Paul Newman’s day job was acting. His passion was car racing. And today marks five years since the silver screen icon and legendary team owner passed away.
Newman’s racing career was founded after his work in the 1969 movie “Winning,” which featured the famous line “Everybody goes to Milwaukee after Indy.”
Still, Newman caught the racing itch and embarked on a wildly successful career as a GT and Trans-Am driver beginning in the 1970s. His home track, Lime Rock Park, was the site of countless victories. Newman was one of the inspirations for Patrick Dempsey, whose four-part documentary series concluded last week chronicling his own and his team’s trip to Le Mans.
Newman and Carl Haas got together in the early 1980s and set up what became one of North America’s strongest teams for nearly three full decades. Their IndyCar program, with Mario Andretti, starred from its first year in 1983, and the team won more than 100 races and several championships.
Newman died this day in 2008, only a month after the team’s final victory, secured by Justin Wilson at Detroit Belle Isle Park. The team closed after 2011 due to a lack of sponsorship.
Besides his racing career, Newman’s philanthropic work was also something to appreciate. He founded the Hole in the Wall Camps – now called SeriousFun Children’s Network – and also, his Newman’s Own line of products was a direct revenue source into that charity. He was dedicated to helping children and lived out his passion.
We can only hope to match the level of class Newman exuded throughout his life, and always remember him on this day.