Newman Offered a Quiet Example
By Brendan Moore
Paul Newman’s death last week at 83 caused me to reflect on just how many things Newman could do well, including, of course, driving a racecar.
Many people that knew about Paul Newman’s film accomplishments and his charity work knew very little (or nothing) about his racing career. But the guy could flat-out drive. The reason that many of his fans knew so little about his driving exploits is that he didn’t brag about his racing prowess; in fact, he really didn’t talk about racing except with other racers. As in the rest of his life, he was very self-effacing and genuinely modest.
Newman mostly raced modified sports cars in endurance events, and he won a lot of them. He won the IMSA Class at LeMans in 1979 driving a Porsche 935 with Rolf Stommelen and Dick Barbour. They came in second overall in a close finish. He raced in the Baja 1000, he raced at Sebring, and he raced at Daytona. He raced in the Trans-Am Series. He won four SCCA national titles in three different classes.
In 1983 Newman teamed up with Carl Haas to form Newman-Haas Racing, which won seven championships as their drivers racked up 97 total wins as a professional racing team.
Oh yeah, he also made more than 65 movies, some of which will forever be considered cinematic classics, was married to the same woman for 50 years, made millions of dollars for charity by founding and running a food products empire and opened summer camps for sick children.
He accomplished all of this with grace and style and with a minimum of fuss and personal drama. The personal construct of admirable results and genuine personal humility that Paul Newman lived in is a rare combination is this world and worth consideration by all of us.
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