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Jul 1, 2007 09:42 AM EST

'Chasen Racen' Co-Host Jack Christensen Loses Bout With Cancer

By TOM SKIBINSKI, DIRTCAR RACING NORTHEAST PR


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Weedsport, NY - Long-time radio personality Jack Christensen, who gained wide-spread popularity through the show ‘Chasen Racen’ on Dundee, New York’s WFLR station, passed away Friday morning June 29.

Calling hours will be Monday, July 2 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm at the Townsend-Wood Funeral Home on East Elm Street in Penn Yan, N.Y. The service will be there at 11 am Tuesday morning July 3. Cards can be sent to Jack’s wife, Chris Christensen, at 224 East Main St. Penn Yan, NY 14527

Christensen shared duties behind the studio microphone with founding co-host Allen ‘Doc’ Bishop covering the local auto racing scene, and 30 years after the Southern Tier show started the tradition finally came to an end Oct. 10, 2005. Jack’s health began to deteriorate three years prior and just before ‘Chasen Racen’ was carried over the airwaves for the final time he was diagnosed with another cancerous condition, this time far more serious. Most recently he became confined to a hospital bed after declining further chemotherapy and Hospice had tended to him daily. Bishop passed away in 2001.

The duo of Christensen and Bishop gained thousands of loyal listeners over three decades, even spawning racing-related radio shows in the area like Track Wide Highlites on WGVA in Geneva, N.Y., Track Talk on WACK in Newark, N.Y. and Life In The Fast Lane on WVIN in Bath, N.Y. Their common goal of supporting the local racers was the main concern and they never let that idea go away. Jack befriended some of the best racers in the Northeast including DIRT MotorSports Hall of Famers Dave Kniesel, Kenny Brightbill and the legendary Dutch Hoag.

Late in the 1990s, Bishop fulfilled his dream of becoming a car owner and fielded a Super Stock at the local Dundee Speedway. The friendship with Christensen grew even more with that venture as Doc and Jack built the car themselves, utilizing the talents of area drivers like Bill Miller, Steve Perry and future Chasen Rasen co-host Doug Mattison.

Jack often credited the show’s success to officials like DIRTcar PR mogul Jack Burgess and DIRTcar founder Glenn Donnelly, along with all the track promoters and fellow members of the press. With the radio station going to almost all automation and his health problems worsening, in autumn of ’05 Jack decided that 30 years would be the limit for Chasen Racen. Despite the termination of his own, Christensen remained a fill-in on all the local radio shows as the listeners appreciated his knowledge of racing and the history that accompanied it.