Life in the fast lane; Newman lived life at full throttle
It’s not often you remember something that happened to you 23 years ago as if were yesterday. Then again, it’s not often you meet someone like Paul Newman.
In 1985, I had one of the coolest and most memorable experiences of my life. At Trans-Am race at what was then called Sears Point International Raceway (now named Infineon. Don’t get me started), I met Cool Hand Luke.
At that time, Newman was a Hollywood icon — a legend amongst actors. Other actors of his generation — Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, James Dean and Steve McQueen to name a few — all carried a certain mystique. They were the epitome of cool. The latter two along with Newman shared a passion for racing. I understand why.
Newman had an affinity for auto racing. He picked up the interest after his role in the 1969 movie “Winning." The timing was perfect. The ‘70's and ‘80's were the golden age of auto racing. Sports car racing was huge and Indy Car Racing captured the imagination of millions of Americans, especially each May at Indianapolis. AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti were true heroes, not thugs that made a buck through an overhyped media.
The Can-Am and Trans-Am series featured factory sponsored cars from all