By Freddie Heaney:
An 83-minute documentary “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman,” premiered in Los Angeles recently and is scheduled for nationwide distribution at select theaters, starting May 22 in Indianapolis. All screening proceeds will be devoted to charity.
Paul Leonard Newman, who died Sept. 26, 2008, aged 83, was an acclaimed race car driver and team owner with a 35-year involvement in motor sport, while continuing a successful film career. Extraordinarily, he didn’t begin car racing until his forty-eighth year, yet won four SCCA national titles as a driver and eight Champ Car driver’s championships as a co-owner of Newman-Hass Racing.
He also finished 2nd overall and 1st in GT class at Le Mans 1979 in Dick Barbour’s Porsche 935 with teammates Rolf Stommelen and Barbour. At 70 he became the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a major sanctioned race, his Ford Mustang finishing 3rd overall and 1st in GTS-1 class at the 1995 Daytona 24 Hours with teammates Tommy Kendall, Michael Brockman and Mark Martin.
An even greater measure of the man and, perhaps, less well known was his philanthropic pursuits. His Newman’s Own food company has donated $430 million in profits to date, to charities. He also founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children.
A man of rare ability, Newman’s passion for racing began while studying for his role in the 1969 racing film “Winning.” The new film is directed and produced by Nate Adams and comedian and car enthusiast Adam Carolla, who has owned, restored and raced seven of Newman’s former race cars, most of them Datsuns or Nissans.