With the passing of legend Paul Newman on Friday at age 83, so many things drifted through my brain. The guy was a great actor (gotta love "Slap Shot" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"), entrepreneur and he was one of the most charitable individuals on this earth. He also was a member of this country's "Greatest Generation" and I have the feeling my grandpa, age 86, is lamenting Newman's passing this weekend.
But the thought that kept coming back to me is Paul Newman, above left with his wife Joanne Woodward in 1983, loved racing cars and he'll be sorely missed in racing circles around the globe. He raced cars and won races and titles; he owned racing teams and he never stopped loving the thrill of speed. As recent as 2005 he raced in the Rolex 24 at Daytona Grand-Am endurance race and his Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing open-wheel team won eight CART or Champ Car championships, most recently in 2007 with Sebastien Bourdais.
“I have come to know his passion, humor and above all, his generosity," said Carl Haas, co-owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. "Not just economic generosity, but generosity of spirit. His support of the team's drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary. His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him. We will truly miss him.”
-- Michele Vincze
Photo: The Associated Press