GRAND Magazine - September/October 2018 - 22

cover story

Gone racing...
BY JONATHAN MICOCCI

P

aul (P.L.) Newman was his own man, and never more so than at the
track. He discovered his need for speed preparing for a starring
role in the 1969 film, Winning. Paul revealed "I always wanted to
be a jock. I skied and boxed and played football, badly. I had no physical
grace. The only thing I found any grace in was an automobile."
The actor began racing
at age 48, past retirement
age for many drivers, and
he won his last race at Lime
Rock Park in Connecticut
at age 82. His many victories were hard earned,
resulting from a passionate dedication of time and
resources. Two of his racing
teammates died in crashes
during his career.
Other actors and celebrities have been drawn to
the sport, but none have
brought the same level
of skill and commitment.
Racers came to regard him
as one of them, a driver first
and foremost. Millions of
movie fans might be surprised by Robert Redford's
assessment of Paul's priorities, "He wasn't so much divided between the
two. It was that film would come second to racing."
More than a driver, Paul found success as co-owner of Newman-Hass
Racing, a top-tier IndyCar team. Team drivers Mario and Michael Andretti,
Sebastien Bourdais and others gave fans of the open-wheel series some
22 GRAND

SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2018

of its most exciting moments, producing eight driver's championships,
and 107 wins.
In 2018, the Verizon Indycar Series became a partner of The Serious
Fun Children's Network, formerly the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps.
"There were two places where my dad loved to spend his time and could
truly be himself, at the track
and at camp," said Clea
Newman, daughter of Paul
Newman and ambassador
for Serious Fun.
Paul was successful in
amateur racing, winning
four Sports Car Club of
America national championships. In pro racing,
he was successful in the
Tran-Am series, and drove
with the class-winning (2nd
overall) Dick Barbour team
in the 1979 24 Hours of Le
Mans. At age 70, he drove
with the class winning team
at the 1995 24 Hours of
Daytona sports car race.
Click here for more racing
career highlights.
Paul's passion for speed
and his outsized impact on those around him is documented in the 2015
feature length film, Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman.

Click here to continue reading

A personal memory
We shared a love of sports car racing, so I got
to spend many days with him at Daytona
International Speedway. On one occasion in
2000 Dodge was getting ready to re-enter
NASCAR. A closed test session was scheduled
for the Dodge teams at Daytona and included
teams from Richard Petty and Ray Evernham. I
called the Petty folks and asked if I could invite
Paul down for the test. They were delighted and
said that if the car was running well, they'd put
him in. Well, one phone call to his assistant was
all it took.
Paul and A. E. Hotchner's son flew in for the day.
It was a picture-perfect winter day, bright blue
skies and cool temperatures. We were walking to
the garage area and in a spontaneous moment,
Paul turned, walked backwards and started singing ditties to me from "Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid." He spent most of the day tucked
under a car hood talking to the drivers and engineers. I think about him often and am so grateful for all the shared experiences and memories.
Sarah Gurtis
Continued on next page


https://www.twitter.com/grandMmagazine https://www.facebook.com/GRANDmagazine/ https://www.indycar.com/News/2018/05/05-11-SeriousFun-Network-INDYCAR-announcement https://www.seriousfunnetwork.org/ https://www.seriousfunnetwork.org/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Newman#Motorsports_career_results http://www.documentarymania.com/player.php?title=Winning:%20The%20Racing%20Life%20of%20Paul%20Newman

GRAND Magazine - September/October 2018

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