It’s been reported that Paul Newman first took an interest in auto racing while filming the 1968 motion picture Winning, in which he played the role of an Indy 500 driver. Since then, he has won more championship races that Oscars, way more.
His first win was in 1972 at Thompson, Conn., in a Lotus Elan. While developing his skills as a sports car driver, he also competed in a modified stock car at Daytona. In 1977, he finished fifth in the 24 Hours of Daytona and two years later co-drove a Porsche 935 to second place in the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Paul Newman earned his first of four SCCA National driving titles in 1976 in the D-Production category. He also won titles in the 1979 C-Production class and was the GT-1 champion in both 1985 and 1986. His first professional Trans-Am victory came at Brainerd, Minn. in 1982, and he followed that with another win at Lime Rock in 1986.In 1983, Paul joined forces with long-time racer Carl Haas as co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing, with Mario Andretti as the team’s driver. The Newman/Hass racing team has done quite well over the years. Their highlights include:
- * Most successful team currently participating in the Champ Car World Series with 97 victories and seven titles
- * Second in Champ Car history with 100 pole positions
- * Only team in Champ Car history to win titles with five different drivers (1984, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2004-06)
- * Finished 1-2 in the Champ Car season standings in 2004 and 2005
- * Winners of at least one event in 23 of 24 seasons
We came across this 1970’s video on YouTube of the Annual Ontario Motor Speedway’s Celebrity Pro Am Race for Charity with Newman reporting and driving with the likes of Al and Bobby Unser, Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti. Some of celebrities that joined the professional drivers and the pit crew were Chuck Conner, Artie Johnson and Glenn Ford. We hope you enjoy this video as much as we did. You can find it here on the YouTube website.
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