Carl Haas: 1930-2016 (Update)

UPDATE The following are quotes and a Video Tribute from INDYCAR drivers and officials on Haas:

MARIO ANDRETTI (driver for Newman/Haas Racing from 1983-1994, 1984 Indy car champion, 18 race wins with team): "Carl had a heart of gold and a deep commitment to our sport. He earned the respect and admiration of his competitors and all those who drove for him through the years for being tenacious yet fair. In fielding teams in various series from SCCA to Formula One, Carl always sought the best equipment, the best drivers and the best team personnel. His legacy especially in Indy cars will be his phenomenal record of victories and championships, thanks in part to the great supporting cast I just mentioned. When I recall the joys of my whole career, I have to include my tenure at Newman/Haas because of the people. Spending 12 seasons with Carl and (wife) Berni and Paul Newman was amazing, triumphant, relentless work and heartwarming. All of it. The sport has lost a colorful character, but Carl Haas is unforgettable. He will always be an icon in motorsports and myself and so many others have lost a dear friend."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI (current owner of Andretti Autosport; driver for Newman/Haas Racing from 1989-1992, 1995-2000): "I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carl Haas. Carl was an icon to our sport and the automotive industry, and I owe a great deal of my career's success to my time with Carl and the Newman/Haas family. Paul and Carl built what was undoubtedly one of the greatest teams in history; I am truly honored to have been a part of the legacy they built."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (current driver at KVSH Racing; driver for Newman/Haas Racing from 2003-07, won four consecutive championships from 2004-07): "It is with great sadness that I heard the news of Carl's passing. Back in 2002, Carl gave me the opportunity of a lifetime when he hired me to drive the second Newman/Haas Racing in CART for the 2003 season. He did so with no sponsor to run the car, and I will be forever grateful for the faith he placed in me. From 2003 to the end of 2007, the whole team became a real family to me, thanks to him, Berni and Paul, who had successfully assembled the best group of guys I ever worked with. Today, I can only feel privileged to have been able to contribute with poles, wins and championships to Carl's racing legacy. My deepest condolences to Berni and their family. Carl, you will be dearly missed.

DOUGLAS BOLES (president, Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "Carl Haas fielded cars for some of the best drivers in the world and his leadership and competitive spirit caused Newman/Haas Racing to become one of the most successful teams in our sport's history. The Indy car community was fortunate to have his personality as part of its family and Mr. Haas' legacy of excellence and winning will long be remembered."

MIKE LANIGAN (current co-owner at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; former co-owner at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing): "As a partner of Carl's for four years in INDYCAR, I got to know him as a generous and kind individual whose whole life's purpose was racing. I have always had the respect for the man who achieved so much success on and off the track. He lived the American dream in starting his career under humble beginnings and achieved his accomplishments through hard work, long hours and determination. Isn't that what this country is all about? He will be sadly missed, but never forgotten."

MARK MILES (CEO, Hulman & Co., parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "All of us at INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are saddened to hear of the passing of Carl Haas. His contributions to our sport were immeasurable and the success of Newman/Haas Racing solidifies his place as a legend in motorsports. We send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time."

GRAHAM RAHAL (current driver at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; driver for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing from 2007-10): "Carl Haas was one of the legends of our sport, a person whose passion for racing led his teams and businesses to amazing success over the years. I personally can't thank Carl enough for giving me my first opportunity and introducing me to the sport I love. In his time, Carl was the boss of many of racing's greatest drivers, and for me to get to work under him for those four years was some of the greatest times of my life. There weren't many like Carl, and he will surely be missed."

ORIOL SERVIA (driver for Newman/Haas Racing in 2005, '09, '11): "Carl's overwhelming success in racing as his legacy states was only matched by his genuine, passionate and peculiar character. I was lucky enough to drive for Carl in the three different seasons (2005, '09, 11) and during those years all the conversations I had with him were priceless. He was loved and appreciated by everyone that ever worked for him. He had high loyalty standards and all his partnerships with manufacturers, sponsors, Paul Newman and with his long life partner and wife, Berni Haas, are a clear proof of it and should serve as an example to the rest of the racing and business community."

IMS statement on the passing of Carl Haas: Carl Haas, one of the most influential men in motorsports for nearly a half-century and a frequent competitor at the Indianapolis 500 as a car owner, died June 29 at the age of 86. "Carl Haas fielded cars for some of the best drivers in the world and his leadership and competitive spirit caused Newman/Haas Racing to become one of the most successful teams in our sport's history," Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles said. "The IndyCar community was fortunate to have his personality as part of its family and Mr. Haas' legacy of excellence and winning will long be remembered." At the Indianapolis 500, Newman/Haas cars made 30 starts over a 28-year span from 1983-2011, with six top-5 finishes but also several notable heartbreaks. In 1985, Mario Andretti led 107 laps but finished second to the remarkable "spin and win" of Danny Sullivan. In 1987, Mario led 170 of the first 177 laps but slowed after Lap 180 with electrical failure. Michael Andretti finished second in 1991 after a memorable late battle with Rick Mears, then in 1992 dominated most of the race with 160 laps led, only to have a fuel pump break on Lap 189 while leading. In all, Newman/Haas entries led more than 800 laps at Indy.

Carl Haas and his trademark cigar
Carl Haas and his trademark cigar

07/07/16 Longtime Newman/Haas Racing co-owner Carl Haas passed away on June 29th, representatives from his family announced today. The Chicago-born entrepreneur and automotive businessman enjoyed a sterling career in racing, which included stints as a team owner in Formula One, NASCAR and Can-Am, and a successful career as a supplier of parts, chassis and gearboxes.

Of course, Haas' greatest success came in Indy car racing via a partnership with legendary actor Paul Newman.

From 1983-2011, Newman/Haas Racing scored an impressive 8 Indy car championships with drivers Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Cristiano da Matta and Sebastien Bourdais. The team also fielded race winning entries for drivers such as Paul Tracy, Justin Wilson, Graham Rahal, Christian Fittipaldi, Oriol Servia, and Bruno Junqueira.

Newman would pass away in late-2008, as Haas and wife Berni continued Newman/Haas Racing. However, citing an inability to continue due to the financial climate at the time, Newman/Haas Racing ceased its Indy car program following the 2011 season.

It had been known that Haas had fallen into poor health in recent years. A full statement on Haas' passing can be found on the Carl Haas Import Automobiles, Inc. website. The statement noted that Haas passed away in peace surrounded by loved ones.

AR1 will pass along further updates as we receive them.

Brian Carroccio reporting for AutoRacing1

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