate on a specific geographic region or a particular type of racing, National Speed Sport News is the only publication that covers every series, every track, every week.

 

Although the paper’s bedrock principles haven’t wavered, in many ways National Speed Sport News reflects the changing world of racing and society in general.

 

This website, www.nationalspeedsportnews.com, illustrates the paper’s commitment to delivering top-notch racing news and information in multiple media, to serve the needs of the broadest possible range of readers – from longtime, faithful supporters, to newer readers who see National Speed Sport News as their ticket to being a well-informed enthusiast.

 

For advertisers, National Speed Sport News remains an ideal vehicle for reaching a high-demographic audience of racers and serious fans. The paper and website not only provide an attractive, contemporary environment for delivering a marketing message, it also opens up a number of creative opportunities for advertising agencies and sponsorships.

 

At National Speed Sport News, we are proud of our heritage and of the newspaper we deliver to tens of thousands of mailboxes and over this Web site every week.

 

Although National Speed Sport News is the most recognizable name in motorsports journalism, we invite you to spend a few minutes learning more about the paper, its history, its mission and its people.

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I was a frequent contributor to NSSN over the years as was my writing mentor, Bruce Mabrito. I'm sure many other Texas writers graced the pages of that great weekly. Perhaps a few will chime in here with their thoughts.

 

Nick

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An unfortunate victim of technology. I took NSSN for years, but the advent of computers made the information instantaneous, rather than waiting for the mail to arrive.

 

NSSN will live on through it's website, which has two option: $15 per year gets you full access to the site, or free, which comes with some limitations.

 

But what I will really miss is the articles by Chris Economaki, Dave Argabright, and others.

Economaki has forgotten more of the history of this sport than any of us will ever know.

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Never had an article published in NSSN, but I did sell it one year at both Texas Dirt Speedway and Shady Oaks Speedway back in the mid 90's.

 

It is the sign of the times. Once the internet became widespread, it was just a matter of time before the actual paper was left behind.

 

Sad day, RIP NSSN.

 

Bill "Sarge" Masom

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i've grown up on it. ....reguardless of being behind a week. my grandfather has passed them off to me and my brother for as long as i can remember. that sux.

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