SpeedFreaks and Friends Celebrate the Life of Paul Newman
Beginning with Mario Andretti and ending in his own words of thanks, SpeedFreaks dedicated their full 2 hour show Sunday night to one of the most respected, loved and admired men in motorsports, Hollywood and around the world, Paul Newman.
Actor, Director, Driver, Team Owner, Philanthropist, Father, Husband and just plain racing fan was how many of us knew Paul, but Sunday’s show was a time for his true racing friends to tell us about the ‘PL’ they knew.
Andretti began his comments by saying, "Anyone who was fortunate enough to get to know [Paul] [knew that] he was a guy you could thoroughly enjoy in every sense of the word.” And then Mario went on to laugh about Paul ‘going for it’ on his surf jet and creatively paying Mario back on some overdue debts.
NASCAR star Kyle Petty also had some great stories about the 'guy on the salad dressing bottles'. When talking about how his Victory Junction Gang Camp got started, Kyle told an interesting story of how Paul’s business people denied Kyle and Pattie Petty of a funding opportunity. But when Paul found out about it himself, he told Kyle to just go ahead and start building because he would personally help them.
Further in the interview, Kyle compared Paul Newman’s impressive racing talents to his father ‘The King’ Richard Petty saying, “I’m not sure that the King could even jump back in a race car and pick it up two or three laps into it [like Paul did].”
In addition to Mario and Kyle, other guests in the SpeedFreaks pits included Sports car shoe and close friend to ‘PL’, Christian Fittipaldi; Paul’s Godson, NASCAR and IndyCar driver Stanton Barrett; Indy 500 and Champ Car Champion Gil de Ferran and Paul Newman’s two current drivers, each of whom gave Paul a win this year, Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson.
All of the accolades and shared ‘Cool Hand’ Newman stories that were told by these motorsports personalities can be heard by going to SpeedFreaks' media page and downloading the podcast audio, found HERE.
Paul Newman was a man of many dimensions, and each dimension was full of passion and meaning. He was a complete man. He was a passionate man who believed. A passionate man who never stopped believing in the righteousness of the human spirit and it’s need to be fed.
Paul Newman was a man who could easily become the yardstick by which others could measure themselves.
On behalf of everyone in motorsports, we were so fortunate to have had him in our racing family.
And in Paul’s words himself, “I wanna thank all of you for your generosity… and your devotion to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps… [and regarding life in general], just lay back and raise hell… bye!”