To many, he is one of the all-time greatest Hollywood actors, to others in the younger set he is simply the happily smiling man on the front of salad dressings, but to hard core fans, he is Paul Newman, race car driver extraordinaire.
Yes, THAT Paul Newman was an adrenaline need for speed motorsports addict who eventually found himself more at home on the track than in front of a movie camera. (Of course, it’s a movie that introduced him to the sport, but we’ll get to that later.)
The big news is that his entire racing and motorsport career is coming to the big screen in a new documentary. Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman, produced and directed by car enthusiast and radio personality Adam Corolla, will premiere in Los Angeles April 16th before its nationwide release on May 22.
The movie chronicles Paul Newman’s racing passion, a passion which began midway through his life. The Academy Award winner actually started racing at the ripe age of 47, yes 47, the age most race car drivers have crossed into retirement. But age was no factor for Newman, who got hooked on the sport while training for his 1969 movie Winning.
Racing became such a big part of Newman’s life, it became more than a passion, but a place to prove himself once again, much like he did on-screen. Newman won four national championships in the SCCA, competed successfully in Trans-Am Series, and came in second in the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans while driving a Porsche 935. He also defied time, probably laughing at it with a sparkle in his blue eyes, as he kept at it late into his life taking home a class win at the 24 Hours Daytona in 1995 at the spry age of 70. He returned to the track for his epilogue in Daytonian in 2005 at the age of 80.
His motto can be pretty much summed up when he once said, “Winning isn’t everything, but it’s all there is.”
Even though he died seven years ago, Newman will always be immortalized by both his film and racing careers, but those who knew him best know which one mattered most to him. According to Robert Redford, who is featured in the documentary, Newman, “wasn’t so much divided between the two in that film would come second to racing.”
The movie’s Facebook page notes that the new documentary stars not only Robert Redford, but also Tom Cruise, Joanne Woodward, Patrick Dempsey, Jay Leno, Robert Wagner, Mario and Michael Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Bob Sharp, Sam Posey along with many others who raced with, and for Paul Newman.
This is one documentary we can’t wait to see.
Photo Credit: Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman