Several Tributes To Atlantic Team Owner Paul Newman Throughout the week leading up to this afternoon’s Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season finale at Road Atlanta, teams and drivers in the series have been paying tribute to Newman Wachs Racing co-owner Paul Newman, who passed away last Friday at the age of 83.
Every car in the Atlantic field is carrying special decals with Newman’s initials, “PLN,” and Newman Wachs Racing drivers Jonathan Summerton and Simona De Silvestro have also been wearing “PLN” patches on their firesuits. Prior to this afternoon’s season finale, a moment of silence will be observed for Newman, and a special remembrance is also planned for this evening’s Awards Banquet at the Chateau Elan Resort & Winery.
“Paul Newman was a racing icon, and we were fortunate to count him as a team owner and friend in the Atlantic Championship,” said Atlantic Championship President Vicki O’Connor. “Our hearts obviously go out to Paul’s partner, Eddie Wachs, the Newman Wachs Racing team, and all of Paul’s many friends and family as they continue to deal with this loss. We hope our tributes will provide some comfort to them.”
A long-time racing driver and team owner, as well as an Academy Award-winning actor, Newman joined forces with Wachs to field an Atlantic Championship team for the first time in 2006. Now in its third season of Atlantic competition, the team celebrated its first series victory with De Silvestro in the 2008 season-opener at Long Beach driving the No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Entergy entry. Summerton has since added two wins—at Edmonton and Road America—and will start this afternoon’s race from the pole position in the No. 36 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Entergy machine. Summerton could bring the team its first Atlantic Championship title, as he enters the race trailing points leader Jonathan Bomarito by just seven points.
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